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If you know our Founder Latasha Morrison, you may know about her love for Hallmark movies! In this special bonus Christmas episode of the Be the Bridge Podcast, Latasha Morrison is joined by three women she met at Christmas Con this year. Gina, India, and Rena have fun with Latasha discussing Hallmark Christmas movies. Their laughter will get you into the Christmas spirit.
They also take notice of the improvements that Hallmark has made with diversity and inclusion in front of the screen and behind it. Movies (even feel-good, predictable Hallmark Christmas movies) broaden our imaginations and help remind us of the power and necessity of representation.
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Host & Executive Producer – Latasha Morrison
Senior Producer – Lauren C. Brown
Producer, Editor, & Music – Travon Potts
Transcriber – Sarah Connatser
Not all views expressed in this interview reflect the values and beliefs of Latasha Morrison or the Be the Bridge organization.
You are listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast with Latasha Morrison. (instrumental music playing in background)
Latasha Morrison 0:06[into] How are you guys doing today? It’s exciting!
Each week, Be the Bridge Podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture with the goal of bringing understanding.
Latasha Morrison 0:17[intro] …but I’m gonna do it in the spirit of love.
We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing, racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end.
Latasha Morrison 0:53
Okay, Be the Bridge family, it is that time. It is that time of year. We are upon Christmas. And so, hang all the mistletoe. I’m gonna get to know you better. (singing) This Christmas. We’re so excited. So if you guys don’t know that version, you know you got…you’re gonna get the blackity Black Christmas from Latasha Morrison. So welcome to the Be the Bridge Podcast. We’re going to talk about all things Christmas, the Hallmark Channel. You know I love it. You know I am Christmas 365 days of the year. And yes, I celebrate the birth of Christ. But I also have fun with all the other stuff, too. And so just in case you’re thinking, I’ve explained this every year why I do this. (instrumental music stops) Christmas makes me feel good. My grandmother loved Christmas. She also passed right before Christmas. And Christmas is something that reminds me of family, reminds me of my grandmother. And it’s just how I celebrate. So I’m excited to have three special guests. And I cannot wait to tell you guys how we met. We went to Christmas Con. Yes, I went to Christmas Con, doing research. It was research for the podcast. And we’re going to talk about it. But I just want to say welcome to the blackity Black Christmas. And I want to introduce, I have Rena all the way from Louisiana, right?
Sort of. So, born and raised in New Orleans.
Latasha Morrison 2:27
But I now reside in League City, Texas, which is outside of Houston, Texas. So.
Latasha Morrison 2:33
I’m Louisiana in my heart. But I’m also kind of a Texan, kind of sort of just a little bit.
Latasha Morrison 2:40
Right. And so you guys are gonna hear the New Orleans accent and we’re gonna go in on one of the movies. The first one we’re going to talk about is All Saints Christmas. And then I have India. India, tell us a little bit about yourself and where you reside.
Okay, I am a New Orleans native and I still reside in the city. I love my city. They’re going to bury me in my city. (laughter) That’s just what it is. I’m New Orleans through and through. I have moved around here, but I’m like, I love my city. They’re gonna have to bury me here.
Latasha Morrison 3:13
Okay. And then we have Gina. Gina, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you reside.
I’m sorry, I wasn’t…(laughter) Well, born and raised in New Orleans. Seventh Ward girl. Okay?
Latasha Morrison 3:31
All my entire life except for about three, almost four years ago, I moved out of the city. I’m on the outskirts. I’m about 20 minutes away from the city, but I am a New Orleans girl true to my heart. People ask me where I’m at, even though I live in Slidell I still say New Orleans. So.
Latasha Morrison 3:53
Okay, well, I’m excited to have you. And I want to talk about…I’m gonna tell the audience, Be the Bridge. Like, we met. I went to Christmas Con. This was in Pasadena. Okay? And so, as you know, this is like everything Christmas. This is centered around the actors and actresses that are part of the Hallmark Channel family. And so it’s supposed to be everything Christmas. So I was so excited. Like, this has been a tough year, you know, tough two years. So this is like, everybody’s starting to have events again. So like, I’ve been wanting to go to Christmas Con for a while. Okay? And so I was so excited to go. We get there… (laughter) And we get there. And I was like so underwhelmed. (laughter) I was expecting…I liked the way, and this is the thing. We ran into each other. We ran into each other there because it was very few of us there. It was probably about maybe out of 250 people it was maybe 10 of us. Right?
And we was part of the five.
Five! I saw, there was a guy, a Black guy. So six. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 5:19
You know how we do. We are going to be attracted to one another. Like, we’re going to see each other; we’re going to acknowledge each other. So we did that little Black people nod. And like, “What she doing here?” You know? We started clowning and having a good time. But let me tell you. Gina describe how, like I was a…you know, I didn’t want it. Because some people looked like they were enjoying it. Like, I love Christmas movies. But I’m not into all of the actors and actresses like that. So this was really about them. And you would have to pay to take a picture with them, pay to get an autograph after you done paid for the event. So it was like, that was surprising. You know, as far as Christmas Con. And maybe you guys are saying, “Hey, that’s what happens when you go to this.” But they didn’t really have breakout sessions, like, discussions. It was just really about taking pictures, standing in line to take pictures with them. And this in Pasadena. I heard that some of the other ones are a little different. But I was expecting like to walk into Evergreen. Weren’t you, Gina? Gina, you said it. (laughter)
I’m looking for the truck. Like, where’s the truck? Where’s the big snowglobe? I want to shake the globe. You know, and make a wish. I walked in there, and I was like, “Did somebody like remove their budget?” (laughter) You know, they started off with a million dollar budget. And ended up, “Oh, your budget has shrunk to $200.”
