Christmas in Hollywoke - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Christmas in Hollywoke
Candace Cameron Bure on Mayim Bialik's Breakdown last September (Mayim Bialik/YouTube)

’Tis the week before Christmas and on TCM,
Yuletide movies are playing AM to PM.
Hallmark Channel and Lifetime are doing the same,
but with made-for-TV films, most of them lame.
Full of leftwing inclusion so blatantly woke,
They seek to make Christmas a liberal joke.
When what to conservative eyes should appear?
Great American Family for traditional cheer.

Perusing the weeklong Christmas movie marathon on Turner Classic Movies, which has the best film library on television, I noted that for all its history of screen magic, Hollywood made surprisingly few great Christmas pictures over a hundred-plus years. True, the four finest — It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), A Christmas Carol (1951), and A Christmas Story (1983) — aren’t owned by TCM, but four more doesn’t add much to the ratio.

There are some sublime seasonal moments in the non-Christmas classics TCM offers, such as Judy Garland singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and Christmas morning with Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934), but only a handful of pure Christmas gems. These are Ernst Lubitsch’s wonderful The Shop Around the Corner (1940) with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, A Christmas Carol (1938) with Reginald Owen, Christmas in Connecticut (1945) with Barbara Stanwyck and Sidney Greenstreet, The Lion in Winter (1968) ruled by royals Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn, and Remember the Night (1940) pairing Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray four years before they shot each other in Double Indemnity.

Honorable mentions go to Bachelor Mother (1939) starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven, Lady in the Lake (1947) with Robert Montgomery mostly off-camera as Philip Marlowe, the increasingly appreciated Holiday Affair(1949) with a shockingly charming Robert Mitchum and lovely young (22) Janet Leigh, The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) with Monty Woolley and Bette Davis, The Bishop’s Wife (1948) with a literally angelic Cary Grant, and Frank Capra’s oversentimental Meet John Doe (1941) with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.

The Hallmark Channel and Lifetime do offer strictly Christmas movies, if made for television ones. A handful of the films are pretty good, with numerous prince-centric ones that cater to the fairy-tale romanticism of the predominantly female audience. They include The Royal Nanny, in which an MI-5 agent (Rachel Skarsten) must protect a prince’s two children, A Royal Corgi Christmas,A Royal Queens Christmas, and Christmas at Castle Hart. These titles appear to have a higher budget befitting their status as crowd-pleasers.

Nonetheless, wokeness has polluted this year’s movie batch. Ceaseless progressive criticism about non-inclusive content intimidated the Hallmark Channel into producing its first Christmas gay romance, The Holiday Sitters, two Chinese-American ones (A Big Fat Family Christmas, Christmas at the Golden Dragon), two Jewish ones (Hanukkah on Rye, Love, Lights, Hanukkah!) which somewhat obscure the Christmas spirit. As for feminist-heavy Lifetime, in what seems like every other Christmas movie, a supporting female character introduces another woman as her wife.

In fact, other than the royal-themed fare, none of the recent films have the least dose of spiritual value, and rather seem to exploit the holiday for mercenary purposes. The trend proved too much for two conservative former Hallmark Channel heavyweights, ex-honcho Bill Abbott and Christmas-movie darling Candace Cameron Bure. Abbott became CEO of the new Great American Family network, and Cameron Bure joined him there as chief creative officer and continuing movie star (A Christmas … Present).

The actress gave an unequivocal reason for leaving Hallmark and joining GAF — traditional values closer aligned to the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ. “My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” Bure said. “I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”

But it was another Bure remark that sent Hollywoke into a feeding frenzy. Responding to a Wall Street Journal question about LGBTQ storylines at her new channel, Bure said, “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.” To no one’s surprise, the blowback for her not kneeling to the rainbow militia was instantaneous and fierce.

“That guy (Abbott) and his network are disgusting,” declared some starlet named Hilarie Burton. “You too, Candy. There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples … Bigot. I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank.”

Neal Bledsoe, the annoying male lead in one of this year’s GAF movies, Christmas at the Drive-In, broke ties with the network in a ridiculously pompous thespian huff. “As an artist, I yearn to be proud of the work I create. But, the thought that my work could be used to deliberately discriminate against anyone horrifies and infuriates me.” Bledsoe’s co-star in the film, the likable Dana McKellar, has taken a more reasonable approach (so far). “I don’t agree with his interpretation of her (Bure’s) comments. I just didn’t see them the same way.”

But it took Bure herself to demonstrate what Christmas — and Christianity — are all about in an Instagram statement responding to leftist hostility: “I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do.… In everything I do and say, God’s love and God’s compassion is front and center. All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself showered upon humanity when he gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago.”

Looking for an endearing Christmas gift book? Try my romantic Yuletide ghost story, The Christmas Spirit, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine bookstores.

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