Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This Hallmark movie's inscrutable, deeply stupid title is driving us mad

Screenshot: Hallmark Channel (YouTube)

We here at The A.V. Club understand the importance of the Oxford comma. It helps create clearer, easier-to-understand, and just plain better-looking sentences. If it was a standardized rule in English grammar, we would all be better off. We would, for example, understand at least a fraction of whatever the hell’s going on with the title of a new Hallmark Channel movie called, somehow, Love, Fall & Order.

Last night, Meredith Haggerty tweeted out the cover of Love, Fall & Order, sharing the mind-devouring confusion that comes with trying to figure out its secrets with all of Twitter.

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Haggerty worked through a number of theories as to the nature of the puzzle, guessing the title could have something to do with names (which raises the Oxford comma question again while suggesting a legal dimension to the movie’s plot) or a tortured play on Law & Order with a nonsensical seasonal twist added in.

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In the meantime, others attempted to crack the case by offering suggestions mostly following up on the idea that “Fall” and “Order” could be the pair’s unlikely last names.

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In case you thought watching a promotional clip from the movie would help clear things up a bit, think again. Hallmark’s tale of an autumnal Aryan supersoldier and a cardigan-loving woman appears to revolve around, as the network’s template dictates, two people who went to high school together meeting and misunderstanding one another before falling in love. The video contains a scene where he, a lawyer, threatens the status of her family’s farm. There is also a dog in his office, and he talks to it.

There are clues here, but too few. The actor who plays the movie’s lawyer guy, Trevor Donovan, later chimed in to try to shed some light on the title, saying verbatim: “LOVE in the FALL and ORDER cuz they’re lawyers and I assume its a play on Law & Order.”

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This, unfortunately, just raises a host of new, impossible questions. If it’s “Love in the fall” when are both concepts introduced as a list? If the title’s supposed to call to mind Law & Order, why are the key words associated with the TV show (“love,” like “law” and “order”) separated by “fall?” Spending too long contemplating this only invites madness. There is no way to understand chaos. The only path is to accept that the Hallmark Channel, inscrutable, simply “loves” the “fall” of linguistic “order.”

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.