Top 5 Hallmark Films Based on a True Story

Last December, I was nominated for The Pick My Movie Tag by Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews. My selected topic was “A list of must-watch Hallmark film star biopics”. In my quest to find these kinds of films, however, I found very few Hallmark titles about film stars, especially those I’ve seen. More often than not, I came across Hallmark movies that were based on true stories that were not celebrity related. Therefore, I decided for this tag I would write about the top five Hallmark films based on a true story! Before I list the tag’s rules, I’d like to thank Gill for the nomination, as Gill’s thoughtfulness is appreciated.

The Tag’s Rules

  • Nominate one or more people to review the film or films of your choice. Or you can request they review something from a certain year, genre, or star. Everyone can review the same thing, or you can request each person cover something different. As long as it’s something they haven’t written about yet, you’re good.
  • Nominees are allowed to request a different pick for whatever reason no more than five times. Stuff happens. We all know it.
  • Nominees must thank the person who nominated them and provide a link their blog.
  • Nominees may nominate others to keep the tag going. Picking the person who nominated them is allowed, or they can nominate someone else. Maybe both.
  • All participants need to include these rules in their post, whether they’re nominees or picking nominees.
  • All participants should use the “Pick My Movie” banner or something similar in their posts.
  • Have fun!
The Pick My Movie Tag banner created by Rebecca from Taking Up Room and found on Realweegiemidget Reviews

1. The Christmas Choir (2008)

It’s been years since I’ve seen The Christmas Choir. From what I remember, I enjoyed this film! The cast as a whole is strong. Quality in acting talents and screenwriting allow the characters to come across as realistic and endearing. The Christmas Choir is one of Hallmark’s more unique Christmas titles, as it doesn’t follow a formula or contain a certain set of Christmas movie tropes and cliches. In fact, it’s surprising this film isn’t a Hallmark Hall of Fame production, as the story of a choir that started in a homeless shelter seems like the perfect material for that collection of movies. Another thing I remember about The Christmas Choir is the genuine good-heartedness the film exuded. As the Christmas season is on the horizon, this may be a movie I end up revisiting!

2. Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009)

I first talked about this film in my tier rank list of all the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies I’ve seen. In that list, I mentioned the film’s presentation, as the film itself felt like a theatrical release. However, that’s not the only strength The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler contains. Historical accuracy is an element that Hallmark Hall of Fame productions have, more often than not, executed well. This film is no exception, as the movie appropriately reflects the story’s time period! Movies like The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler make me wish Hallmark had created more period dramas. Yes, we have When Calls the Heart. But, to me, that feels like the exception to the rule.

3. Hallmark Hall of Fame’s A Smile as Big as the Moon (2012)

If you asked me to name a “space camp” movie, A Smile as Big as the Moon is the first one that comes to mind. As I said in my aforementioned tier rank list, this film is the perfect example of what a Hall of Fame title should be. I still stand by that statement, with the movie containing so many good components! Similar to The Christmas Choir, the strong acting performances and screenwriting brought to life characters that were worth rooting for. It was also interesting to see what it takes to be enrolled in space camp. The story’s messages and themes are just as relevant today as they were in 2012 or even the late 80s, when the story takes place. A Smile as Big as the Moon is a Hallmark Hall of Fame title that I consider a classic!

4. The Color of Rain (2014)

In my opinion, The Color of Rain is Lacey Chabert’s best film from Hallmark. One reason why is the story in this film is so different from those in Lacey’s other Hallmark movies. The Color of Rain does contain sadder moments, as both families are dealing with the death of a family member. But similar to films like Holly and Ivy, the movie’s creative team adopted a balance between sorrow and joy. It also helps how the cast’s acting talents were strong, as it allowed the characters to be memorable. The more I think about The Color of Rain, the more it feels like a Hallmark Hall of Fame title.

5. A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love (2019)

Personally, I enjoyed this sequel in the “Godwink” series more than the first film. A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love does a better job at explaining and showcasing what a “Godwink” is. Like Holly and Ivy and The Color of Rain, this movie’s creative team successfully balances joy and sorrow. I also think Cindy Busby’s portrayal of Alice is one of her best performances, as it is well-rounded and contained emotionality. In a year when Hallmark premiered new films weekend after weekend, A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love was, to me, one of their stand-outs. I may have to seek out the other two films in this series.

Movie time image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Nominations

  • Jillian from The Classic Film Connection – A Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring at least one “classic” film star
  • Rebecca from Taking Up Room – A vampire film released after 1960
  • Eric from Diary of a Movie Maniac – A made-for-TV movie from the 1990s
  • Andrew from The Stop Button – An underrated sports film
  • J-Dub from Dubsism – Another entry in the Movies Everybody Loves That I Hate series

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

The Conclusion to my 80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature!

The films I reviewed in this double feature, The Legend of Billie Jean and Night of the Comet, were referenced by Dan, from the Youtube channel, This is Dan Bell. Because both movies were classified as “mall movies”, I assumed at least one of these titles would primarily take place in a mall. But after I watched The Legend of Billie Jean and Night of the Comet, I discovered this was not the case, as both stories featured a mall for a very short amount of time. This made me reflect on the idea of movies being defined by a singular location and the inconsistency of that idea. As I’ve already said, Night of the Comet and The Legend of Billie Jean are labeled “mall movies”, despite their respective malls not being the story’s primary setting. Yet, I have never heard anyone call Phantom of the Megaplex a “movie theater movie”, even though more than fifty percent of that film takes place at the Megaplex movie theater. This can also be said about the “destination film”. Whenever a protagonist in a Hallmark movie travels to somewhere other than their small hometown, “destination film” is the distinction these titles are given. But by Hallmark’s logic, wouldn’t the Fast & Furious films be considered “destination films”, especially since, more often than not, the characters are shown traveling to destinations outside the United States? The idea of movies being defined by a singular location and its inconsistency is a fascinating one that might be covered in a future editorial or double feature!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Image by Freepik

If you want to read the other articles associated with this double feature, I’ll provide the links here:

The 80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Introduction!