Latasha Morrison 6:46
(laughter) Yeah, the Christmas tree was the size of my Christmas tree.
Oh my gosh. Did you guys get like…I mean they were all excited. “Oh, we’re gonna light the Christmas tree?” (laughter) When they lit the Christmas tree, my face.
Oh don’t talk about the snow.
My face was like. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 7:07
(laughter) We could have made a Hallmark movie out of our reactions. Because they lit the Christmas tree…
I was looking for a refund counter. Okay? “Can I get my money back?” (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 7:16
…and the snow, the snow machine.
The poof? Poof. That’s it.
Latasha Morrison 7:27
It was so funny.
Yes, it was a mess.
Latasha Morrison 7:28
But let me tell you. You know how we are always gonna make lemonade out of lemons? And so we had fun; we met each other. We were gonna make the most of it. I told them, I said, “Hey, go see the city.” We got to connect with some of our Be the Bridge friends. Ines that lived there. And we ended up having a good time. And also we got to see, they were filming America’s Got Talent. And then there was this little boy that were his mom. And this is where I got a little convicted because I was like, “Oh, how are you doing?” We’re just talking to them. And you know, I’m trying to make the best of it. They did have some good carolers singing around and stuff. And so I’m talking to this little boy. And I was like, “Oh how are you enjoying it?” He said, “This is the best day of my life!” And I was like, “Uhhhh.” (laughter)
You know what? You should have said, “Why? Why?”
Latasha Morrison 8:28
And I did. I did. I did. I asked him why. But his thing was about meeting all of the actors and actresses. So, signing, getting autographs signed. So that’s what they were there for. We weren’t there, we were there to feel that Christmas spirit, to enjoy the vendors. There were hardly any vendors there.
What vendors? Vendors? Vendor? Vendor. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 9:00
(laughter) Oh my god, that was hilarious.
With that one little sad rack of clothes she was trying to sell.
Right, right. That was old stuff. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 9:07
Somebody was trying to sell their old ornaments off their tree.
Some of their stuff they were trying to sell for the past 15 or 20 years. Some of that stuff. I was like this is dilapidated. I’m not even understanding what’s going on here. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 9:19
Oh my goodness. (laughter)
Why does this box look like this? Why are these Bibles looking like this? I said, “Oh my god.”
Latasha Morrison 9:34
Uh huh. Yup.
I was disappointed though, Tasha. Because when, and India and Re can tell you, which one of those women it were. You know, I’m not starstruck. I can give two, you know, whatevers you call it.
Oh, the one that India called a doe. (laughter) Doe eyes.
Yeah, doe eyes. Looked like a lost deer in headlights. You know? I’m like, “Hi!” And she looked like. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 10:07
She is on the channel now anyway, so I think she’s over there. (laughter)
Right. But to me it was just a disapointment, because you’re there. The whole point is for you to meet your fans.
Latasha Morrison 10:24
And I mean, you know I was being friendly. I’m a New Orleanian. That’s how we do.
Latasha Morrison 10:28
And she was just like.
Latasha Morrison 10:33
Let’s tell everybody who we did get to meet and which was nice.
Latasha Morrison 10:38
We got to meet Jackée. You know? And so that was fun. We got to meet her. But I haven’t really seen, I mean, she’s been in a couple Hallmark movies.
A few of them. Not a whole lot. But she popped up every now and then in one.
Latasha Morrison 10:57
Yeah. She was the only Person of Color that they had at Christmas time.
Yup. Sure was.
Yup. she was.
Latasha Morrison 11:04
She was the only one.
She was the only Black one there.
Latasha Morrison 11:08
I need them to go recruit Tamera, because Tamera…
Latasha Morrison 11:18
This wasn’t connected. Christmas Con is not really necessarily connected with the Hallmark Channel. They partner with them. So this wasn’t like official Hallmark Channel. But you know, as I do, I came up with the whole idea. I’m saying, I’m like, Okay, we need to do a Christmas Con, and it needs to be the blackity Black Christmas Con. But this is the thing, I want to hear. I want to hear about. I started watching Christmas movies back in 2009. Because I was just talking to…I just heard this story. This young lady, she’s doing Christmas movies really like people, it got a lot of people’s attention in 2020 when everyone was home. And it made people feel good. Because Hallmark always does Christmas in July. And that got a lot of people’s attention. And I was listening to a lady on TV and she was talking about she had just lost her husband to COVID. And she was up feeding her newborn baby. And she was flipping the channel in July. And she came upon Christmas in July from Hallmark. And she said it just made her, it just gave her a respite. Like it just, we know how it’s going to end. Yeah, people call them they’re corny, they’re cheesy. But they just make you smile, and they make you feel good. And she said right then she thought, “I’m gonna write one of these. Like, I love the way this felt. I want to give someone else that feeling.” And then it made me think about when I first started watching these movies. It was in 2009. I was in between jobs. I was trying to figure like, life out. I had just left another one job and I was going into, I didn’t know what. And I was just feeling really down how that whole situation happened in 2009. And I was flipping the TV and I stumbled upon Hallmark Channel. I had never even watched Hallmark Channel It was Christmas movies. And I started watching them and that was actually I think one of the first years that they started showing them. So I want to know like, why do you like Christmas movies? And when did you start watching the Hallmark Christmas movies, or even I know Lifetime has them. There’s so many other channels. But we’re going to talk mainly about the Hallmark ones because there’s so many Christmas movies out there. But we’re going to mainly focus on Hallmark. But I would love to know when you guys started and why you started. So we’ll start with you, Rena.
