Why I love Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel

I’ve gone cordless in the last couple of months.  We dropped our cable TV and went back to straight Roku and Netflix.  I had a few reasons to hesitate on this change.  First, I like local news.  But, we got an antenna and I get the two channels that have local news with that antenna.  Second, we sometimes like to watch sports and Roku doesn’t have the best in sports selections.  But, we decided we don’t watch enough sports to make that a reason to continue to pay the outrageous cost of Cable TV.  And a lot of sports are streamed online now, so we can always access them that way.  The third and most serious reason was that I LOVE Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel.  But, I realized most of what I watched on there was Murder She Wrote and that was on Netflix anyways.  The key word in that last sentence is WAS.  As of January 1, Murder She Wrote is not on Netflix.  In addition, I was seeing my Hallmark Movies and Mysteries newsletters and seeing new movies in some of my favorite series like Gourmet Detective, Garage Sale Mysteries and new ones like Framed for Murder with Jewel and getting really regretful for cancelling my expensive cable.  So, I started a hunt to find where I could watch the channel on Roku and lo and behold, there it is on Sling TV!  I have to pay $24.99 a month, which is a bit expensive, but still much cheaper than my cable bill used to be and we get ESPN (for the hubby) and cooking channels and HGTV, which we also enjoy.  So, all-in-all, it is a great compromise that has given me back my favorite channel.  But, some may ask, why is Hallmark Movies and Mysteries my favorite channel?  Well, let me give you some reasons!

why-i-love

  1. Things get solved!  My life is often composed mostly of problems.  I am dealing with problems with students, problems with TAs, problems with my finances, problems with my schedule, etc., etc.  I love that when I watch a show on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, the problems get resolved.  It seems overly simplistic sometimes, but it is a relief for me to watch something where solutions are had by those who need them.
  2. Those solutions are simple.  My life is complicated.  See the first point.  I don’t need my TV to be complicated.  I don’t want to make a lot of effort to figure out what is happening in a TV show or why it is happening.  I like to enjoy TV and relax while I watch it.  Some may see the shows on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries as predictable (not always, but they are often based on formulaic mystery books), but I see them as effortless.  I am sometimes surprised by the answers to the mysteries, but mostly, I just enjoy the ride and I don’t feel like I have to work at watching the show.
  3. The mysteries are solved by women!  I realize this isn’t necessarily unique to Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, but it is much more prevalent there.  I just saw a commercial for their “Women of Mystery” and every major movie series on the channel has a woman as the main character.  And they are often surrounded by women as well.  This is unusual in modern media.
  4. The women solving mysteries are doing “More at Forty (plus)”.  As a person who is edging closer to 50 than 40, it is nice to see women on TV who are not in their 20s. And I especially appreciate that the women on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel are not constantly concerned about their age or their weight or their looks.  They are simply being women, comfortable with who they are.  Lori Loughlin is 52.  Jewel is 42.  Candace Cameron Bure is 40.  Brooke Shields is 51.  Kellie Martin is 41.  Brooke Burns is the baby of the bunch at 38.  Alison Sweeney is 40.  I love that this channel focuses the majority of its series on women in their 40s plus.  Proving that you can be “more at forty”!
  5. Women are solving crimes rather than committing them.  The Lifetime Movie Network has women committing crimes and going crazy and killing people. But, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has women who love their friends and families and professions and are solving crimes rather than committing them.  They are good to those around them.  They are caring and they think critically and they are smart and not always concerned with getting the guy.  It is nice to watch women being good people doing good things.
  6. They celebrate the great eighties. I think everyone has a soft spot for things they experienced in their youth.  Music, movies, television, etc.  Well, much of what is shown on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel outside of their movies are TV shows from the eighties.  My favorite, by far, is Murder She Wrote, but I also enjoy Hart to Hart and they are now introducing Father Dowling Mysteries (who doesn’t love the dad from Happy Days solving crimes as a catholic priest?).  I feel like it takes me back to those evenings in my family room, with my parents, all watching non-cable TV and enjoying it together.  It is nostalgic for me.
  7. I can watch it with my 7-year-old.  I love PBS Masterpiece Mystery as well, but I can’t always trust that it will be okay to watch it with my 7-year-old.  There are often story lines and graphic violence that is beyond her capabilities.  Sometimes there is inappropriate language.  But, with the shows on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, I can feel safe having my 7-year-old in the room.  She loves Murder She Wrote as well. She knows the major movie series on the channel and her favorite is Murder She Baked.  It is nice to have something I can watch and enjoy and not worry about her being in the room.

So, there you are.  The seven reasons I love Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.  I am toying with the idea of having a weekly post on Mysteries (Monday Mystery Mashup).  I will have to play with that idea for a bit.  If you haven’t checked out Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and any of the seven reasons sound compelling to you, you really should check it out.  It is my (not-so) guilty pleasure.

Countdown to 2015 – Two! One!

