When I found out Hamlette, from Hamlette’s Soliloquy, was hosting another blogathon, I knew there would be a tag. I was curious what questions would be asked when I discovered the blogathon would be pirate themed. However, I was looking forward to creating another tag post! Last year, I participated in The Legends of Western Cinema Week, which was partially hosted by Hamlette. During that event, I was introduced to my first blogathon tag! While I don’t watch a lot of westerns, I still answered the tag questions based on the films and television shows I have seen. Because I’ve seen and read more pirate related content, I found it easier to answer the questions in the We Heart Pirates Week Tag than those from The Legends of Western Cinema Week Tag. So, hop onboard this ship as we set sail through my answers!
What are your favorite pirate movies or books?
While I haven’t seen these movies in a while, I have enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy! I remember them being a lot of fun and intriguing. Each character is memorable and the stories are well written. When it comes to pirate books, I recall liking To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker! It was so good, I could honestly see it adapted into a film!
2. Who are your favorite fictional pirates?
My favorite character from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is Calypso/Tia Dalma! I know she’s not a pirate, but she does play an integral role within that series. Naomie Harris did such a great job portraying Calypso/Tia Dalma, which is one of the reasons why she’s my favorite character from a pirate movie!
3. What do you like best about pirate stories? (Themes, costumes, aesthetic, etc.)
I’d say the adventure the characters embark on. In any of the pirate movies I’ve seen, there is always a journey that is filled with adventure. It’s interesting to see where the story goes and how the characters deal with their conflicts along the way.
4. If you were going to play a pirate on the stage or screen, what would your costume look like?
I don’t know what it would look like exactly. However, I do know I want it to be elegant. In my review of China Seas, I talk about how beautiful the pirate captain’s costume is. This is because two pieces of his costume were a silk blouse and a detailed jacket. Pieces like those would definitely be in my pirate wardrobe!
5. What pirate ship would you like to serve on?
The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, of course! It’s too iconic of a ship not to catch a ride.
6. Any favorite sea shanties or pirate songs?
I don’t listen to sea shanties or pirate songs. However, I do like the Nightcore version of Lady in Black by Blackmore’s Night, which sounds like it could fit in a pirate movie.
7. Have you ever participated in International Talk Like a Pirate Day?
No, I haven’t.
8. Would you like to go sailing on a real tall ship?
I don’t sail, but the idea of boarding on a real tall ship sounds fun!
9. Have you ever learned anything about real pirates, or do you tend to stick to the fictional kind?
I’ve learned there were several female pirates who roamed the Seven Seas. However, I don’t spend a lot of time learning about real pirates because I’ve been focusing on the fictional ones and their stories, such as Calypso/Tia Dalma and Davy Jones’ relationship.
10. Why is the rum gone?
Simple, Captain Jack Sparrow drank it all.
What are your thoughts on this tag? Do you enjoy watching pirate films? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
The Olympics are an event that many people around the world look forward to. However, the 2020 Summer Games were postponed due to the on-going Coronavirus. As of late January 2021, the Summer Olympics are still taking place. In honor of that, I am hosting an Olympic themed blogathon! Because the Olympics are such a broad topic, I am encouraging you to be creative! Movies, tv shows, books, music, art, etc. involving the following will be eligible for the blogathon:
Winter or Summer Games
Sports that have been a part of or are still in the Olympics
Olympic athletes past and present
Countries and/or cities where Olympic games have taken place
Performers and/or performances from an Olympic opening or closing ceremony
Years when an Olympic game has taken place
Advertising promotions related to the Olympics
The Official Blogathon Rules
Please be respectful when writing your entries and toward other participants.
If you plan on publishing your post(s) earlier or later than the allotted time-frame (July 19th to the 23rd), please let me know in advance.
Only new posts are allowed for this blogathon.
As I mentioned, the Olympics are a broad topic. Therefore, I am not allowing duplicate entries for the Olympic Dreams Blogathon.
A maximum of three entries are allowed for each participant.
All entries must be original work.
If you’re interested in participating, please share your idea(s) in the comment section below.
Pick one of the five banners and let others know about the Olympic Dreams Blogathon!
The List of Participants
Sally of 18 Cinema Lane — Movie reviews of The Karate Kid and Karate Kid Part II
Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews — Movie review of Cool Runnings (1993)
J-Dub of Dubsism — Movie review of Personal Best (1982)
Ruth of Silver Screenings — Movie review of Raging Bull (1980)
Another new year comes new goals and new paths! As 18 Cinema Lane embarks on a third year in the world of blogging, there are many more things to accomplish! Some of these things I’d like to share with you. I have created a post of what readers can expect for 2021, similar to articles from years past. The post will also include statistical highlights from 2020. The support I’ve received during this time has served as the fuel that has kept this blog going. To everyone who has left a like or comment, thank you. I also thank visitors and followers who have taken the time to read my content. To this day, it still amazes me how successful 18 Cinema Lane has become in such a short amount of time. Grateful is the word I would use to describe this blogging journey so far!
Total Blog Posts: 169
Total followers: 125
Total Comments: 697
Total Likes: 895
Participated Blogathons: 52
Total Movie Reviews: 227
Total Word on the Street stories: 16
18 Cinema Lane’s Annual Blogathon
The tradition continues as I host a new blogathon in 2021! What is different about this year’s event is how it will take place during the summer, instead of the fall like the first two blogathons. Because of this, I will announce the event in January.
New Blogathon Folders
As I was resolving a technical blog-related issue, I was told my site’s blogathon folder was too long. To fix this problem, I decided to create a new folder for blogathons I participate in between 2021 to 2023. For the original blogathon folder, I have named it “My Blogathon Folder 2018-2020”. This decision was made to prevent my readers from becoming overwhelmed by blogathon related content, as I have participated in over fifty of these events.
Separate Blog Folders
At the top of 18 Cinema Lane’s home page, there are separate tabs for different content-related areas of the site. This was done to make my blog easier to navigate. Originally, I had a tab called “Sally’s Special Posts”, where readers were led to a section of the site that featured all the editorials, lists, and double features I’ve created, as well as all the awards I’ve won. Now, these categories are split into separate folders. For example, each award I have won will be located in the “Awards” folder.
No set schedules
Last year, I announced I would be publishing posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays. I thought this would promote structure and consistency on my blog. However, I found this particular schedule to be too restrictive for myself. While I continue to make regular content, it won’t be within a pre-set schedule. This means that posts may be published on any day of the week.
New Instagram Account
In late 2020, I said I was working on a creative side project. This year, that project became a reality! I have become more serious about American Girl doll collecting, with my new Instagram Account reflecting that. It’s called Dolly Parkingston’s Dollhouse, a place where I share photos of my dolls, as well as collecting tips and questions of the month. If you have an Instagram account and would like to see what Dolly is up to, you can type @dollyparkingtonsdollhouse into the search bar!
Occasionally, I talk about books on 18 Cinema Lane. This is to create a sense of variety on my blog. In 2021, I chose a different way to determine which book I would select next. With the John Wayne Hot Chocolate tin I won in a blogathon, I have written titles on slips of paper and placed them in the tin. Every time I read a book, I will randomly pull a slip out of this tin in order to choose the next book I read. From time to time, I might bring up which books I selected. As of January of the new year, my first book is The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap!
What are your thoughts on these announcements? Is there anything you’re looking forward to in 2021? Let me know in the comment section!
This year, I’ve seen several tier ranking videos on Youtube. While most of these videos have revolved around books, there have been a few that focus on films. As I watched these tier lists being created, I discovered how there was no list dedicated to Hallmark’s productions. So, I decided to fill that void by making a list of my own! Because Hallmark has created so many movies, my tier ranking list focuses on all the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies I have seen in my life. This article is based solely on my own opinion and is not meant to be mean-spirited in any way. I also created this list to bring unique content to my blog. I was trying to complete this post yesterday, but this project took longer than I expected, so I apologize for its late arrival. For this tier ranking list, there will be five categories; Bottom of the Barrel, Ok, Decent/Fine, Good, and Great. I will give each film a brief, but thorough explanation for why it has earned that placement.
Bottom of the Barrel
Back When We Were Grown-Ups
Anyone who has read my list of the Top 10 Worst Hallmark Movies of All Time would not be surprised to see this movie placed in the Bottom of the Barrel category. To me, this is not only the worst Hallmark Hall of Fame picture, but also the worst Hallmark project ever made. If you’d like to learn more about why I don’t like Back When We Were Grown-Ups, you can check out my list of the Worst Hallmark Movies at this link:
This is another movie I talked about in my Top 10 Worst Hallmark Movies of All Time list. I’ve only seen Firelight once, but I found it to be so forgettable. When I think about this movie, on rare occasions, I wonder what message it was trying to deliver to their audience? If I, as an audience member, can’t determine what the intended purpose of that specific film is, that likely means something went wrong during the creative process. The rest of my thoughts on Firelight are found in my Top 10 Worst Hallmark Movies of All Time list at this link:
From what I remember, the overall plot was very lackluster. I also found the premise revolving around a child rarely lying to be unbelievable. A Painted House contains other flaws that prevented me from enjoying this picture. One of them was how a few characters were unlikable for no clear reason. For a stand-alone film, having it end on a cliff-hanger wasn’t a good idea. I haven’t read John Grisham’s novel, so I’m not sure if the film’s creative team adopted any liberties for this project.
While I don’t think Rose Hill is a bad movie, I just wasn’t impressed with the final project. The story as a whole was not the most interesting and Rose herself seemed to sit on the sidelines of her own story. There was a mystery within this script, but that part of the story was poorly executed. This surprises me, as Hallmark Hall of Fame released a film in 1990 with a similar story concept titled Caroline?
My Sister’s Keeper
I liked the first half of this movie, where the audience witnesses the two sisters growing up alongside each other. It provided strong opportunities for each sister to receive character development and the film’s first half felt like it was building up to something bigger. When the second half of the movie arrives and both sisters become adults, the project hits a stand-still where nothing interesting happens. I will say the high-light of My Sister’s Keeper is seeing Kathy Bates riding on an elephant.
I’ve only seen about 50% of this movie. However, based on what I saw, I found the project to be just ok. I didn’t find myself feeling emotionally invested in the story like I did with other Hall of Fame titles. I wouldn’t mind re-watching this one, and maybe even reviewing it, to see if I still hold the same opinion.
When I first saw this film, I thought it was decent/fine. But since its 2013 release, it has been relegated to ok status. The Makeover is a glorified Hallmark Channel movie, complete with the male and female protagonist falling in love with each other. In fact, Hallmark’s first network released a movie with a similar premise the year prior called Fixing Pete. Maybe the first Hallmark Hall of Fame project of 2013 should have been given a stronger story.
Blind Spot was decent/fine upon initial viewing, but is now in the ok category. The film’s cautionary message was given more emphasis than the plot. This caused the movie to feel like it belonged on Lifetime when these kinds of films were in their hey-day. As I’ve said before, Karina Arroyave stars in this Hall of Fame presentation. However, her talents were under-utilized in this picture.
The Magic of Ordinary Days
This is one of the most beloved titles Hallmark has ever made. However, I don’t like or love this project as much as other people do. I found the main plot to be too unbelievable for my liking. Hallmark also glossed over the subject of Japanese internment camps when they could have provided some commentary on how prejudice can negatively affect someone’s perspective. There was one romantic relationship that I knew wasn’t going to lead anywhere, making me wonder why it was included in the first place. The Magic of Ordinary Days is another Hall of Fame movie based on a book, so I don’t know what elements from the novel where translated to the screen.
I reviewed this film for the James Garner Blogathon back in February. On the dvd cover, it is considered “the most-honored television movie of all time”. But, to me, the project is a bit on the over-rated side. I’m not a fan of “slice-of-life” stories, which is exactly what the plot of Promise is. The road to educating the audience about Mental Illness seems like it was paved with good intentions. As I say in my review, it could have been executed better though. You can read my review at the link below if you want to learn more about my thoughts on Promise.
Back in 2015, I felt Just in Time for Christmas was a good movie. After giving it some more thought, I’ve come to see the film as just fine. Like The Makeover, the project is a glorified Hallmark Channel movie. But, unlike the aforementioned 2013 release, Just in Time for Christmas tried to do something different with their creative material. Time travel is rarely incorporated in any of Hallmark’s projects. This release was, I believe, the first time it had been included in a Hallmark Hall of Fame title.
In Love and War
When The World War II Blogathon took place last September, In Love and War is the film I chose to review. As a movie, I liked it for it was. But, as a Hall of Fame picture, it didn’t leave as big of an emotional impact as other titles from this collection have. For a story taking place during World War II, there wasn’t a lot of action in it. There was also an imbalance between the ideas of “love” and “war”. If you want to read my review for In Love and War, you can click on the link below:
I haven’t seen this movie since its 2011 release. From I remember, it was just fine. While I liked the acting, the story was straight-forward. I also found the part about the pregnant teacher working and, eventually, bringing her baby to a compromising environment to be unbelievable. Like I said about Loving Leah, I’m not opposed to re-watching this movie and reassessing my opinion on it.
Front of the Class
This is another picture I haven’t seen in years. However, I thought Front of the Class was a fine film. Similar to In Love and War, it didn’t leave a big, emotional impact on me. But, as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t mind watching this movie again and seeing if my thoughts on it have changed.
The Secret Garden
In my Bonus Double Feature last September, I talked about Hallmark Hall of Fame’s version of The Secret Garden. I liked this adaptation, but I found it to be drawn-out. Looking back on this movie, it seems like the creative team placed so much emphasis on respecting the source material, they forgot to bring their own voice to the table. You can check out my thoughts on three different adaptations of The Secret Garden at these links:
I feel The Boys Next Door is one of the more under-rated titles from the Hall of Fame collection. The acting is solid and the perception of individuals with disabilities is mostly positive. My favorite character from this movie is Barry Klemper, but I felt he was under-utilized in the overall story. Also, some of the language toward the four men with disabilities reflects the time period the film was released in. I wonder how different the play this movie is based on is different from this adaptation?