Um, I probably started watching…well, I’ve always been a Christmas person. Like I love Christmas.
Latasha Morrison 13:58
Yes. I can see that.
And I probably just like you, you know flipping through the channel. It’s kind of like the holidays you looking for Christmas movies to watch, and stumbled upon Hallmark Channel. Because literally, I kid you not, the only time I watch the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime is during Christmas. I don’t watch it no other time of the year. (laughter) So, and that’s how I started watching them. I watch the one when they do the Christmas in July. And I watch it when they do the Christmas marathon from like.
Latasha Morrison 14:33
Halloween is not even here yet. The start with the holiday movies.
Latasha Morrison 14:38
Uh huh. It started October the 24th this year.
Exactly. So, and that’s been probably like about maybe 5, 6, 7 years straight now. I guess.
Latasha Morrison 14:47
Okay, okay. Okay.
So I mean, and I can watch the same ones over and over.
Latasha Morrison 14:51
I do, too.
Some of them be hit and miss. But I do have a few favorites that I look for.
Latasha Morrison 14:57
And like even with like Lifetime. There are a few classics that I will literally search for and try to see when it comes on and then I record it. Because I never know when you come on. So yeah, like Christmas, I’m Christmas everything. Like if I had a huge house it would be decorated in Christmas from top to bottom. (laughter)
I love it.
So yeah, so that’s how I started probably about 6, something between 5, 6 years ago give or take.
Latasha Morrison 15:22
Okay, and we’re gonna come back because I want to hear your favorites. I want to hear some of your favorites. Okay, Gina, what about you?
Oh, I’ve been watching Hallmark forever. I think since they first started coming on TV really. I get teased all the time, “There she is watching that doggon’ Hallmark channel. That’s all she watch. Hallmark. Hallmark. Hallmark.”
Latasha Morrison 15:44
Me too. Now everybody in my family doing it. (laughter)
Yeah, it’s like they’ll call, “What you doing? Oh, nevermind. You’re watching Hallmark.” Even the kids, “You know all she watches is Hallmark Channel.” I’m like, “No. I watch the Travel Channel. I watch the cooking. Dance.” But yeah, I’ve been watching Hallmark forever. I just love…I mean, I’m not really a holiday person. I’m not gonna even you know, but it’s just something about those Hallmark channels. I could watch a Christmas movie in freakin April. It doesn’t matter. You know? But it’s just that. It’s like, even though, like you said, we know the outcome. We watch them over and over and over. But it just gives you that good feeling. You know? It’s like, some of them are cheesier than I don’t know what. But we still watch them. I just think like okay for me sometimes because of what I do. I’m not putting that on here. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 16:35
Yeah, I understand.
You need to decompress.
And that’s a good release for you. You know when you just dealing with craziness all day long and then you come home. And it’s like, “You know what, let’s see what the Hallmark Channel…” Now we’ve got options baby.
Latasha Morrison 16:50
We got three channels here with the Hallmark shows! (laughter) I got options now baby. So here we go. And it just, like I said it helps forget about that bad day you’ve had at work dealing with people, you come home and watch a sappy Christmas movie. Like I say, you know the outcome already, but it doesn’t matter.
Latasha Morrison 17:13
Yeah, self care. It’s self care.
Right, it makes you forget about that bad day. And it’s like, you know what, this is such a good movie. I find myself watching some of Golden Girls come on. “You’re not watching any more movies, Gina. The Golden Girls are on. Go to bed.” (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 17:29
I love it. It’s self care. It’s just like you don’t have to think about it. India, how about you?
Well, how did I start watching Christmas? I mean, I think like just growing up I always did kind of watch like the classic Christmas movies. Like my mom’s favor was like Miracle on 34th Street. And then I kind of got into It’s A Wonderful Life and stuff like that. But then I want to say as things got more modern, a lot of Hallmark movies used to come on a different channel like ABC or something like that, like being a Hallmark Gold Crown Movie.
Latasha Morrison 18:03
And that’s kind of how I got into Hallmark Christmas movies because I remember…and those are like old school ones that you can very rarely catch like you don’t even see them pop up or blip up anywhere or whatever. And I miss those because those are the ones that kind of got me introduced into it. So as soon as I found out they had a Hallmark Channel, I said, “What!” (laughter) I mean it was literally was like, “oh my god and my cable provider gives it to me.” So it was just like, oh my god, you telling me I can watch Christmas movies in July, then I can turn around and watch them all throughout the whole holiday season. And then when they started adding more channels, I was like, “Oh my god!”
Yeah, I’m not…I like to look at the decorations. Those are nice. Like, I like to see them. And I know that down here in New Orleans, I actually like to try to hop to different holiday things that we have here. A lot of different bars, I like to drink, (laughter) a lot of different bars will have like pop up Christmas, like Christmas pop ups.
Latasha Morrison 0:38
And like the different bars they’ll decorate and they’ll have like Christmas inspired drinks and stuff like that. Like I’m that social type of person where I like it from that end. But I don’t like to actually put in work to put decorations and stuff up. (laughter) I want to be able to go where the decorations are.
