In Mini-Session with Hallmark Holiday Movies

Join Dr. Sam and Dr. Fran this week for a Reel Rounds Mini-Session. For the holiday season, we are ’rounding’ on Hallmark Christmas/holiday movies and why people love them.

The doctors share brief clips from holiday movies from Hallmark, Netflix and Comedy Central. First, they share some brief history about holiday movies and Hallmark holiday movies. PSA: The Countdown to Christmas has begun on The Hallmark channel. Then they dive into the well-known formula, storytelling techniques (AKA archetypes), and additional components of these movies that make them predictable and enjoyable. Have you ever noticed that almost all of them include snow, finding the Christmas spirit, and a happy ending? While the stories may seem familiar and over-the-top, there may be psychological aspects at play.  
Finally, Dr. Sam and Dr. Fran attempt to decipher which movie descriptions belong to actual Hallmark movies and which are made up. 
To find out a secret, listen to this special holiday-themed Reel Rounds mini-session…Dr. Sam and Dr. Fran are SANTA!

Glossary of Terms

Archetype in storytelling refers to a character or plot that represents universal and recognizable patterns (popularized by psychoanalyst Carl Jung)


We discuss the history of Hallmark holiday movies in today’s session, learn more here.

Lots of articles have also discussed why we enjoy Hallmark holiday movies, check out some of them here and here. Learn more about Dr. Pamela Rutledge’s thoughts and work on holiday movies here,

Dr. Sam did a brief overview of the history of storytelling archetypes popularized by psychoanalyst Carl Jung – read more here.

Hear more about the magic and making of Hallmark Holiday movies from the stars themselves!

Love making fun of Hallmark Christmas movies? Check out comedian Nicky Doobs and these two sketches from SNL.

If you enjoyed our guessing game of Hallmark movie descriptions, you can play on your own here!