Evenings At The Shore: You Fit In Just Fine

Now we are coming to the end of another season of Chesapeake Shores. With this story complete, I can now give my honest opinion on the season as a whole. This has been one of the strongest seasons in the show’s history! That balance between character and plot driven stories has returned! One of the strengths was the addition of new cast members. Because Robert Buckley was promoted the most, I’ll talk about his character, Evan Kincaid. With new characters, it can be hit or miss. But with Evan, he fit in just fine. In fact, it felt like he was meant to be on Chesapeake Shores all along. Evan was a well written character, with each layer being pulled back as the story went on. Robert also presented a personality that hadn’t been seen on the show before. Despite joining Chesapeake Shores this season, I can’t imagine this story without him. As this chapter of the show comes to a close, let’s re-cap the season finale!

Just a reminder: If you did not see the season finale of Chesapeake Shores, there are spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 10

Name: As Time Goes By

Abby’s story: Abby comes back home from her business trip in Cleveland. She is surprised to discover Evan waiting for her at the airport. Afterwards, they agree to have lunch at Sally’s Café. During their meal, Evan confesses how he might have romantic feelings for Abby. She turns down this possibility at first, as she and Evan are business partners. But Evan convinces her to, at least, think about the idea of them together. The next day, Evan visits the O’Brien family home to deliver some homemade brownies. Abby is not only amazed by how good the sweet treats are, but how Evan created the brownies so that Caitlyn, who is lactose intolerant, could eat them too. In the middle of this exchange, Evan shares with Abby how he learned to bake from a man who used to date Evan’s mother. When Abby asks Evan if she can meet this man, Evan says he’ll try to locate him, as he is a truck driver. Later in the episode, Jay reveals how every year, he takes a picture for his “Best Moment of the Year” collection. For the previous year, he shows Abby a picture of her, indicating how she was his “Best Moment of the Year”. Jay also confesses how he has romantic feelings for Abby. But he says he has romantic feelings for a female guidance counselor named Cam as well. The information Abby received from Evan and Jay puts her at a fork in the road. After consulting with Bree, Abby calls someone and tells them how she has feelings for them too. But the identity of the receiver is not known.

Mick and Megan’s story: One morning, Mick and Megan share the news that not only are they taking a trip around the world, but Mick is also taking a year off work in order to make this trip happen. While the family is shocked by this news, there are happy to see Megan and Mick move forward with their relationship. While she’s at the location where the art show took place, Carter tells Megan how she has received multiple job offers due to the art show’s success. Megan says she has given up that life, indicating her disinterest in these offers. Then, Carter reveals how a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles wants Megan to join their team. Because she has always dreamed of working with that particular gallery, she thinks twice about her future. Mick ends up finding out about this job offer from Carter, as Carter is on his way home to New York. When Mick addresses this piece of news with Megan, she says she hasn’t made a decision yet. But, by the end of the episode, she questions if she can have both the job and the trip. This makes Mick wonder if she’ll leave the family again.

Connor’s story: While Luke’s court hearing has received a different judge, the date is scheduled for the very next day. Even though this concerns Connor, he continues to look for a way to help Luke. Meanwhile, Margaret has her concerns about Connor’s well-being. Remembering what Connor said in the previous episode, Margaret brings s’more ingredients to the firm, in an attempt to help Connor relax. Connor likes Margaret’s gesture, which ends up with both of them kissing. But, the following day, Luke and Bree discover Connor slept at the firm. Because of this discovery, Luke reveals how he takes sleep medication. This information gives Connor an idea. He recruits his doctor as an expert witness, in an attempt to show how Luke’s sleep medication could be mistaken for amphetamines. The plan works and Luke doesn’t have to go back to prison. Toward the end of the episode, Margaret visits Connor at the O’Brien family home. While they are kissing, Connor collapses. The cause of his ailments is unknown.