Take 3: Night of the Comet Review (80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Part 1)

Take 3: The Legend of Billie Jean Review (80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Part 2)

Take 3: Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Corsican Brothers Review

When I reviewed the 1982 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Witness for the Prosecution, back in July, I stated how I didn’t think I’d ever see the film. This was due to the movie’s lack of DVD or VHS release. But this is not the only Hallmark Hall of Fame production I didn’t think I would ever receive the opportunity to watch. One of these titles is the 1985 film adaptation, The Corsican Brothers. Similar to Witness for the Prosecution, the 1985 title didn’t receive a VHS or DVD release, as far as I know. Also similar to Witness for the Prosecution, I was able to locate the full movie on Youtube! Besides these similarities, both films star Donald Pleasence. In fact, Donald’s involvement in The Corsican Brothers is one of the reasons why I chose to review this film, as I’m participating in The Devilishly Delightful Donald Pleasence Blogathon!

The Corsican Brothers poster created by Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Norman Rosemont Productions, and CBS

Things I liked about the film:

The scenery: Within the movie’s introduction, there is a shot of the ocean surrounding Corsica. As the introduction continues, rocky terrains, rolling hills, and a city on a mountain are also showcased. The natural beauty of this island was captured well on film, making outdoor scenes visually appealing. When scenes took place in the town, quaint looking buildings met cobble stoned streets. A fountain was located in the town’s square. From a visual perspective, the town looked peaceful. It resembled Wanda’s hometown in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, In Love and War!

The historical accuracy: According to the film’s introduction, the story begins in 1820. Though the majority of the story revolves around Louis and Lucien’s life as adults, the film still takes place in the 19th century. While watching The Corsican Brothers, I was impressed by the historical accuracy shown on screen! Furniture is one example of this. In a scene where the camera pans over a section of a study room, a green embroidered chair with bolted upholstery was featured. An oil lamp was also included in the room. The windows boasted a lattice design, which highlighted an old-world charm to the titular characters’ home. These details provided a nice blend of the characters’ past and present!

The Devilishly Delightful Donald Pleasence Blogathon banner created by Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews and Barry from Cinematic Catharsis

What I didn’t like about the film:

The underutilization of Donald Pleasence: As I stated in the introduction, Donald Pleasence is one of the reasons why I chose to review this adaptation of The Corsican Brothers. As this is his second Hallmark Hall of Fame production I’ve seen and reviewed, I was eager to witness more of his acting talents. But, to my disappointment, Donald only appeared in about three and a half scenes. He did a good job with the acting material he was given. However, it made me wonder why he was cast in this movie in the first place, especially if the role didn’t allow his talents to be fully showcased?

Unexplained parts of the story:  I have never read this film’s source material. Despite this, I expected The Corsican Brothers to be like other adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ stories; exciting tales full of adventure and intrigue. With the 1985 Hallmark Hall of Fame project, however, I was, more often than not, confused by what was happening on screen. At the beginning of the movie, a voice-over talks about how the region of Corsica is overruled by a multi-generational long vendetta. What this voice-over forgets to mention is how and why this vendetta started. From time to time, a mysterious woman appeared in Corsica, giving some of the characters fates. No explanations are provided for who this woman is or why she wants to get involved in the story’s events.

Little to no sense of urgency: In the adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ stories I’ve seen, a common ingredient is a sense of urgency. Since there is a sense of adventure found in these stories, an added element of urgency gives the audience a reason to stay invested in the characters and their journey. With The Corsican Brothers, though, this sense of urgency was almost non-existent. I’d say about fifty percent of this movie showed Louis attending fancy events in Paris. Even when parts of the story were meant to be exciting, they either came across as anti-climactic or were not shown on screen. A good example is the trial in Paris that Louis is a part of.

Limited use of lighting: In a few scenes, events took place at night. But because of the limited use of lighting, it was difficult to see what was happening on screen. It got to the point where I couldn’t see characters’ faces. I am aware cinematic technology in the mid-80s was not as advanced as it is today, especially when it comes to made-for-tv films. Had the creative team of The Corsican Brothers incorporated a little more light to the nighttime scenes, it would have remedied the issue.

Hand-written letter image created by Veraholera at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Veraholera – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/love-letter-pattern_1292902.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

When creating a book-to-film adaption, you should strive to create a movie that satisfies both the casual viewer and readers of the source material. As I stated in this review, I have never read The Corsican Brothers. Instead of being invested in the characters and their stories, I was, more often than not, confused by the events on screen. It felt like the creative team behind the movie expected the audience to have read the book prior to watching their presentation. Story related flaws are not the only flaws that stood out to me. Limited use of lighting made nighttime scenes difficult to see. The underutilization of Donald Pleasence also didn’t help. Not all Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are created equal, as some are bound to be better than others. Sadly, The Corsican Brothers isn’t one of the better ones.

Overall score: 5.5 out of 10

Have you seen The Corsican Brothers? What’s your favorite adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ literary work? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: A Quiet Place Review + 445 Follower Thank You

This month, 18 Cinema Lane received 445 followers! Therefore, a Blog Follower Dedication Review is in order! Since October is typically known as the Halloween season, I wanted to select a film that was appropriate for this time of year. But I’m also participating in Genre Grandeur, where the theme this month is ‘Movies Directed by the Main Actor/Actress’. So, as the title of this review says, I have chosen to write about A Quiet Place! Prior to this review, I had heard of the 2018 film. Mixed results are what I have heard; either viewers have loved the movie or they thought the story’s logistics didn’t make sense. I’ve also heard A Quiet Place is a horror film that thinks outside the box. This is another reason why I chose to review this movie, as I don’t often talk about titles from the horror genre.

A Quiet Place poster created by Platinum Dunes, Sunday Night Productions, and Paramount Pictures

Things I liked about the film:

The family dynamic: John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are two actors I am familiar with, primarily for their comedic performances. With John, I have seen clips of The Office, while one of Emily’s most notable performances was in The Devil Wears Prada. As I’ve said before on 18 Cinema Lane, I’ve seen more comedic actors successfully transition to dramatic acting. John’s and Emily’s performance definitely stuck the landing, as they were both able to convey a variety of emotions through facial expressions and body language! Portraying John and Emily’s on-screen children were Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds, and Cade Woodward. Adding their strong performances, the Abbott family had a really good family dynamic that felt believable and genuine. Toward the beginning of the film, Cade’s character, Beau, really wants a toy space shuttle. However, the toy makes noise, which is a no-no within the Abbott family’s world. Through sign language and facial expressions, John’s character, Lee, explains how Beau can’t have the toy. Beau’s response was a look of pure sadness and confusion on his face. Another memorable scene was when Regan refused a new cochlear implant. Throughout the film, Lee attempts to create a functioning cochlear implant for his daughter. When he gives Regan the implant, Lee is optimistic it will work this time, wide eyes and even a smile conveying this optimism. Regan is not impressed with the new implant, as she’s frustrated at the idea of another implant not working. She not only expresses frustration on her face, she even pushes away her father’s hand.  