The Valley of Light
Despite not having seen this movie since its 2007 release, I remember really liking this film! “She won’t give me my chocolate” is still one of my favorite quotes from a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. This film also contains one of the most shocking plot twists in the history of this collection. I definitely want to re-watch this film and possibly share my thoughts on this movie viewing experience!
As I have said before on this blog, Love Locks is the first newer Hall of Fame title that made me feel like this branch of Hallmark was going back to their roots! Yes, this is the type of story you’d likely find in Hallmark Channel movies. But the way Love Locks was presented made the overall project feel like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. I also like the movie’s original poster, as it is one of the most creative pieces of marketing in Hallmark history! Personally, I think this is a good picture if you want to introduce someone to the Hall of Fame collection!
Love Takes Flight
This is the most recent release from the Hall of Fame collection I’ve talked about, as I reviewed the film last April. Love Takes Flight is a better movie than its marketing campaign made it seem. However, as I’ve noticed with the newer Hall of Fame titles, it lacks emotional depth because it feels like it adopted Hallmark Channel’s “formula”. It also contains other flaws, like having too many plots. Here’s the link to my review of Love Takes Flight if you’re interested in reading it:
The Beach House is another Hallmark Hall of Fame film that was given less-than-stellar marketing. But this didn’t stop it from being better than I expected! As someone who has also read the book, I think the movie did a better job at telling the story than its source material did! I also believe the overall quality of this project is a good reminder of why the Hall of Fame branch exists. This is another title I reviewed, so I’ll provide the link to that post here:
I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas Everlasting when it was released in 2018! In fact, the only aspect of the film I didn’t like was the limited on-screen presence Patti LaBelle received, as I expected her to have a larger role in the film. Similar to other Hall of Fame titles I’ll mention, this movie features a mystery within the overall plot. Mysteries are not often found in Hallmark Hall of Fame projects, so I like how Christmas Everlasting helped bring something different to the table. I reviewed this movie as well, so here is the link:
I liked this movie and the book it was based on! The overall execution of this project made it feel like a Hall of Fame production, making this the collection’s first newer Christmas film to make me feel this way. Similar to Christmas Everlasting, The Christmas Train incorporates a mystery into their story. While this element is also in the book, it brings a unique component to Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Christmas line-up. It’s also special in how most of the film’s events take place on a train, which is rare for a Hall of Fame movie!
The Lost Valentine
This is a good, but sad film! While I appreciate the effort that has gone into Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Christmas movies, it’s nice to see other holidays receive recognition within this branch of Hallmark. The use of flashbacks enhanced the overall story, giving context to the events being presented on screen. Because of how sad the film is, the re-watchability rate is on the lower side of the spectrum. But this is a project I would definitely recommend!
A Dog Named Christmas
A Dog Named Christmas is another Hall of Fame Christmas film I genuinely enjoyed! It does a good job at effectively showing how someone can make a difference in their community. Since this movie places a lot of attention on the titular dog, some story elements end up being over-looked. One of them is seeing how the main protagonist lives his life with a disability. I know there’s a prequel to this film called Christmas with Tucker. I haven’t seen it, but I’d like to see how it holds up to A Dog Named Christmas!
Sweet Nothing in My Ear
I saw this movie for the first time in 2020 and it made me miss the Hallmark Hall of Fame films of yester-year. Even though this story revolves around a debate, the overall project was interesting to watch. Both sides are treated equally and are given enough time to present their case. I don’t like the ending, but I can understand why the creative team made that specific choice. Sweet Nothing in My Ear is a unique addition to the Hallmark Hall of Fame collection!
Pictures of Hollis Woods
I haven’t seen this movie in years, but I recall having a good experience watching it. However, this film has flown under the radar for far too long. The acting is good and the overarching message of family is incorporated into the story very well. I also remember one of the characters lives in and owns a movie theater. This was a highlight for me because that is a dream of mine.
As I’ve said before, mysteries are not often found in Hallmark Hall of Fame projects. It is even rarer when the entire plot is a mystery story. The overall quality of the film’s writing is strong and I also liked the acting performances. However, like I said about Blind Spot, Karina Arroyave’s talents were under-utilized in this project. I’m surprised this movie has never been aired on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, as this title fits the network’s brand.
Grace & Glorie
One of the plot points of this film is a woman from a big city moving to a small town. However, it never felt like the project was following a formula. Instead, the story focuses on the friendship between Grace and Gloria. This part of the movie provided interesting opportunities for character development and exploration of certain themes. The movie also showcased wonderful scenery.
Christmas with Holly
In Christmas with Holly, the protagonist and his brothers take care of Holly after she loses her mother. This part of the movie reminded me of Three Men and a Baby. But what’s great about this 2012 release is how it takes a pre-existing story structure and creates a different narrative with it. While there was a romance in this film, it was never heavily emphasized like in other Hall of Fame titles. The overall story felt well-rounded.
A Smile as Big as the Moon
This is one of my favorite Hallmark Hall of Fame films! I was really impressed with the overall quality of the project when I first saw it in 2012. There is so much to like about this movie, from the acting performances to the messages and themes. To me, this is the perfect example of what a Hall of Fame should be.
I’m not going to lie; I thought the title sounded ridiculous when I first heard it. But the movie was better than I expected it to be! This film does a good job at exploring how childhood cancer can affect a child and the people around them. It also has a genuine sincerity that doesn’t feel too mushy or manipulative. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say this is a good choice to watch around Christmas-time!
The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are known for having larger budgets than a typical Hallmark Channel or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film. The creative team behind The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler used that budget to their advantage. The presentation of this film is so good, it feels like a theatrical release! Everything about the movie feels like it is of the highest quality. I honestly wish Hallmark created more Hall of Fame pictures like this one.
Follow the Stars Home
From the moment I first saw this movie, I knew it would be a winner! But it sometimes feels like this film doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The acting performances from the whole cast is one of the strongest components of this project. This movie also contains one of the most intense scenes I’ve ever seen in a film. Follow the Stars Home does a good job at balancing the lighted-hearted and serious moments of the story.
The Sarah, Plain and Tall trilogy
This series introduced me to Hallmark Hall of Fame as well as Hallmark films in general. I’d say this is one of the strongest trilogies in film history! The overall quality is consistent and it feels like the creative team truly cared about the project they were making. I would like to see Hallmark attempt another series within their Hallmark Hall of Fame branch!
Ellen Foster is an excellent, but sad film! What makes this movie work is Jena Malone’s performance, as she carries the entire project! This movie features one of the few times where a young person is the film’s lead. The story as a whole is an emotional roller coaster ride that makes its audience experience a variety of feelings. I haven’t read the book this film is based on, but I’d be interested in reading how emotionally intense it is compared to the film.
