Sunset Over Hope Valley: Mightier Than the Sword

While working on the next issue of the Valley Voice, Lee and Rosemary talk about how “the pen is mightier than the sword”. As I reflect on this episode, I have to agree with the Coulters. The spoken or written word is a very powerful tool. But as Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben put it, “With great power comes great responsibility”. In Hope Valley alone, words have been used to help and hurt. In Elizabeth’s case, words have been utilized in the name of learning. Joseph is now using words to bring people closer to the Lord.  And Mike is trying to use words to be a better leader. What I get out of the quote, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, is how accessible pens are compared to swords. When one learns how to use a pen, it can empower and inspire them in a way they may not have realized before. So far, on When Calls the Heart, there are three writers: Elizabeth, Rosemary, and Lee. If this show continues for a tenth season, who knows who’ll be encouraged to pick up the written word?

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.

When Calls the Heart season nine poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel

Season: 9

Episode: 8

Name: Hope Valley Days: Part 2

Major stories:

Geoffrey is still in Hope Valley, claiming that Mei needs to be arrested. Curiosity getting the better of him, Nathan asks Mei for the truth. Mei confesses that, before she came to town, she worked with Geoffrey as a friend. When Geoffrey wanted to be more than friends, Mei turned him down. Refusing to take no for an answer, he created a rumor that he and Mei not only got engaged, but also eloped. Nathan takes Mei to jail, but only to protect her from Geoffrey. In the meantime, he tries to find legitimate evidence against her “ex”. Nathan sends a telegram to Chicago, in the hopes of finding out more information about Mr. Lewis. Later in the episode, when he does receive a call from Chicago, Nathan informs Mei of the charges against her. The newly elected mayor of Chicago has connections to Geoffrey. When Nathan tells her the mayor wants Mei to be transferred to Chicago, she recognizes this as a manipulation tactic on Geoffrey’s part. But instead of following the mayor’s orders, Nathan finds a way to help Mei. As Nathan is letting Mei out of jail, Geoffrey shows up. Nathan uses this as an opportunity to present a marriage license in Geoffrey’s name. This license reveals that Geoffrey was married this whole time, but abandoned his wife in pursuit of Mei. After being confronted with this truth, Geoffrey leaves. Mei not only hugs Nathan, but also thanks him for his help.

Bill is still dealing with his cough from the previous episode. After visiting with Joseph and Minnie, congratulating them on their new loan, Bill discovers he is now coughing up blood. At his recent doctor’s appointment, both Faith and Mollie are disappointed he didn’t receive the X-Ray he was prescribed in “Hope Valley Days: Part 1”. However, Faith does prescribe him medication he has to take once every hour. But Bill doesn’t listen to Faith’s recommendation. Instead, he drinks the whole medicine bottle in one sitting, causing him to become drunk. While Mei is in jail, Bill ends up resting in the cell across from hers. As was mentioned in the previous episode, Bill is representing April Fools’ Day for ‘Hope Valley Days’. People in town comment how he still hasn’t done anything in correlation with the holiday. What they don’t know is that Bill has a trick or two up his sleeve. After church services one day, Hope Valley’s citizens discover a Christmas tree residing in the center of town. No one can figure out who put the tree there. But the audience discovers it was Bill all along.

Image of Thanksgiving dinner created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

While walking through town one day, Elizabeth meets a woman who has chosen to homeschool her children. After reading the Valley Voice’s bulletin board, she would like to know if Elizabeth could help her receive school supplies. Elizabeth not only agrees to help, but she also gives the woman suggestions on how to locate educational materials for older students. Elizabeth finds a way to help Anna as well. When visiting the café one day, Elizabeth tells Anna she talked to Anna’s mother beforehand. In that conversation, they came to an agreement that Anna could stay in Hope Valley and continue working at the café, until she has enough money saved for college. As for lodging, Joseph has agreed to set up the café’s rooms into boarding house rooms. That way, Anna could stay at the café and pay Mr. and Mrs. Canfield monthly rent. Anna agrees with this plan and is grateful for Elizabeth’s help.

Rosemary and Lee continue to find the voice of Hope Valley’s newspaper. They’re not opposed to writing in an honest manner. But, at the same time, they seek to discover a literary voice that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Rosemary also gives Lee a typewriter, in the hopes of helping Lee learn how to type. Lee has been impressed with Mike’s idea for ‘Hope Valley Days’ and decides to write an editorial about that. When Lee tells Mike about his editorial plans, Mike doesn’t want to hear it, as he fears Lee will only give him more criticism. Despite these concerns, Lee still publishes the editorial. Rosemary likes it, claiming she can sense Lee’s change of heart when it comes to Mike’s leadership. At Elizabeth’s Thanksgiving feast, Mike privately tells Lee how much he liked the article.

Blue sparkly Christmas tree image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/frame”>Frame vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/merry-christmas-card_2875396.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m glad Mei’s story has finally concluded! While it contained a good twist and the explanation was straight-forward, Mei’s secret was not as shocking or scandalous as the show’s marketing made it seem. In fact, the creative team behind this season “pulled an Achara” on the audience. For those wondering what “pulling an Achara” means, let me provide some context before I give you an answer. Achara is a character that made a guest appearance in the Lost episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land”. In that episode’s flashback scenes, Achara mentioned to Jack (the show’s protagonist) and the audience that she had a “gift”. But for the majority of the episode, she purposefully withheld any information related to her “gift” and strung both Jack and the audience along. When that information was revealed, some could argue it was underwhelming. To sum all that up, “pulling an Achara” is when a character spends more time withholding information than sharing it, which ends up stalling the story. Like I mentioned earlier, the explanation of Mei’s secret was straight-forward. But if the show’s creative team knew that was the case, why would they string that story along for more than half the season? Looking back on Mei’s story, I wish that information was revealed sooner, so the audience could spend more time getting to know Mei.
  • I like Joseph and Minnie’s idea to use the café’s rooms as boarding rooms for future tenants! This could encourage more people to visit Hope Valley, as the saloon only has a certain number of rooms in their establishment. But this begs the question; where have the Canfield family been living this season? Toward the end of season eight, the Canfield family moved out of the log cabin they moved into within that season. Are they currently living in the row houses like Elizabeth and the Coulters? Having they been living in the café this whole time? Even though we have about four episodes left this season, I would like to receive an answer to this question.
  • After Bill coughed up blood, I wondered if he’ll stay on the show much longer? Usually when a character coughs up blood, it’s not a good sign for them, health-wise. However, I haven’t heard anything about Jack Wagner, the actor who portrays Bill, expressing any desire to leave When Calls the Heart. Granted, there has been no official word about a tenth season, as of late April 2022. Personally, I hope Bill pulls through, especially since he has appeared on the show since the very beginning.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think Bill’s fate will be? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: ‘Aurora Teagarden’ Series Ends as Candace Cameron Bure Walks Away from Hallmark

Earlier this week, it was reported Candace Cameron Bure, one of the most popular actresses in the Hallmark community, has chosen to start a new chapter at GAC Family. With this decision, she will not only star in the network’s future projects, she will also be involved with the behind-the-scenes process of these projects’ creation. Now, Emily Longeretta, from Variety, writes that “there are no plans for new “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries” films”. Emily’s article states that Candace’s partnership with GAC Family “is not exclusive”. Despite this, she will not participate in Hallmark’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ or ‘Miracles of Christmas’ line-ups either. An official spokesperson for Hallmark gave a statement about Candace’s choice. The spokesperson mentioned how Candace has worked with the network for “over 10 years”. They also said, “We respect her decision and thank her for her many contributions”.

