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Archive for Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tune In Tonight: Hallmark’s TV formula wears thin

December 9, 2012

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Even by the treacly standards of Hallmark Channel romances, the Hallmark Hall of Fame romance “Christmas With Holly” (8 p.m. Sunday, ABC) may strike viewers as forced and obvious.

Like every Hallmark movie ever made, it begins with a beautiful, if slightly deluded, woman getting a wake-up call. In Maggie’s (Eloise Mumford) case, it’s being stood up at the altar by her unseen groom. Fast-forward a few painful weeks and Maggie moves from the generic big city (Seattle, but does it matter?) to a picture-postcard island.

While riding the ferry, she meets Mark (Sean Faris), also retreating to a slower way of life. He’s trying hard to raise his foster-daughter, Holly (Lucy and Josie Gallina), a cute first-grader rendered mute and emotionally shattered by the recent death of her single mother, Mark’s sister. For those slow on the uptake, Mark’s not exactly sleepless in Seattle, but he did live there.

Did I mention that Mark and Maggie meet within eight minutes of the movie’s beginning? That gives them plenty of time to meet again and again.

Let’s not forget that Maggie’s friend has a cute dog, very adept at the reaction shot.

Be forewarned. Even hardened Hallmark junkies could overdose on “Holly.”

• And “Christmas With Holly” isn’t the only Hallmark holiday movie of the night! Catch Summer Glau (the fetching cyborg from “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as Santa’s slightly disenchanted elf in “Help for the Holidays” (7 p.m. Sunday, Hallmark).

Sunday’s other highlights

• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): Chicago’s large number of false confessions; endangered tortoises of Madagascar; a profile of actor Hugh Jackman.

• “It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!” (6:30 p.m., Nickelodeon) imagines the undersea gang in stop-motion animation. Seen last month on CBS.

• A winning team emerges on “The Amazing Race” (7 p.m., CBS).

• The Green Bay Packers host the Detroit Lions on “Sunday Night Football” (7 p.m., NBC).

• “Portlandia” stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein guest-voice as new neighbors on “The Simpsons” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Saul tries to save his job on “Homeland” (9 p.m., Showtime.

Copyright 2012 United Feature Syndicate, distributed by Universal Uclick.

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