With TV shows on “winter break”, you will find me parked on the couch with various holiday treats and lots of Hallmark Channel from now until New Year’s.
There is an art to the perfect holiday TV movie, and the Hallmark Channel has it down. Rarely do I venture into ion, Lifetime, and UP territory, because those channels always let me down. (You might think all cheesy holiday TV movies are the same, but some channels lack the star quality or production budget to even come close to the worst Hallmark one.) Freeform used to have some fun options when it was still ABC Family (Holiday in Handcuffs, Santa Baby, Snow, Christmas Cupid, Snowglobe), but they mainly run blockbusters and classics now. Which leaves Hallmark to do all the heavy lifting: B & C-list celebrities, Canadian towns subbing for small-town America, lots of cocoa and Christmas cookies, and plenty of predictable, yet charming, happy endings.
That said, there are always a few duds. (Not even handsome, vaguely familiar male actors and cute winter coats can save a bad script or over-acting.) Also, these are not necessarily the kind of movies you need to watch twice, so rather than watching Trading Christmas for the fifth time, here are my picks (and skips!) of the new 2016 Hallmark movies.
Watch: A December Bride, Journey Back to Christmas, Christmas in Homestead, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Broadcasting Christmas, The Mistletoe Promise, Love You Like Christmas, Love Always, Santa
Skip: My Christmas Dream, A Heavenly Christmas, Finding Father Christmas
Need more info?
Love Always, Santa has some sweet Sleepless in Seattle undertones.
Remember The Wedding Date? A December Bride comes pretty close.
Love Notting Hill? Try Christmas in Homestead.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas has a few National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation moments.
Dig The Age of Adeline? Check out Journey Back to Christmas.
If you love you some Live!, or cry a little over Up Close & Personal, you’ll appreciate Broadcasting Christmas.
The Mistletoe Promise is a big scoop of Picture Perfect, with a dash of Can’t Buy Me Love, and a sprinkle of Drive Me Crazy. (Basically, anything where two people “negotiate”, but end up falling in love.)
The links below have the schedules for all of your original holiday TV programming: