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  1. I used to work in retail. This was before the internet so advertising had to be planned more in advance so things may be different now. Ad space was purchased and proofs were approved by June or July. An ad campaign was tv, radio, magazines, newspapers, in store promos, etc. The items advertised had to be manufactured and in all of the stores in sufficient quantities by the time the ads hit the market. By the day after Christmas, when the doors opened, you had to be prepared to sell, sell, sell. My pet peeve -- people expecting someone to travel any distance for a Christmas Eve wedding. Is that a real thing or just in movies? Another question about reality versus movies -- Snowmen Contests. I've spent my entire life living in the north and I've never seen one. I've built plenty of snowmen and I know how much snow it takes to build one. I know how building one leaves deep ruts in the snow. I know how tired you get pushing those balls around trying to get them bigger and bigger. I know how much effort it takes to lift that second ball on to the first one. I've been to plenty of winter related festivals but no snowman contests.
  2. Now that I'm caught up with all of the movies I have some observations. 1. As I scroll through the comments and read the names of the movies I realize that most of the time I can't remember which movies are which. I know that there must be some Hallmark movie rule that says that during the holidays the words Christmas and Holiday in the title are more important than having a meaningful title, but titles like Chateau Christmas, Heart of the Holidays, Meet Me at Christmas, or Deliver at Christmas aren't going to help me remember the plot next year when I see the title in a listing. 2. When I first started watching the current crop of movies I was hoping for escapism. I consider myself a holiday movie afficiendado and that's how I normally see these movies but this year I thought I needed it even more. But it's actually backfired. I just want to go back to a time when we can walk into stores and hug each other. I want to go to restaurants and get on airplanes. These movies made me miss those times even more. I'm not trying to say anything politically -- I just want want all of us to be healthy and for this to be over. Speaking of which, I hope everyone is safe and healthy. 3. I know that this is a Hallmark group, but just like two years ago when Lifetime's Christmas Contract was my favorite movie of the season, my favorite movie of this season was a Lifetime movie - A Christmas Exchange. My favorite Hallmark movie was A Glenbrooke Christmas, not because it was a great movie but because it was wonderful seeing Autumn Reeser and Antonio Cupo together again. I really wish that there had been more sparks (pun intended) between them but this has been such a strange year that I'm going easy on on my judgment. 4. I have very mixed feelings about Love, Lights, Hanukkah. First of all, I speak only for myself and not for any other Jewish person. It was much better than any of the other previous Chanukah (that's how I've always spelled it) movies. It wasn't insulting like another one. But there were things that could have used some tweaking. I'll leave it at that. 5. I'm curious to know what people thought about the diversity this year. Did it seem to be honest or gratuitous to you? I'm wondering if it seemed almost formulaic, like every movie had to have one biracial couple, one gay couple, etc. or if that was a sincerely appreciated. I used to work in public health and we tried to be inclusive and we frequently were accused of pandering so I'm never sure of where the line is drawn. That actually ties in with #4 above in which case I think that Hallmark was well meaning.
  3. They showed him just dumping butter into the mixer and saying that he never measured ingredients. Then he had to throw away the dough because he had used too much butter. Sometimes the editing is the best part of the show.
  4. I just rewatched The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. How is it possible for the same movie to have one of my favorite holiday moments and one of my least favorite holiday moments? For some unexplainable reason I love the one red lightbulb (the "red Portugese candle" among all of the white candles). It is just a perfect scene. But I hate, hate, hate the whole thing with the toy shop owner from the break-in to the violence. I have started fast forwarding through it and pretending it isn't a part of the movie. Instead of adding to the movie I feel that it detracts from it. And last night, for the first time, I got a horrible, sick feeling seeing Henry Winkler, a retired police officer, with his foot on a the throat of the guy who just attempted to rob him. Maybe next year I'll fast forward through that scene too.
  5. That sounds very big budget. Is it going to be a Hallmark Hall of Fame next year? 😉
  6. Small town Jewish girl, Rachel (or Rebecca), is working in NYC in a high stress job. Her aunt calls her to say that she twisted her ankle and is unable to take charge of the Temple's big potato latke (pancake) exchange. It's the major event of the year so Rachel has to rush home and help her aunt. But there's a blizzard and all of the flights are grounded so she ends up renting a car and having to share it with a drop dead gorgeous man who has a European accent. It turns out he's the only Jewish prince in all of Europe and they fall in love while on the 48 hour car trip to the small town. Of course he knows how to make the perfect latke and the latke exchange will be saved.
  7. I know I said I was done but I had to watch the last episode to see if they ever explained how they determined the season's winner. But I guess it was just the winner of the last episode. Talk about anti-climatic. Actually the whole season was anti-climatic if that's possible. I'm sorry that I can't remember the name of the teams. I thought that the elimination of a team for a technicality was absurd. It just seemed very mean spirited because that layer was not the same as the other ones. I was thinking of something last night and wish that I wasn't so hasty to delete. Did the little hearts on top of one of the displays count as a layer? Because if it did, that was a lot lamer than the little people that did not count as one. Edited because I forgot to say this: I was watching with my daughter who has never seen this show before. She wanted to know why the judges were giving the teams pointers while the teams were making their displays. She said she thought that judges weren't supposed to be helping teams and that might give one team an unfair advantage over another team. She was visiting and wanted to watch the show because back in the day she had been a "That's So Raven" fan but she couldn't watch the show to the end. That's how bad it was.
  8. That's one of my least favorites. I thought she came off too stalkerish. Maybe I'll rewatch it and see if I get a different vibe the second time.
  9. I spent a good part of If I Only Had Christmas wondering how she could afford that house. I realize she was an executive and the cost of living in Kansas City is lower than in other parts of the country, but that was an insanely expensive house. I spent the other part trying to count the Wizard of Oz references. Between those two things I totally lost track of the plot. Was there a plot?
  10. We're not seeing a divorced woman with teenagers who is able to use her words when she has a question for her new beau. I feel like they always do that to Danica McKellar. She's 45 years old. She's a very beautiful woman but they do her a disservice by putting too much make-up on her and trying to fit her into roles that are too young. I do like her in the Matchmaker movies and hope her holiday movie, Christmas She Wrote is good. I think that Jill Wagner is a perfect example of someone who is cast age appropriate. She was wonderful in the Angel Tree. PS How do I do a quote inside of a quote? I just can't get it right.
  11. I seem to be in the minority here, but Eddie gets on my nerves. I liked him as a host, but I just don't appreciate him as a judge. I think it's easy to find fault with the details but because he has no baking experience (unless one of you tells me otherwise) it sounds like he's just parroting what he's heard over the years rather than speaking from experience. I know that he's seen enough failures but has he actually ever tried to bake or decorate a cake? To me watching people do it and hearing experts doesn't give the credibility that I'm used to of judges that I'm used to. Any of us could do the same thing from home (except for the tasting). However, that being said, I'm assuming that his being a judge is COVID related. I hope that next year he's back to being a lovable host.
  12. I was willing to suspend reality for the whole time travel thing. But I couldn't imagine how he would stay in the present. I realize that love conquers all (in the Hallmark world), but she's going to get tired very quickly of supporting him, driving him everywhere, etc. And let's hope he never gets sick because health insurance requires social security numbers. Yes, I know that these people aren't real, but I can't help thinking about things like this.
  13. One of the many Hallmark Holiday movies is Christmas House. Jonathan is in it. I wonder if there was a scheduling conflict since COVID compacted all of the filming schedules. https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/the-christmas-house/videos
  14. Is there no Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas Movie this year? I've looked at all of the listings and I can't find one that has that indicated. They're usually bigger budget not so formulaic. I can't remember a year without one -- even before there was a Hallmark Channel. I wonder if COVID caused problems with filming.
  15. I admit it. I don't like changes. So when I had a tough time with this season I initially assumed it was just the way I typically respond to things when they are different than the way than I am used to them being. I decided to just watch a few episodes and see if that was the case. I pretended that this was a new show and not a modification of something that I had enjoyed in the past. But you know what? If this was something totally new I wouldn't have made it past the first episode. The only reason I've made it this far is because of my love for it in the past. I STILL don't understand how the winner will be determined in the end since they have never described the scoring system. I miss fruit/vegetable carving. As a matter of a fact, I have no idea what the individual expertise is of the participants. There is a sugar artist in each team but is everyone else a cake artist? Speaking of sugar artists . . . I am underwhelmed. I don't get the whole buddy buddy thing of everyone sitting around talking all of the time, especially the eliminated team. It just makes the whole thing seem mean spirited and high schoolish. I'm sad to say goodbye to this show, but it's not worth my time. If they do this to Halloween Wars I will not forgive them.
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