When looking for good comedy options, the Hallmark Channel is probably the absolute last place you would look. It’s a network named after a greeting card company that specializes in “original” romantic dramedies that are designed to be as predictable and unchallenging as humanly possible. But from 11:00pm to 5:00am, the otherwise dull channel morphs into the best place for classic TV sitcoms.
Here’s the channel’s lineup during this stretch seven nights a week:
11:00pm to 1:00am - The Golden Girls 1:00am to 4:00am - Frasier 4:00am to 5:00am - Cheers
That three-hour stretch of Frasier is what really makes it, but it’s a great lineup all around, especially at a time when TV Land has branched out into original programming and Nick at Nite continues to strongly overrate how much people want to watch George Lopez. Inexplicably, a channel dedicated to presenting us with the safest programming imaginable is now the best place to find three of the most essential sitcoms of all time.
Of course, Frasier and Cheers are both on Netflix, and The Golden Girls is on Hulu, so it’s not like this is the only place they can be found. That being said, there’s the matter of the call to action. It might not occur to you to watch one of these shows on a streaming site, and even if it does, there’s the matter of choosing from such long lists of episodes, which can be quite daunting, and make you not want to bother. But if an episode of Frasier is just on….that’s pretty cool, right? There’s nothing else on, why not tune in?
Since it is a family-oriented network, a lot of curse words that were present in the original airings are censored, which puts a mild damper on the fun. Still, every night, the Hallmark Channel brings us back to the golden age of sitcoms, and for that, I’m grateful enough to forgive the occasional instance of “ass” being bleeped out.