Friday, 1 January 2016

you know what rhymes with sappy? a jaded armchair viewer on xmas movies

Nicollette, Nicollette ...
The spirit of comatose reporter Nicollette Sheridan leaves her body, and tries to prevent a real-estate development in a small town.

This is a genuine plotline from an actual movie.

Oh, Nicollette, Nicollette, I love you but this is just too far for me to follow. And way too much for me to swallow.

Because yet again they are all over the schedules like blowflies on a decomposing corpse, only mostly they’re far less fun. Yes, you know what I'm talking about - the sappy xmas with a capital X movies that have been on TV from about the middle of October on and will no doubt continue to at least mid-February.

Enough already, we cry, as we reach for the remote, desperate to escape the cloying sentiment, sugary enough to induce cavities the size of the Grand Canyon in even the most ardent and dedicated flosser.

As if the excesses of the festival that celebrates conspicuous consumption aren't about to drive any sane and sober individual to drink, with neighbourhood lights displays becoming ever more over the top and internet deal emails swamping every inbox, normal TV has been taken over by those determined to shove Christmas down our throats whether we like it or not.

Alicia: not another xmas movie!
Not only are these ‘feelgood’ festive films on Five every afternoon but now they are loitering on all the other free channels like bored teenagers spoiling for a fight outside McDonalds. So thank you CBS Drama, True Entertainment and Movie Mix for piling in this yuletide with your own rubbish romcoms and dreary dramas on a holiday theme. Here’s my previous blog on the phenomenon but I can't help with tips on how to avoid them, especially if you live in a house with someone who still believes in the magic of the season or harbours delusions that one day they’ll come across a good Christmas movie.

Here are some synopses from the TV guide (TV Choice magazine) to whet your appetite. The plots seem to get more and more far-fetched, revolving around the lead, usually female, finally finding true love, and increasingly feature angels, miracles or vaguely Christmas stuff magically coming to life and, rather more prosaically, but perhaps slightly more appositely, a disproportionate number of DEPARTMENT STORES and EXECUTIVES.

A Snow Globe Christmas
TV EXECUTIVE Alicia Witt wakes up in another world where she has a family, and must decide which life she wants to lead. [Alicia Witt crops up a lot, especially considering she couldn't act her way out of a seasonal hamper.]

Angels and Ornaments
A Christmas tree ornament of a carol singer comes to life and tries to help his owner find romance. [Let me say that again.] A Christmas tree ornament of a carol singer comes to life and tries to help his owner find romance.

The Perfect Holiday
A girl turns to a DEPARTMENT STORE Santa for help in finding a new husband for her single mum.

A picture speaks 1,000 words.
A Perfect Christmas
Advertising executive Claire Coffee meets a DEPARTMENT STORE mannequin that has come to life, and finds it has become her perfect man.

All I Want for Christmas
A self-centred woman [probably an EXECUTIVE] meets one of Santa’s helpers, who gives her a pin which enables her to hear people’s thoughts. [Who thinks this crap up? I mean, I'm all about suspending disbelief but seriously …]

A Bride for Christmas
After Arielle Kebbel calls off her third engagement she swears off love – until professional singleton Andrew Walker comes along, with a bet that he can convince a woman to marry him before Christmas.

Holiday Help
Single mum Alicia Witt is broke and desperate to get a job so she can make her daughter’s Christmas a happy one. With the help of an angel, she gets a position at a DEPARTMENT STORE where she also meets the love of her life.

The Santa Suit
A greedy EXECUTIVE is magically turned into a Santa Claus impersonator, and gains some much-needed Christmas spirit as a result.

Barry and Melissa Joan: how
do we live this one down?
Even Barry Watson and Melissa Joan Hart have been sucked into the seasonal soup, starring in 2014’s Santa Con, in which Watson’s con man character is ordered by his parole officer to take a minimum-wage job as, wouldn't you know it, a DEPARTMENT STORE Santa during the holidays ... . You can guess that romance and a change of heart is in STORE here. I haven't seen this one yet. Maybe it’s okay. But somehow I doubt it.

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