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Til Death Do Us Part poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

The unceremonious end of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries does not look good for Hallmark. Including this series, the network has cancelled eight programs since 2021. These programs are the following:

  • Home & Family
  • The Bubbly Sesh Podcast
  • Good Witch
  • Matchmaker Mysteries
  • Hailey Dean Mysteries
  • Picture Perfect Mysteries
  • Chesapeake Shores
  • Aurora Teagarden Mysteries

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries is, arguably, the most popular series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. In fact, as of late April 2022, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Haunted by Murder has the highest number of viewership, with 1.7 million viewers. With this series gone, that means Hallmark’s second network will receive less viewership. Less viewership means less sponsorships, which equals less revenue. As for Candace, I’m curious to see what her talents and acting experience have to offer to GAC Family. I haven’t seen any original programming from this network. But I have heard good things about them. Who knows? Now that Candace has an executive role with GAC Family, maybe she and the rest of the network’s leaders can transfer the Hallmark Hall of Fame collection to GAC and rebrand it “Great American Hall of Fame”?

What are your thoughts on Candace’s new partnership with GAC Family? Are you interested in her future projects? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Here are the links to the references in this articles:

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/candace-cameron-bure-aurora-teagarden-canceled-hallmark-movies-1235235735/

Take 3: Brian’s Song (1971) Review

When MovieRob announced ‘Sports Themed Films’ as April’s Genre Grandeur theme, I knew right away which movie I would review: the 1971 tv movie, Brian’s Song! One reason for this decision was the fact I had this film on my DVR. But when I recently checked my DVR, Brian’s Song was nowhere to be found. This is not the first time this has happened to me, where a recorded program on my DVR has suddenly disappeared. But it did not deter me from reviewing Brian’s Song. On a recent trip to the library, I found a DVD copy of the film. It was perfect timing, as I was soon going to watch and write about the movie! In the world of made-for-tv film productions, there are those that are well-known, for better or worse. Brian’s Song is one of the more respected titles, garnering praise since its 1971 release. But will I join the choir and sing this movie’s praises? Or will I skip a trip on the bandwagon? You won’t know if Brian’s Song scored a touchdown unless you read this review!

Before I begin this review, I would like to point out there will be a few spoilers within this article.

This is a screenshot of the DVD copy of Brian’s Song I mentioned in my review. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I really liked the cast of Brian’s Song! But because this story primarily revolves around Brian and Gale’s friendship, this review will focus on the performances of James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. When I think of Billy Dee Williams, I think of Lando from Star Wars! It has been years since I’ve seen the original trilogy in the Star Wars franchise. But from what I remember, Billy’s on-screen personality was charismatic and larger-than-life. His portrayal of Gale Sayers was very different from his portrayal of Lando, as it was more reserved. However, it was packed with emotion! When Gale first meets Brian, he is taken aback by Brian’s outgoing personality. Gale’s eyes contain the awkwardness of the situation and his body language appeared tenser than Brian’s. Gale also spoke with few words, carefully choosing what to say next. Meanwhile, as I’ve just said, Brian was outgoing and confident. In this first meeting, Brian walks up to Gale, immediately recalling a conversation they had prior to training. At the first team dinner, Brian sings his alma mater’s fight song, not afraid to look silly in front of his team members. This on-screen personality was different from James’ westerns I’ve seen, where his character has typically been rugged and serious.

One of the best scenes in Brian’s Song is when Brian is building exercise equipment for Gale. Before this gesture, Gale injured his leg during a game. Angry about the situation, he is bitter toward Brian. Gale angrily objects to Brian’s plan, with this objection meeting Brian’s reason for the gesture. Brian recalls how, in high school, he was demoted on his football team due to a more talented team member. He also shares how he was demoted again, as Gale is the stronger player among the two of them. Now that Brian has a top position on the Chicago Bears, he would rather help Gale heal from his injury, as Brian claims his recent top position was given to him “for the wrong reasons”. This is one of those scenes where the audience can understand both characters’ reasoning. Through Billy’s expressions, Gale is less reserved, gaining some of Brian’s confidence to angrily explain his objections. James shows a side of gentle humbleness, as Brian recounts moments of self-doubt. It is a good example of how the differences in acting performances can complement both of them!

The football game footage: Brian’s Song featured game footage whenever the Chicago Bears made a game appearance. I’m not sure if this footage was taken from actual games or if it was filmed for the sake of the movie. Either way, its inclusion added a sense of realism to the overall narrative. In one scene, Gale and Brian are talking to each other on the sidelines. This scene was filmed as if it was part of a television broadcast, captured in a grainier image. This cinematography felt consistent to the game footage I talked about. It also presented a different way to include football games in a story, as most football themed movies place, at least, one football game during their story’s climax.

The voice-overs: During the aforementioned game footage, voice-overs of Brian and Gale could be heard. These voice-overs consisted of conversations between the two, with different topics being discussed. I like how the voice-overs were added over the footage. It reminded me of sports commentators, except the game itself was never brought up in these conversations. The voice-overs provided insight into Brian and Gale’s friendship. Their humor and perspectives could be picked up in these voice-overs, allowing the audience to learn more about them.

Image of football essentials created by bamdewanto at freepik.com. American football vector created by bamdewanto – www.freepik.com

What I didn’t like about the film:

Glossed over racism: After football training for the Chicago Bears begins, Gale is told by the team’s head coach that he and Brian will be the first interracial roommates in professional football history. Because of this, Chicago Bears’ staff prepare Gale for the racism he will likely experience. I know there is only so much to cover in a made-for-tv movie, especially one that is about an hour and thirteen minutes. But when it comes to the racism Gale encounters, there was more telling than showing. Besides the staff’s preparations, the only racism present in the story is when Brian reads Gale a mean letter through a voice-over. The glossing over of racism surprised me, since the story takes place in 1965, a year within a decade known for the Civil Rights Movement.

Confusing aspects of the football training process: The story of Brian’s Song starts at the beginning of Chicago Bears’ training. When this process began, I found myself confused by what was happening on screen. I wondered why a professional football team was gathering on a college campus? Why was the coach and his staff talking about cutting team members? Was a draft supposed to take place before training began? I know a certain amount of information about professional football. However, the training process isn’t one of those subjects. It also doesn’t help how the script was written as if expecting the audience to know that kind of information from that specific period in time. I wish explanations were provided in the dialogue.

Omitted grief of the team: Remember when I said there were a few spoilers in this review? Well, this is where I will bring those up. At one point in the story, Brian is diagnosed with cancer. After learning of Brian’s diagnosis, Gale makes an emotional pep talk to the Bears, vowing to dedicate their upcoming game to Brian. At the end of the movie, Gale reveals through a voice-over Brian passed away. In the aforementioned scene featuring Gale’s pep talk, the sadness of the news could be seen on the faces of the team members. While they all carried long, heartbroken faces, some of them even held tears in their eyes. With that said, I would guess Brian’s passing would leave everyone involved with the team devastated. As I said before in this review, there is only so much to cover in a made-for-tv movie. But I think a final scene/epilogue showing how the Bears dealt with Brian’s passing should have been included. Was Brian’s jersey honorably retired? Did he receive a posthumous MVP award? I’m not familiar with Chicago Bears’ history, so I’m not sure how the team responded to Brian’s passing in real life. However, omitting it from the script seems like a disservice to the team members who knew him.

Heartbeat image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/medical-logo_763775.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/logo”>Logo vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Before Billy Dee Williams entered a galaxy far, far away and before James visited the wild, wild west, there was a little made-for-tv film called Brian’s Song. Fifty-one years after this movie debuted, it has still held a favorable reputation, regarded as one of the most beloved television films of all time. Brian’s Song is a fine production with its heart in the right place. But I wasn’t as emotionally affected by it as I expected. Yes, this movie’s story is a sad one. However, I was familiar with Brian and Gale’s story before I saw the film. This knowledge prevented me from being emotionally caught off guard when a sadder, more dramatic moment happened. Like I just said, this movie had its heart in the right place. One way this statement is put into action is how the cast appears to truly care about the respective material. The film also features interesting creative decisions, such as football game footage and voice-overs over that footage. Before I end this review, I would like to point out how accessible Brian’s Song is, as I happened to chance upon a copy of it on DVD. Not every made-for-tv movie is lucky, as some of them are either harder to find or lost to time.

Overall score: 7.1 out of 10

Have you seen Brian’s Song? Which made-for-tv movie would you consider a “classic”? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: A Little Light Goes a Long Way

Looking back on this episode, it seems light is the theme of “Hope Valley Days: Part 1”. The candles on a Menorah begin to be lit and a bonfire takes place in the middle of town. But literal light is not the only kind to be found in the episode. Bill and Nathan shed light on secrets from the past. Elizabeth gives a former student the light of hope. Joseph and Minnie rely on God to shine a light on a brighter future. If you think about it, light appears to be a common subject on When Calls the Heart. The most obvious is, for the most part, the show is light-hearted. The majority of the characters try to be a light in someone else’s day. I could go on and on about how light comes into play in other ways. But, right now, we need to get started re-capping this episode of When Calls the Heart!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.

When Calls the Heart season nine poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel

Season: 9

Episode: 7

Name: Hope Valley Days: Part 1

Major stories:

In an effort to put his best mayoral foot forward, Mike hosts Hope Valley’s first annual ‘Hope Valley Days’. This holiday is a collection of other holidays wrapped up into one. Some of the town’s patrons are not only responsible for decorating their place of employment, but for also preparing activities based on their respective holiday. These participating patrons are Elizabeth (representing Thanksgiving), Ned and Florence (representing Hannukah), Bill (representing April Fools’ Day), Rosemary and Lee (representing Halloween), and Mei (representing Valentine’s Day). Throughout the festivities, the aforementioned patrons really get into their roles. From Lee and Rosemary dressing up in costume to Elizabeth planning a Thanksgiving dinner, everyone seems to be enjoying the new holiday. Among the festivities, Faith becomes interested in purchasing an X-Ray machine for the Infirmary. This interest begins after Bill needs to take a chest X-Ray in another town. But Mike created a rule that doesn’t allow her to receive financial grants from the town, as she now owns the Infirmary. Faith tries to ask Mei for financial help, but Mei thinks Mike’s rule is reasonable. Faith also tries to convince Mike to change his mind, but he thinks she will find a way to afford the X-Ray machine. At the town’s bonfire, Faith decides to burn the old Infirmary sign. She tells Mike this is the first step to truly creating the Infirmary as her own.

A man claiming to be Jeffrey bolts into Bill’s office. Jeffrey wants Mei to be arrested, but all Bill wants is for Jeffrey to, politely, leave his office. After Jeffrey refuses and punches Bill in the face, Bill puts Jeffrey in jail. When Bill goes to Nathan with this information, Nathan discovers there are no arrest warrants for Jeffrey, but there are three for Mei, all from Chicago. It is revealed these charges are Arson, Forgery, and Abandonment of a Spouse. Shortly after Mei accepts a permanent position at the Pharmacy, she is called to Bill’s office. Nathan is upset Mei never told him any of the information he discovered. She says no one knows the whole story. Later in the episode, Mei is still in Bill’s office, but alone this time. Ally unexpectedly shows up, still wanting advice about what she should do about Robert. After Mei tells Ally to be herself, she suddenly knows how to handle the situation with Jeffrey. When Mei goes to the jail, Bill tells her he will have to release Jeffrey, as no one saw Jeffrey punching Bill. Jeffrey tries to explain what has been happening, but Mei wants to hear none of it, as she claims he accused her of crimes she didn’t commit.

Things are not going according to plan for the petroleum plant. Henry called Fiona, only to find out she wasn’t successful in driving away the investors. After telling Lucas this news, Henry decides to travel to San Francisco, in order to give Fiona a helping hand. Meanwhile, Lucas is recruited in teaching Nathan how to drive, after Elizabeth was unsuccessful in doing so. But instead of learning how to drive, Nathan shares his worries about Mei to Lucas. Lucas suggests Nathan ask Mei for the truth. Nathan leaves the vehicle, immediately taking Lucas’ advice. After school one day, Lucas comments on how passionate Elizabeth is about teaching. When she asks him what he has always wanted to do, Lucas simply says he has always wanted to set roots in one place, a place to call home.

Valentine’s Day image created by Starline at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Starline – Freepik.com</a> <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/happy-valentine-s-day-red-background_1725125.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

Minor stories:

Minnie receives some promising news. She tells Joseph Bill told her Abigail is interested in selling her half of the café. But before any purchases can be made, they need to receive a loan from the bank. When Elizabeth visits the café, Minnie shares her good news. Elizabeth says Abagail also told her this news during a phone conversation. Before they go to the bank in Buxton, Joseph and Minnie pray for a good outcome. But when they arrive back in Hope Valley, later in the episode, they confess to Rosemary and Lee they didn’t receive the loan. Though no reason was provided, this news upsets both Lee and Rosemary. But Lee isn’t going to give up without a fight. After Minnie and Joseph leave, Lee makes a phone call to his bank teller in Buxton, demanding he give Minnie and Joseph a loan. Toward the end of the episode, Joseph and Minnie tell Rosemary and Lee the good news, as they ended up receiving a loan.

