Hallmark May Be Cheesy, But That's Exactly What The World Needs Right Now

Sarah Kester
Cameron Candace Bure and a male lead
Popsugar | Hallmark

For movies that are heartwarming and feel-good, Hallmark sure does create a stir. That’s because the world is divided into two groups when it comes to them: those who can't stand Hallmark movies and those who absolutely love them. 

Those who can’t stand them usually have one similar complaint: they’re too cheesy. But what if we told you that this very “downside” is exactly what the world needs right now? Here’s why. 

We’ll be the first to admit that Hallmark movies **are** cheesy. 

Couple sitting on hay
Country Living | Hallmark

Each film, regardless of the season the setting is based on, follows a familiar narrative.

There is usually a hard-working woman living in a big city at her demanding job. 

Her boss then trusts her with a project that could lead to a big promotion.

Hallmark friends hugging
Giphy | Hallmark Channel

The only problem is that the big project is located in her hometown ⁠— the place she hasn’t returned to in years, likely because her ex still lives there. 

Cue the quaint small-town setting, the tension of “will they or won’t they kiss” between the romantic leads, and a cozy festival of some sort.

Two woman at a holiday market
EW | Hallmark

These movies (and their stories) are on repeat for the entire year. The Hallmark special even has month-long specials, like Christmas in July and Countdown to Christmas, where they play non-stop Hallmark movies. 

So, yes, these movies are cheesy (and they’re on TV, like, a lot), but they’re also an escape. 

Couple watching TV with popcorn
Unsplash | Phillip Goldsberry

T. Makana Chock, a researcher of media psychology at the Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, explained to The Lily that humans crave corniness.

“There’s a lot of dopamine and oxytocin that gets released in watching these things,” she explained.

Suki and Lorelai clapping
Giphy | Gilmore Girls

“They can be very de-stressing. They make you feel happier.” Like quaint shows like Little House on the Prairie or Gilmore Girls, they provide a sense of family and community. 

This is usually weaved into a formulaic storyline of a man or woman who has left their hometown to pursue a big-city job.

Christmas trees
Unsplash | Sincerely Media

But they end up remembering how much family and community mean to them when they come back home and save the Christmas festival or farm. 

“They are essentially stories about other people with small-scale dramas that are not big, going to war kind of stuff,” Chock said. 

Couple dancing
Pioneer Woman | Hallmark

“They're romantic dramas, they’re family stories. We want to know how other people are engaging and it really appeals to our basic drives,” she said.

These films provide an escape from all the craziness that’s going on in the world.

Woman eating popcorn

This includes the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the threat of monkeypox.

You won’t find political battles in a Hallmark film, nor will there be issues around diversity. 

That’s not to say that Hallmark can’t do better in terms of showing diversity or different sexual orientations, though. 

Tia Mowry walking down street
Giphy | Hallmark Channel

After years of films that predominantly feature almost all-white characters, Hallmark has stepped up its game by casting more African American leads, like Tia Mowry, a former Disney Channel star. 

Then, in 2020, Hallmark premiered its first LGBTQ holiday movie, ‘The Christmas House’ with a gay lead couple. 

The Christmas House on Hallmark
Giphy | Hallmark Channel

“I’m proud of everyone at Hallmark Channel for making the holiday table bigger and more welcoming and warmer this year,” Jonathan Bennett who stars in the film, told NBC News.

It’s a good thing that Hallmark is becoming more inclusive so that more people can enjoy their heartwarming, feel-good films. 

Man saying, "very cozy"

This is just in time for the fall Hallmark season, which will, as always, feature cozy movies that make you want to visit your nearby pumpkin farm!