In a couple of hours, I hope to be on the road to Kansas City, where I am planning to meet up with Dawn and Robb Amos at Buffalo Wild Wings. I haven’t seen them since my birthday (Oct. 13), and I feel bad about not seeing them in so long. However, with all that happened at 1:15 a.m. July 18, maybe it’s best I stayed away from there for awhile. Then again, not everyone there is against me.
By driving the four hours east, I will stop watching The Hallmark Channel for the time being.
I have hardly, if ever, watched Hallmark Channel until this month, when all of a sudden I have been hooked on Christmas movies. I have never, ever been one to get into the Christmas spirit, so why, all of a sudden, at 39, am I now hooked on Christmas movies?
I actually started watching Christmas movies on Lifetime this month. One, Last Flight for Christmas, featured Mayim Bialik of The Big Bang Theory, a very talented actress who also holds PhD from UCLA.
Mayim is overshadowed on Big Bang by Kaley Cuoco and two of the male leads, Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons, but I have always been enchanted by hertalents, going back to her days as the titular character on Blossom, which ran on NBC when I was in high school. Bialik turned 40 earlier this month, and she’s looking great.
The other Lifetime Christmas movie I liked, Last Chance for Christmas, featured Hilarie Burton, best known as Peyton Sawyer (later Scott) from One Tree Hill. Hilarie later played Sara Ellis on White Collar, where she was Neal Caffrey’s love interest (Matt Bomar, who played Neal, came out as homosexual during the series’ run). Hilarie has cut back on her acting roles in order to take care of the son she is raising with husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Jeffrey, you are a lucky guy. Very lucky.
Three of the movies on Hallmark Channel I have enjoyed starred Alicia Witt, a striking redhead who first came to prominence in the mid-1990s as Zoey Woodbine, the daughter of Cybill Shepherd’s character on Cybill, CBS’ critically acclaimed sitcom.
I knew Alicia played on that series, but the first time I really got a good look at her was when she played Detective Nola Falacci for five episodes on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Witt was cast as Falacci as a fill-in for Julianne Nicholson, who was on maternity leave. Nicholson’s absence was explained by her character, Detective Megan Wheeler, being out of the United States.
Falacci was cast as a cop willing to bend the rules to get her way, and Witt played it perfectly. She was paired with Chris Noth’s iconic L&O franchise character, Detective Mike Logan.
Witt was great in all three Hallmark movies she starred in. The first I saw, and the most recent to be released, was I’m Not Ready for Christmas, where Witt played Holly Nolan, an advertising executive who is married to the job. Her life changes when she fails to show up at a music recital in which her niece, Anna, sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Anna sees Santa Claus–played wonderfully by Dan Lauria (Jack Arnold on The Wonder Years)–and wishes that her Aunt Holly would stop fibbing. Santa casts the spell on Holly, and sure enough, she starts telling truth, often abrasively to her co-workers. Holly is also trying to win the love of Anna’s music teacher, played by Geoff Stults. Brigid Brannah (Army Wives) plays Anna’s mom.
The second Witt feature was A Very Merry Mix-Up. Witt’s character, Alice, is engaged in the beginning of the film and plans to go to visit her new fiance’s family, but he is stuck in town on business, and Alice flies alone to where his family lives. In the airport, Alice happens to run into a man who spills coffee on her blouse, and she is aghast because her luggage was late in arriving and she has no clean clothes. Matt offers Alice a ride into town, but they are involved in a single-car accident. Alice meets Matt’s family, and strangely enough, he has a brother with the same name as Alice’s fiance.
Witt plays a department store Santa Claus in Christmas at Cartwright’s, which I saw for the first time last Saturday. In this one, Witt plays a single mom who takes the Santa job to help her daughter, Becky, have a Merry Christmas. Witt’s character is so good at being Santa it drives record traffic to Cartwright’s Department Store in Chicago. Will Witt be able to outwit (no pun intended) the good boys and girls?
The other Hallmark movie I really got into was Ice Sculpture Christmas, starring Rachel Boston, whom I loved in American Dreams and In Plain Sight. Boston is really talented and I wish there were larger roles for her. I hope that will come to fruition.
Right now, Hallmark is showing Crown for Christmas, starring Danica McKellar, best known to my generation as Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years. Danica, like Mayim Bialik, holds a degree from UCLA. Danica’s specialty is math, and she has released books on the subject.
I’m hoping to leave no later than 9:30. I would like to get in and check in to the hotel, the Courtyard at Tiffany Springs, by 1:45. That way, I don’t miss Countdown at Buffalo Wild Wings starting at 2. If I’m a few minutes late, so be it.