Skip to main content

CMFTMs (Christmas Made for TV Movies): Intro


It’s all the fault of A Christmas Memory. That was a wonderful adaptation of a short story by Truman Capote made for ABC Stage 67 before I was born. Every few years or so, they’d show it again on television. It was both magical and homely. It starred Geraldine Page, and the narration was done by Truman Capote himself. His voice was so high-pitched that they had to slow down his recordings in order to lower his voice. Such a beautiful, poignant, real, story, with Buddy and his elderly cousin Sook, and her marvelous fruitcakes, augmented during prohibition by the booze sold by Mr. HaHa Jones, and sent off to friends far and near, and even the president.

It was enough to make you want fruitcake.

This holiday touch of magic evidently imprinted itself upon me at a crucial age, like when you walk away from a duckling, and the baby duck decides it will follow you for life, no matter how clichéd, insipid, or commercial you are.

So, over the years, I've watched an awful lot of Made for TV Christmas Movies (MFTCMs). I've also watched an awful lot of awful MFTCMs.

What I've discovered is that they give us some alarming insight into what Hollywood thinks about women. Is it actually Hollywood, though? I think most of these must be made in some low-budget area   somewhere else. The big difference between theatre holiday movies and tv holiday movies are the budgets. TV movies are usually filmed in California, so they boast sunshiny Christmas days while theatre movies can spring for location shoots or better special effects, so they always happen someplace snowy. Also, theatre movies have actors like Jim Carrey or Kate Winslet, while tv movies feature “Oh, oh, I know this person … um … um … oh yeah, they were on Family Ties/Clueless/Beverly Hills 90210/are Fred Willard.”


Men apparently hate Christmas, as it is rare nowadays to find a Christmas Made For TV Movie (CMFTM) that is not explicitly targeted to women. Or children. Or a combination thereof. Or ... maybe the producers are conflating the two? 

Really, after watching so many of these CMFTMs, it seems that's a valid argument, that the producers think women are just like kids, only with more spending money. And shallower. And meaner.

But I'll talk about that in a later post.

Comments

  1. I love it that you're blogging as Rev Jo! I never watch Christmas movies anymore. Maybe I subconsciously picked up on what you're pointing out but didn't have the words to say it at the time.

    Carry on, my colleague!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Whole Church Worship

TL;dr -- Our church does "Whole Church Worship," or "All Ages Are Together for the Whole Service, Every Service, Every Week." I've been getting a lot of questions about this. Here are some answers. Preface: For some reason, I occasionally run into people from other churches who want to explain to me all the reasons this won't work at their church. Sure. I'm not trying to talk you into this. You do you, Bub. Whole Church Worship is working at our church, at this time. Live Oak is pretty special, and I don't know that there are many things we do that would work any other place, including our Chili, Chocolate, and Karaoke Party. But that's a post for another day.  Okay, then. So, I first got involved in Whole Church Worship as a result of a fit of pique - my own. This was before I was a minister. At my home congregation, we had "Children's Chapel," and we had reached the point where we couldn't get anyone signed up to coordin

Post-Pandemic and the Expectations of Others

  We have the hope that the covid-19 pandemic's end is in sight ... and it's bringing up a lot of feelings. Not all of them happy .  Many of us are feeling some level of anticipatory anxiety.  The anxiety is rooted in a fear that almost all of us have, in some form or another. The fear that others will make us do something we don't want to do. Whether it is through what can feel like the aggression of "your job depends on this," or the polite friendliness of social obligations, we pre-emptively worry about being dominated.  Look, the pandemic made saying "No" to in-person events super easy. So easy, in fact, that we didn't even have to say no, because no invitations were forthcoming. We didn't have to send regrets, we were all living in a world where responsible people didn't get together. Heck, those of us who before might feel we were being antisocial could now feel self-righteous! A win/win!  I kid, but only a little.  We anticipate that p

"I Don't Know Who I Am Now" or The Importance of Not Assuming for a While

The next 5 months are probably going to be kinda weird. Uncertainty and anxiety flying all over the place. Duck! And then after that ... it's also going to be kinda weird, but a different kind of weird, as we move into the After Times, and figure out what exactly they're going to be like, and what exactly WE are going to be like.  It is in times like these, that I like to turn to art to help make sense of it all.  I refer, of course, to the art known as the television series Doctor Who. I mean, if we know things are going to be weird, we probably should look at some art that deals with the weird, right? Now's the time to examine Hieronymous Bosch and Marc Chagall. And Doctor Who, that time-traveling, face-shifting hero.  Part of the Doctor Who story (and why it's been able to keep going so long) is that rather than die, the Doctor regenerates, retaining who they are, but with a different face, body, and to a certain extent, a different personality.  Immediately after t