Latasha Morrison 0:54
So that’s how I kind of enjoy them. Like one of our own historical hotels down here, The Roosevelt. Like they do Christmas decorations like that whole extended from like the front lobby to the end of it, they have like lights and decorations. And it’s just beautiful, or whatever you have that. You have Christmas in the Oaks. But I don’t go to that, because that’s in City Park. And I’m not trying to walk around. I’m not trying to be on that. But anyway, but there are different little things like that where you can go and enjoy Christmas in the city. And so I like to do that kind of stuff. So I’m like outside and decorating. And see, the Hallmark movies I’m bringing myself where other people decorate for Christmas and enjoy it in that capacity. Yeah.
Latasha Morrison 1:40
Right. So I want to jump in because I want to talk about, there was one movie since most of you guys are connected to New Orleans. There were two there was one on Lifetime. And there was one on Hallmark Channel. And I haven’t heard any of the other podcasts really review these. They really don’t do a lot of reviewing of the ones that have People of Color leads and stuff. But one of the things I did notice with Hallmark, we’ve been watching Hallmark for a while and we’ve seen the improvement as it relates to inclusion and diversity. And one of the things that I also saw this year when you go and you look at the writers and when you look at the directors and you’re seeing even more People of Color, you know BIPOC people who are the writers. And that makes a difference in the script. What are one of your, I want you guys to tell me about one that you watched this season that was your favorite. And why it was your favorite.
Oh, I watch the same one. I can tell you my favorite. Evergreen. I don’t know. It’s just something about Evergreen. I love Evergreen. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 2:58
Yeah, Christmas at Evergreen.
I love it.
Latasha Morrison 3:00
But they didn’t have a new one this year. They didn’t have a new one.
No, no, no. I watch the old one. Yeah, I just I love it.
Latasha Morrison 3:08
That’s why you were expecting to see Christmas in Evergreen when you went to Christmas Con.
Yes. Christmas in Evergreen is the epitome of Christmas.
Latasha Morrison 3:18
You know, I mean.
I think, Gina, I get what you’re saying. Because what you looking for is that classic old red truck.
You could went built a fake truck. (laughter) Give me the red truck with the tree on the back. Please!
Latasha Morrison 3:37
I think they could bring Christmas in Evergreen back because that was a whole town. So I think there’s more stories that they can write.
There’s two parts I think. I think there’s two Evergreens. Back in Evergreen. But I just love Evergreen. It’s just like you say Rena, I think it’s the epitome of Christmas. You know what I’m saying? They started, they have People of Color in that movie as well. Um, you know? So.
Yeah, I guess cause it’s sort of mixed. It’s not one race.
They try to dibble and dabble and include everybody. So I think that’s why it probably appeals the most because it’s not just one sided.
Latasha Morrison 4:06
Okay, okay. Yeah.
Right. Because I am blackety Black Black Black. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 4:22
But listen, okay. So did you watch one that came out, a new one that came out this year that you liked? So we know you are Christmas in evergreen. You love Christmas in Evergreen. Was there one?
Yes, the Golden Dragon. Or?
Latasha Morrison 4:40
Yeah, Christmas at the Golden Dragon. That was really cute.
Yes. I didn’t watch all of it. But I thought it was cute. I had to leave the house, but I enjoyed it. I’m gonna watch it when it comes back on again. But I enjoyed that one.
Latasha Morrison 4:52
Yeah, that one was a great one. This one is about…one of the things that people don’t know, a lot of people because they cook at Thanksgiving, a lot of people do not cook at Christmas. And so they order, it’s a tradition for some families to order Chinese food. Because normally that’s the only restaurant that’s open. And so this storyline is about a girl who is Chinese American, and she is the leading actress in this. And she’s always wanted to enjoy Christmas and do all the Christmasy things. So she’s dating this guy, and he lives in Vermont. She can get snow at Christmas, all these things and so. But she’s always has to work on Christmas to help with her family business. And if you have any Chinese American friends, you know like the work ethic and like. I can tell that this was written by a Chinese American person. And it was just, it was well written. And she also didn’t, and then they tied it in. I love when movies, they have it where all the storylines kind of tie together. So the people in the storyline, they kind of have a connection and you don’t realize they have a connection. So all the people that would go to this Chinese restaurant, there was some kind of connection, and you start seeing the connections they have to one another. But the main connection was like this restaurant made them feel like family because they were a family. And it was a family ran business. But the funniest thing in that movie was there was one of the ladies was, she was having a hard time. She was an architect by trade. And so she had all the sugar cubes. And she was building a building out of the sugar cubes. (laughter) And I was like, “Uhh,” and you know I’m watching this, I’m like, “I hope she ain’t gonna put those sugar cubes back in there.” (laugher) So it was a cute one. So that was Christmas at the Golden Dragon. And it was really cute. So I recommend that one. And it was really good to see Asian American leads. So just like I like to see myself in movies and see, you know, directors and producers and writers and actresses and actors. Everyone else likes to see that, too. And so Hallmark has done a better job at really demonstrating that. And how about you, India? Were there any one that you seen this year that was your favorite? India, can you hear me?
Oh yeah, I can hear you. I’m sorry.
Latasha Morrison 7:43
Oh, no, no problem. (laughter) Was there any one that stood out to you this year? Was there any of the Hallmark movies that stood out to you that was your favorite this year?
So far? Oh my god. It’s like my brain has to catalogue through all the ones I’ve watched. Oh, you know which one I liked the most? Well, I’ll say it’s on the top of my list right now, Inventing the Christmas Prince.
It’s so cute. With Tamera.