When picking up some biscuits at the café, Elizabeth discovers Anna, one of her recent graduates, has started working there. Though everything looks fine on the surface, Elizabeth can tell something is bothering Anna. Later in the episode, Anna visits Elizabeth at the school. Anna confesses she and her mother are moving to Bellingham. However, Anna doesn’t want to move out of Hope Valley. In fact, she took the job at the café in order to earn money for college. Anna knows she has what it takes to look out for herself in town. After asking Elizabeth for help, Elizabeth vows to help Anna any way she can.

Hanukkah menorah image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/mehorah-with-flaming-candles_3299423.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • At the Mercantile, Ned brings out a Menorah. He tells Florence he hasn’t used it since his previous wife passed away. Florence then says what is important to him is also important to her. I was surprised to discover Ned is Jewish. Faith/religion is only brought up a limited number of times, with Christmas and a baptism being the only religious specific events ever brought up on When Calls the Heart. With that said, Christianity has made more frequent appearances in the show’s script. A few days ago, I realized there has never been an Easter episode of the show. There also hasn’t been a Passover episode either. If When Calls the Heart receives a tenth season, I hope Passover and/or Easter appears in at least one episode.
  • While ‘Hope Valley Days’ is not a bad idea, I was really confused by its concept. If you’re going to create a new holiday, why not create a whole new reason to celebrate? Why take several pre-existing holidays and pair them together? It felt like the show’s creative team wanted to create holiday specific episodes, but never found the time or reason to write them into the script. In order to make up for lost time, my guess is ‘Hope Valley Days’ was the result of all those abandoned ideas.
  • When Elizabeth visits Rosemary and Lee at the Valley Voice, she compliments them on their costumes. For ‘Hope Valley Days’, they chose to dress up as Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. Thinking back on this episode, I have to agree with Elizabeth. Lee and Rosemary looked amazing! Their whole ensemble looked so good, it appeared to come straight out of a Broadway show. Whoever was in charge of Pascale and Kavan’s wardrobe, make-up, and hair should receive an applause!
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you have any theories about Mei? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Bridge on the River Kwai Review

William Holden is an actor who I am familiar with. I have seen some of the films on his filmography and have even reviewed a few. So, when I came across the announcement post for The 5th Golden Boy Blogathon, I saw it as a great opportunity to explore William’s filmography some more! As I was signing up, though, I noticed how The Bridge on the River Kwai hadn’t been selected yet. Surprised by this, I found another good opportunity to check out a “classic”! For years, I had heard of the 1957 film. It is even featured on the American Film Institute’s list of The 100 Greatest American Movies Of All Time. At the publication of this review, I have seen twenty-nine of the movies on this list, in their entirety. Some of these titles have been enjoyable, but there are others I wasn’t a fan of. Where does The Bridge on the River Kwai fall on that spectrum? Keep reading to find out!

The Bridge on the River Kwai poster created by Horizon Pictures and Columbia Pictures

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Since William Holden is one of the reasons why I chose to watch The Bridge on the River Kwai, I’ll talk about his performance first. This is not the first war film William has starred in. Four years prior to the release of The Bridge on the River Kwai, he appeared in Stalag 17. What makes his portrayal of Shears different from Sgt. J.J. Sefton is the material allowed William to expand his acting abilities. While on a beach at a nearby hospital, Shears is flirting with a female nurse. In this scene, William turns on the charm, sharing nice on-screen chemistry with Ann Sears. In the next scene, Shears carries a serious demeanor as he is called upon for a military mission. Out of Williams’ films I have seen, his character presents one of two personas: the “charmer” or the serious, no-nonsense man. In The Bridge on the River Kwai, Shears displayed both.

One of my favorite scenes is when Colonels Nicholson and Saito are attempting to make a negotiation. Colonel Saito, portrayed by Sessue Hayakawa, wants every member of Nicholson’s team to work on the bridge. Colonel Nicholson, portrayed by Alec Guinness, refuses this order. Prior to this scene, Nicholson stood his ground. He was even locked in a small hut because of his refusal. But Nicholson persevered, even carrying a dignified persona that ends up boosting the morale of his team. He consistently maintains this persona, especially during his meeting with Colonel Saito. This dignified, confident demeanor of Nicholson angers Saito. Up until that point, Saito presents himself in a professional manner. He is no-nonsense and doesn’t allow anyone to step out of line. But in his meeting with Nicholson, his anger becomes visible. Both Sessue and Alec gave different performances, portraying two different military leaders. Yet the strength of their acting abilities allowed them to go toe-to-toe with one another.

The scenery: The Bridge on the River Kwai had such magnificent scenery, it honestly stole the show! There are two locations I loved so much, I wanted to talk about them in my review. The first location is the hospital I just mentioned. The Mount Lavinia Hotel was the stand-in for the hospital. When looking at the exterior and grounds, one could see why this location was chosen. The trimmed lawn was a great contrast to the small white structure. The manicured gardens surrounding the hospital created a pleasant outdoor space. In the scene the hospital was featured in, a nearby beach was primarily showcased. The clear blue waters and bright sandy shore paired with the garden-esque surroundings illustrated a tropical oasis!

The second location is Major Warden’s office! Any time a scene took place in his office, glass windows in wooden frames were always open. This allowed the audience to see the beautiful view! Major Warden’s office overlooked a river. Sloping green hills sat on the sides of this river, contributing to the visually appealing view. Similar to the aforementioned hospital, Warden’s office also oversaw a trimmed lawn and manicured gardens. The spacious surroundings of this location presented the audience a peaceful atmosphere!

The music: There were some scenes in The Bridge on the River Kwai that included little to no dialogue. This decision led the film’s creative team to use music to elevate a scene’s tone. While stumbling through the jungle, Shears notices a group of vultures sitting on a nearby tree. As he walks through this environment, quiet orchestral music becomes louder. A “bird” appears out of nowhere, adding to the scene’s tension. The music gets even louder when Shears crosses paths with the “bird”. When the “bird” is revealed as a bird-shaped kite, the music stops. The tension and suspense of this scenario was accomplished by a combination of music and visuals!

