A Maple Valley Christmas (2022) December 18th, 2022
When it comes to the traditional Christmas experience you can keep your eggnog, prime rib, and assorted cookies. I prefer treating my seasonal-indulgence-disorder with a BAD light… that’s just the TV blasting shitty movies straight into my face. Nowhere has shittier holiday movies than the Hallmark Channel!
The first job AI automation should kill is the Hallmark Movie writer. Their film’s predictable structure, conflicts, and dialogue make speculating on what happens next remarkably easy. According to Insider.com The Hallmark Channel made 40 new holiday movies in 2022. And according to a random list I quickly found on IMDB there are at lease 174 Hallmark Christmas movies you could watch right now. If each of those movies averages 90 minutes that means the Hallmark-X-Mas-Movie-Bot 2000 has a minimum of 261 hours of material available to meet the demands of their increasingly sedentary consumer.
“Oh no… how will *female-lead* manage to maintain control of her family’s rented maple syrup farm while wooing a wealthy out-of-town real estate developer in 90 minutes?” If you’re willing to spend 90 more minutes watching houseboat toilet ads, you’re about to find out!
That’s the plot of A Maple Valley Christmas, and probably another 6 or so Hallmark movies with similar titles, who knows? Dan Harmon made a bit of a ruckus last year with the revelation that in 2021 Hallmark released two movies that are nearly identical in the Sister Swap franchise. Two differently titled movies with the same cast, writers, dialogue, director, editor… everything except the same final edit. If Hallmark producers can successfully market and sell the same movie twice then it’s a matter of time before they outsource scriptwriting to robots. A short matter of time. They’re probably doing it now.
Actual analysis of A Maple Valley Christmas; it’s fun to watch a movie and see all the ways the crew stretches their meager budget. A Maple Valley Christmas’s production value seems high for its genre. This is most obvious in the set decoration with scenes shot in a big dining hall with walls lined with huge barrels of syrup (probably wine or whisky in reality?), an immaculate stable you can decorate with holly and it’s own Christmas tree (it stays clean because the magical horses never shit), and a couple houses with gorgeous interiors that’d make Better Homes and Gardens consider a Top 10 list for great houses to shoot (not porn) in.
Classic Christmas movies don’t come but once a year, maybe once a decade, so if you’re in the market for a new yet familiar Christmas movie experience turn to your reliable friends at Hallmark. They know exactly what you want and they’re ready and willing to stuff you stupid with it.
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