Is it because you don’t want your fucking mind blown?
Allow me to lay some foundation for you. Imagine, if you will, you are in a timeless realm. You are now free of the constraints of both time and space. There are no trends and no faded memories of yesterday. No nostalgia. The characters you once loved haven’t gone anywhere. The actors who played them haven’t seen their careers fade a bit. Everything which ever was … still is.
Now, within this other dimension, I want you to imagine a place where D.J. Tanner from Full House is a librarian who runs a club where she talks with small town Northwesterners about real life murders (and they call it The Real Murders Club, for Christ’s sake). She’s always around when a dead body comes plummeting out of the sky or shows up in her attic crawl space. And she occasionally knocks serial killers the fuck out with an Oxford English Dictionary.
Meanwhile, Sami from Days of Our Lives runs a cookie shop and has a way of being a magnet for murder … and dick. She’s out there solving crime puzzles like a cupcake toting Sherlock Holmes, outthinking cops and killers alike. Running a town. Baking and mystery solving is her damn job, and she’s playing two men back and forth like she’s married to that job and all she’s got time for is some side dick. Get in line behind murder and cookies, boys. Sami will get to you when she gets to you.
And we’re not done. Jewel (yes, that Jewel) is fixing up Victorian homes and finding skeletons and cold cases in them. Aunt Becky from Full House is out here digging up a suit of armor for her antique shop and discovering clues to the murder of a college history professor. Magnum, P.I., is the lead in a Robert B. Parker series written for television by Tom Selleck, his goddamn self. Pacey’s gay sherriff brother from Dawson’s Creek is something called a culinary sleuth, which is a thing. Becca Thatcher from Life Goes On is a crime solving therapist. The bride from Father of the Bride spars in a courtroom with Ed from Ed.
And, in case that isn’t enough (which it fucking is), we got a western mystery going on called Goodnight for Justice centered around Circuit Judge John Goodnight, who is a character played by AND CREATED BY Luke Mother Fucking Perry.
This place exists. It’s called the Hallmark Mystery Channel and it is glorious. As you read this, you could be pulling up an Aurora Teagarden mystery, starring D.J. Tanner, where maybe she’s solving a murder on a movie set or tracking down an art thief. Or there’s the Murder She Baked series, where Sami Brady is a murder-solving savant, a baker extraordinaire, and a walking thirst trap. Darrow vs. Darrow, Garage Sale Mysteries, Fixer Upper Mysteries. They are all there. Right … fucking … now. It’s like a cozy mystery buffet line for your mind.
If you dig a little deeper, you can find some of the old stuff, like the Jesse Stone series, which is fantastic. It was sort of the Hallmark Mystery flagship series, and it’s a little darker than they have leaned since then. As is the John Goodnight movies. But, they are written and created by Tom Selleck (former) and Luke Perry (latter). Come on. I mean … come on. Tell me you don’t want to go watch those movies right now!
Bottom line: Hallmark Mystery Channel is the shit. Can they be a little cheesy? Yes. In the most beautiful ways. But it is a factory of legit mysteries. And they are plucking them straight from some of the best cozy mystery writers: Charlaine Harris, Joanne Fluke, Kate Carlisle. Wherever your tastes lie in the way of mystery, I promise you it’s a good time. Either you are making fun of them (but secretly trying to figure out the mystery), you are loving the hokey romance angle (while trying to figure out the mystery), or, like myself, you are gleefully eating up every damn bit of it. No matter what, why are you not watching Hallmark Mystery Movies? Like, for real. Why?