Latasha Morrison 8:23
That one was so so cute. I loved it. It was a different type of story. Of course, I love to see us in roles of excellence, of course. And then it was different because she was an astronomer in a way. So that was a different type of profession to show or whatever. So I just loved it. And the little girl in it was just so cute. And she was such a good little actress. And I just loved everything behind it, how the mom had basically created this kind of Christmas Prince like a different way. Like instead of just always using Santa Claus or something she created like this Christmas Prince that kind of took, it kind of took the place of the father who had passed and stuff like that. So I liked the different lessons in it. Because you had the lesson of empathy because she had her supervisor or her employer who she actually had to enlist as the Christmas Prince. But he didn’t even realize that when she took off it was because of her husband’s passing. He was so fixated, he was I guess a type of person where he was just so fixated on careers.
Latasha Morrison 9:39
He was a workaholic, yeah.
He was a workaholic. So he didn’t even realize that him being such a workaholic was detrimental to him making connections with those that he oversaw, you know, at their place of business. So I just really loved it. I loved the little story. It was just so cute. And I love the fact that he played along with it and then in a process, he realized how much of a workaholic he had become and how detached from having connections with people he had become. And I just love how this little girl, it almost seemed like she just opened up his heart to something larger. And in the process, it opened up the mom’s heart to him. And I was like, “Oh, this is so cute.” So I will say that is my top one this year.
Latasha Morrison 10:29
Okay, okay. And she was actually a rocket, they were rocket engineers.
Latasha Morrison 10:34
I love the whole STEM thing. And his name is Ronnie Rowe, Jr. And he’s been in a few of them. Ronnie Rowe, Jr.
Yeah, I’ve seen him in other ones.
Latasha Morrison 10:42
And so I think you know, because I want to say you got the hunks of of Hallmark. And you know I’ve seen they were on the cover of I think People magazine or one of those magazines. So you know, I’m thinking they need to kind of mix up some of the stars.
Because he’s good looking. I’m liking his skin. Oh my god, I have a thing about skin. You can ask Rena. I have a thing about skin. And I’m like, “Oh my god. He has the most chocolate beautiful skin I’ve ever…” I just love, oh my god, I love us in just this rich skin tones. That’s nothing against Gina. Gina know I love her. She almondy. (laughter) But I’m just saying. (laughter) I love all my colors.
I have a tan.
Alright then.But I do love to see darker skin tones because so much growing up, we didn’t see darker skin tones on TV. You always saw a brighter complexion, a different kind of hair type, etc, etc. So I love to see just the richness of a deeper skin tone or whatever, you know, just representation of that or whatever. So baby, I love his skin. I was like look at this man. You know how people just have skin and you be like, “Oh my god!” He looks like a chocolate bar.
Latasha Morrison 12:14
So Hallmark has to hear us. We need to add him as one of the hunks of Hallmark.
They definitely need to add him. Because he is good looking.
Latasha Morrison 12:23
And now listen, you guys, now this is we’re filming, we’re taping this and it’s only really December the eighth. So there are several more movies to go that we haven’t had a chance to see. And then there’s several other leads. So you can follow along. Hallmark has an app that you can see what’s coming up. Now Rena, what has been your favorite one for this season?
For this season?
Latasha Morrison 12:52
For this season.
Every time I get a chance to watch Hallmark it’s late at night. (laughter) Because I got two kids.
Latasha Morrison 13:02
So you been falling asleep, huh? You been falling asleep.
So I fall asleep with it on. But I will say the other night, I think it’s one from this year. And it was called Crashing through Christmas? Or something.
Latasha Morrison 13:15
Crashing through the Snow. That actually, I think it came out, I think that one came out in July. I think that was one of the ones. But it is a new one for this year.
Okay, one of the ones they debuted for this year. Because I noticed they started doing ones for July, too.
Latasha Morrison 13:29
I thought that one was kinda cute. Because it was a different storyline.
Latasha Morrison 13:35
It was about a divorced parents and learning to co-parent.
Yeah, but they got along. I actually stayed up to finish, I stayed up just to finish watching that because I had gotten sucked into it. And I was like, “Well, let me finish it to see how it ends.” And I actually kind of liked that one. It was like I said a little bit different; it wasn’t the typical, you know. I mean, it didn’t have any of us in it. But for me, and the ones that I’ve watched or had a chance to watch this season, I would have to say that one probably was one of the ones that I actually really liked. Now the acting was alright. It was not…the ex husband, it was a little shaky. (laughter) I don’t know about that husband. I got a question about how they cast him. But yeah.
Latasha Morrison 14:26
I liked the realness of the story because that’s a real storyline that people deal with. You know when you’re divorced, you know where the kids going to spend Christmas and different holidays. And then one parent is going to be without and what that looks like. And so she was invited to go with him with his new girlfriend to her family’s house because she really wanted to get to know the mom because she saw the importance, and she didn’t also like the idea of taking the children away from their mom.
Latasha Morrison 15:00
She wanted to be inclusive of that. But the mom didn’t know that he was gonna propose. That’s like kinda awkward. (laughter)
Awkward. “I don’t want to be here for this. No. I mean, I don’t want you, but I don’t want to see you propose.”
Latasha Morrison 15:20
Now did anyone…one of the things that one, you know, you have like with under Hallmark, you have Dayspring, you also have the Mahogany Cards. So, if you notice this year was the first year that Mahogany did this movie and they highlighted that one. And it was called The Holiday Stocking.
