4 Reasons Why Hallmark Movies Aren't As Good As They Used To Be

Oldies, But Goodies

Hallmark is best known for its escapism entertainment where fans can find a happy place to lose themselves in a stress-free love story that always ends happily.

While Hallmark movies attract viewers from all walks of life, it has particularly been a haven for Christians and conservatives who flocked to the network to avoid the vile and secular programming that saturates the majority of networks.

When the pandemic struck the entire world in 2020, even more people gravitated to Hallmark movies while they were stuck at home, drawing comfort from them like a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. 

Images:  Crown Media

Despite gorging on an inordinate amount of these Hallmark movies (they are addictive!), there is a growing rumble of discontent among fans.  Conversations within the realm of social media reveals Hallmarkies prefer the older movies over the majority of newer releases.  This is admitted in hushed tones because Hallmark fans are a dedicated and loyal group, and to speak a negative word against their beloved movies feels like a sacrilege.  Hallmark fans even have a radical core of devotees who will bully, shame, and block anyone who shares an honest, non-conformist movie analysis.

Have Hallmark movies peaked in popularity and started on a downhill trend? Instead of producing instant classics now, many of the newer movies, like Beverly Hills Wedding, aren't maintaining viewer interest (if they'll admit it).  When Hallmark does premiere a true original winner, it's like the proverbial blind squirrel finding a nut.  



Hallmark seems to have lost its way, but it's not too late to save the brand if they'll only return to their original roots.  Here are four main reasons while Hallmark movies aren't as good as they used to be:  

1.  Hallmark Chooses Quantity Over Quality

Hallmark once crafted sweet movies with substance and moderate depth, but as their popularity increased, they capitalized on their success by cranking out a dizzying number of new movies for every season.

In 2019, Hallmark released a record 40 new movies, elating fans, but putting the pressure on Hallmark to meet that high bar again in 2020.  Accomplishing that feat two years in a row, especially during the middle of a pandemic, meant sacrificing quality to focus on quantity.

It only takes 2-3 weeks to shoot a Hallmark film, and it shows.  In order to mass produce these movies, storylines have grown much shallower and more predictable than ever before.  Gone are movies with a magical quality, like Once Upon A Christmas, Magic Stocking, and Help for the HolidaysGone are movies that take longer to research and script, like The Color of Rain, a poignant true story.

From elf to human in "Help for the Holidays."  Image:  Crown Media

What we are left with are the same few plots, recycled over and over again.  Fans who once joked about this and found it endearing are now yawning at the monotony.

  • Every Christmas movie is jammed with more holiday cheer than the average person experiences in one season, including a town Christmas tree lighting, tree decorating, cookie baking, wreath/ornament making, carriage rides, hot cocoa, and other repetitive Christmas events.  
  • One leading actor always gets a job offer out of state while the other lead's looming deadline will determine the chance at a promotion.
  • Some business or establishment always needs saved.
  • Let's not forget the disproportionate number of movie characters who are writers.  Thousands of careers exist, but Hallmark makes a superfluous number of their leads writers of some sort--novelists, journalists, bloggers.  There are probably two reasons for this.  A writer can work anywhere, so that makes the movie character portable.  Second, the writers who write these scripts don't have the time or inclination to research other occupations, so they stick with what they are the most familiar with--writing.  You can't write about an engineer if you don't understand the occupational lingo or skill set, so, let's just make everyone a writer!    
Double whammy....both leads are writers in "Just My Type."  Image:  Crown Media

Many of the movies now contain serious holes, rendering them unbelievable, yet Hallmark doesn't care because we keep tuning in anyway.  For example, in Snowkissed, business finally booms for the bed-and-breakfast Noah and Simon own, but both of these guys are off doing their own thing while the guests apparently scavenge for themselves.  No one is at the B&B cooking food, cleaning, or catering to their needs.  Consider how Kate and Kevin can't figure out who keeps leaving them riddles to solve in Unlocking Christmas, even though it's obvious it has to be their one and only common connection--his mother.