The atmosphere: As I mentioned in my point about the family dynamic, noise is a no-no in the Abbott family’s world. That’s because unidentified extraterrestrial creatures have taken over their environment, destroying anyone or anything that makes noise. Right in the very first scene, the audience can see how these creatures have driven people away from a small town. It looks like what most people would call a “ghost town”; cars frozen in the street and leaves slowly blowing through the air. The store where the Abbott family visits appears to be an urban explorer’s dream. Natural light from the store’s windows provides the facility’s only source of light. Products are strewn on the floor, waiting for someone to finally pick them up. Cinematography and inclusion of light help create a film that feels very atmospheric!

Use of sound: Even though the Abbott family try to create as little sound as possible, the film itself was not devoid of sound. At various moments in the story, natural sound could be heard whenever the family traveled from place to place. One notable example is when Noah’s character, Marcus, and Lee walk near a river. Sounds could also be heard through headphones or earbuds. In a scene where Lee and Emily’s character, Evelyn, are slow dancing, Evelyn puts one of her earbuds in Lee’s ear. Not only can the song be heard through the earbud, the song is amplified so the audience can hear it too. It serves as a reminder how sound, even noise, plays a role in our lives.

Sunny autumn landscape picture created by Kotkoa at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/autumn-forest_1436222.htm’>Designed by Kotkoa</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Kotkoa – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A film that doesn’t feel like a horror film: Like I said in my introduction, A Quiet Place is a horror film. Even the poster bears the hallmarks of a typical horror production. But, to me, A Quiet Place didn’t feel like a horror movie. Sure, there were terrifying moments in the story. But, if anything, the film felt like a dystopian/apocalyptic film with sci-fi elements. As I watched A Quiet Place, it reminded me of a more creative version of Signs.

Questions that are left unanswered: While I appreciate the film’s creative team respecting the audience’s intelligence, there were some questions I wish were answered. For instance, why did the Abbott family choose not to wear shoes? During Lee and Marcus’ hike, they cross paths with an elderly couple. Who were they and why did the elderly man want the creatures to capture him? Couldn’t the couple join the Abbott family and seek safety together?

The science’s confusing logic: As Marcus and Lee attempt to catch fish in a river, Lee explains how it’s ok to make small sounds. While big sounds are bad, they can be cancelled out with bigger sounds. With this logic in mind, why aren’t the extraterrestrial creatures congregating near the river? Why would they even bother trying to capture people, animals, and objects that make noise? Statements like Lee’s made the story somewhat confusing.

Sign language alphabet image created by Freepik at freepik.com. Hand sign vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

My overall impression:

Before I share my overall impression of A Quiet Place, I’d like to thank all of 18 Cinema Lane’s followers! You are the reason why I continue to write and publish so many Blog Follower Dedication Reviews! Now, on to my thoughts on A Quiet Place. I will admit this is a fine, ambitious film that is one of the more unique titles of this nature. However, some aspects of the project could have been stronger. Like I said in my review of Night of the Comet, you need to explain the science in your science fiction story, especially in a way that satisfies the audience. While some of the science in A Quiet Place was explained, other parts of the story were confusing. The movie, to me, felt less like a horror movie and more like a dystopian/apocalyptic film with sci-fi elements. This makes the film’s marketing, as well as its horror classification, somewhat misleading. I am aware there is a sequel to A Quiet Place. Because I thought the movie was just fine, I’m not rushing to see the sequel anytime soon.

Overall score: 7 out of 10

Have you seen A Quiet Place? What movie do you like to watch around Halloween? Please tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Harvey (1972) Review

One of the first movies I reviewed this year was the 1950 film, Harvey. Since publishing my review back in January, that movie has become the most disappointing one I’ve seen this year, so far. Jillian, from The Classic Film Connection, recommended I give this story a second chance by checking out the 1972 Hallmark Hall of Fame production. Since this title is a remake and since I’m participating in The “Take Two!” Blogathon (which focuses on remakes), I found the perfect opportunity to watch this movie! When I reviewed 1950’s Harvey, I questioned what the point of the story was. This is because I was confused by what the movie’s creative team was trying to say through their project. Will I be less confused by the 1972 adaptation? Keep reading if you want to find out!

Harvey (1972) poster created by Foote, Cone and Belding Productions, Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Talent Associates-Norton Simon, and National Broadcasting Company (NBC)

Things I liked about the film:

Changes from the original film: As I said in my review of the 1950 film, there were things about Harvey I didn’t like. One of them was the medical negligence Veta experiences at Chumley’s Rest. In the 1972 version, that specific scene plays out differently. When Veta is being interviewed by Dr. Lyman Sanderson, he notices how distressed Veta appears. Her body language, tone of voice, and tears are noted by the doctor as he listens to what Veta has to say. This leads Dr. Lyman to admit Veta into the hospital for her well-being. The mix-up is presented as an example of good intentions leading to bad results. The film’s dramatic tone also helps elaborate how terrifying Veta’s experience would be.

A sense of magical realism: An element I thought was lacking in the 1950 version of Harvey was a sense of ‘magical realism’. Because the story featured a 6 foot 3 ½ inch, invisible white rabbit, I thought that aforementioned element would be automatically included in the film. In the 1972 adaptation, there was a stronger sense of ‘magical realism’ within the overall story. At the hospital, a hat with two holes on top is found in Dr. Lyman Sanderson’s office. The staff question who this hat could possibly belong to. Since the holes on the hat would allow rabbit ears to stick out, the hat itself implies Harvey does exist. This along with other strange occurrences in the story show how the film’s creative team put more effort into including ‘magical realism’.

The acting: When I reviewed the 1950 version of Harvey, I talked about James Stewart’s portrayal of Elwood P. Dowd, saying it was “laid-back” and “somewhat philosophical”. Reprising this role in the 1972 version of the story, James brought these same elements to his performance. But this time, his portrayal of Elwood reminded me of Mister Rogers from Mister Rogers Neighborhood. What I mean by this is Elwood came across as the type of man you’d want to spend hours having a conversation with. Elwood’s approachable and pleasant persona make him such a fascinating individual. If Elwood P. Dowd existed in the real world, I’d like to think he’d come up with an interesting TED Talk!

