Psychology and acting are very closely linked. It’s just about studying people and how they work.
— Claire Danes
When guys talk, the subject of women occasionally comes up, and these days we’re trying to figure out why they’re all watching the Hallmark Channel.
I know it’s on a lot at my house. It’s on at a lot of houses. Ratings for 2016 saw many entertainment cable networks dip, but not Hallmark. And as usual I am clueless about such TV and its gender audience.
Years ago, it was soap operas.
I never found these very interesting because they always looked like they were filmed in your living room and the actors never seemed quite that smooth. There were often too many little pauses before a line was delivered. And there were a lot of odd glances, where the camera would freeze on someone’s face while he or she tried to make their jaw muscles and eyebrows silently project surprise, revenge, smug satisfaction or shock. There was a lot of shock because soap operas offered more surprises than a case of Cracker Jack.
Then came the Lifetime Channel, which followed a general theme of “Women good; men bad” story lines in which usually a jerk boyfriend or a well-dressed lawyer/businessman/ husband would try to frame/murder/ cheat on his devoted wife, who in the end always figured out how to turn the tables and send him off to jail/ loneliness/ his mother with some clever plan that used his own arrogance/greed/ stupidity against him.
I would often joke with my wife that real-life husbands (ha, ha, …) are not usually this bad, and she’d smile and say that if anything ever (ha, ha …) happens to her, then several of her retired investigator pals will be coming after both me and the date I brought to the funeral (Ha, ha … ha.)
Which brings us back to the Hallmark channel.
Its ratings are up, mostly credited with loyal fans who enjoy family-friendly programming, familiar faces and unrealistic romantic story lines.
It seems to feature several shows about attractive-but-not-glamorous women who live in small towns where they often have low-stress jobs (baker, librarian) and spend their spare time solving crimes or trying to decide between two blandly attractive boyfriends who like children and puppies.
There are a lot of sweet romantic moments, which I have to remind myself is exactly what sort of TV channel a greeting card company such as Hallmark would produce.
Is it realistic? No.
On the other hand, if Hallmark would begin to feature movies in which Bruce Willis swings around the top of a skyscraper on a fire hose shooting down a helicopter with a machine gun, I would watch that.
It’s my kind of realism.
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.