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Some spectators have long described Hallmark Christmas movies as "cheesy." How does Hallmark's executive vice president of programming, Michelle Vicary, feel about that term being used about the network's movies? Not bad at all. Here's what Vicary said:
I had to rethink the definition of that word. I don't think it's a negative; it's the positivity and the fun. We're not shy about it and we embrace it ... because people want more of it.
Hearing an executive vocally embrace the attribute is a hopeful sign that the "cheese" will continue to be poured forth. However you choose to describe the movies' central attribute, it has worked. The formula that comprises Hallmark's movies is comforting and stable, with the plot always resulting in a happy ending.
Plus, Hallmark Christmas movies are films the entire family can watch together. Togetherness is one of the critical life goals that Hallmark's Christmas movies commonly present as a theme.
As for the notion the movies are cheesy -- traditionally, the term has not been used to describe something in the most positive sense. So it's possible those using it have meant it to be harsh in their critical analysis of the movies.
According to Merriam-Webster, the term means "shabby" or "cheap." Neither conjures positive notions. When it comes to the synonyms for cheesy; things do not get any better. They include "dowdy," "tacky," "trashy" et cetera. For this fan, none of those terms are accurate descriptions of Hallmark Christmas movies.
The budgets are not extravagant, but they do not have to be. All of the movies have a coziness that big budgets are not necessary to produce. A house with a heartfelt décor and a small town with an adorable main street are just some of the sweet sights you will commonly see.
Part of Hallmark movies' appeal is their self-deprecation. They know what they are trying to do, and they almost always succeed in doing it, hitting all the emotional feel-good buttons necessary to make that happen.
One thing Hallmark may want to consider altering is the calamity that always unravels around the 1-hour and 45-minute mark. Viewers have grown accustomed to relations between the happy couple hitting a massive roadblock at that time. This year's Christmas Joy (pictured above) was no exception.
Somehow, with roughly 10 minutes left to spare (counting commercials), it is resolved, but the build-up to get there is agonizing. Except for the non-Christmas movie Pumpkin Pie Wars, it is a pretty prevalent trend.
Maybe next year the Christmas movies can have it dealt with by the 1:30 mark. Thus, allowing viewers to enjoy more of the movie -- post-fallout. Hallmark is adding two Hanukkah movies for 2019, so we'll have to see how they handle the formula and the "cheese" factor. Until then, Hallmark Channel's current slate of holiday movies will continue airing throughout the remainder of the year. Afterward, expect a dose of winter fun on television in the midseason.