Despite appearing in the film for a limited period of time, I liked Madeline Kahn’s portrayal of Nurse Ruth Kelly! Her pleasant on-screen personality allowed her to stand out and give a memorable performance! Her interactions with the other characters also came across as realistic. After Veta was admitted to the hospital, Dr. Lyman has difficulty finding her. In a state of panic, he thinks Veta escaped. Sensing Dr. Lyman’s panic, Ruth becomes concerned. Her face has fallen from the smile she usually carries and her tone of voice contains a sense of dread. There’s even an ounce of timidness to her overall demeanor. Scenes like this one make me wish Madeline was given more on-screen appearances.

The “Take Two!” Blogathon banner created by Annette from Hometowns to Hollywood

What I didn’t like about the film:

Most of the story being rehashed: When creating a remake of a pre-established story, it’s important to do two things: respect the source material that came before your project and bring your own voice to the table. In the case of Hallmark Hall of Fame’s version of Harvey, more emphasis was placed on respecting the original film. While this idea isn’t a bad one, the 1972 movie’s creative team didn’t allow themselves to create a unique identity for their project. The sets in this film looked almost exactly like they did in the 1950 film. The story, more often than not, followed the 1950 movie’s narrative, making very few deviations. While watching the 1972 version of Harvey, I wondered, at times, why this remake exists?

A televised version of a play: In my review of Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Foxfire, I talked about how that title felt more like a televised play. This is because the 1987 film contained a smaller cast and a condensed story. The 1972 adaptation of Harvey also felt like a televised version of a play. Fewer locations are a reason why. In the 1950 version, Elwood is shown taking Harvey to Charlie’s Pub. Elwood simply recalls this experience in the 1972 version. What’s also important to note is how the 1972 story takes place in either the hospital or the Dowd family home.

The underutilization of Betty Chumley: At one point in the 1972 story, Elwood makes plans with Dr. Chumley’s wife, Betty, to meet at Charlie’s Pub and share drinks. But because this trip was never shown on-screen, Betty received one less on-screen appearance. Within the story, she only appeared in two scenes. Personally, I think Betty should have had a stronger significance in the film.

Collection of white rabbit images created by freepik at freepik.com Hand drawn vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

My overall impression:

After publishing my review of the 1950 version of Harvey, Jillian, from The Classic Film Connection, explained how the story’s point was “about the right to be uniquely yourself and live life on your own terms”. Now that I’ve seen the 1972 version of this story, I think the Hallmark Hall of Fame film did a better job at executing this idea. What worked in the movie’s favor was how the story was just a drama instead of trying to be both a drama and comedy. Scenes like Veta’s hospital admittance elaborated how terrifying her situation would be. There was also a sense of ‘magical realism’, something I thought was lacking in the 1950 film. However, the majority of the 1972 movie was a copy of the 1950 movie. In 1993, Hallmark Hall of Fame released the film, To Dance With the White Dog. Based on what I know about the story, it sounds like a version of Harvey. But this time, a man sees a white dog only he can see. Maybe I’ll write about that movie in a future review.

Overall score: 6.1 out of 10

Have you seen any version of Harvey? Are there any Hallmark Hall of Fame movies you’d like to see me review? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Happily Ever After

Well, this is it. The final re-cap of Chesapeake Shores. They say “nothing lasts forever”. But honestly, I didn’t think this show would end as soon as it has, especially since I’ve never re-capped a show that was ending before. I will admit I was skeptical of the last season’s overall quality. Since last seasons of television shows are more often than not weak, I wondered if Chesapeake Shores would be any different. For the most part, though, this season has been fine. I like how the show’s creative team emphasized tying up loose ends and creating a cohesive narrative. Are there stories that could have been better written? Sure. Compared to other last seasons, however, the stories could have been a lot worse. I know six seasons is a pretty good run. This show has had its stellar and not-so-stellar moments since it came to Hallmark in 2016. However, in my opinion, Chesapeake Shores never became “bad tv”. I never walked away from it, like I did with Good Witch, and the resolutions were more satisfying than Cedar Cove.

Just a reminder: If you did not see this series finale of Chesapeake Shores, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores season six poster created by Hallmark Media and Hallmark Channel

Season: 6

Episode: 10

Name: All or Nothing at All

Abby and Evan’s story: Abby receives news that Mick is retiring, leaving the O’Brien’s construction company solely to her. As the business’ new leader, one of the first things she does is offer Mandrake an assistant position, which he says he’ll consider. She also crosses paths with Evan, who is still thinking about his father, John. During their interaction, Evan shares with Abby how his mom has had bad taste in boyfriends. He even recalls how his mom’s last boyfriend was so abusive, he and his mom were forced to flee their home. After his conversation with Abby, Evan decides to give John a second chance. Evan finds John on the beach, considering going kayaking. Not only does Evan apologize for his behavior in the previous episode, he and John reminisce over the memory of Evan’s mom. They also agree to go kayaking, as John tries to do one new thing every week. After Mick and Megan’s wedding, Evan takes Abby to his new house. Even though she is impressed by what she sees, Abby is surprised to hear jazz music playing throughout the house, knowing how much she loves it and Evan doesn’t. She is also surprised when Evan proposes to her. Not only does she say yes, Abby also agrees to move in to Evan’s new home.

Mick and Megan’s story: Mick and Megan share their engagement news while meeting their grandson. They plan to re-marry within that week, agreeing with Jess to host the wedding service at the bed and breakfast. Megan also plans to take some time off work, in order for her and Mick to finally take that trip around the world. With the wedding fast approaching, Megan is still looking for “something old”. Mick ends up re-giving Megan her old wedding band, revealing he never got rid of it. The day of the wedding arrives, with the ceremony running smoothly. Mick and Megan host their reception at the O’Brien family home.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: Kevin successfully delivers his son, who he and Sarah name Mick Jr. After they arrive home from the hospital, Kevin plans to visit some universities, in order to see which medical school will be the right choice for him. He not only visits John Hopkins, he also considers applying to University of Pittsburgh. Toward the end of the episode, Kevin reveals he will apply to both universities.

Wedding couple image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/hand-drawn-wedding-invitation-with-happy-couple_1259848.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Connor and Margaret’s and Jess and David’s story: Margaret is upset Connor took Mr. Peck’s case against her wishes. Despite co-leading the firm, she doesn’t feel like an equal partner. Margaret eventually forgives Connor, as she discovers who likely framed Mr. Peck. According to the documents David gave Connor and Margaret, it appears Baron, Mr. Peck’s business associate, was taking the money. Though the documents don’t prove anything, they could help them possibly win the case. Margaret and Connor visit David at The Inn at Eagle Point to share the good news. Later that day, David shares this good news with Jess. He also thanks Jess for supporting him during his family’s struggles. Jess has good news to share too, as she reveals she is pregnant.