The 5th Golden Boy Blogathon banner created by Virginie from The Wonderful World of Cinema, Emily from The Flapper Dame, and Michaela from Love Letters to Old Hollywood

What I didn’t like about the film:

A confusing first half: During the first half of The Bridge on the River Kwai, I was confused by what was happening in the story. This confusion was caused by the lack of explanations. At the prisoner camp, Colonel Saito continuously mentioned the importance of the titular bridge. He stresses how the bridge needs to be built on a specific day, even going so far as to claim he’ll commit suicide if the bridge isn’t built. What Colonel Saito failed to mentioned is the bridge’s purpose. Even though an explanation was eventually provided, it is given at the film’s half-way point. Had this information been given sooner, so much confusion could have been avoided.

A limited amount of urgency: In war films or films that involve a significant amount of action, a strong sense of urgency can be felt throughout the story. This sense of urgency encourages the audience to care about the safety and wellbeing of the characters. But because some scenes in The Bridge on the River Kwai were drawn out, the sense of urgency was limited. Toward the end of the movie, a climactic moment involving the story’s major players takes place. While I won’t spoil the movie, I will say this moment was drawn out a little longer than necessary. The action moved at a slower pace, which also effected the urgency. It seems like this creative decision was made to build suspense. However, it left me, at times, frustrated.

Inconsistent halves: Earlier in this review, I said William Holden was one of the reasons why I chose to watch The Bridge on the River Kwai. Interestingly, his character’s story was the one I found the most engaging. This movie features two major storylines: Colonel Nicholson’s team in the prisoner camp and Shears’ experiences in the military. Since Shears’ story was prominently featured in the film’s second half, I found that half the most interesting. With Shears’ story, there was a strong conflict and an even stronger part of the plot. Meanwhile, Colonel Nicholson’s story seemed to remain at a standstill. Like I also mentioned in this review, the film’s first half was confusing due to the lack of explanations. If The Bridge on the River Kwai had just focused on Shears’ story, the film as a whole would have been more intriguing.

Military plane image created by Brgfx at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by brgfx – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Why is The Bridge on the River Kwai on AFI’s list of The 100 Greatest American Movies Of All Time? I’m not asking this to be disrespectful or mean. I’m asking out of curiosity. When I think of lists like AFI’s, I think of movies that fit one of two categories: those that represent the time they were released and those that brought something new to the cinematic table. With The Bridge on the River Kwai, I can’t see this film fitting into either category. As I mentioned in this review, Stalag 17 was released four years prior to The Bridge on the River Kwai. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison was also released in 1957. With that said, what makes those two films less deserving of being on AFI’s list than The Bridge on the River Kwai? Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any cinematic advancements The Bridge on the River Kwai had to offer. The more films I watch from AFI’s list and the more I think of lists of this nature, I wonder what the criteria is? Was there criteria to begin with or is the list purely subjective? As I explore more “classics”, those are questions I will keep in mind.

Overall score: 7-7.1 out of 10

Have you watched any of William Holden’s movies? If so, which one would you like me to review next? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate Review + 400, 405, and 410 Follower Thank You

To commemorate 18 Cinema Lane receiving over 400 followers, I was looking for the right movie to review for this occasion. But when I recently watched Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ newest film, Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate, I figured, why not give the readers what they want? Out of all the genres I’ve covered on my blog, the mystery genre is the most popular. My reviews of mystery films are some of my most viewed content. Currently, the review with the highest number of views is the one for Hailey Dean Mysteries: A Will to Kill, sitting at 2,053 views and counting! So, this tells me, as a movie blogger, what kind of content my readers are interested in. But, as a movie blogger, I also know mystery films are not created equal. Is Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate the next classic mystery series or a “flash in the pan”? The only way to answer this question is by reading my review!

Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Things I liked about this film:

The acting: Nikki Deloach is one of Hallmark’s strongest actresses. She has proven to have the talent to lead both “rom-coms” (like Truly, Madly, Sweetly) and dramatic films (such as Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Love Takes Flight). Because of her experience working with Hallmark, Nikki was able to pull off an emotionally well-rounded performance in Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate! After finding out who the murder victim is, Nikki’s character, Goldy, is devastated. Presented with tear-filled eyes, a quivering lip, and crossed arms, Goldy’s reaction feels realistic and genuine. Another realistic and genuine performance came from Andrew W. Walker! Over the years, I have seen several films starring Andrew. But most of these pictures have been “rom-coms”, meaning the material was more light-hearted. Andrew’s portrayal of Detective Tom was serious and professional. However, it was never static due to the incorporation of emotion. After Goldy leaves the police station one day, Tom is frustrated by Goldy’s meddling. His eyes contain the irritation he is feeling and his lips are set with a stern look.

The supporting cast was just as solid as the main cast! But there is one performance I want to point out. In some Hallmark productions, a female who is either a businesswoman or wealthier in financial status is presented as an “ice queen”. This means their personality is cold and they seem distant from the rest of the characters. Kendall Cross was cast in Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate as Adele, a wealthy donor of Elk Park Prep. In a scene where Goldy visits Adele at her house, Adele confesses to Goldy something that happened in her past. The look on Adele’s face clearly shows how troubled she was about that past event. The slight frown, a gentler demeanor, and tears appearing in her eyes presents to the viewer how even well-to-do patrons like Adele have mysteries they need to solve. Kendall’s incorporation of genuine emotion allowed her character to break the “ice queen” mold!

Adele’s house: Hallmark films can sometimes feature impressive facilities. Adele’s house in Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate definitely had that “wow” factor! I was head-over-heels when I first saw Adele’s house on screen, the structure boasting a nice mix of dark and light wood. A stunning porch jutted forward above the front door, complete with a clear, glass railing. The house interior was just as breath-taking! In the living room, a marble floor was partially covered by a maroon oriental rug. Medium brown leather armchairs sat in front of a massive gray stone fireplace. Even though the walls were cream colored, they are paired with a collection of antiques and modern art. The room even featured a beautiful marble bar! I’m not sure what this facility’s purpose is in real life. But, to me, it looked like an upscale ski resort!

The cinematography: Since Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate may be the first film in a potential series, I didn’t know what to expect from this production. The cinematography was such an unexpected surprise, especially when it came to the use of close-ups! In Hallmark movies revolving around food, more focus is given to the characters preparing the food instead of the final edible product. But in a few scenes in Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate, there were close-ups of some tasty looking appetizers! This creative decision showed the audience the kind of catering work Goldy specializes in and her clientele. There is one scene where Goldy is hiding in a closet. Since she is captured in close-up shots, an illusion is given to the audience that they are hiding alongside Goldy. In this same scene, someone appears to be approaching the closet. Also captured in close-up shots from Goldy’s hiding place, these images maintain the aforementioned illusion and the intended tone of the scene.

