May 24, 2019

In Praise of the Hallmark Channel

“When Lori Loughlin was arrested earlier this year for her alleged participation in a college admissions scam, Crown Media Holdings announced the actress had been dropped from her Hallmark Channel series When Calls the Heart. Crown also suspended production on Loughlin’s Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series Garage Sale Mystery, with no plans to air the already completed 16th film or to finish the almost-wrapped 17th.

This was shocking news to a lot of TV viewers, raising some unsettling questions. Like: What the heck are When Calls the Heart and Garage Sale Mystery? How could these series have been on the air continuously for over five years, when no one’s ever heard of them?

Don’t feel bad if you were one of those folks scratching your head about the existence of two — two! — thriving Lori Loughlin series. If you’re not a regular viewer of Hallmark programming, there’s little chance you would’ve encountered either.

But don’t assume that no one knows anything about When Calls the Heart or Garage Sale Mystery, just because the showbiz press pays them almost no attention. Believe it or not, nearly every night over a million viewers tune in to one of the Hallmark channels, to watch smart, engaging middle-aged women run businesses, raise families, find romance, and solve crimes. One might even say that Garage Sale Mystery — like much of the original programming on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries — is, in its own way, progressively feminist.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

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"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."

"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."

"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."

"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."

"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."

"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."

"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."

"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."

"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."

"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"

"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."