Before this semester, I hated Hallmark movies. Despised them. I never understood the need for people to watch hour after hour of poorly written films complete with B-list actors from "that one sitcom" drifting through a predictable plot line. Why do people write these? Why are they so cheesy?
The obvious first answer is that these movies don't have a big budget, and yet Netflix has come out with a slew of "faux-Hallmark" movies every Christmas season for the past several years, each receiving a hefty number of views per day.
For example, last year's "The Christmas Prince" famously had 53 people watching and re-watching for 18 days according to Netflix's viral tweet, while official reviewers consider it to be an objectively bad movie. Why is everyone so obsessed with bad holiday movies? What's the point?
With the arrival of the Christmas season comes the stress of finals, resulting in long nights in the library and even longer days trying to keep up with tests and quizzes. College itself simply gets taxing. Between the social anxieties, sporting events and extracurricular activities, it's extremely easy to get wrapped up in everyday issues.
I personally don't think I've had one good creative thought in a week and have watched my friends grow more skeptical toward the impending holidays. With adult demands and decisions come adult mindsets, and we often lose our sense of innocence and belief in the magic of our childhoods.
We need Hallmark now more than ever.
While they may seem cheesy and exasperating, Hallmark and holiday movies give our tired little brains the opportunity to float into lighthearted environments where dreams come true and air smells like Christmas cookies.
We get to believe in the power of true love and holiday magic, even if only for a little while. As I age, I find that I often forget to appreciate the simple things, but as my brain continues to sink into "adulting," I'm convinced that these activities become even more necessary.
Now, I understand that it's extremely easy to become skeptical to the cheese. It's not always possible to enjoy something so menial and often poorly done when stressed. However, the nurturing of one's inner child can alleviate that stress and evoke a more positive outlook on daunting tasks. Even the most predictable of plot lines can serve a purpose.
Perhaps the love story between a struggling writer and the manager of a local inn can give us hope. Maybe small acts of onscreen Christmas kindness can inspire us to do the same. In fact, simply watching a movie that is definitely going to turn out happy in the end can be comforting. If nothing else, Hallmark movies let us rest our brains.
In an environment that moves so quickly, it's important to give ourselves the chance to breathe and enjoy the holidays. So, pull up your Netflix or turn on the Hallmark channel and indulge in a cheesy Christmas romance.
It's finals season, and 'tis the season for some Hallmark.