Hallmark touts its ratings, but what they don't realize is that viewers keep tuning in hoping the next new movie will recapture the old Hallmark magic.  Eventually, fans will get tired of being disappointed and seek a network that can deliver more variety rather the same, over-used tropes. 

Hallmark even publishes many of their novels backwards.  Instead of adapting movies from high-quality novels, they produce a flimsy movie first and then write the book based on the movie.  It's more about turning a profit rather than providing their fan base with a quality movie.

There are limitless romance novels and true-life stories in the world that are ripe for the picking.  Hallmark needs to explore new stories and stop regurgitating the same plots.  Ultimately, fans would rather have less than more when it comes to new releases, if less means better quality.


2. Hallmark Movies Are Too "Woke"

Under the leadership of Crown Media CEO, Bill Abbott, Hallmark movies skyrocketed in popularity.  Each movie was unique, and Abbott stayed true to his prime demographic--older crowds who wanted clean entertainment.  In time, younger viewers were attracted to the network.  Entire families could co-watch any program on Hallmark because programs were filtered and clean.

Abbott was a graduate of The Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and true to his faith, he never compromised his values when deciding on scripts and programming for Crown Media.  

Former CEO of Crown Media, Bill Abbott

Even though Abbott allowed movies that appeared faith-based in some respects, no particular religion was every mentioned, allowing viewers to appreciate the acknowledgement of their values without labeling it to exclude others of differing belief systems.

In 2019, Abbott yanked Zola ads that featured a same-sex wedding.  Within a month, Abbott was no longer employed by Hallmark, and movie quality has been on a downward trend ever since.

In 2020, Abbott was replaced by Wonya Lucas, a black woman, and it seems her appointment was meant to placate a small but loud mob demanding diversity and inclusion.  While Lucas has the credentials for the job, it's obvious Hallmark made sure a woman of color replaced a white man.  In other words, Hallmark made itself a slave to identity politics and "woke" culture.

Hallmark has been accused of being too white.  It's okay to have TV networks devoted to every other ethnicity, but if there's one that leans white, it must be overhauled.


Diversity is problematic at its core because its whole aim is to focus on how people are different rather than how they are the same.  Diversity categorizes people based on the color of their skin rather than their talents, abilities, national identity, etc.

Every Hallmark movie now looks like a bag of Skittles, which is not how real-life looks for most of us.  Hallmark has made a mockery of diversity by parading it so artificially in a string of movies.  Think about the people you spend the most time with.  Most likely, they look like you, even if you're as non-racist as a person can be.   Yet, many Hallmark movies now have a smorgasbord of colors and races represented in each one, with bi-racial couples being the "in" thing to include.  According to Pew Research, roughly 10% of the married American population is in a interracial marriage, so it makes sense a woke company like Hallmark would pander to that statistic instead of the 90% who aren't.  There is nothing wrong with interracial relationships or including an occasional one in a Hallmark movie--that isn't the point.  Historically, networks cater to their chief demographic, but in identity politics, the majority is ignored in favor of coddling the minority.   

No sparks between this interracial match in "Deliver by Christmas."  Image:  Crown Media

Hallmark claims they want viewers to be able to "see themselves" in a movie so its more relatable. A better solution for including diversity would be to select leads who are black, white, Asian, Latino, etc., and cast their significant other and closest friends with actors of the same race.  That would look a lot more like real life.

Why do you suppose Hallmark doesn't do that?  Probably because America is 77% white, meaning a chunk of their viewers might tune out, killing their ratings and causing them to lose a fortune.  Hallmark doesn't give a crap about diversity.  What they care about is pandering to get viewership because it's always about money.  Their goal is to attract the 23% of non-whites to grow their empire, yet balance it in such a way they don't lose the other 77%.

