Fans that love Hallmark movies certainly should know the comedic podcast trio, Bran, Panda, and Dan. They make up the Deck The Hallmark podcast. Five days a week, this trio, and often special guests, discuss the latest Hallmark movies. They even venture into Lifetime, Netflix, and beyond.
Now, along with film critic, and podcaster Alonso Duralde, they have written a brand new Christmas movie book entitled, I’ll Be Home For Christmas Movies. The book is being released on Tuesday, October 26.
This is a new “uber-cool, unofficial guide” to Hallmark Christmas movies. Within the book is also a holiday entertainment guide. The combo sets you up to help you create your very own festive Hallmark Christmas experience at home. Just like those very movies you love.
What Is I’ll Be Home For Christmas Movies About?
According to the official press release shared with TV Shows Ace:
“Hosts and best friends Brandon Gray, Daniel “Panda”Pandolph, and Daniel Thompson share reviews that will make fans feel like they’re watching these holiday favorites with their best buds, discussing warm Christmas feelings and absolutely bonkers plot twists with equal enthusiasm. And thanks to original interviews with the movies’ stars and creators such as Tyler Hynes, Jill Wagner, Nikki DeLoach, and Ron Oliver, fans will find out insider information on the making of the movies and learn answers to pressing questions such as: Why do the lead characters keep coming down with amnesia? Why do so many female stock brokers and lawyers find themselves forced to plan parties? And perhaps most importantly, do all of the stories take place within something called the ‘Kennyverse’?”
There are also ideas for how to host a Christmas movie-themed party, festive holiday recipes inspired by the Hallmark movies, and even a Deck The Hallmark Bingo Game. How fun is that? Actor, and friend of the show, Kristoffer Polaha (Wonder Woman 1984, Dater’s Handbook), also wrote the foreword.
What are some of the Hallmark hit movies that they review in this new book? Here is a small list:
- Christmas at Graceland
- The Christmas in Evergreen series
- The Christmas Train
- Snow Bride
- A Christmas Detour
- Christmas Under Wraps
- Crown for Christmas
- The Godwink Christmas series
- Journey Back to Christmas
- Nine Lives of Christmas
Why Write A Book?
Why did the Deck The Hallmark podcasters write a book? According to an exclusive interview with Bran, it was because it would be “fun.” He also called it a “natural next step.” Moreover, they relished the idea of becoming New York Times bestselling writers.
This seemed like a natural step. The podcast did get over a million downloads in one year. They had been guests on a cornucopia of television programs, including Good Morning America, on more than one occasion.
So, they called Alonso, a seasoned author, for advice. Duralde had an idea. He suggested that create a guide, filled with snippets. This could be a guide to help people know what to watch. With their distinct personality and taste in movies, this guide is like no other.
— Alonso Duralde 🎄🏳️🌈🌹 (@ADuralde) October 25, 2021
Who Are I’ll Be Home For Christmas Movies’ Authors, Bran, Panda, Dan, And Alonso?
On Saturday, the Deck The Hallmark podcast kicked off their fourth season. Alonso flew in to join them, as did Kristoffer Polaha. Over the past three years, the three friends have watched hundreds of movies, and they have all shared some candid, some articulate and often hysterical opinions.
Let’s start with the Deck The Hallmark trio, Bran, Panda, and Dan. They started this podcast because Bran always loved Hallmark movies and thought this was a good way to get his pals together and just have some fun. Moreover, their perspectives on the movies are both hysterical and thought-provoking.
Bran is a Hallmark movie lover. He seems to be most open to whimsy, Christmas magic, and kisses that he describes as “big ones.” Even if you do not listen to anything else, his synopsis is always tender. He likes to get the “Christmas feels” watching Christmas movies while watching dishes. However, he cannot do that now. That is because he writes the synopsis and he needs to pay full attention.
Panda likes Hallmark movies. Moreover, he is the guy with the “hottest take.” He especially enjoys movies with seasonal feels, royal romances, and cozy cabins. However, if things get too boring, he will tell it as he sees it.
Lastly, there is Dan. He is proud to state that he “despises Hallmark movies.” Listeners know that he prefers to be called “Daniel.” It seems that his pals enjoy making him just a tad bit grumpier with a nickname. “Grumpy Dan” is always looking for grown-up conversations, plots that make sense, and other elements that put these movies into “real movie territory.”
However, if he dislikes a movie, he will not hold back even a little. And, when he declares “woof” on a particularly bad movie, it is hard not to giggle just a little. It is not that he is picking on Hallmark movies. What he really detests are thin plots, immature dialogue, and actors phoning it in.
As for Alonso, he is a seasoned and respected film reviewer that does watch and can enjoy the holiday movies that Hallmark fans love to watch.
Could Deck The Hallmark Podcast Be Reason For Hallmark’s Changes?
One question long-time listeners of the Deck The Hallmark podcast may ponder is whether or not the trio has affected some of the script changes on the show. True romcoms with snappy dialogues like Her Pen Pal or Mix Up In The Mediterranean didn’t ever happen during the Bill Abbott period.
As for the whimsical The Baker’s Son, that sort of storyline also did not exist for many years on the feel-good channel. Moreover, did the Deck The Hallmark guys help improve the quality of movies on Hallmark? There are many reasons to think this is true.
Since starting their podcast over three years ago, the network has become more open to whimsey and humor. While the “old style” Hallmark movie still exists, there are now more fresh and fun movies that do venture into “real movie” territory.
As for the new book, it is a delight and a true reflection of the entertaining podcast. That is because the personalities and tastes are so varied, the guide is perfect for finding a movie for those who dislike Christmas movies, or for another who wants cozy cabin feels. Bran claims that “If just one person uses the guide, I’ll be very happy.”
What would make him happy? He would love to see a Christmas movie with his two favorites, Kristoffer Polaha and Nikki DeLoach. Polaha is a friend of the show and frequent guest. Nikki is pretty darn amazing.
Maybe Santa can grant Bran that wish in 2022?
The Deck The Hallmark podcast is available on your podcast app, or through the website. They now also share their podcast in video format. Moreover, that means the interviews with Daniel Lissing, Tyler Hynes, and other stars are now available on their YouTube Channel.
The book I’ll Be Home For Christmas Movies is available at booksellers, as well as on Kindle.
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