What the Deaf Man Heard
I have fallen in love with this movie since I first saw it! It does a great job showing how far someone will go to show their love for another person. This film also shows how easy it is for people to take things at face value. There are other solid messages in this story, but I don’t want to spoil it. What the Deaf Man Heard is another Hall of Fame title I can’t recommend enough! It’s also based on a book, so I’d like to read it someday!
Before I start this When Calls the Heart re-cap, I’d like to remind everyone that Thursday, April 30th, is the last day to submit your nominee for Star of the Year of the 2nd Annual Gold Sally Awards! You can go to this link and place your nomination in the comment section:
As we’ve learned from the subplot between Lucas and Henry, there are two sides to every story. What’s important is giving both stories an equal opportunity to be told. When Calls the Heart does a good job at being fair toward Lucas and Henry. None of them appear better than the other and each of them receive a generous amount of screen-time. Because of the show’s writers, Lucas and Henry appear as men who have flaws as well as goals. They are not villains or heroes, just human. That aspect of the show is one of its strengths, creating characters than appear and feel more human than anything. This allows more opportunities for relatability to take place.
Just a reminder: If you did not see the season finale of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: Don’t Go
At the beginning of the episode, Lee receives a telegram from his sister, Susannah. In this telegram, Susannah says she will come to Hope Valley the following day. Rosemary is hopeful that Susannah will show up, but Lee is doubtful. The next day, Susannah does arrive in Hope Valley. However, she is distant with her brother, from insisting on being referred to by her full, first name to staying at the Queen of Hearts saloon instead of Lee and Rosemary’s house. At dinner, Susannah reveals she has two older children; a son in college and a daughter graduating high school. Lee and Rosemary confess how they don’t have children yet, but are close with baby Jack. Later that evening, Lee visits Susannah at her hotel room. He brings her a bottle of soda, but she says she has not liked it since she was a child. During the visit, they look through a family album. When they see a picture of their brother, Patrick, Lee and Susannah recount what drove them apart in the first place. They then get into a disagreement over whether Lee intentionally avoided their father’s funeral. This causes Lee to leave Susannah’s room. The next day, Susannah is preparing to leave Hope Valley. Rosemary visits Susannah in an attempt to convince her to make amends with Lee. Rosemary tells Susannah about Lee’s head injury and how Lee didn’t want to leave this world without reconnecting with his sister. This information makes Susannah change her mind about Lee. In the evening, she attends dinner with Rosemary and Lee, with baby Jack in attendance. When Susannah meets Jack, she reveals how she named her son Patrick, after her and Lee’s brother. After dinner, Lee takes Susannah to his office in town. They share childhood memories and apologize to one another for the pain they caused to each other. Toward the end of the episode, Susannah leaves Hope Valley. When Rosemary and Lee share their plans for their upcoming Los Angeles trip, they also agree to visit Susannah’s family.
One day, Lucas pays Elizabeth a visit at her house. He reveals that Frank Branson, a publisher from New York, wants to talk to her about her book. Elizabeth wonders whether this is good or bad news, but Lucas assures her that it’s likely good news. They go to the Mercantile in order for Elizabeth to receive Frank’s phone call. In this call, Elizabeth learns that Frank wants to publish her book and that, if she accepts his offer, she’ll get $200 in advance payments. Elizabeth accepts Frank’s offer, making her a published author. While Elizabeth receives good news, Lucas gets bad news. While visiting Henry, Elizabeth learns Lucas is no longer Henry’s business partner. When she confronts Lucas about this news, he reveals how he had to keep the oil plant afloat with his own money. This has caused him to pull out of the business partnership. Later in the episode, Lucas tells Henry that he will continue to be Henry’s business partner only if he receives a larger percentage of the funds. Lucas’s plan is to receive more funds so he can apply better management to the company. Henry refuses the offer and orders Lucas to leave his office. When Lucas shares this news with Elizabeth, she is upset about the possibility of the oil plant employees losing their jobs. Lucas tells her they should focus on Elizabeth’s publishing deal, as time is too short to only worry about the bad stuff. That evening, Elizabeth and Lucas share a private dinner at the library. They both recognize their dinner is just between friends. Toward the end of the episode, Henry storms into the saloon and says he’ll allow Lucas to buy him out of the oil plant. This plan actually comes to fruition, as Lucas finds himself the new owner of Henry’s business. When he tells Elizabeth this news, he confesses he doesn’t know anything about the oil industry.
Henry passes out while at the café one morning. Carson, who also happens to be at the café, catches Henry from falling and immediately takes him to the Infirmary. Carson discovers Henry’s blood pressure is higher than it was the last time Henry was at the Infirmary. He also diagnoses Henry with exhaustion. Henry says he feels fine, but he promises to return if he feels worse. Meanwhile, at the Mercantile, Carson learns more about Fiona’s occupational situation. She confesses how Mr. Nichols made her feel small by calling her “dispensable”. Carson tells her to be honest with Mr. Nichols and tell him how she feels. Later in the episode, Carson finds out Fiona lost her job because of her honesty toward Mr. Nichols. Carson apologizes for getting Fiona fired, but Fiona isn’t upset about this situation. She says she loves Hope Valley and that being a telephone operator wasn’t for her.
Nathan is still keeping an eye on the thief from the previous episode, Elias. When Bill pays Nathan a visit, Bill shares how Elias’ family got a lawyer and that his trial will now take place in Buxton. Bill also tells Nathan that he has to attend the trial as the current standing Mountie. For the majority of the episode, however, Nathan tries to ask Elizabeth on a date. No matter how many times he tries, he always gets interrupted. These interruptions first started at the school’s open house (which was caused by Ally) and then happened at the stable. Right before Nathan leaves with Bill and the other Mounties to transfer Elias, Nathan tells Elizabeth he will be out of town for a while, so Ally will be taken to school by Opal’s parents. He also asks Elizabeth if she’d like to have dinner with him when he returns, which she doesn’t provide an answer. During the journey to transfer Elias, a woman named Jenny appears out of nowhere and demands all the Mounties to give up their guns. Everyone in the Mountie party learns Jenny is Elias’ sister and is trying to help him escape. Nathan attempts to convince Jenny not to commit any crimes, but she ends up shooting one of the Mounties. When the Mounties arrive in Hope Valley, they try to recruit Carson’s help to save the Mountie. But, after further examination, it’s revealed the Mountie passed away. At the end of the episode, Elizabeth gives Nathan a hug, relieved he is now safe.
Some thoughts to consider:
Even though I’m glad When Calls the Heart is getting an eighth season, I’m disappointed the show’s love triangle wasn’t resolved. As I’ve said before, I am not a fan of this aspect of the story. What started out as an intriguing part of Hope Valley now feels like Elizabeth is stringing Lucas and Nathan along longer than necessary. I just hope this love triangle starts to see a resolution by the Christmas movie.
Now that Fiona doesn’t a job, I wonder if Carson will hire her as his secretary? Even though the seventh season saw Mollie becoming Carson’s secretary, she is now working with Florence as a telephone operator. Since Fiona seems to have a good relationship with Carson, maybe this is her new career path?