I just watched that one last night, I think. I was able to catch it. Because I missed it over the weekend, because I was watching another Hallmark movie. I think it came off at like nine o’clock. And I’m like, darn I’m an old lady and I gotta go to bed.
Latasha Morrison 15:57
You have to set your DVR because it’s hard to catch all of these. And they are airing the new ones on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday. And if you have a life, it’s hard to catch all these things. You have to record them. But The Holiday Stocking was really cute.
Yeah it was.
Latasha Morrison 16:16
And it had Nadine Ellis in it and Tamala Jones and B.J. Britt. And so this was about a family who, they had these Christmas traditions, they had lost their father when they were younger. Their mom to really get them focused off of gift giving, they would do service projects. And so they can pick, they did these riddles and they would pick out of the stocking and and do these things. And this brought them close as a family. But their older brother had passed and so this is a movie about him getting to come back and kind of set some things right before he can become an angel and all of that. And the acting was actually really good in this one. Because you know, if you know Tamala and if you know Nadine they have been in some other movies on like ABC some of the major shows, the acting was really good. It was believable. And the little girl was a little rough at first, but then she got it. (laughter) It got a little better. It was a little rough, it was a little rough. But it got a little better. So that was one. And I was glad to see…and this one was on, for those of you who are listening Hallmark has three stations. So there’s Hallmark, the Hallmark Channel, the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and then Hallmark Drama. I don’t think Hallmark Drama is playing any. But the Hallmark, yeah the Mahogany one came on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. So, India I think you were the only one that saw that one. Did you like it?
I did like it. I loved the idea. I tend to really, because matter of fact it reminds me of an older Hallmark movie, where I forgot her name I forgot the actress but she played on Sex in the City and she came back as an angel.
Oh I know who you’re talking about.
And I remember that one. So it kind of reminded me of that one a little bit where she was like this big business executive.
The brunnette. The brunnette. Yeah.
And, Sarah Maclean or something like that was a guardian angel. Y’all know which one I’m talking about.
Latasha Morrison 18:34
So it kind of gave me that kind of feel of that second chance where you have a family member who does pass on, and if you’re a spiritual type of person you think about them being almost like a guardian angel for you. And so then to have his last thing that he wanted to do to set right that he wasn’t able to do prior to him leaving Earth was to get his sisters to go ahead and reconcile. And I love the fact that he got a second chance and that they also got a second chance to reconcile you know upon his death and stuff like that. So I kind of like that divine intervention kind of thing that was going on with it. And that guy’s skin is nice, too. (laughter)
I knew she was gonna say that. I knew she was gonna say that.
He had a beautiful smile. Y’all that’s my thing. Skin and teeth. I know it sounds like Silence of the Lambs, but I’m being honest y’all. Look at this guy’s teeth against that skin. My god. (laughter) But anyway, I did love that and like you said the acting was really good. You could sense, you know, the you can see the resolution or you could see the hearts warming in the process of the movie or whatever. So I really loved that and I love their tradition about, you know, giving back instead of always receiving something, but actually having that act of service out there or whatever instead of, and making a game of it and making it fun. And that kids were actually, them as children were actually engaged and enjoyed giving back in that capacity, even though they had, you know, so little or were raised with so little, and still giving back or finding a way to give back that wasn’t always about money. It was about just time and service, and you know, just showing empathy and sympathy to people. So I did enjoy it. I was glad I was able to catch it because I missed it. I was like, “Man, I missed that one.” And it came on and I said, “Yes! I said, “I’m gonna stay up. I can stay up to nine and watch this the one.” (laughter)
Yup. That one was really good.
It was really good. It was really good.
Latasha Morrison 20:50
That one was really good. I was glad to see that. So I am assuming we will probably see more of from the Mahogany Cards, seeing more of the those for Christmas. But I wanted to talk about one last one. And then I want to hear maybe your plans for Christmas and what you could collect during Christmas. I know some of you don’t decorate but Gina we have something in common. But the other one was that I enjoy it was A Big Fat Family Christmas. And this one and this is another one where you can tell it was written by Jennifer Laio, I probably pronounced that wrong. No, that was the director. And then it was, but the writers of it, it had multiple writers in this one. Let me see if I can see the other writer, I don’t. But what I loved about this one was it was about this young girl who her family threw this off the chart like, you know, very over the top Christmas party every year for the community. And everyone loved it. This was the thing that they did and they would raise money for local charities and local kids to help as a part of their party. And so their daughter, of course, attended the party. But then I guess one year some of her friends came and they kind of picked at her and she was embarrassed by her family. She was embarrassed by them being over the top. She was embarrassed a little bit about her heritage. Speaking she wasn’t, she had stopped speaking Cantonese and singing in Cantonese. So I thought that was really good, like to tie some of that in because I know that that was going to connect with people. And it was it was actually this is one of the first ones I’ve seen where it was, the setting was in San Francisco, which I thought was really good.
Tia Carrere. She played the mom. She was good in that one.
Latasha Morrison 23:13
Yeah, and then who, the guy named Shannon Kook was another guy. But Tia she looked familiar. What was she in?
And what else was she in y’all?
She was in True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. True Lies.
Latasha Morrison 23:32
She was kind of like a bombshell kind of, you know, exotic bombshell at the time in a lot of 90s movies.
Latasha Morrison 23:41
It’s been a while since she’s been in anything I think. I was actually surprised to see her in this one. Because it’s been a while since I’ve seen her play in anything.