Hallmark's approach to faith is also reflective of woke culture.  Older Hallmark movies featured churches and people finding peace and solace there.  Kids were included in nativity plays, but now most traces of faith in Hallmark movies have been erased.  

Fact check:  Christmas is about the celebration of Jesus's birth.  

Despite Christmas being about Jesus, Hallmark could have continued including generic faith messages that any viewer could interpret according to their own beliefs, yet Hallmark decided to mesh Hanukkah and Christmas together by joining love birds of different faiths to celebrate both holidays, like in Love, Lights, Hanukkah! and Holiday Date

Hallmark eliminates Christianity but celebrates Jewish Hanukkah in "Double Holiday."

While people of opposing faiths do get married in real life, if either of those individuals are really strong in their faith, this should create tension their entire married life, especially once they have kids.  In Hallmark land, this doesn't happen.  

If Hallmark wants to squelch any semblance of Christianity, why would they be okay with the religious implications of Hanukkah?  More viewers equals more money.  A movie about Hanukkah might capture Jewish viewers who would otherwise skip a Christmas romance.

Adding woke themes stemming from identity politics and stamping out all traces of faith and hope from these movies is the best way to ruin the Hallmark brand.  The stories are no longer about seasonal celebrations or finding love--the stories are eclipsed by the obvious attempt to appease the social justice mob.


3.  Hallmark Movies Are No Longer "Clean"

Aside from hand-holding and a little smooching, Hallmark has kept romance clean.  Couples never spend the night, share a room, or go on vacation together.  If a couple is under the same roof, they have adult supervision and avoid hanky-panky.  

While Hallmark outlived most networks that caved early on to the LGBTQ, they have now compromised their long-standing reputation and have opened the door to perversion.

In February 2020, Matching Hearts was released, and in the final minutes of the movie, the camera flashed in and out on the various couples dancing and talking.  One of the Asian supporting actors, Timothy, was seen smiling suggestively at another Asian male.  Both of them were wearing black jackets, while one wore a pink shirt underneath and the other wore a blue one.  If you blinked, you would have missed it.  Hallmark stuck their toe in the water.

Since Satan always starts with an inch before taking a mile, Hallmark was emboldened to go further.  During the Summer of 2020, Hallmark released Love Under the Olive Tree, and one of the supporting characters hooked up with another gay man.  This union was not masked at all, leaving no doubt in the viewer's mind what was transpiring.

By Christmas 2020, Hallmark shamelessly released Christmas House, which gave prominent supporting roles to two married males.

Hallmark celebrates a sin that separates gays from God for all eternity and wonders why everyone isn't on board with movies featuring LGBTQ characters.  Image:  Crown Media

Hallmark introduced lesbians in January 2021, in their movie Taking a Shot at LoveThis may not have made it onto your radar.  There were "two moms" who withdrew their daughters from Jenna's ballet studio to place them in another agency that offered dance competitions.  You may have thought these moms were from two separate families, but if you watch it again, you'll see they are a "couple."

By February 2021, Hallmark's "Love Ever After" release, Mix Up in the Mediterranean, featured a lead character playing a double role as two brothers, one gay and one straight.

Including gay characters in Hallmark movies has been applauded and celebrated by progressives who believe "love is love."  Anyone who disagrees, especially on social media, is bullied, censored, and cancelled.  Christians are branded "intolerant" and "hateful" because they stand on the Word of God, which never changes even when the culture does.  Christians don't hate guys.  That's a myth.  The Bible is clear on the topic of homosexuality--it's not a gray area.  The gay lifestyle is referred to as an "abomination," gays are given over to a "reprobate mind," and unless they repent, they will not "inherit the kingdom of God."  Christians simply cannot condone and celebrate movies that glorify sin and cheer for a lifestyle that separates people from God for all eternity.  To understand more about this topic, read this article.  