Looking back on this episode, I feel Henry’s story wasn’t resolved. We still don’t know the exact cause of his medical situation, as well as why he is resentful of Lucas having more control of the company. I’m guessing this creative decision was made to provide content for the next season. But I hope we start to receive answers in the Christmas movie.
How do you feel about the season finale? What would you like to see happen in the eighth season? Please share your thoughts in the comment section!
Before I start this When Calls the Heart re-cap, I’d like to remind everyone that Thursday, April 30th, is the last day to submit your nominee for Star of the Year of the 2nd Annual Gold Sally Awards! You can go to this link and place your nomination in the comment section:
In a typical season of any television show, the two significant episodes are the season premiere and finale. Because of this, the episodes in-between could get lumped together. I think there’s an argument to be made that an episode before the season finale is equally important. On the episode before a season finale, a show’s writers might use the story to tie up loose-ends. They may also start a two-part story that will conclude in the season finale. No matter what a show’s writers choose to do, the episode itself is meant to hold down the fort until the season finale finally arrives. There might be a shocking twist of events, such as what happened in the ninth episode of the fifth season of When Calls the Heart. Preparations might be made for future situations, like Jack’s Baptism in the sixth season’s eighth episode. The most important point to make is that an episode before a season finale matters to the story as a whole.
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: New Possibilities
Lee recovers from the head injury he received in the previous episode. The experience causes him to be more reflective on life. One day, he brings out a box of belongings he hasn’t looked through in quite some time. While allowing Rosemary to look through the box, she discovers a photo from Lee’s childhood. She asks who the little girl in the picture is, causing Lee to reveal he has a sister. He also tells Rosemary he hasn’t spoken to his sister, Susannah, in several years and the death of his brother and parents is what drove them apart. Rosemary encourages Lee to track down his sister. He makes a phone call to his hometown in Ohio, but quickly learns Susannah moved out of town shortly after their father’s death. Rosemary wonders if Susannah had any suitors. Lee mentions that before he left the family, his sister had one suitor named Jake. It takes him a while to remember Jake’s last name and his hometown in Washington state. Lee eventually receives Susannah’s phone number from Fiona. When Lee calls his sister the first time, she hangs up on him. Toward the end of the episode, he calls Susannah a second time. Lee tells her he has to meet her face-to-face. She tells him she’ll think about seeing him in person.
Henry continues to keep the financial records away from Lucas. Lucas tells Bill about his frustrations over the situation, with Bill still offering the subpoena as an option. Later in the episode, while in town, Bill tells Elizabeth how he and Lucas are dealing with a critical situation. When Elizabeth asks Lucas about this situation, he reveals Henry’s stubbornness over producing the oil plant’s financial records. After this conversation, Elizabeth meets with Henry and asks him why he hasn’t given Lucas the financial records yet. Henry reveals the plant has been facing financial trouble for a while. The problem is so bad, Henry himself hasn’t gotten a paycheck. Henry says that his oil business is the first thing that has given him respect with himself and from other people. Elizabeth tells him he has more opportunities to produce respect than with his business alone. Henry contemplates burning the financial records in his fireplace. But he chooses to give them to Lucas instead.
At the beginning of the episode, Nathan is preparing to go undercover in order to catch a thief. As he is about to walk out the door, Elizabeth comes to the station to talk to Nathan about their disagreements from the previous episode. Right before she leaves the station, Elizabeth tells him Lucas asked her to go to Union City. While at the train station, Nathan crosses paths with Fiona. She tells him she just returned from San Francisco. He tells her he is on duty and doesn’t want to blow his cover. After some struggle, Nathan successfully arrests the thief and puts him in the Hope Valley jail. Back in Hope Valley, Nathan organizes a court date for the thief. When he expresses his frustrations to Bill over the events during the windstorm, Bill tells Nathan Elizabeth trusted her instincts when it came to saving Emily. In the evening, Nathan apologizes to Elizabeth for over-reacting after the windstorm. He then explains how he cares about her.
Because of the windstorm, Emily has decided to take some time off from school. This causes Opal to miss her friend. While the other students go to recess, Opal chooses to read indoors. Because Opal loves recess, Elizabeth becomes concerned about her student. One day, at recess, Elizabeth reminds Opal that everything is ok now. However, Opal continues to stay inside. Later in the episode, Elizabeth acknowledges Opal’s fears of another windstorm taking place. She encourages Opal to face her fears by suggesting they go to recess together. Opal accepts Elizabeth’s offer and goes outside again.
Fiona returns to Hope Valley from San Francisco. When she visits Clara at the café, Fiona tells her she left Hope Valley to visit family. One day, while at work, Fiona receives a phone call from a man named Mr. Nichols. During the call, she tells him how she likes her job. It is later revealed by Florence that Fiona has been transferred to a new location. Fiona tells Carson that she tried to refuse the transfer, but her request was denied.
Jesse is still concerned about Lee. He consumes himself in work to take his mind off of the recent events. Clara continues to remind Jesse how the incident on the mountain is not his fault. When Lee’s prognosis is revealed, Jesse is relived by this news. One day, Lee comes into work just to check on the business’s operations. Jesse shares his concerns with Lee, saying that Lee is like a brother to him. Lee tells him the reason why Jesse was on the mountain is because Lee told him to go there. This causes Jesse to receive peace of mind about the situation.
One day, Lucas reveals to Elizabeth that he sent three chapters from her manuscript to his mother. He also tells her his mother is interested in publishing her work. Elizabeth becomes upset by how Lucas failed to ask her if he could send her manuscript to anyone. Later in the episode, Lucas apologizes to Elizabeth for what he did and says he learned his lesson. But she wonders if she can truly trust him. Despite this, Elizabeth tells Lucas she’ll agree to have her book published.
Some thoughts to consider:
I was so happy to see Paloma Kwiatkowski and Edward Ruttle guest star on this episode! I’ve seen their performances in other projects, including those from Hallmark. Both Paloma and Edward are good actors, with their portrayals being enjoyable to watch! I’m glad they’ve now joined the When Calls the Heart family!
I’m glad Lee is doing better health wise. However, I think his medical situation could have drawn out for a bit longer. This could have created a sense of intrigue and uncertainty for the episode’s overall story. Because of how quickly Lee’s medical situation was handled, it almost seems like it was glossed over.
As you read in this re-cap, you can see there were a lot of minor stories in this episode. Personally, I think there were too many of them. I understand this is the episode before the season finale. But some of these stories could have been saved for the next season or the season finale episode.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you have any prediction for the season finale? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Before I start this award post, I’d like to remind everyone that Thursday, April 16th, is the last day to cast your vote for the Best Movie and Story of the 2nd Annual Gold Sally Awards! The last award category will be posted on the April 17th! Here is the link to the poll:
Last week, Ospreyshire, from Iridium Eye Reviews, nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! This is my fourth time receiving the title. To me, even winning one of these awards in an honor. Thank you, Ospreyshire, for your thoughtfulness when it came to nominating me! Moments like these make me feel like I’m doing some good in the world of blogging. If you want to check out Ospreyshire’s blog, here is the link:
Before this post can begin, I must list the official rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award, which are the following:
List the award’s official rules
Display the award’s official logo somewhere on your blog
Thank the person who nominated you
Provide a link to your nominator’s blog
Answer your nominator’s questions
Nominate up to 11 bloggers
Ask your nominees 11 questions
Notify your nominees by commenting on at least one of their blog posts.