Well, I’ve missed a bit of the countdown.  Yesterday we traveled to my in-laws and I started feeling a bit more sick (I think I mentioned I might be getting sick).  Today I spent most of the day in dental offices with my husband, who needs a root canal.  Ever tried to find a dentist, in network, who can do a root canal two days before New Year’s Day?  Well, don’t try it.  After $115 for x-rays and evaluation at a non-network dentist, we were referred to an in-network dentist, where they worked on his tooth but could not do a root canal because there was no endodontist in town and available.  He is still miserable, so we’ll see whether I spend part of tomorrow back in a dentist office again.  But, yeah, 2014 is going out with a real bang – like a shoot me in the foot bang.  But, let’s fill in the countdown here…

2 countdown

For the 2 days post, I will focus on recalibrating my interests.  As I sit here, coughing and watching the Kennedy Center Honors, I realize how many great things I don’t DO anymore that I used to love doing.  The Kennedy Center Honors is like that though – it is there to remind you of how much the arts really impacts our lives.  Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Sting…and all those who are celebrating them (there were more, but we tuned in late).  They are household names.  They provided me with so many hours of entertainment.  The Police in my youth was a mainstay, playing constantly on my little cassette player that went everywhere with me.  Bruce Springsteen, who is performing in honor of Sting was the first concert I went to at 14 (with my sister at the Oakland Coliseum – and we were in nosebleed seats – and it was awesome).  I loved watching Laugh In reruns with my parents when I was little.  And Nine to Five was one of the best movies ever made.  Bruno Mars singing “So Lonely” makes me want to get up and dance.  Tom Hanks in Big and Forrest Gump truly changed my expectations for movies.  I mean, music, movies, songs…they are life changers whether we want to admit it or not.  And I haven’t seen a movie in the theater in years other than Walking With the Dinosaurs.  I’ve seen so many amazing previews for movies lately.  So, I would like to recalibrate and start watching movies (whether in the theater or at home now – its so much easier than it used to be), listening to more new music (again, so much easier than it used to be), and just enjoying The Arts more.  So, that will be something I work on in the new year.  And I’ll try to share highlights of my experiences here!

one day left

Tomorrow is the last day of 2014.  Although this year has been much better than some of my recent past years, it has still not been great.  My dad passed away in January of 2014.  My mom went through radiation treatments almost immediately following that and has been incredibly depressed at times since then.  But, she’s holding on and sometimes seems to be doing okay.  I’ve had ups and downs throughout the year as well, feeling pretty great at times and totally overwhelmed at other times (this week being one of them, as I’m STILL grading and feel a little lost in where I’m going/should be going next year).  But, I guess that’s life.  I’m hoping for more ups than downs in 2015 and I would love to have an entire year without a catastrophic experience (death in the family, major hospital stay, etc.).  It may be asking for two much, but I can certainly start the year feeling okay about things.  I am lucky, as a woman who went to school with me elementary school through high school is being taken off life support tonight.  I was only in touch with her on Facebook, but it came as quite a shock.  It seems she was unaware of some health problems and went into heart and kidney failure earlier this month, somewhat unexpectedly (she’d had some health problems in the past, but nothing this serious), and now her daughter is having to deal with the decision to take her off of life-support.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as it is a tough way to end/begin a year.  We are young, but not so young we can take life and health for granted.

So, I can’t control much of the catastrophic conditions of others, but I can try to keep myself from dealing with them. So, being healthier is going to be one of my goals for 2015.  Eating better, exercising – nothing crazy.  Just taking care of myself.  First on the agenda is getting in for a physical exam, which I’ve skipped the past couple of years for a myriad of reasons.  Improving my eating and exercise regularity will be first up in that department.  Nothing too extreme as I won’t stick to it.  But, some little changes that will make a difference hopefully.

I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring.  I hope my husband’s tooth feels better.  We’ll be celebrating second Christmas, so there is sure to be some excitement and fun.  It looks like we’ll be staying home at my in-laws (we were going to a bonfire, but the hosts have come down with a horrible flu, so that is a no-go) which is good with my throat and my husband’s tooth.  Maybe we’ll try to find a fun family-friendly movie to watch (in honor of that item above) or maybe we’ll just watch the TV countdowns.

How do you typically spend your New Year’s Eve?  I remember from the time I was about seven until high school I always had a couple of friends come and spend the night.  We would watch the countdown shows on TV waiting for our favorite bands to perform, eating junk food, drinking lots and lots of soda and then banging pans out in my backyard at Midnight!  It was the same every year and we never really tired of it.  My parents were always fine staying home with us (I think my friends’ parents were happy to have someone to send their kids so they didn’t have to find babysitters) and letting us watch what we wanted to and eat what we wanted to and stay up late giggling!  I want to do that for Bean when she is old enough.  But, for now, I need to get her watching TV countdown shows with me, eating junk food and drinking iced tea (since I don’t really drink soda anymore)!  Lots of memories flooding back tonight…