Got The COVID Blues? Doctors Prescribe Hallmark Movies As Cure

Hallmark movies make people feel better, Lacey Chabert, Will Kemp Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

Did you know that Hallmark movies are a cure for the COVID blues? According to the leading online medical site, Hallmark Christmas movies are truly a way to combat the ennui and pandemic fatigue that plaguing so many this holiday season.

Why are Christmas movies the cure?

Hallmark Movies Are What The Doctor Ordered

This has been a very stressful year with a worldwide pandemic that has kept families from celebrating together. Recently, Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical officer at WebMD read an article on “Why It Feels Good To Watch Hallmark Holiday Movies.”

What Dr. Whyte is referring to is a study from Pamela Rutledge, behavior scientist and director of the Media Psychology research Center and Media Psychology faculty at Fielding Graduate University that NBC News reported on one year ago. Turns out, “The human brain loves patterns and the predictability is cognitively rewarding.” Rutledge cited fairy tales as other examples of “much needed break from the complexity of real-life holiday chaos.”

Now that we are in a worldwide pandemic, Dr. Whyte went to the happiness source to find out more. He spoke to Annie Howell, Crown Media’s Chief Communications Officer and Michelle Vicary, Hallmark’s Vice President of Programming to discuss why Hallmark Christmas movies are making people happy. They certainly understand why Hallmark is the cure for the Covid Blues.

According to Vicary, Hallmark is “about connection and about love, and sometimes romance and family and traditions.” Most of all, this is a brand about “feeling good.” 

Moreover, Hallmark understands that people need a safe haven. Annie shared, “And people are looking for respite. They’re looking for a place where they know what they can get. They know what they can rely on. And we are a place where they’re going to get that, where they can put up their feet, sit back, feel warm, and enjoy their entertainment with no stress.” 

Hallmark Christmas Movies Are Beating Out Cable Competition

There are a lot of Hallmark viewers that don’t even need to check out WebMD for a cure for the Covid Christmas Blues. They are already tuning into the channel for Christmas contentment. They are wearing Christmas sweaters, and tucking into a hot cocoa and binging on the non-stop holiday movies. Most of all, they are not switching to other stations.

According to Michelle Vicary’s tweet, during Thanksgiving week, Hallmark had two “sticky” movies where people watched all the way through, even beating out Monday Night Football. This signifies true viewer engagement. This is the biggest week in the world of holiday movies.

That week’s top movie was Christmas Waltz, starring Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp. The duo, who previously costarred in Love, Romance and Chocolate, wowed audiences with the romantic love story of a jilted bride who finds herself through learning to dance the waltz.

This story was more about learning to dance. This story told a personal journey. Moreover, Lacey and Will have a lot of chemistry and put a lot of heart into their roles as Avery and Roman.

Christmas Waltz Has Lifted Spirits During Covid

Christmas Waltz was the top watched 2020 Countdown to Christmas movie. But, this movie has taken on more of a meaning, perhaps because of Covid and a year of uncertainty. Time alone has certainly given way to deeper thoughts and perhaps regrets about roads not taken. Subsequently, this Michael Damian (Young and The Restless) written and directed movie has inspired viewers to dance and to take chances.

How do we know this? By checking out Will Kemp’s Cameo videos. Kemp, Lacey Chabert and several other Hallmark stars have been participating in making Cameos for charity. Based on some of Kemp’s shared Cameos, it is clear that Christmas Waltz has lifted fan’s spirits. In one video, the Reign star even had to thank himself for helping a fan “get through these challenging times.”

In addition, Lacey Chabert recently shared a Cameo. This was for a family who loves Hallmark movies, including a husband who did a tree lighting party during a Hallmark movie. Clearly, viewers are not just enjoying the movies. They are even having fun emulating the Covid-safe holiday activities celebrated in Hallmark movies.

Now if the waltz, or Lacey or Will are not your thing, there are 39 other Hallmark holiday movies that may be the cure for the Covid Blues. Five Star Christmas, The Christmas House and Christmas By Starlight are particularly funny and could brighten Covid ennui.

Hallmark Made Conscience Decision To Not Include Covid

Dr. Whyte did also discuss with Annie and Michelle the reason why Hallmark chose not to include Covid-related themes in their holiday movies. Michelle Vicary explained that they really thought this out. In the end, they realized that Hallmark was doing something else, during this time of the pandemic. They stuck to what their brand does best.

The reason that we decided not to include anything about Covid was because we wanted to be the place where you didn’t have to think about that, where you escape– that word, it comes back again– escape the day-to-day of it. And also, I think this is such a devastating time in our world, and to identify Covid and to address it, I think, is an important task. And somebody should do it, and somebody is doing it. But we represent a different experience. And we wanted to make sure that we took care of people’s thoughts and feelings around what’s happening in the world today.”

But not every one understands their reasoning. Recently, one particular LA Times reporter had some pretty sour grapes about the lack of Covid references in Christmas movies. They even went as far as to call this “alternate reality an insult to viewers.”

Now that it turns out that Hallmark Christmas movies actually are a cure for the Covid blues, perhaps they need to chill and let those good feelings improve their mood? Doctor’s orders.

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