My 11 Answers
Which actor or actress do you think is overlooked by the public and what role would you like to see them in? For this question, I had to really think about who I would talk about. There are a number of actors and actresses that I believe are underrated. Some of them have been mentioned on 18 Cinema Lane before, like Max Lloyd-Jones. However, there are others that I haven’t found the opportunity to talk about yet. But, this time, I’ve decided to pick someone who I’ve previously brought up on my blog. According to her filmography on IMDB, Karina Arroyave has been acting in the film and television industry since the late ‘80s. However, it seems like she doesn’t receive the amount of recognition and attention that I think she deserves. As I’ve said in my Christmas Camp review, Karina has starred in two Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, Blind Spot from 1993 and Missing Pieces from 2000. But her roles in those films were smaller than what they could have been. One day, I’d like to see Karina cast in a Hallmark Hall of Fame film with a bigger role than she has received in years past.
If you could have a crossover between an anime and something involving Western animation, what would they be and what would the plot look like? When I read this question, I immediately thought of the Sailor Scouts from Sailor Moon teaming up with heroes from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)! Because the animated shows from Marvel follow a different story than the films, the Heart of the Universe would provide an interesting component to the plot. I’ve read online that the ‘Heart of the Universe’ is more powerful than the Infinity Gauntlet. Whether the ‘Heart of the Universe’ is a part of official Marvel canon is unknown to me. But it could create a way to raise the stakes for both programs.
What is your favorite thing about international cinema? I’d have to say being introduced to new people in the world of film! Before I started 18 Cinema Lane, I didn’t know who Vincent Perez was. Now, I’ve seen two of his films; Queen of the Damned and Swept from the Sea! This June, I’ll be reviewing the 1990 film, Cyrano de Bergerac, which I’m looking forward to because of Vincent’s involvement in the project!
If you could switch a theme song from a movie or TV series with a different song, what would it be and why? I have two choices for this question. The first is the theme music from Murder, She Wrote. To me, this piece of music doesn’t fit the tone of the show. It makes the program appear more cheerful than it really is. While there are light-hearted moments within the show, there can also be suspenseful and darker moments. I would change the theme music to something that sounds more mysterious. The second choice is The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. I’ve never watched the show, but I have seen a video of the show’s opening credits. I was surprised by the creative team’s choice not to use music from the 1994 film. For this show, I’d select a song directly from the movie.
What book would you like to see adapted onto the screen? This could be a novel or comic book, by the way. I’ve mentioned this on 18 Cinema Lane before, but I’ll say it again. I would love to see Murder on Ice by Alina Adams become a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film! If you want to learn why I feel this way, you can read my Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List at this link:
What band would you like to see compose an entire soundtrack? What kind of movie would they score? My favorite band is Trans-Siberian Orchestra! While their music was featured in the movie, The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, I really want to see them create a soundtrack for a Christmas movie musical for Hallmark Hall of Fame!
What is the least favorite thing from a creator you really like? Some of my favorite youtubers from the movie community host scheduled livestream videos. Unfortunately, there have been times when these videos have started late at night or lasted two+ hours. It also doesn’t help that I can’t pause the video while it’s live, as I end up missing important content. So, I either skip the video completely or watch it on a later date.
Who would you like to see voicing over a documentary that has never done so before? What would the documentary be about? Even though Disney+ is hosting Wandavision, it would be fascinating to see a mockumentary about Sokovia. It also makes sense for Elizabeth Olsen to provide the project’s voice-over, especially since we haven’t heard her speak in a Sokovian accent while portraying Wanda/Scarlet Witch in quite some time.
Which actor would sound ridiculous if they tried an accent outside of their own? I don’t know if it would sound ridiculous, but I’ve never heard Vin Diesel attempt an accent.
Who do you think is the most overrated film or animation director? Personally, I would say Steven Soderbergh is overrated as a director. Granted, I only saw Logan Lucky. But I couldn’t finish the movie, as I disliked it that much.
What is your greatest wish for cinema and/or animation? This could be realistic or a pipe dream. I will select two wishes for this question. Whether they’re realistic or just a dream is up for debate. The first is for the more underrated people in the entertainment industry to receive more recognition and attention then they might currently have. The second is for the full version of The Crow: City of Angels to be released. The Youtube channel, GoodBadFlicks, created a really good video about this film called “Exploring The Crow City of Angels”. I’ve only watched half of it, but it’s an informative piece on the “studio intervention” that heavily effected this movie. Because of the growing awareness and drive to restore lost media/films, I feel the release of the full version of The Crow: City of Angels could be possible.
My 11 Nominees
Eric from Dr. Eric Perry, PhD
Zach from Shut Up Zach!
Paul from Classic Film Journal
Luke from Luke Atkins – Critic
Steve from Movie Movie Blog Blog II
Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews
Bonnie from Quaint Cooking
The Brannan sisters from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society
James from This Is My Truth Now
Erica from Poppity Talks Classic Film
Quiggy from The Midnite Drive-In
My 11 Questions
What is the first thing you will do when the Coronavirus is behind us?
Has there ever been a time when you thought a film adaptation was better than its source material? If so, what is it?
Which piece of lost media would you love to see found?
Who was the last person to leave a comment on your blog?
Describe your dream blogging collaboration!
Is there an event you’d like to attend? If so, what is it?
In 2020, I haven’t reviewed Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ films as often as I had wanted to. This is because of two reasons. The first is how I’m not always able to watch a film as soon as it is released. The second is how I’ve devoted my time to re-capping When Calls the Heart. But since I just watched the newest film in the Mystery 101 series and because some of my most popular content is Hallmark Movies & Mysteries related, I decided to review Mystery 101: An Education in Murder! I’ve watched all of Hallmark’s mystery movies that have premiered this year, so far. In my opinion, I think these projects are stronger than the newer Hallmark Channel movies I’ve seen. While there are patterns that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ films follow, each series tries to tell a different kind of story. The series themselves have a distinct identity, preventing these films from blending into one another. The Mystery 101 series is just one example. Taking an academic approach to the mystery genre, this collection of films has quickly become a fan favorite. I still can’t believe that after this story started a year ago, it’s already on the fifth chapter!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: What I liked about the performances in Mystery 101: An Education in Murder is how every actor and actress presented their character as if they were individuals from real-life. While the film’s writing makes this aspect a possibility, the quality of the actors’ talents also helps. All of the interactions between the characters felt realistic and their conversations came across as natural. Even though there were actors and actresses that were new to the series, there were others that have either regularly appeared in the Mystery 101 series or another mystery series. Steve Bacic was one of the main cast members in the Garage Sale Mystery series. Because of his work in those movies, it gave him an understanding on how a typical Hallmark Movies & Mysteries project works. Despite Steve being in the film for a short amount of time, his performance benefitted from his experiences working with Hallmark’s second network.
