The first time I watched a “So bad, they’re almost good” Christmas movie on Hallmark was 2007. I was going through a divorce, living with my sister, who was dog sitting this particular Xmas, leaving me alone, I know, sniff-sniff. It’s not to say that I didn’t spend any time with my family, we’d been getting together on Xmas eve for the past few years and it was the same in ’07, but unlike years gone by, the (soon-to-be X) wife and kids were spending Xmas with her side of the family, actually, her side of the family minus her mother, since she had already divorced the kids grandfather and was working on her third (at least) husband.
So, there I was, alone on Xmas, luckily, there were quite a bit of leftovers from my mom’s Xmas eve party and I wouldn’t have to cook, which was a point for me, a point against me was that I didn’t feel like watching college football, I wanted to get into the holiday spirit. With this in mind, I switched on the TV and searched in vain for some holiday programming, in vain, that is until I glommed onto the Hallmark channel, which was showing one “so bad, they’re almost good” Xmas movie after another. If you haven’t had the opportunity to sit through any of these films, I will sum up:
First you need a female lead with the same blah hair-do as nearly every other female lead in nearly every Xmas movie from this channel. Then you need a male lead who doesn’t know what a razor is for and cannot figure out how to button or tuck in his flannel shirt, add a doting grandma, at least one cute little kid and some sort of “cause” for Xmas. This cause can be the saving of some long standing Xmas tradition, or family Inn, family cookie factory, family lumber yard, you get the idea. The rotation of these plots must save the channel money, since they only need two or three writers, tops. They also seem to save money by only using one hairdresser, hence the same blah do on all the female leads. They also would seem to be saving money by hiring the least talented actors and actresses they can find for the leads and unless your initials are CCB, you’ll rarely, if ever see these people again, although the supporting cast is used over and over again and are all interchangeable.
Back to the “writers”: when writing a teleplay for these Xmas entertainment efforts one must use the word “so” when describing pretty much everything. “This Xmas will be sooo wonderful” “The Xmas tree is sooo beautiful” “I’m sooo much in love with the unshaven guy who doesn’t know how to wear a shirt” you get the idea.
Side bar: Speaking of not knowing how to dress, when did fashion designers decide to take a break from making women look foolish and move on to men? From pushing the “bum look” to the “skinny” suits, jeans and trousers that all seem to stop five inches from the wearers ankles. I’ve yet to see any male look anything but foolish in a skinny suit, looks as if they are getting hand-me-downs from their little brothers. On the other hand, since this is a “monkey-see-monkey-do” world, these “fashion” trends will probably continue, at least until more people start buying more mirrors.
So, that’s been my Xmas tradition since ’07, spend the day alone watching Cornball-Xmas-Calamities and to tell the truth, I rarely make it through one without crying…at least once.