Bree and Luke’s story: Luke has been reflecting on his recent experiences. He feels Bree shouldn’t be dating him, as he doesn’t want to burden her. Luke arrives at Bree’s house to tell her how he feels. Bree doesn’t want to end their relationship, as she wants to stand by Luke through his struggles. At first, Luke decides he isn’t attending Mick and Megan’s wedding, as he wants to make “a clean getaway”. But he changes his mind, with him and Bree agreeing to give their relationship a chance.

Wedding dress image 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.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Toward the end of this episode, there was a montage of the O’Brien family sitting around the fire pit over the show’s six seasons. A female vocalist sang the show’s theme song as the images played on screen. While this was a simpler way to commemorate Chesapeake Shores, I liked this part of the episode. It was not only bittersweet, but also a nice trip down memory lane.  
  • Similar to the previous episode, there were too many stories in the series finale. As I’ve said before, I recognize the show’s creative team tried their best to tie up as many loose ends as they could. For the most part, they did a job well done. But I wish some of these stories had been drawn out throughout the season. Mr. Peck’s case is a good example of this, as it could have received a stronger resolution.
  • While Nell was mentioned throughout the final season, I wish she had appeared in, at least, the last episode. I’m not sure why Diane Ladd didn’t appear in the sixth season. But her absence in this chapter was definitely felt. In the previous season, Nell seemed to get along really well with Arthur. I honestly thought this relationship would be revisited before the show ended. Sadly, it looks like that story will never get resolved.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Legend of Billie Jean Review (80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Part 2)

Hello and welcome to the second part of the 80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature! Before this review begins, I’d like to remind my readers there will be spoilers for The Legend of Billie Jean. If you’re interested, you can check out the double feature’s introduction and first part at these links:

The 80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Introduction!

Take 3: Night of the Comet Review (80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Part 1)

The Legend of Billie Jean poster created by Delphi III Productions, The Guber-Peters Company, and Tri-Star Pictures

1. How were you introduced to The Legend of Billie Jean?

Before I started watching Dan Bell’s Dead Mall series, I had heard of The Legend of Billie Jean. It wasn’t until I saw the video, ‘DEAD MALL SERIES : Tour of the SUNRISE MALL from THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN (1985)’, that my interest in the film piqued. In this 2016 video, Dan uses clips from The Legend of Billie Jean to compare how Sunrise Mall looks in the 21st century. He even discusses the history of the mall itself.

2. As of 2022, what is the state of the Sunrise Mall?

The portions of the mall that were featured in Dan’s video permanently closed in 2019. Only three tenants are still standing, which are connected to the mall’s exterior.

3. What role did the Sunrise Mall play in The Legend of Billie Jean?

In The Legend of Billie Jean, the Sunrise Mall was called ‘Ocean Park Mall’. It was the place Billie Jean agreed to meet the police in order to accept the money. Prior to this arrangement, Billie Jean’s brother, Binx, had his scooter destroyed. Billie Jean and her friends turn to the police with little success. She even tries to acquire the money to repair Binx’s scooter. One thing leads to another, causing Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends to run from the law. When Billie Jean arrives at Ocean Park Mall, she thinks she’ll finally get the money. But those plans don’t work out, with a chase scene ensuing.

4. Why do you think the Sunrise Mall was in the film for a short amount of time?

The Legend of Billie Jean is an expansive narrative, similar to Night of the Comet. As I said in answer number three, Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends go on the run. Because of this, the characters are not going to stay in the same place for an extended period of time. Around the filming and release of The Legend of Billie Jean, the Sunrise Mall was a business that relied on daily revenue and foot traffic. Therefore, the mall could only allow filming to take place within a certain time period.

5. Besides including a mall and focusing on teenage characters, do The Legend of Billie Jean and Night of the Comet share a common theme, idea, or message?

Like I mentioned in answer number three, the film’s conflict started because Binx’s scooter was destroyed. After the scooter was stolen by a neighborhood bully named Hubie, Binx’s attempt to retrieve it resulted in him getting beaten up by Hubie and his friends. This is when Billie Jean decided more needed to be done to help her brother. Billie Jean and Binx reminded me of Regina and Samantha from Night of the Comet. Both pairs of siblings are prominently featured in their respective story, with each pair trying to make the best of a complicated situation. Throughout each film, both sibling pairs appear to get along well with each other, displaying a good sense of camaraderie.

Money image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/bills-and-coins-in-isometric-design_1065328.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

6. Is there anything about The Legend of Billie Jean you liked or didn’t like?

A pleasant surprise while watching The Legend of Billie Jean was the discovery of mixed media! Throughout the film, voice-overs from a radio station were heard. A newspaper would appear in the story from time to time. Video footage of Billie Jean also made an appearance in the story. The inclusion of mixed media led to creative and interesting ways it was used in the movie. Radio station voice-overs featured calls from listeners, sharing their support for Billie Jean and her cause. Newspaper articles shared details to progress the story forward, from the health status of Hubie’s father to the identity of Lloyd. In an effort to clear her name, Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends create a video and give copies to the police and various tv stations. Mixed media allowed the movie to receive a unique and memorable identity!

The majority of this story focused on the conflict of how Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends would obtain the money to repair Binx’s scooter. Billie Jean received the most character development, as she is the titular character. While I thought the story was interesting and while I liked Billie Jean as a character, I wish some of the other characters had received more character development. Toward the beginning of the film, one of Billie Jean’s friends, Putter, is watching a female wrestling match on tv. When she learns of Billie Jean’s plan to report Binx’s stolen scooter, Putter eagerly looks forward to this excursion to the police station. As I was watching the movie, I was curious about Putter’s interest in going to the police station and watching wrestling on television.  Unfortunately, these parts of the story were not explained.

7. Did you develop any thoughts and/or questions while watching this film?

While I didn’t develop any questions, I did notice some interesting coincidences. During my viewing of The Legend of Billie Jean, I learned the movie was a “modern” Joan of Arc story. After Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends break into Lloyd’s house, Lloyd introduces them to the story of Joan of Arc. Billie Jean is so inspired by what Lloyd told her, she decides to cut her hair short to reflect Joan’s appearance. There’s even a parallel between Joan of Arc getting burned at the stake and a statue of Billie Jean getting burned in a fire toward the end of the movie. Now here’s where the interesting coincidences come in. Last year, I reviewed the Touched by an Angel episode, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”. That episode was not only a “modern” Joan of Arc story, Bai Ling’s character was named Jean. Yes, I know the name, Jean, is Billie’s middle name. But according to Jean’s friend in “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, Jean is the French version of Joan. Plus, I reviewed both the Touched by an Angel episode and The Legend of Billie Jean in October.

