Christmas Crap : An Ode to the made for TV Christmas Movie

Its Holiday Tradition that the eAmbassadors end each year with a #FêtesGL post in order to celebrate the season. Be sure to check out last year’s post right here

I would like to voice a formal complaint against my extremely judgemental family

Let me explain, recently I’ve come back home for the holiday break. I was looking forward to two whole weeks of relaxation surrounded by the people I love most. My first family dinner back home started off perfectly. My mom’s sausage and and spinach gnocchi was boiling while my dad filtered through thousands of Spotify playlists, not allowing for a single song to finish. My mom’s famous cookies were laid out on platters with post-it’s that read festive quotes such as OFF LIMITS! and DO NOT EAT! THESE ARE PRESENTS! Our 4 foot Christmas tree was up and ready to be decorated with my families most meaningful ornaments, including Santa Clause drinking a Coke, Christmas Shrek, and the King himself Mr. Elvis Presley who sings “Santa Bring my Baby Back to Me” when you push on the microphone.

Everything was wonderful, until we finally sat down to eat and my dad asked “So Becca, what are you planning to do now that you’re home?” Well you see this was a loaded question as there was lots I wanted to get done: plays needed reading, gifts needed wrapping, and cookies needed eating (my mom’s signs don’t scare me!). However there was one thing that I wanted to do more than anything else this Holiday Season, and that was to watch an excessive amount of the W network’s made for TV Christmas RomComs.

Each of these 90 minute plus commercials masterpieces fills my heart with Holiday Joy as I watch a hard working yet clumsy city girl usually named Jenny or Maggie (or Becky) get shipped off to small town America over the holidays only to fall in love with the local Inn Keeper or Police Officer or Ice Carver, who of course, she initially hated, and reignite her love for Christmas. They are wholesome and pure and absolutely terrible, but I love them never the less.

My father however thinks these movies are incredibly stupid (they are but that’s not the point) and burst out laughing once I explained my plan to plant myself in front of the TV for the next week. “Really Becca?!” He said after catching his breath, “You are University educated, why do you want to waste you’re time with that crap?”

WELL! I’ve never been so offended! These movies are a Christmas tradition that is near and dear to my heart, I could never stop watching them. However this conversation did get me thinking…

Why do I love these movies so much?

Beside being cheesy, predictable, and poorly written, these movies are beyond problematic. They are typically sexist and incredibly gender normative. They rarely included POC or anyone from the LGBTQ+ community, and when they do they tend to portray 2D stereotypical characters such as the Sassy Black Friend or the Sassy Gay Friend, who are interchangeable and also only appear at the very beginning of the movie and during the makeover montage. (They also never give an accurate look of what it’s like to live in a snowy climate which is obviously not nearly as bad as those points but as someone who lives in Canada the fact that the characters never zip up their coats pisses me off immensely).

As a liberal millennial, I try my very best to be “woke”. Coming to University opened my eyes to a lot of the privileges I have and the injustices others face. I’ve tried my very best over the past few years to educate myself about these things in order to take off my rose coloured glasses and better understand what’s actually going on in the world. I am definitely not perfect, but as a Drama and Literature student  I’ve been pushing myself to think more critically about the stuff I read and watch.

But then I come home and find myself glued to these crappy movies. So this begs the question : am I a hypocrite?

Well honestly I don’t really know. Is it enough just to recognize the issues in these movies? Maybe? Will I stop watching them? Probably not. Does the fact that I’m an upper middle class white girl sitting in a cafe drinking a $5 latte while whining about the fact that I wanna watch crappy movies without judgement make my opinion totally invalid? Potentially…

In University (or honestly just in life) there is a lot of pressure put on people to not only form an opinion but to form the right opinion on a plethora of difficult subjects, and while I think it is great that we are having these conversations, the way we are having them leaves very little room for grey area. We are either right or wrong, good or bad. And this can be confusing because, at least personally, most of what I think lies in the grey.  I see the value of inclusive language, yet I’m not quite convinced that “guys” should be removed from my vocabulary. I agree that we need to depict strong female characters in Disney movies, yet I secretly wished Moana had a love story sub-plot. And I’m a strong believer of diversifying the content you intake, however I still have the tendency to read, listen, and watch, the work of people who look like me.

I am not perfect, and while I will always push myself to continue learning, I know that there are a lot of topics where my opinion is strongly in the grey, and I’m not quite sure if that will ever change. So I’m trying to become more comfortable with my uncertainty as I continue to walk though life knowing that there is always more for me to learn.

Maybe one day I’ll realize that I am better than the mind-numbing W network “entertainment”, but for now, I’m gonna sit back, relax, and enjoy some Christmas Crap. 

À 2018

Rebecca

Twitter: @RebeccaKGL

Instagram: @RebeccaKazdan

Follow the eAmbassador Instagram: @eambassadorsgl

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