Bakery image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/pattern”>Pattern photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Few opportunities to get acquainted with the characters: At the beginning of any series, the first story typically introduces the audience to the characters and gets them acquainted with the world the characters exist in. But in Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate, these opportunities were either limited or non-existent. Without spoiling the movie, I will say the murder victim was a friend of Goldy’s. This was a strange creative decision because a friend of a mystery series’ protagonist typically sticks around longer than the first film. Having Goldy’s friend become the murder victim was disappointing, as they were killed off before the audience got a chance to know them. Some mystery series protagonists have at least one child. The series’ audience gets to know the protagonist’s child either through conversations with their respective parent or in separate subplots. Goldy has a daughter named Olive. But Olive was only featured in a handful of “don’t blink or you’ll miss her moments”. Once again, I was disappointed by this creative decision, as a good opportunity to get to know Olive was never given.

No balance between career woman and amateur sleuth:  For the most part, the screenwriters of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ series have done a good job showing a healthy balance between a protagonist’s career and their amateur sleuthing. Some noteworthy examples include Aurora from Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Amy from the Mystery 101 series, and Zee from the Martha’s Vineyard Mystery series. But with Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate, there was more emphasis on showing Goldy playing detective than featuring that aforementioned healthy balance. Because I’m not familiar with the catering industry, I was hoping to learn more through this story. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I learned anything new.

Limited amount of humor: As I’ve said in past reviews, humor is typically incorporated into Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ series to give the audience some distance from the heaviness of the murder mystery. In Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate, though, the use of humor was very limited. There were a few times where I found myself laughing out loud. But for the most part, the overall tone was serious, which made the movie feel tonally heavy. It also didn’t help that the story solely focused on the murder mystery, instead of dividing that time with a more light-hearted subplot. The audience wasn’t given many chances to catch a break.

Magnifying glass and fingerprint image created by Alvaro_Cabrera at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/loupe-over-a-fingerprint_853908.htm’>Designed by alvaro_cabrera</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/glass”>Glass vector created by Alvaro_cabrera – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

As the saying goes, “go big or go home”. This quote can be applied to the start of any series. But in the case of Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate, I wish this movie had gone bigger. The pieces to start a potential series are there, ready to spring into action. With this introduction, however, it felt like I walked in on a conversation with little context provided. Similar to Cut, Color, Murder, I found a stronger story idea within Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate. Toward the beginning of the movie, Goldy is catering an event at Elk Park Prep hosted by the Booster Club. While a catering career has rarely been prominently featured in a Hallmark production, I don’t recall Booster Clubs/PTA boards receiving a major focus in any Hallmark film. That could also be said for private schools. I’d like to think Curious Caterer can tell more stories down the road. But with little movement on other mystery titles from Hallmark’s second network, I’m honestly not sure what Curious Caterer’s future will look like.

Before I finish this review, I would like to thank all of my followers for helping 18 Cinema Lane succeed! Achieving such an incredible milestone would not have been possible without you!

Overall score: 7 out of 10

Have you seen Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate? Which stand-alone mystery from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries would you like to see become a series? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Halloween will be Spookier with Upcoming Movie featuring National Costume Store

As I was posting my Sunset Over Hope Valley re-cap on Twitter, I found a movie news story from Variety that caught my eye. According to K. J. Yossman, Spirit Halloween “has teamed with Strike Back Studios, Hideout Pictures and Particular Crowd” to create a film revolving around the national costume store. But unlike the Beanie Babies movie I discussed back in January, where the project focused on the history of the iconic toys, the Spirit Halloween film features a fictional story taking place in a Spirit Halloween store. The article includes a synopsis for the upcoming production, which states:

“When a new Spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle-school friends who think they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store Halloween night,” reads the logline. “But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.”

K. J. Yossman writes how the film is “billed as a family/kids adventure movie”, feeling reminiscent of classic titles like The Goonies, Gremlins, and Monster Squad, according to Strike Back Studios’ president, Noor Ahmed.

Cute Halloween border created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/halloween-background-with-fun-style_1310632.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

While I read this film’s synopsis, it sounded a lot like the video game, Five Nights At Freddy’s. I know stories are bound to get repeated over time. But I also know a Five Nights At Freddy’s movie has been in the pre-production phase since 2015. Ever since that project was announced, there have been setbacks in the creative process. Two directors have stepped down and the script has gone through several re-writes. Meanwhile, the movie featuring Spirit Halloween has completed filming. It is also “aiming for an October 2022 release”. Even though the Five Nights At Freddy’s film is still in the works, it makes me wonder if the script for the Spirit Halloween movie was originally written for the aforementioned project?

What are your thoughts on this piece of movie news? Are you interested in the Spirit Halloween movie or in a Five Nights At Freddy’s film? Please let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

To learn more about the projects discussed in this article, you can visit this link:

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/spirit-halloween-movie-christopher-lloyd-1235230046/

You can also search these videos on Youtube:

‘Five Nights At Freddy’s Movie 2023 Release Date + Major Announcement Soon (FNAF Update)’ from 3C Films

‘Five Nights At Freddy’s Movie UPDATE!! (Will It Release In 2022?!)’ from 3C Films

‘Five Nights At Freddys Movie Just Got TERRIBLE News’ from 3C Films

IMDB’s page on the Five Nights At Freddy’s film also has information in the ‘trivia’ section:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4589218/

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Enjoy the Compliment

At the Soda Fountain, Mike gives Faith a compliment on her hair, which was styled by Fiona in the previous episode. Faith then asks Mei what she should do about it, with Mei telling her to “enjoy the compliment”. While the advice itself is vague, both Faith and Mei bring up a good point. When someone gives us a compliment, we, more often than not, accept it. But once we’ve accepted it, what do we do with that compliment? Sure, we could use that to boost our confidence. Or we could “pay it forward” and give a compliment to someone else. But I feel there must be something more that could be done with any compliment. Sadly, I don’t currently have the answers to solve this dilemma. Until then, let’s begin this re-cap of When Calls the Heart!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.

When Calls the Heart season nine poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel

Season: 9

Episode: 6

Name: Past, Present, Future

Major stories:

Henry, Lucas, and Fiona are still dealing with the woes of the petroleum plant deal. At the plant, Lucas asks Henry why he is against the new investors and Jerome. Henry reveals that, in the court hearing from the earlier seasons, the Pacific Northwest Mining Company was forbidden from re-opening the mines. With Jerome now on board, Henry fears Jerome will try to re-open the mines under a new company name. Lucas and Henry, along with Fiona, visit Bill at his office, in an attempt to remedy the situation. Because money has already exchanged hands, Bill says there isn’t much that can be done. However, he still thinks they should find a way to dissuade the investors without showing their hand. Bill tells Fiona, Lucas, and Henry to keep quiet about their conversation for the time being, especially since several Hope Valley residents lost a family member or friend in the mining accident. When Elizabeth visits Lucas at the saloon, he tells her how much her concern means to him. She then addresses Wyman’s interaction with her in an earlier ninth season episode, asking Lucas if he’ll sell the saloon. Lucas reveals that not only has Wyman left with no forewarning, but how he won’t ever be selling the saloon. Later in the episode, Fiona leaves for San Francisco again, attempting to fix the mess she made. But before she leaves, Henry apologizes to Fiona for how he treated her. This is because he realizes Mike placed Fiona in a situation she was ill-prepared for. Accepting his apology, Fiona agrees with Henry to start their business relationship over.