Latasha Morrison 23:51
Okay. Okay. Yeah, so I love that. And the girl who played the lead, I think this was one of, she was normally a voiceover actress and she’s done a lot of cartoons and stuff like this. So this was her first debut. And I think considering she did a great job as a lead. And when I looked at her filmography, I didn’t see a lot of in person acting, but a lot of voiceover. So that one was another one that I thought was really good. They had Jack Wagner in there. He had a very small role, but he’s another Hallmark staple. He was also at Christmas Con. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 24:38
Yeah, he was at Christmas Con.
Yeah, he was there.
Oh. I was too busy looking at Jesse. I didn’t have time for him. (laughter)
Well it’s not like we could have taken pictures on our own, you know.
Oh yeah you right. Exactly.
Latasha Morrison 24:52
You couldn’t take pictures on your own or anything like that.
Girl we took pictures. I don’t know what you talking about. (laughter) We took pictures.
Latasha Morrison 24:56
Y’all did? I should have been with you guys.
We sure did!
Latasha Morrison 25:02
Cause I was following the rules. I need to be a rule breaker.
Well the thing is there was nothing on the tickets that says you couldn’t take pictures. When we got there, nobody said anything. We was snapping away until one of the workers was like, “I’m sorry, you can’t take pictures.” I’m like, “Whatever.”
Latasha Morrison 25:20
Y’all need to send me y’all pictures. Y’all need to send me a copy of your pictures. (laughter)
I guess for me, it wasn’t too surprising that they said that because I’ve been to cons before.
Latasha Morrison 25:28
Okay. This was my first.
Usually at cons, actually it’s usually more like, in your face. “Hey, don’t come round here with no picture taken.” It was a little bit more subtle there. But I’ve been to cons before and they are really serious about it.
Right. They really are particular for it at larger comic conventions. They are serious about it.
But it’s okay. I took pictures, too. (laughter)
But then again, for the larger ones, they’re charging way more money because you have those types of celebrities, too.
So you know, it’s the same as with the paparazzi. For certain ones you have to pay for certain things. So it’s kind of one in the same. So, yeah, that’s why I was shocked that they weren’t as adamant because that’s what I was used to having gone to other comic conventions, where it’s like, “Oh, no. Uh uh.”
Latasha Morrison 26:24
Okay. So are you guys gonna attempt to go to the one in New Jersey? That’s supposed to be the biggest one.
Not this year. (laughter)
Well actually. I have a really good friend. She’s like a sister. She lives in New York and we were talking about it and she’s like, “They have it in Jersey.” She’s like, “You want to go?” I said, “I already scoped it out. There’s no tickets available.”
Latasha Morrison 26:49
Okay, okay. So I’m looking forward to, there’s Holly Robinson Peete has one coming out. Hers hasn’t hit. I would say some of the other ones that I really enjoyed this year was The Holidays Spectacular. I like the way that story was told; that one was really cute. It was actually the girl.
The Rockette girl, right?
Latasha Morrison 27:13
I saw that one last night.
Latasha Morrison 27:14
Yes. She was from the Rockettes. And she actually, the actual girl who played the lead, Ginna Claire Mason, she actually played in Wicked. She was the lead, the princess in Wicked.
She was Glenda.
Latasha Morrison 27:34
Yeah, Glenda, Glenda. Sure was. And so, and I thought the way that story was told, now we know. Now okay, now this is where I like when movies can have you reimagine. I think Shonda Rhimes has a good way of having us do this in her movies, where she has you reimagine People of Color in places of power. You know? And so she did that. She did that with Bridgerton, she’s done that in a lot of her movies with Scandal and different things like that. She has you reimagine that. And so, what I liked about this one, one of the head, the Rockette was an African American young lady in there. And so we know that this is in the 50s. So y’all know that, we know that we weren’t in the Rockettes in the 50s now. And so, but it really had us reimagine that. And so if you’ve saw the Rockettes perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which is one of my traditions I watch each year, there are maybe like two or three People of Color that I could tell. People could have been lighter skinned, I may not have been able to tell, but as far as from my viewing that’s what I saw.
That’s all you saw. That’s all you saw. (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 29:21
I’m trying to cover myself. (laughter)
I saw the same thing you saw. That’s all you saw.
Latasha Morrison 29:09
Gina’s cracking up. That’s it. So we know that in 1950, there was not two. But the movie had us reimagine that. And so I thought it was a cute storyline. She, you know, she snuck and became a Rockette. You know, is anyone else that, was there another one that you guys wanted to mention to tell the audience like, “Hey, you should check this one out.” Is there one that you have, Gina?
No, but I do have a question for Hallmark. What took you so long? (laughter)
Latasha Morrison 29:40
Look at her! She tried to go there. Yes. But you know what, they have new leadership. There’s new leadership. And I would say the scripts are getting better. The commercials. I remember the product placement. Like I’ve been watching Hallmark so long I can, I used to could tell you who the sponsors were in the product placements because they would just like land on this Folgers cup and you’re like, “Uhhh. I know who sponsored that.”
I’m like really? Did y’all really need to do that? And I’m like, come on now y’all.
Latasha Morrison 30:22
No, they were like, it was like big time spotlight. Now, they have come a long ways with their scripts. So that’s why with some of the other stations, it’s harder for me to watch because they’re taking me back to like Hallmark, you know, four or five years ago where they’ve gotten a better budget. Like no for real, I used to know like, some of the decorations. They would like recycle the decorations. So they have this reindeer and this sled that they used in every house. (laughter) I’m like, “I saw that decoration before. Yo, please get some new stage props.” And even to like in the earlier days, I would see them recycle wardrobe. (laughter)
Yeah, yes. Yeah.