Travis and Amy’s interactions: Seeing Travis and Amy’s relationship grow over the course of the series is one of the best parts of these films! As I said in my Mystery 101 review, the on-screen chemistry between Jill and Kristoffer helps. In Mystery 101: An Education in Murder, these moments featuring Amy and Travis were more light-hearted and humorous. This was meant to provide the audience with periodical breaks from the darkness within the story. One of these moments was when Travis and Amy are waiting to be seated at a restaurant. Even though this was meant to be a romantic date, Amy’s dad showed up and the dinner became an unintentional group event. This scene was hilarious and provided light-hearted interactions between these characters!
The mystery: Cold cases are not often featured in Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ films. This kind of mystery in Mystery 101: An Education in Murder gave the audience a different story from what is usually shown on Hallmark’s second network. It encourages the creative team behind this series or any mystery series to think outside the box when it comes to story-telling. Instead of relying on physical objects as clues, the clues themselves were found in the dialogue spoken by the suspects. This provided an interesting approach to the mystery itself and how it was solved. Using language as a tool for solving a mystery is a concept that I’ve rarely seen in a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film!
What I didn’t like about the film:
The “don’t-get-involved” cliché: In my Crossword Mysteries: Abracadaver review, I talked about how the incorporation of the “don’t-get-involved” cliché was one of the flaws of that film. This is because I feel this cliché doesn’t work outside of the series’ first or second movie. Mystery 101: An Education in Murder is another film that adopts this cliché. Within the first twenty minutes of the film, Travis tells Amy not to get involved with the case. I know that he told her this with the intention of keeping her best interests in mind. I am also aware that the mystery itself was a cold case. However, Travis told Amy this after she had helped him successfully solve more than one mystery and after he called her a “consultant” while talking with a former colleague. If Travis had expressed his concern about Amy getting involved in the first or second movie, it would feel justified. But in the series’ fifth film, this cliché seems unnecessary.
A limited presence for some characters: Some of the characters in Mystery 101: An Education in Murder are featured less than others. As I already mentioned, Steve Bacic was in the film for a limited amount of time. When I first saw this film’s trailer, I had assumed Steve’s character, Mac, would play a bigger role within the story. However, he was only presented in a handful of scenes. I’ve enjoyed watching Preston Vanderslice’s performances in the Mystery 101 series! It makes me happy whenever Bud shows up in any movie. However, it feels like this character is stuck in the same place. I’m not an expert on the subject of the teaching profession. But, by the fifth movie, I feel like Bud should be further along in his educational journey. If this series receives a sixth movie, I hope we can see Bud passing his final exams or watch him graduating.
A few overlooked story-points: There were a few story-points in this movie that were not fully explored. A series of Mark Twain’s transcripts were incorporated in the overall story. They were shown at the beginning of the film as the cause for the mystery taking place. I’m not going to spoil the film if you haven’t seen it yet. However, I think these transcripts should have had a stronger connection to the overarching mystery. There was one suspect who was directly connected to the case. Again, I will not spoil the movie. But I think this character’s part of the story was, to a certain extent, overlooked.
My overall impression:
The Mystery 101 series is, in my opinion, one of the stronger of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ series. Its quality has been consistent and I’ve enjoyed watching each chapter. In fact, Mystery 101: Words Can Kill was one of the best movies I saw in 2019! Similar to that film, I did like Mystery 101: An Education in Murder! While it did have some flaws that prevented the project from being better than it was, I had a good time solving the mystery alongside Travis and Amy. Having the mystery be a cold case provided an interesting change to the series. The way the mystery itself was approached was also unique. Language has always played a role in any mystery. But in Mystery 101: An Education in Murder, dialogue from the suspects was used as clues for solving the case. Because of everything that’s been happening in the world at this time, it’ll be a while before we see another Mystery 101 movie. However, I hope we can receive another chapter in this series soon!
Overall score: 7.9 out of 10
Have you been watching Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ newest films? If so, which one has been your favorite so far? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Before I start this tag, I’d like remind everyone that Thursday, March 19th, is the last day to cast your vote for the Best Actor of the 2nd Annual Gold Sally Awards! The Best Actress poll will be re-posted on the 20th! Here is the link to the poll:
Originally, I was going to talk about Black Widow being postponed because of the Coronavirus or the possibility of Apple buying Disney. However, I already published a Word on the Street story discussing several movies’ release dates being affected by the Coronavirus, including some titles from Disney. I also mentioned the Coronavirus on two separate occasions; in the aforementioned Word on the Street story and in the most recent re-cap of When Calls the Heart. So, I won’t be talking about those things in an effort in sound less repetitive. Instead, I’ll be participating in the TBR Tag, in honor of achieving the milestone of publishing 350 posts! Posting this tag is very fitting, since March is National Reading Month. I also got the idea to participate in this tag after reading Katie’s post from Never Not Reading. To my readers, followers, and visitors who are not aware, TBR stands for “To Be Read”. TBRs are comprised of lists and collections of books that one would like to read. While I primarily talk about movies on 18 Cinema Lane, I do like to talk about books from time to time.
If you’d like to read Katie’s post, here’s the link:
For me, I have two ways of organizing which books are on my read-ar (get it? Radar? Reading?). I have a real-life bookshelf in my house where I place several books that I’d like to read. My private board on Pinterest contains a list of books that sound interesting to me. For books that I’m unsure about, I have a list called the “TBR Holding List”, where I’ll write down the name of the book and author until I can determine if I’ll add it to my Pinterest board.
2. Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?
I would say that the majority of my TBR collection consists of physical books. However, there are a few ebooks that have caught my eye, such as Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol.
3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
This question depends on two things. The first is what I feel like reading at that given time. Right now, I’m finishing a book that has over 300 pages, so my next read will contain a shorter page count. The second is whether I’m participating in a readathon. I try to match prompts with books I already own. If one of the books I have conveniently matches one of the prompts, I’ll likely read that book sooner.
4. A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.
That would have to be Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark! I saw the book’s cover in a magazine advertisement years ago. When I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to eventually read it. Fortunately, I purchased the book at a rummage sale three years ago! Now, all I have to do is set aside some time to read the book.
5. A book that you recently added to your TBR.
For my real-life bookshelf, I added Amy Foster and Words on Bathroom Walls, as I received those books as Christmas presents. For my Pinterest board, the last book I added to that list is December Stillness by Mary Downing Hahn.
6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.
Whenever I add a book to my collection, it’s because the story itself sounds interesting. Even though I have books on my shelf and list that have photogenic covers, the way a book looks is not the sole reason why I want to read any story.