There have been several changes taking place in Hope Valley. One of them has been increased traffic. Even though some of the town’s residents have not been pleased about some of these changes, Lee has become the most vocal about them. He approaches Bill to see if anything can be done. After Bill reminds him how Mike is now Hope Valley’s mayor, Lee comes up with an idea. This idea is to write an editorial in the Valley Voice about the changes that have taken place. While Lee hopes some issues can be addressed in his editorial, there are some issues that have suddenly popped up. One day, at the Valley Voice office, Lee notices a group of men building something just outside of town. When Lee approaches the men in order to ask questions, one of the men is standoffish with him. As Lee tries to help him carry a plank of wood, the man pushes Lee, which starts a fist fight. Not only is Joseph able to stop the fight, but Lee was able to walk away with minor injuries. Before his article is published, Lee discovers the group of men were building a billboard to advertise jobs at the incoming foundry. But when Lee’s editorial is printed, it causes a buzz in the town. Rosemary warns Lee that even though his words are important, they might not be everyone’s “cup of tea”. Her words of wisdom encourage Lee to cancel additional prints of the new edition of the Valley Voice.

Newspaper image created by Zlatko_plamenov at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-psd/newspaper-mockup_1386098.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/mockup”>Mockup psd created by Zlatko_plamenov – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

One morning, Nathan decides to reacquaint Newton to their Mountie duties. But just as Nathan is about to put the saddle on his horse, Newton becomes skittish. The situation gets worse when Nathan and Newton arrive in town. Nathan is attempting to direct traffic. But the noise and commotion frighten Newton. So, Bill agrees to look after Newton during Nathan’s traffic directing. After the morning’s events, Bill informs Nathan that, for the time being, he has to get permission to ride Newton. This is because Newton’s current demeanor could put both horse and man in danger. Later in the episode, Nathan addresses what Bill told him to Mei. He says she shouldn’t have told Bill about Newton’s issues, as they were none of Bill’s business. But before this conversation, Nathan shared with Mei a past memory that has contributed to his current apprehension toward riding. When he was first learning to ride horses at thirteen, Nathan was thrown off a horse, which caused him to acquire a concussion. This recent apprehension led Nathan to take up Elizabeth’s offer, so he can learn how to drive a vehicle.

Mei is still secretive about her past and reasons for coming to Hope Valley. When Nathan asks Mei why she came to town, she tells him she wanted to see the world. She also tells Nathan Faith sold her on how great Hope Valley is. At the Soda Fountain, Faith asks Mei what happened between her and Jeffery. Mei simply says that her marriage with Jeffery was never going to work. Later in the episode, Bill arrives at the Soda Fountain to get some strawberry ice cream. While there, he wonders if Mei has anything to hide. Mei claims that she has been telling the truth the whole time. But Bill tells her that anyone who fears the truth is hiding more than they’re letting on. Meanwhile, Joseph and Minnie have been considering new steps in their careers. Joseph is still thinking about becoming a partner in Lee’s lumber yard. Minnie also wants to purchase the café from Bill. For now, though, they will continue to pray about it.

While showing Ally how the seltzer squirt bottle works, Robert unintentionally causes a food fight with some of Elizabeth’s students. Not only do these students have to clean up their mess, but Robert is also required to take care of Newton with little to no pay. Ally is proud of her throwing arm, as she claims she threw some ice cream right at Robert’s face. But she also claims the food fight was all meant in good, friendly fun. Later in the episode, Ally visits Elizabeth seeking advice. Even though she had a good time at her grandparents’ house, Ally now feels left out. She says her friends are either too busy interested in “childish” things or are moving on to graduation or taking jobs. Ally is also jealous of Angela’s new friendship with Robert, especially after hearing about their bike ride that happened earlier this season. Elizabeth tells Ally the same thing Nathan told her: to simply remain friends with Robert. She also tells Ally to find people who she feels comfortable with. That way, Ally will have a place to belong, no matter where she is.

<a href=”http://<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/vectors/background’>Background vector created by bluelela – http://www.freepik.com</a>&quot; data-type=”URL” data-id=”<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/vectors/background’>Background vector created by bluelela – http://www.freepik.comStrawberry background image created by Bluelela from freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Toward the end of this episode, Elizabeth asked Joseph to build a book wagon. After seeing a notice on the Valley Voice’s bulletin board, Elizabeth became inspired to deliver books to neighboring towns in the summer. Not only do I like her idea, but I honestly wish this was the basis for When Calls the Heart’s spinoff show. The overarching story could have been similar to shows such as Highway to Heaven and Touched by An Angel: where a new person is helped each episode. Maybe if the spinoff show had a more unique identity, I would have a stronger interest in watching it.
  • As I mentioned in the introduction, Mike gives Faith a compliment. He then invites Faith to dinner at the saloon, with Faith accepting the invitation. Even though Mike is not romantically involved with Faith or Fiona, it makes me wonder if we’ll witness a second love triangle in the future? At this point, it’s way too early to speculate. But after the love triangle that took place from seasons six to eight, I really don’t like the idea of another one.
  • While looking back on Henry’s overarching story, I realize it has, more often than not, been unhappy. Yes, he’s come a long way since the beginning of When Calls the Heart. And we did see a happier side to him in season eight. But giving Henry basically one happy story in nine seasons is, honestly, disappointing. If When Calls the Heart receives a tenth season, I hope Henry catches a break. If he’s not ready to fall in love, that’s ok. As long as Henry is happier than he usually has been.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? How are you enjoying this season so far? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Braving the Storm

Life is filled with storms. Some are “category 5” and affect multiple people. Others are so small, they pass by in the blink of an eye. Whether these storms are literal or figurative, what matters is how you react to them. Storms have come and gone in Hope Valley. When the children of the town were left without a school, the men of Hope Valley came together to build a school that could also double as a church. As the settlers moved into Hope Valley, Rosemary donated her bridesmaid dress material in order for injured settlers to have bandages. These are just two examples of the “storms” that have taken place on When Calls the Heart. The way these characters have reacted allowed their town to remain standing. Speaking of Hope Valley, let’s begin this re-cap of the show!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.

When Calls the Heart season nine poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel

Season: 9

Episode: 5

Name: Journey into Light

Major Stories:

Mr. Landis has, once again, returned to Hope Valley. This time, though, he has come to apologize to Elizabeth. Mr. Landis informs her he will find a way to figure out the credential situation. Meanwhile, Minnie stills does not like Mr. Landis. She does offer him a cranberry muffin as a peace offering. But Minnie feels there’s more that can be done. She comes up with a plan to invite Mr. Landis to dinner. Joseph is skeptical about the plan, but supports his wife. The night of the dinner is met with a rainstorm. Joseph, Angela, and Cooper wonder if Mr. Landis has left town. However, Mr. Landis arrives with a wet coat and a broken umbrella. During pre-dinner tea, Mr. Landis reveals that before he became the district’s superintendent, he was a music teacher. Upon hearing this information, Joseph and Minnie tell Mr. Landis of Angela’s musical talents. Angela and Mr. Landis begin to play the piano. This experience brings joy to Angela’s parents. Cooper was, at first, upset by this duet. Over time, he becomes proud of his sister’s recognition. The next day, Minnie tells Elizabeth the dinner went wonderfully. Elizabeth is just as surprised as the Canfields were by Mr. Landis’ musical abilities. Before he leaves Hope Valley, Mr. Landis shares with Elizabeth how he plans to return to music.

Fiona has returned from San Francisco. When she arrives, Henry finds her asleep in the carriage. Fiona attempts to tell Henry her news. But he suggests she go home and get some rest. Henry also has news to share with Fiona, that he’s staying with the petroleum plant. But the timing is never right. One day, Henry receives a letter about why Fiona went to San Francisco. While there, she found a group of investors to join the petroleum plant. Upset by this information, he visits Fiona at the barber shop. Henry shares how he feels with her, stating how he wanted to string these investors along in order to learn their motive. After hearing what Henry had to say, Fiona realizes she made a mistake. Also, in Hope Valley, Lucas and Mike were spotted talking with Wyman. This concerns both Nathan and Bill.

String of musical notes image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/pentagram-vector_710290.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundvector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Ally has come home from her grandparents’ house. Though she had a good time, she missed Hope Valley. But Ally missed Robert the most, besides Nathan. The new ice cream parlor and Mei excite Ally. She’s also excited that Robert sometimes works at the ice cream parlor. What doesn’t excite Ally is Nathan’s moustache, which he shaves off after their heart-to-heart conversation. During this conversation, Nathan reveals the car crash that injured him and Newton. Understandably, Ally is upset that she wasn’t told this information sooner. She does forgive Nathan because he explains how he didn’t want to worry Ally on her trip. Their heart-to-heart conversation also provides a good opportunity for Ally to share her growing feelings for Robert. Nathan’s advice for Ally is to, for now, just remain friends with Robert. Later in the episode, Nathan and Lucas hold a race, with Lucas riding on his motorcycle and Nathan riding on Elizabeth’s horse, Sargent. This race was the result of a disagreement that started when Nathan learned Lucas bought Lee’s motorcycle. The event itself starts earlier than expected, with Mike accidently dropping the starting flag. During the race, Lucas runs out of gas. Nathan offers to help, but Lucas refuses, saying how he’ll walk the bike back to town. This mechanical difficulty allows Nathan to win the race. When Lucas returns to Hope Valley, Elizabeth is waiting for him at the gas station.

While things are going well at the Valley Voice, Rosemary worries she and Lee are growing apart. Lee has recruited Joseph’s help with a project. This has caused Rosemary to become suspicious. While moving some papers on Lee’s desk, Rosemary finds an unaddressed poem. She wonders if Lee wrote it for someone else. At Elizabeth’s house one evening, Rosemary shares her feelings and the poem she found. Elizabeth encourages Rosemary to be honest with Lee. The next day, Lee tells Rosemary how he wants to spend more time with her, as work has taken up so much of their time. This surprises Rosemary and debunks her concerns. Lee reveals the project he and Joseph were working on: a lawn chair set. These connected lawn chairs face in opposite directions. This is because Rosemary likes to look out at the garden and Lee likes to look at the hills. The lawn chairs also allow Rosemary and Lee to turn to each other. Lee then recites the poem Rosemary found on his desk, revealing how the poem was for her all along.

Envelope with hearts image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/hearts-and-pink-envelope-for-mothers-day_1950691.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/love”>Love image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • It was such a pleasant surprise to find the Canfield family’s swing on the church/school grounds! Yet, the more I think about it, the more this decision makes sense. In season eight, Joseph built that swing for his family. After he became Hope Valley’s preacher, donating the swing to the church was likely his way of giving back to the community. The swing itself will be beneficial for church and school gatherings. I like how it didn’t get lost in the show’s shuffle of stories!
  • In the previous Sunset Over Hope Valley post, I said Elizabeth should face accountability for her actions. While I still think this is true, Elizabeth should also not receive credit for someone else’s efforts. Toward the end of this episode, Mr. Landis thanks Elizabeth for helping him rethink his priorities. But his musical passions were reignited because of his dinner with the Canfield family, which was Minnie’s idea. I know Mr. Landis was in Hope Valley because of Elizabeth’s mistakes. However, he ended up giving Elizabeth more credit than she deserved.
  • During the aforementioned heart-to-heart conversation between Ally and Nathan, Ally calls Nathan “dad”. Even though it was a simple comment said in passing, this is, actually, a big deal. For one, it maintains the consistency of this particular part of the show’s overarching story. It also shows how Ally has become comfortable enough to call Nathan “dad”. While everything seems well in Nathan and Ally’s world, it will be interesting to see who Ally calls “mom”.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you have any predictions for the next one? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Gold Sally Awards Returns with the Best Supporting Actor and Actress Polls!

Hello everyone! The Gold Sally Awards’ polls are back! This time, you get to choose who will be crowned best supporting actor and actress of the year. Both polls will begin today, on April 1st, and end on April 8th. While you can vote for more than one nominee, you can only vote once per person. The link to the polls will be located under each poll. Just click on the word ‘PollMaker’.

Who is the Best Supporting Actor of 2021?

 

1. Noriyuki “Pat” Morita — The Karate Kid (1984)
2. Van Heflin — The Three Musketeers (1948)
3. Jeff Conaway — Making of a Male Model
4. William R. Moses — Perry Mason: The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host
5. Anthony Hopkins — The Elephant Man
6. John Huntington — Rigoletto
7. Robert Mitchum — Cape Fear (1962)
8. Booboo Stewart — Let Him Go
9. Andy Devine — A Star Is Born (1937)
10. Reilly Dolman — Poisoned in Paradise: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery
Created with PollMaker
Who is the Best Supporting Actress of 2021?

 

1. Marion O’Dwyer — Chasing Leprechauns
2. Jacqueline Chan — The World of Suzie Wong
3. Lesley Manville — Let Him Go 
4. Alex Datcher — Perry Mason: The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host
5. Jean Porter — Bathing Beauty
6. Tracey Williams — Rigoletto
7. Marisol Nichols — Holly and Ivy
8. Rita Moreno — The King and I (1956)
9. Lori Martin — Cape Fear (1962)
10. Nhi Do — Poisoned in Paradise: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery
Created with PollMaker

Have fun voting!

Sally Silverscreen