8. In your double feature for Rich Kids and Over the Edge, you discussed certain events from the ‘70s that likely influenced the creation of those films. Is there anything from the ‘80s that you think either affected The Legend of Billie Jean or teenagers from that time?

Imagine, once again, you’re a teenager in the 1980s. You have so much to be thankful for, from a family that loves and supports you to that new set of wheels you just got as a gift. But, sometimes, you think life can be a little unfair. On your way home from school, you see a homeless person on a street corner, asking for money or even a sandwich. A flyer appears in your family’s mailbox from time to time, asking for food bank donations. No matter how respectful you are to the homeless person on the street corner or how many donations you take to the food bank, you wonder if your efforts are enough to truly make a long-lasting impact. Then, you hear about an event called Hands Across America. Everyone is talking about it, from your next-door neighbor to the cashier at your local grocery store. There’s even an assembly at your school about the event. The more you think about Hands Across America, the more you realize there are other people that have the same thought as you do: try to make the world a better place than how you found it.

Hands Across America was not mentioned in The Legend of Billie Jean. In fact, the event took place a year after the film was released. But there was one scene that reminded me of this piece of ‘80s history. While Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends are on the run, a group of children ask for Billie Jean’s help. They lead her to a house where one of their friends is being physically abused by his father. The small group grows larger as Billie Jean makes her way to the house. Binx and Billie Jean’s friends eventually join the group, adding their support for Billie Jean’s mission. Now you’re probably wondering, “What does this scene have to do with Hands Across America”? Well, it’s the idea of people from all walks of life coming together to support a common goal. In the case of The Legend of Billie Jean, those children, plus Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends, shared the same idea: save the young boy from his abusive dad. Before Billie Jean succeeded in her rescue effort, the large group of children circled around the boy’s house, intimidating the boy’s father. The film itself, as well as Hands Across America, showed teenagers at that time there were other teens who shared their same goals and dreams.

9. A lot has changed since the release of The Legend of Billie Jean. Have you come across any recent pieces of media that prominently feature a mall?

After breaking into Lloyd’s house, Billie Jean discovers a room upstairs. In this room, there are Halloween masks, security monitors, even video equipment. The room itself could make any Halloween costume store jealous, with dim lighting, candles, and cobwebs adding to the room’s eerie atmosphere. Even the build-up to the room’s discovery was straight out of a horror movie, as a costumed Lloyd follows Billie Jean. Later in the film, it is discovered Lloyd is a member of his school’s drama club, explaining why the aforementioned room contained so many costumes.

The scene I just described reminded me of a Hallmark film titled hoops&yoyo’s Haunted Halloween. In this animated film, the protagonists, Hoops and Yoyo, along with their friend, Piddles, go Halloween costume shopping at their local mall. During their trip, they become locked inside the mall after hours. I’ve only seen pieces of this 2012 movie. But based on what I have seen, the film is more spooky than scary. However, I do think it’s an interesting coincidence how both hoops&yoyo’s Haunted Halloween and The Legend of Billie Jean feature a mall in their respective story.

10. After watching this movie, is there anything you can take away from your movie viewing experience?

Calling The Legend of Billie Jean a “mall movie” is, in my opinion, a bit of a stretch. Similar to Night of the Comet, the Sunrise Mall was featured in only a few scenes. If anything, The Legend of Billie Jean is a “coming of age” story, as Billie Jean, Binx, and her friends experience personal growth over the course of the film. I liked The Legend of Billie Jean more than Night of the Comet. The story in the 1985 movie was pretty straight forward, making the film easier to follow. It was also interesting how mixed media was incorporated into the story. The Legend of Billie Jean is a fine, competently made film, complete with its own merits and flaws. The film’s message of how “fair is fair” is just as relevant now as it was in 1985, allowing the movie to be a more timeless title.

Image by Freepik

Have fun at the mall!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Night of the Comet Review (80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Part 1)

Hello and welcome to the first part of the 80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature! Before this review begins, I’d like to remind my readers there will be spoilers for Night of the Comet. If you’re interested, you can check out the double feature’s introduction at this link:

The 80s-tastic Mall-tacular Double Feature Introduction!

Night of the Comet poster created by Thomas Coleman and Michael Rosenblatt Productions, Film Development Fund, and Atlantic Releasing Corporation

1. How were you introduced to Night of the Comet?

At the beginning of Dan’s video, ‘DEAD MALL SERIES : Back to the 80s : The Gallery in Philadelphia (Hologram Plaza – Disconscious)’, the scene where Regina and Samantha, the film’s protagonists, go to the mall is included in the introduction. That scene is spliced with Dan’s footage of The Gallery in Philadelphia, as the song, Enter Through the Lobby by Disconscious, plays over the images. In Dan’s video, ‘DEAD MALL SERIES : Best Fountain in the US : Burlington Center Mall NJ **CLOSED**’, he brings up several of his favorite “mall movies”. One of these movies is Night of the Comet.

2. Was Night of the Comet filmed in a mall? If so, which one?

According to a Youtube comment, Night of the Comet was filmed at Bullocks Wilshire. Upon further research, I learned it was a high-end, Los Angeles department store, complete with its own tea room. As of late 2022, the building is owned by Southwestern Law School.

3. What role did the mall play in Night of the Comet?

Before Regina suggests she and Samantha go to the mall, their world had been turned outside down. Most of the population had either been disintegrated into dust or turned into a zombie, due to the aftermath of the titular comet. The sisters are at their wits end, desperately trying to not only defend themselves, but also trying to find answers. After Samantha tearfully confesses how a guy from her class was going to ask her out on a date, Regina sees going to the mall as an opportunity to get their minds off the confusion surrounding them.

4. Why do you think the mall was in the film for a short amount of time?

When Dan Bell referred to Night of the Comet as a “mall movie”, I assumed the mall would play a significant role in the story. I even predicted the mall would play a bigger role in Night of the Comet than in The Legend of Billie Jean, as I thought the story would primarily take place in one location. But the 1984 title is a more expansive narrative. Not only is the aftermath of the comet more widespread, there are more locations for the characters to explore. While Regina and Samantha’s mall excursion was fun to watch, it was interesting to see the comet’s effects on other locales, like the local movie theater and a mysterious science headquarters.