7. A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading.
Currently, I can’t think of any books that I’m not interested in reading. If a book is on my shelf or list, it’s because I want to read it. It wouldn’t be there if I didn’t want to check it out.
8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers for this prompt, as every book in my TBR collection has been published at some point.
9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you.
I will say The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern! I’ve seen this book on several Booktube (the book community on Youtube) videos. I do own a physical copy of the story. However, I still haven’t read it.
10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.
There are so many Booktube videos that have brought up The Selection series by Kiera Cass. Some people seem to like it, while others dislike the books. Since I own the first book in the series, I would like to read it, as I want to see where my opinions lie on this particular spectrum.
11. A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really looking forward to the film adaptation of Words on Bathroom Walls! However, as of March 2020, the movie is still in post-production. Until it’s finally released, I’ll just read my copy of the book. Fortunately, I plan on reading it very soon!
12. The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf.
I don’t have a Goodreads account. But, as I’ve mentioned in this tag, I do have a real-life shelf. On it, I own 51 books that are a part of my TBR collection. Meanwhile, my Pinterest board boasts 186 books. In total, my collection contains 237 books!
What did you think of this tag? What books do you have in your TBR collection? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
In the season seven premiere of When Calls the Heart, Lucas says that stories should be written from the heart. As I contemplate those words, I wonder if that’s the reason why this show has lasted as long as it has? This is a program that takes place during a simpler time. Sure, there were difficulties back then. But because of that simplicity, people were given more opportunities to share what was in their heart. Through stories, letters, and face-to-face communication, people could use their words to solve problems or connect with other another. You might be thinking, “Can’t the internet do the same thing”? While this is true, the internet doesn’t always allow us to see someone’s reaction to a story or understand how someone is feeling about it. That is what When Calls the Heart strives to do: understanding the thoughts and feelings of the characters and the fans. The emphasis placed on those two things has helped this show become a place where people can connect with each other and even help one another in times of need. As season seven begins, it will be fascinating to see how the thoughts, words, and actions of Hope Valley’s citizens come from their hearts.
Just a reminder: If you did not see the season premiere of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: A Moving Picture
A journalist named Mary comes to Hope Valley to write a story about Henry Gowan. Henry believes that she’s interested in his business endeavors. However, Mary wants to know more about Henry’s past, including his convictions. Henry tells her that he tries not to dwell on the past. Not satisfied with Henry’s response, Mary turns to Bill for answers. On the subject of Henry’s past, all Bill will say is that Henry is “complicated”. Mary also approaches Lucas with questions about Henry, but Lucas refuses to speak about Henry’s life before he owned a petroleum business. Later, in the evening, Mary receives a phone call from her boss. She learns that her deadline is approaching sooner than she expected. Mary is stressed because she feels she hasn’t learned enough about Henry to write a compelling story. When she shares her dilemma with Fiona, Mary comes up with a brilliant idea. Toward the end of the episode, the citizens of Hope Valley discover that Mary decided to write a story about Fiona instead. Henry feels this decision was made because his story is not as reader-friendly as Fiona’s. Elizabeth confesses to him that every person who was questioned by Mary refused to talk about Henry’s past. Her confession effectively shows Henry that the town supports him.
While delivering books to the library, Lucas shares with Elizabeth that his mother was an editor. After she hears this, Elizabeth tells him of her unsuccessful attempts to get her book published. Lucas volunteers to proofread her book and offer her writing advice. She tells him that she’ll consider his help. A few days later, Elizabeth visits the saloon and gives Lucas her book. The next day, Lucas comes to the school after classes are over to share his thoughts on her writing. He tells Elizabeth that her stories are good, but that she should add depth to her characters. He also advises her to write from her heart. After receiving this advice, Elizabeth tries to rewrite her stories. However, she’s finding the experience more difficult than she expected. Because of this, she comes up with a new plan. At Rosemary and Lee’s anniversary party, Elizabeth thanks Lucas for his help and reveals to him that she is going to write a novel instead. At the end of the episode, Elizabeth begins writing her new book, this time titled “A Single Mother on the Frontier”.
Lee and Rosemary are preparing for a trip to Los Angeles in honor of their anniversary. The idea of traveling to the Golden State is especially exciting for Rosemary, as she makes her own preparations. These include designing swimsuits for her and Lee as well as purchasing a new pair of sunglasses. Meanwhile, Lee is looking forward to meeting with the owner of a paper plant. If all goes well, Lee feels they could be the lumber mill’s biggest client. One day, at work, Lee receives a phone call from the paper plant’s owner. They inform Lee that the only time they can meet with him is sometime the following week, the same week as Lee and Rosemary’s trip. When Lee tells Rosemary that their trip might have to be postponed, Rosemary agrees to push the trip to the week after the meeting. Feeling guilty about the situation, Lee decides to organize a surprise for his wife. On the night of their anniversary, Lee encourages Rosemary to wear the dress she had planned to wear in Los Angeles. After she agrees, Lee and Rosemary make a trip to the saloon. Rosemary is surprised to discover that Lee not only organized an anniversary party, but a movie screening as well. Rosemary is delighted by Lee’s attempt to make up for their changed plans.
Faith surprises Carson by returning home from Hamilton. She tells him that her father is in better health and has moved in with her brother. She also shares that a former colleague offered her the head nurse position at the local hospital in Hamilton. This news conflicts Carson. He missed Faith when she was away and enjoys her company in Hope Valley. But he doesn’t want to hold her back from a great occupational opportunity. At Rosemary and Lee’s party, Carson tells Faith that she should take the nursing job. When Faith feels that Carson is pushing her away so soon after returning home, she leaves the saloon. Carson follows her outside to tell her that he loves her and will support whatever decision she makes. Faith then tells Carson that she loves him.
Some thoughts to consider:
I really liked the movie/acting related “Easter Eggs” that were included in this script! While talking to Lee, Rosemary mentions Gloria Swanson. Rosemary also says that she would like to take a walk with Lee on Sunset Boulevard. In a conversation with Elizabeth, Rosemary shares that she helped a struggling British actor by advising him to focus on comedy. Through Rosemary’s dialogue, the audience learns that this “struggling actor” was Charlie Chaplin. The way these “Easter Eggs” were woven into the story was so clever! It was nice to see historically relevant references told in a way that today’s audience would recognize!
Due to the movie screening’s positive response, Lucas announces that the saloon will host a movie night once every month. Because of this, I’m hoping this is the first step toward Rosemary finally receiving her theater! Rosemary, as well the fans, have been waiting for this for a long time. As they say, anything is possible.
When Mary is struggling to find information about Henry, I honestly thought the writers of the show would pull the “it’s not what you think” cliché. I was expecting Mary to unintentionally write an article that contained embarrassing information about Henry, causing the citizens of Hope Valley to be upset. Seeing Mary write about Fiona instead was a good subversion of expectations. It allowed the writers to be creative in their story-telling and not rely on over-used clichés. This makes me look forward to seeing how the writers go against my expectations!
What are your thoughts on the season seven premiere? Is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing this season? Let me know in the comment section!