Hallmark Moment

The new Coen brothers movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs certainly takes some grim turns. It’s a collection of old west stories, and five of the six chapters in the anthology end in doom or tragedy. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much.

And that’s a problem in my house.

I enjoy movies with unhappy endings, terrible twists, and plans gone bad. When you serve me humor, the darker the better. Things going wrong is more entertaining than things going right.

My wife’s tastes in film and TV are the polar opposite, and because Christmas is coming, that means the Hallmark Channel. By this time of year, they’ve gone 24/7 with their stock in trade holiday romance movies.

These Hallmark films are all very much the same: an outsider comes to town and there is a push and pull over the future of the local ranch/resort/nature preserve/inn or a conflict over some other cultural or business concern. By the end, the opposing parties fall in love and it all ends well.

You’d think that this makes for a complicated time when deciding what to watch, but it doesn’t. Because I’m a great husband, I sit and keep her company and dutifully keep my mouth shut.

It’s not always easy.

Now some advice if you’re thinking of getting married. If you’re the sort of person who will argue over what’s on the goddamn TV, do us all a favor and don’t get hitched. Spare yourself, your family, and your friends all the trouble you will cause by tying the knot. In fact, if you’re going to be unyielding and hardheaded about anything, maybe the marriage thing ain’t for you. It’s OK. But just think about it now before you waste your time — and ours.

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