29 Dec 2018

Hating the Hallmark Channel

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Personally, I like watching Jesse Stone marathons on the Hallmark Channel.

Soraya Roberts, at Walrus, on the other hand, is repelled by the coziness of it all, and offended by the fact that Hallmark movies are typically not about her.

Watching a Hallmark movie is like taking half a benzo in an Ikea showroom in the middle of Stockholm. It is a mild, innocuous soporific propped up by a staged, suburban, pseudo-elegant scene populated by a large number of nice-looking white people. I was disturbed to find myself moderately engaged by Switched for Christmas, the most-viewed Hallmark telecast in history (5.8 million viewers, including me), which stars Candace Cameron Bure as a pair of barely human twin tropes—city slicker, country bumpkin—who pull a Parent Trap for the holidays. “Our lives couldn’t be more different,” one—it barely matters which—exclaims as their interchangeable, white-as-snow narratives are mildly shaken up like a marked-down snow globe.

Here, the houses are cut out of catalogues, the kids look like young Republicans, and Happy the dog gets top billing. There’s even a flour fight during a baking scene, all of which adds up to a series of vaguely animated stock images you may find by googling the word “wholesome.” Everything—the acting, the set, the story—is as flatly palatable as, well, a Hallmark card. “We are a place you can go and feel good,” Bill Abbott, the CEO of Crown Media, which owns the Hallmark Channel, recently told the Washington Post. But Abbott, it seems, has mistaken sedation for pleasure.

This particular tranquilizer is designed specifically for a white, conservative audience, enveloping the parade of Pleasantvilles in a sinister frame. Its audience loudly touts traditional family values and charity while less loudly opposing multiculturalism, gender fluidity, and homosexuality. According to the Post, Hallmark’s ratings surged in 2015 when Donald Trump arrived on the political landscape and have continued to soar since, with a number of husbands joining the predominantly female demographic. While every other channel is losing viewers to Netflix, Hallmark—which calls itself “the heart of TV”—is commanding almost as much attention as the news.

“It’s clean and I just don’t enjoy cussing,” a Georgia grandma told E! News in October. The sentiment was echoed by a North Carolina senior who said, “There is no profanity nor any offensive sex acts in any movie I have ever seen.” A middle-aged Minnesotan added, “There are no politics, there is no crime, no hate, no war.” (Even Netflix appears to be attracted, releasing its own Hallmark-style fare this year in the form of A Christmas Prince and Christmas Inheritance.)

This brand of good, clean fun, however, is not for everyone. These films are relegated to the lives of upper-middle-class white folk, the implication being that swearing and sex and strife is the province of the misguided, the folks of colour, the poor folk, the un-Christian folk. With Christmas marketed as the ultimate aspirational holiday, it’s no wonder that Hallmark responds with such anemic offerings.

RTWT

In other words, white people should not be permitted to watch things that white people like. They should presumably instead be watching more edifying films chronicling the travails of the sexually dysphoric and airing the grievances of persons of color.

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3 Feedbacks on "Hating the Hallmark Channel"

Anon

If the Hallmark channel is racist what does that say about BET. The BET channel goes leagues beyond being racist into outright offensive.

The problem with the Hallmark channel is simply that it has a formula for shows that actually works. It keeps bringing people back to watch. They have very likeable actors/actresses who are not so well known that they can easily have been shown to be intolerant and offensive people (like Jim Carrey or Robert De Niro for example). And they put these likeable actors/actresses in middle class situations that the viewers can identify with. They aren’t pushing LGBQT or Civil rights or illegal immigration and THAT is the problem. Because they aren’t bowing to the right memes and pushing the right agenda they must be called racist in the hope that it will negatively impact their bottom line thus forcing them to toe the line and put more gays, lesbians, angry black activists and illegal aliens in their lineup.

Many people, myself included, do not like to be preached to. I don’t watch shows that constantly put gay men kissing in front of me or lesbians dissing men or people of color calling everyone racists. I don’t want to see people kneel for the national anthem or raise a black power fist. THAT is racist.



Mike-SMO

Ms. Roberts explains the need for hate hoaxes to illustrate the reality of the “systemic racism” that oppresses those of limited intellect or disordered minds since the reality is too subtle for “normies” to perceive. The movies that Ms. Roberts enjoys are just professionally performed hoaxes for those lacking the capability to perform their own. The professional performance allows a focus on the faux oppression of the “victim” while the mental deficiencies of the victim are written out of the script. Ms. Roberts seems to enjoy a particular type of emotional , masocistic pornography, that is so “artistic” since it captures her fantasy world of the hero vs the oppression.



Francis Porretto

I’m having a wee bit of trouble with the concept of “offensive sex acts” — would “defensive sex acts” have been okay? — but apart from that, I can’t see anything wrong with the Hallmark Channel. Does Miss Roberts’ TV lack a channel-changing mechanism, or is her remote too far away for her convenience?



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