5. Besides including a mall and focusing on teenage characters, do The Legend of Billie Jean and Night of the Comet share a common theme, idea, or message?

I haven’t seen The Legend of Billie Jean yet. But based on the introduction of Dan’s video, ‘DEAD MALL SERIES : Tour of the SUNRISE MALL from THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN (1985)’, I can safely assume a shared idea between The Legend of Billie Jean and Night of the Comet is younger characters taking matters into their own hands. As I mentioned in answer number three, Regina and Samantha are at their wits end, as they desperately try to defend themselves and figure out what is truly going on. Since there are very few people to turn to, they rely on themselves and each other, proving they are capable of anything they set their mind on. Through strength, resilience, and adversity, Regina and Samantha become the embodiment of Christopher Robin’s quote:

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Colorful galaxy image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/lovely-hand-drawn-galaxy-background_2943080.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.

6. Is there anything about Night of the Comet you liked or didn’t like?

Based on the synopsis and Dan’s thoughts on Night of the Comet, I knew the protagonists were described as “valley girls”. But I didn’t know what to expect from Regina and Samantha. When I watched the movie, though, I adored these characters, as they were so endearing! In fact, they’ve become two of my favorite characters from film! Part of this is due to Catherine Mary Stewart’s and Kelli Maroney’s performance. Through their well-rounded portrayals, Catherine and Kelli carried this film, making it worth the price of admission. No matter what their characters experienced, their expressions and reactions felt realistic. Even the on-screen camaraderie was believable, successfully selling the idea Regina and Samantha were sisters. According to Wikipedia, Thom Eberhardt, Night of the Comet’s director, asked teenage girls how they’d respond to a large-scale catastrophe while working on PBS specials. The answers he received were used as inspiration for the film’s script, adding to Regina and Samantha’s believability.

When creating a science fiction story, you need to explain the science in a way that satisfies the audience. Even if the science was made specifically for the story, you still need to provide a logical explanation. With Night of the Comet, though, most of the science was left unexplained. There were also parts of the story that were under-utilized. At the beginning of the movie, Regina is playing an arcade game. She discovers a gamer named “DMK” has beaten her high score. Not only does Regina attempt to beat “DMK”’s high score, she wonders who “DMK” is. While the audience learns the identity of “DMK” (a random survivor named Danny, who used his initials to record his high score), this part of the story was forgotten about until the end of the movie. To me, this was a missed opportunity. Regina could have used her video game/arcade game skills to save the day. She and “DMK” could have met face-to-face earlier in the story, setting aside their differences to recruit more survivors to safety. But, alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.

7. Did you develop any thoughts and/or questions while watching this film?

As I said in answer number six, most of the science was left unexplained. While watching Night of the Comet, I found myself more confused than entertained. I’ll list some of the questions I had after I saw the movie, as I don’t want this review to become even longer than it already is:

  • Why did the effects of the comet cause some people to disintegrate into dust while causing others to become zombies?
  • Why exactly did steel protect Samantha, Regina, and the other survivors from the comet’s effects?
  • How did Brian and Sarah survive? Where did they come from?
  • Why did Willy and his gang of zombies possess more intelligence than other zombies the survivors encountered?
  •  What was the mission of the scientists? Were they trying to save or harm humanity?
  • Why did Audrey White go rogue? Was she a zombie?

8. In your double feature for Rich Kids and Over the Edge, you discussed certain events from the ‘70s that likely influenced the creation of those films. Is there anything from the ‘80s that you think either affected Night of the Comet or teenagers from that time?

Imagine you’re a teenager in the 1980s. You’ve got a lot of your plate as it is, from trying to pass your upcoming math test to figuring out how you’re going to get that latest album from the music store. But from time to time, you hear about this thing called The Cold War. That phrase puts a concerned look on your parent’s face as they drive you to school. You hear about it on the news, with the President pleading to “tear down that wall”. Even your favorite tv show is bringing it up. The Cold War seems to be everywhere. You wish there was something you could do to end this conflict. But because you’re just a teenager, you feel powerless, like there’s not much you can do. As you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering, “What does The Cold War have to do with Night of the Comet”? Even though The Cold War isn’t brought up in the story, it was present around the time of the film’s release. And yes, the film is meant to be a form of escapism. However, through Regina and Samantha’s adventures, teenagers at that time could see there were things within their control they could do.

9. A lot has changed since the release of Night of the Comet. Have you come across any recent pieces of media that prominently feature a mall?

For this answer, I’m not going to bring up a piece of media. Instead, I’ll talk about an experience, as it makes more sense with Night of the Comet. In the U.K., there is a company called Zombie Experiences, providing customers with the opportunity to explore abandoned locations and defeat zombies. One of those locations was a mall. But according to Zombie Experiences’ website, this experience ended in February 2018. They did re-locate this particular experience to a shopping complex. However, on Zombie Infection’s website, it will end this December. There are two other shopping mall experiences offered, but they seem inactive at the time of this review’s publication.

10. After watching this movie, is there anything you can take away from your movie viewing experience?

Calling Night of the Comet a “mall movie” is, in my opinion, a bit of a stretch. This is because the mall only appears in a few scenes. If I had to call Night of the Comet anything, I’d call it an “alternative Christmas film”. The story takes place around Christmastime, but doesn’t rely on the tropes and clichés typically found in Christmas movies. Like I said in answer number seven, I was more confused than entertained by Night of the Comet. After watching this film, I was left with more questions than I planned to have. But one of the reasons why I kept watching was Catherine’s and Kelli’s performance. I also think the story itself contained interesting ideas. Overall, I think Night of the Comet is an ok film with some bright spots.

Have fun at the mall!

Sally Silverscreen

Have You Signed Up for The World Television Day Blogathon?

Do you like TV? Do you like talking about television? Then you’ll love The World Television Day Blogathon! If you’re interested in joining this fun, exciting event, you still have a month to sign up. All the information about the blogathon can be found at this link:

Coming to a TV near you: The World Television Day Blogathon!

Created by Sally Silverscreen at Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Have fun on World Television Day!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Don’t Grow Your Troubles

In this episode of Chesapeake Shores, David is still concerned about his father. These concerns consume him to the point of accidently planting flowers upside down. When Miranda, the bed and breakfast’s newest guest, sees the upside-down flowers, she tells David, “Don’t grow your troubles”. Miranda’s advice may seem easier said than done. But it is still a useful piece of advice. Specifically speaking about Jess and David’s troubles, there are various ways they could resolve them. Even though I will share their decision in this re-cap, sometimes one of the best decisions is to step away for a little while. This time away could help one gain a new perspective, see details that were unaddressed before. As the show comes to a close, it seems like these troubles are finally getting resolved.