Latasha Morrison 31:11
They had a powder blue suit. Now it could have been another powder blue suit. But.
No it was the same one. It probably was the same one. Don’t give them that much credit. It probably was the same one.
Latasha Morrison 31:22
But it’s hard for me sometimes to watch. And so we know that there’s, they have like, I think another channel that a lot of like Candace Bure and some of the other ones, they left and went over to another channel. But Hallmark is going strong. They have so many, they have so many new actresses and actors and making them staples. And they still have a lot of the older ones. But they to me the better actors and actresses stayed with them. So I think that, so I have really enjoyed… there’s only a few that I’m like, “Ew. I don’t want to watch that one again.” But you know, there are a few that I think stood out and I’ve been watching as many as I can. I haven’t seen all of them. But I did like, I’m just going to go through a few of them that I think you guys should check out. We Need a Little Christmas. This one had Lynn Whitfield in it and it was cute. That one was really cute.
Yes. That was cute. Where she befriended the little boy next door? Yes. I love that one. That was a good one.
Latasha Morrison 32:07
Yes. I thought it was cute. And then I think the one that was…I mean this one, I was like Hallmark stepped it up. And this one was about The Ghosts of Christmas Always. And that one was really good. It had Kim Matula and Reginald VelJohnson. This is the guy from Family Matters.
Oh I did see that one! I didn’t know the name of it. I got sucked into and started watching it.
Latasha Morrison 33:05
The Ghost of Christmas Always. And that one has a really powerful story behind that one. It was well done too. And I just love like just where people, all of us we celebrate Christmas in different ways and where people are able to see ourselves. And you know who I just love? And I think she’s a good actress that Lacey Chabert. Do y’all like her?
Oh she’s so sweet! Yes, we waved at her everytime at the conference. And I’m like oh my god, she’s so sweet. And she’s so short.
Latasha Morrison 33:39
Yes, she is. And she is basically the new Christmas queen now of Hallmark.
She always was in my eyes. She always was in my eyes. I’m gonna be honest with you.
Latasha Morrison 33:51
She was, me too. I think she was because she’s been around for a long time. And there’s several of them that have been around for a long time that I’m now getting to see them step up. Because like Rachael Cook, Nikki DeLoach, you know, there’s so many of them. But now one that was cute.
I haven’t seen her in any this year.
Latasha Morrison 34:11
Her’s is coming up. Hers is coming up.
Oh, okay. Okay.
It’s coming up. She saw me I think I feel like Nikki has been doing a lot more heartfelt ones.
Latasha Morrison 34:23
So the ones that she’s been doing, like Five More Minutes, that one was really good about her dad. And then…
Latasha Morrison 34:33
She writes a lot, too.
She writes a lot too. So a lot of hers have been coming on Movies and Mysteries because they’re more drama and not rom-com.
Gotcha. Okay, gotcha.
I’m like Rena. I forget the name of these movies, but it was the one, I can’t think of her name. She was at the event. It was her husband died, so they thought. Military.
Latasha Morrison 35:01
And she ended up being engaged to this guy. And come to find out her husband didn’t die, he was being held prisoner. And he showed up at the father daughter dance.
Oh! I did not get to see that one yet.
Where he kind of went back in time, or he came from the past into the future?
Is it one of the Williams sisters?
Latasha Morrison 35:28
I’m gonna find it in one second. But while I find it did you guys get to see the Three Wise Men?
I didn’t get to finish it.
I didn’t finish it. But did you know that one was like one of the highest ever watched on Hallmark?
It had three of the Hallmark hunks in one movie. That’s why. Your boy. He was slimmer in person boy. I was like, “Boy. What is wrong with y’all. Y’all get out to LA and then y’all want to eat this vegan food. Boy eat a sandwich. You in front of the cameras now. You need some meat on your bones in that cold weather.”
It was Christmas Bedtime Stories.
Latasha Morrison 36:18
Christmas Bedtime Stories and it was with Erin Cahill.
How, she was really nice.
She was really friendly.
Erin did a really good one, where it was filmed down here, but it was filmed I think like in Natchez, Mississippi. But it was kind of like, it was her. It was the other, I forgot, the other actress that played in the one where she hit the guy and he got amnesia. And they were all sisters and the dad had passed but he always left them riddles or something like that.
Latasha Morrison 37:05
I can’t remember the name of the movie.
Latasha Morrison 37:09
That’s one from last year.
Something. But yeah, she was good in that one, too. And the one where Ryan Paevey where he came back from the past.
Latasha Morrison 37:19
Yeah, yeah, I haven’t seen that. I don’t know if she’s still on there. I haven’t seen one with Erin Krakow. The lady that’s on the, I forget.
Oh, yeah. When Calls the Heart lady.
Latasha Morrison 37:36
Yeah, When Calls the Heart. I haven’t seen many of them and any. But there’s still a lot more to go. But they make us feel good. And I know some of you may be you have your favorite ones that you’re listening to this podcast. So if you have your favorite ones, please put when we post about this podcast, let me know which one was your favorite one and why. We’re also gonna do some giveaways.
Tandra Potts 38:07
Go to the donors table if you’d like to hear the unedited version of this podcast.
Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge Podcast. To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization and or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to BeTheBridge.com. Again, that’s BeTheBridge.com. If you enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded, and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the Senior Producer. And transcribed by Sarah Connatser. Please join us next time. This has been a Be the Bridge production.
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