People of faith and those with conservative values feel punched in the gut and disenfranchised.  Hallmark was the last safe haven from the perversity of our morally declining culture in terms of wholesome entertainment.  Hallmark previously welcomed conservative viewership, until they got greedy.  Even many who aren't professing believers recoil when they see gay characters in these movies.  We are hot-wired by our Creator to know right from wrong, and the gay lifestyle is completely unnatural.


Hallmark has become like the Biblical story of Lot in Sodom.  Lot started off as a righteous man, but after being entrenched in the evil culture of Sodom, he ended up offering his daughters to the roving gang of men who demanded to have sexual relations with the angels (whom they thought were men) staying in Lot's house.  How could Lot offer his innocent daughters?  He became like the culture around him!  Hallmark didn't maintain the courage, fortitude, and decency to stand out from the crowd, but sacrificed its values to join it.

Should we boycott Hallmark?

Some would say yes, but that might be throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Instead, refuse to watch Hallmark movies that incorporate gay characters and be sure to e-mail (viewers@crownmedia.com), write, call (888-390-7474) or tweet to Hallmark and Crown Media to share your sentiments.  Let the ratings tank on the perverse movies, but support the ones that align with your values.  It's the only way to get Hallmark's attention. 

Even if you convince yourself you can watch these unwholesome offerings without it affecting your convictions, you are fooling yourself.  Try as you might to filter out the bad and cling to what's good, you desensitize yourself and cease to be shocked and appalled by what you see, much like Lot in Sodom.  

What you watch becomes what you ultimately endorse.

4.  Chemistry Is Lacking

When you think of great onscreen chemistry, you might think of Lacey Chabert and Brennan Elliott, Jesse Metcalfe and Autumn Reeser, Nikki DeLoach and Michael Rady, or Paul Campbell and Kimberley Sustad.  

Hallmark used to take painstaking care in pairing their leading characters, but now, it's like they draw random names from a hat and slap couples together.  As a result, you get stuck with Cindy Busby and Marshall Williams (Follow Me to Daisy Hills), Morgan Kohan and Marcus Rosner (Love on Harbor Island), Julie Gonzalo and Ronnie Rose, Jr. (Jingle Bell Bride), and Alvina August and Eion Bailey in Deliver by Christmas, just to name a few of the newer movies featuring couples with no spark, or even a pulse.

"Follow Me to Daisy Hills" was a disappointing kick-off to Fall Harvest 2020.  Many fans said these leads looked too much like brother and sister, which destroyed any possible chemistry.  Image:  Crown Media

Hallmark is fitting bodies into roles instead of actors with personalities that click and blend.  It's like trying to make a health shake, but instead of using spinach, strawberries, yogurt, orange juice, and chia seeds, Hallmark mixes fish, pizza sauce, lime juice, and sauerkraut and asks the audience to drink it.  

Could it be that even some of the actors and actresses are growing bored playing the same part?  If Hallmark writers would shake things up a bit instead of following the same formula in each movie, maybe the actors would feel more inspired.  

It's A Wrap

Follow Hallmark movie fan comments on social media, and you will find a mounting wave of disappointment over the new movies Hallmark is producing these days.  Ask fans what their top favorite Hallmark movies are, and they will quickly rattle off a list of older titles.

To summarize. the decline in Hallmark movie quality can be narrowed to these key factors:

  • Hallmark is trying to mass produce too many movies, too quickly, and it's killing quality.
  • The plots are too repetitive.  Hallmark needs a new creative team of writers, and they need to capitalize on the real-life stories of others and romances already written by novelists.  Turning those stories into Hallmark movies might take a bigger investment of time and money, but it would improve the quality of the brand.
  • Hallmark leadership is pushing the brand in the wrong direction.  Crown Media CEO, Wonya Lucas, and Executive VP of Programming, Michelle Vicary, are primarily responsible for ruining what former CEO, Bill Abbott, had built into a wildly successful empire. 
Wonya Lucas & Michelle Vicary are hurting the Crown Media brand.
  • Hallmark caters to the woke mob instead of their prime demographic.  Progressives might love the diversity, interracial relationships, gay characters, and absence of faith, but the conservatives are fed up with identity politics ruining the entertainment industry and will eventually abandon the channel.
  • Leading characters are losing their spark.  Whether this is due to a mismatch of leading stars or the actors themselves growing bored with the same roles, it's not fun for viewers to watch an entire movie where a romantic couple doesn't hit it off at all onscreen.