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores season six poster created by Hallmark Media and Hallmark Channel

Season: 6

Episode: 9

Name: Spring Can Really Hang Up the Most

Abby and Evan’s story: Evan is meeting his father for the first time. As his father, John, tells Mandrake and Abby how he met Evan’s mother and why he didn’t stay in contact with her, Evan is upset about these pieces of information. Evan not only calls out Mandrake for bringing John to the O’Brien family home, he also leaves the house, telling no one of his whereabouts. At a fancy restaurant called Giovanni’s, Mick crosses paths with Evan. While drinking at the restaurant, Evan confesses his father isn’t his father, as he abandoned him and his mother. When Mick offers him a ride, Evan accepts the invitation. Meanwhile, in Chesapeake Shores, Abby receives a call from Caitlyn’s school. According to the call, she has been suspended for fighting with her friend, Sloane. But after the meeting in the principal’s office, Abby learns Sloane isn’t who she says she is. Caitlyn shares with her mom how Sloane has actually been bullying her. The bullying became so bad, Sloane convinced Caitlyn to dye her hair blue, the insults about her hair escalating into the aforementioned fight. After helping Caitlyn wash out the blue hair dye, Abby reminds her daughter how true friends will like her just the way she is.

Later in the episode, Abby learns Evan has fired Mandrake. Understandably upset by this, Abby thinks something should be done about Mandrake’s loss of employment and Evan’s recent behavior. Mandrake reassures her how he will be fine, all things considered. He even reveals how he and Evan met. Many years prior to moving to Chesapeake Shores, Evan got in a car accident. Because Mandrake was living under a bridge, at that time, he was able to pull Evan out of the burning vehicle. Evan commented how Mandrake was magically at the right place at the right time. This is why Evan called Mandrake by that name instead of his real name, Alan, referring to “Mandrake the Magician”.

Mick and Megan’s story: Mick is planning on proposing to Megan, again. He not only consults members of the O’Brien family about this, he also consults his NA sponsor. Mick chose a ring and makes a reservation at a fancy restaurant called Giovanni’s. On their way to their date, Megan can tell Mick is nervous. She even becomes suspicious when they arrive at the restaurant and order her favorite dessert. As she’s eating her crème brulee, Mick appears concerned about what’s not in it. That’s because he put the ring in the crème brulee. After looking through the other dessert, Mick and Megan discover the ring ended up in someone else’s crème brulee, causing them tooth problems. Outside of Giovanni’s, Megan receives the ring from Mick. As he is about to propose, Mick gets a call from Kevin, proclaiming the baby will be born soon. Before they drive away, Megan accepts the proposal.

Fancy jewelry image created by Freepic.diller at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding photo created by freepic.diller – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Bree and Luke’s story: While Luke was shot by the robber from the previous episode, the bullet bounced off his ribcage and became stuck in his arm. He ends up in the hospital because of his injuries. During his hospital stay, Luke’s parole officer pays him a visit. He informs Luke the convenience store incident took place outside of his jurisdiction. But because Luke saved the cashier’s life, he won’t be sent back to prison. Afterwards, Mick and Bree visit Luke in the hospital, reminding him how lucky he is. Meanwhile, at The Inn at Eagle Point, Miranda and Bree discuss the film adaptation. Miranda is looking for someone to write the screenplay. Despite having little to no screenwriting experience, Bree convinces Miranda to hire her as the film’s official screenwriter. The convincing seems to have worked, as Miranda agrees to Bree’s idea. But later in the episode, Miranda reveals she has accepted a villain role in a Marvel production. This means Bree’s film adaptation has been indefinitely put on hold.

Jess and David’s story: David and Jess’ problems have consumed their lives. In an effort to take their minds off of their problems, they agree to go on a picnic, away from the bed and breakfast. They also agree to not bring their phones. At the beginning of the picnic, David and Jess have no idea how to relax. Trying to forget about their worries, they look at the clouds, imagining shapes within them. But all they see are things related to their problems. During this picnic, David confesses how his missing trust fund allowed him to break free from that part of his life. He also shares with Jess how he can now live for himself. The rest of the picnic goes according to plan. When they return to the bed and breakfast, Miranda offers to invest in Jess’ vineyard idea. As Jess is accepting Miranda’s offer, Connor arrives at The Inn at Eagle Point. He tells David he and Margaret will accept Mr. Peck’s case.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: In his spare time, Kevin makes a financial plan for his and Sarah’s future. This plan is so detailed, it even includes steps toward retirement. Sarah is overwhelmed by this plan. Her only focus is to have a successful delivery. While Kevin is on an EMT job, Sarah goes into labor. Kevin and his fellow EMT pick Sarah up in their ambulance. But the baby is coming a lot sooner than expected. At the end of the episode, it is implied Kevin will deliver the baby in the back of the ambulance.

Picnic basket in Autumn image created by Stockgiu at freepik.com. Picnic basket vector created by stockgiu – www.freepik.com

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’ve seen some fans on Twitter state they’d like to see a Chesapeake Shores Christmas movie. While I like that idea, I don’t think it will, realistically, happen. So, when Miranda and Bree discussed adapting Bree’s book into a movie, I thought turning that part of the story into a film could serve as a good alternative to the aforementioned Christmas movie idea. Miranda putting the adaptation on indefinite hold was disappointing, as it ended that idea before it even started. But after this show ends, it doesn’t seem like Chesapeake Shores will be a priority for Hallmark any more.
  • During Jess and David’s picnic, David compliments her hair. Jess then tells him she washed it, with David asking if she washed her hair for him. As soon as I heard this conversation, I immediately recognized it as a reference to the movie, A Summer Place. While I don’t know why this movie would be referenced on Chesapeake Shores, I thought David and Jess’ conversation was hilarious!
  • While I think this season of Chesapeake Shores has been fine, this episode contained too many stories. I recognize the show’s creative team tried their best to tie up as many loose ends as they could. But some of these stories should have either been drawn out or resolved much sooner. Evan’s story is a perfect example of this. Instead of meeting his father in the second to last episode of the season, this encounter should have taken place in the second or third episode. That way, the audience could not only get to know more about John, a father and son relationship could also form and grow between Evan and John.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you looking forward to the series finale? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen