Tag Archive: Hallmark channel

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Lately, I am seeing news stories about the Hallmark Channel seeing an upswing in their ratings. Since mid 2015, the ratings for this channel have been going up in a time when media pundits are talking about the end of cable TV.


Timing is everything and some will say that the timing has everything to do with Trump. Early 2015 is when he declared his intention to run. And since then we have had a rollar coaster of revelations and tweets that might force St. Michael to charge.


Or he can turn on the Hallmark Channel for an hour or two to decompress.


hallmark-channel-logoI understand completely. It’s not hard to get sucked into one of those movies that show the complications of life and their solution in 120 minutes. The characters tend to be likable or a little grumpy.


But at some point there is a revelation, a solution is found, and the love we had seen starting to build comes to complete fruition. Sometimes the movie is set in pioneer times or modern times or in strange destinations such as Santa’s home in the North Pole. Christmas in July is a good way to mentally escape the heat of summer.


If you really need to have some nostalgia thrown in you can watch hour after hour of the Golden Girls. and Fraisier. But what I am watching these days is not any of these but an original TV show called Good Witch starring Catherine Bell and James Denton.


It is based on the Hallmark movie series, The Good Witch about a beautiful woman who moves to a small town into a house that may or may not be haunted. Strange things happen around this woman even though a number of people like her. It’s not long before people wonder if she is a witch.


Good WitchAfter this movie was a big hit for the cable channel, they started making the movies a yearly event. Now it is a regular TV show airing on Sunday nights. Not that I have watched it there. I actually stream the shows on our Netflix service.


I find myself watching two or three episodes at time while I clean the living room or work on a project or eat popcorn.


It’s relaxing to watch Cassie always making cookies, working in her little greenhouse off of the kitchen, or re-arranging displays in her cute little shop filled with essential oils, jewelry, accessories, and knick knacks.


She is always busy but calm. She runs two business but has time for friends. She is a grieving widow who seems to take everything in stride. And her next door neighbor is always popping in for advice and a game of poker. The neighbor is played by James Denton, formerly Mike the plumber on Desperate Housewives. Here he is a doctor relocated from New York with his son.


That the new family slowly fit in feels natural. That the doc and Cassie develop feelings for each other is natural too. It is a relationship that progresses slowly and that feels right.


There are times that I wonder if the way the characters talk is not a bit trite, that some of the trouble stirred up is a bit coincidental. But some of the story lines I can really relate to, such as when the town mayor had to put her foot down with her grown son despite her desire to be lenient.


It is not a perfect show, it is not great all of the time. But it is like being around that one friend who always puts you at ease. And some days, that is exactly what is needed.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

During this first week of the holiday season, I can understand if people are not in that ‘holiday spirit.’

Last year at this time, I was not up for it. It was the first Christmas after my dad passed away and I really didn’t want to do much. It was bare bones decorating, hardly any cookies made, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do our traditional Chinese buffet meal for Christmas.

But I did everything with the hope that if I did it maybe Christmas would feel like Christmas. We attended Christmas concerts, chili suppers, and family gatherings. We sang and ate and praised God.

Somehow I made it through even with the help of my favorite movies.

home-for-christmas-lindaIt gave me a greater appreciation for those Hallmark movies that run non-stop during the months of November and December. I even watched Home For Christmas on Lifetime starring Linda Hamilton as a divorced housewife who lived in her car after losing her assets in one calamity after another.

I watched part of that one and other movies featuring young women who are facing emotional crisis such as one woman whose parents are Santa and Mrs. Claus. Another had an event planner trying to re-create a party from her childhood when the client wants something different. A third one featured a woman who has not celebrated Christmas properly for years until she comes to a winter resort her father recently purchased and wants her to evaluate. The problem is Christmas is the big deal at this wonderful winter wonderland resort.

I know these movies are cheesy, that they feature actors who used to be big or are never going to be stars but are solid performers. I know that there will be preposterous factors and everything will work out in the end. There might be a magical aspect or a meet-cute between our two love birds who hate each other on sight. But in the end, they will figure it out and live happily ever after.

As one of my daughter’s friend stated, these are addicting movies. After watching a few, I had a hard time staying away. But you might find you have to watch them by yourself or without the husband. These are sap fests that can make the toughest of cookies cry right into your eggnog.


Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan

Oh, I will be watching my favorites this season. The first is Christmas in Connecticut starring Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan about a magazine writer who must entertain her publisher and an heroic sailor on her non-existant farm during the holidays.

The second is Miracle on 34th Street with Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle who must prove he is the real Santa Claus in order to protect his sanity with the help of attorney John Payne. Meanwhile he is also trying to prove to a mother and child that Santa is real.

I might add a few of these Hallmark to the repertoire when I need to recover from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It’s not hard to do, I just have to find the Hallmark and Lifetime stations on my satellite service.

Here’s hoping that your holiday season begins and ends smoothly.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.