Hallmark fans are a very devoted group, and many have blamed COVID restrictions on the downgrade in movie quality over the past year.  Despite the initial cookie-cutter charm and comforting predictability of these movies, fans are growing restless for something new and fresh.  

Although Hallmark manages to churn out some winners, like A Christmas Waltz, One Royal Holiday, and A Timeless Christmas, it's becoming the exception instead of the rule.  Of these three movies, for example, one was written and produced by actor/singer, Michael Damien, and one was a novel by a different author.  Hallmark shines best without its own writers.

If Hallmark doesn't make some changes to restore the magic fans expect, even the most devoted viewers are going to get sick of being disappointed.

"A Christmas Waltz" was Hallmark's #1 movie premiere in 2020, because it was one of the few new releases that still had the magic.

Comments

  1. I absolutely agree 100%!!!!! I didn't watch many of the 2021 Hallmark movies...they were B-O-R-I-N-G!!! To say the least!!!! I bought some of the old ones online and watch them on YouTube and other apps!!!!!! I'm not very happy with Hallmark about the choice of movies they've been making!!! If they don't soon don't go back to making movies like they used to I'm watching another channel!!!!!!!

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  2. I completely agree....just like their are % of groups..you stay with stats that way. The diversity has gone nuts and I dont think that everything has to be mixed on the black culture and gay culture. The majority does not want to watch it. The new CEO is going to ruin the channel. I mainly stream to stay away from this massive influx of diverse commercials. Your channel will find out...most are not interested. Just like I dont care to just watch the BET channel. Making some very poor chemistry matches and that's what HM is about...
    Chemistry on the screen and with viewers.

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  3. I agree I hardly watched any of the Hallmark Christmas movies this past year. It seems like for the past two years the quality has gone down. They need to concentrate on the storylines and build interesting characters. I am so sick of the Evergreen movies.

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  4. There are some worth watching but some serve as background for surfing the internet. If it's a so so movie I'll watch the first 20 minutes, the middle 20 minutes thennthe last 15 minutes. After they kiss, the curtain drops....

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  5. Movies are good for background and web surfing. Just DVR then watch first 20 minutes then the middle 15 minutes then the last 13 minutes. The curtain drops whennthey kiss...unless it's a really good one...

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  6. Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's disgusting! These new movies are done by a bunch of dissolute reprobates, totally lacking any redeeming qualities whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!! That's why I check the date on the movie first, if it was produced in 2020.............pffffffft...........change the channel!!!

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  7. Agree. Many of the new movies were boring and without chemistry . I'd watch an older Hallmark movie before one of the new ones this year. It seems to be politically correct Hallmark just puts together people or couples to be inclusive. And thriws stiries together that make no sense. Demographic is/are families, Christians. Hallmark IS NOT WHAT IT WAS or what drew viewers. Bring back thev"old" HALLMARK

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  8. I agree!
    I am not a Christian, or gay, but I have many friends who are both.
    I do not want to watch either of these as part of my nightly entertainment. There are plenty of TV, and internet channels that cater to Religious and LGBTQ fans.
    I also agree with the interracial blending comments above, we don't need to see this in every single Hallmark movie!
    We as viewers all know what the "powers that be" are trying to do.....stop it! We are not stupid.
    We would just like a happy, funny, story that takes us away from all the real life drama that our lives are filled with daily. Escapism! Take us on a journey.
    And, yes, I am a writer, but Hallmark won't look at my stuff as, there is sex, drugs, and rock n roll in every book! lol So, I too need a place to drift off into now and then!

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