Courtroom image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/isometric”>Isometric vector created by macrovector – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: At the beginning of the episode, it is revealed Sarah had a miscarriage. Devastated by this latest heartbreak, Sarah tells Kevin to keep it between themselves. But, later in the episode, Kevin shares this information with Mick and Megan. They tell their son how they suffered a miscarriage years ago. Through the interaction, they show their support for Kevin and Sarah. When Kevin tells his wife what he told his parents, Sarah is upset. However, she comes to appreciate Mick and Megan’s support when Megan pays her a visit. Megan tells Sarah how her miscarriage happened after Jess was born. She also tells Sarah how, in time, she will get through this tragedy.

Jess and David’s story: Jess has a lot of thoughts about Mick and Megan getting back together. So, at three in the morning, she decides to write Megan an email, which contains her real thoughts. Later that day, Jess freaks out because she actually sent the email. When David reads it, he thinks it is brutally honest. So, Jess goes to the O’Brien family home to talk to Megan. She apologizes for the email, telling Megan how she’s actually happy for her and Mick. But Megan responds by saying she hadn’t checked her email yet, but appreciated Jess’s honesty. Meanwhile, David discovers his trust fund has been cleaned out. Only his father has access to this fund, but he is nowhere to be found. David goes to Boston to find out more information on his father’s whereabouts. When he returns, David tells Jess his father flew out of the country, with the FBI looking for him.

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • Looking back on the show as a whole, it seems like Kevin and Sarah can’t win. First, they don’t have the wedding of their dreams because season four only contained six episodes. Now, they are dealing with a miscarriage. I understand things do not always go according to plan, in real life and in fictional stories. However, I was hoping the writers would try to make it up to the fans after the omission of a wedding in the previous season. If Chesapeake Shores receives a sixth season, I hope Kevin and Sarah meet happier circumstances.
  • While talking to a family member about this season, I realized injuries and falls seemed to be a common theme. Sarah fell twice, Thomas fell while hiking, and Evan fell in Tae Kwon Do class. There was also Mick’s plane accident, Thomas’ sprained ankle, Evan’s hurt back, and Connor’s medical issues. I’m guessing this was all a coincidence. But, as a fan, I found it concerning how five of the show’s characters were in harm’s way, sometimes on more than one occasion.
  • While I know cliffhangers and season finales can sometimes go hand-in-hand, I thought it was risky for the season to end with four cliffhangers. As of October 2021, there has been no announcements about a sixth season. This means if the show were to be cancelled, several stories would receive no resolution. Personally, I think one or two cliffhangers would have been just fine. Some of these cliffhangers could have been introduced earlier in the season, such as the whereabouts of David’s dad. Had this been the case, David and Jess’s story could have contained more depth.
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 the season finale? Would you like to see Chesapeake Shores receive a sixth season? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: The First To Know

After watching this episode of Chesapeake Shores, one of my family members brought up how Mick has suddenly been playing a father figure to Evan. I then mentioned that Mick was the first character to receive the details of Evan’s accident, the same one that Mandrake brought up two episodes ago. He was also the first character to learn about Luke’s past. With all this said, it seems like Mick is, sometimes, the first to know if a character has something important to say. He not only provides a listening ear, but also a strong shoulder to lean on. Even though Nell seems like the glue that keeps the O’Brien family together, Mick is the heart of that family. So, let’s get to the heart of this episode by starting this re-cap of Chesapeake Shores!

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 9

Name: What a Difference a Day Makes

Mick’s story: Hours after he crashed his plane due to a storm, Mick is found on a nearby island by the Coast Guard. He is taken to the hospital because he obtained injuries, including a broken arm. When he arrives home, his family is happy he is alive. But Megan is upset that Mick would leave without letting anyone know where he was going, as she feels he would have left behind a loving family if something had happened to him. The next day, Evan comes to visit Mick at the O’Brien family’s home to discuss details about the hotel project. Mick uses this time to tell Evan how he didn’t like Evan’s business offer to Abby, the one where Evan offered Abby a job at his business firm. This is because Abby is Mick’s business partner. But, as the episode goes on, Mick forgives Evan for Abby’s offer. While going through the hotel project details, Mick tells Evan he can visit the O’Brien family home for non-business-related reasons. He also invites Evan to check out the plane’s damages at the hangar. This is the start of Mick’s discoveries about Evan. While making omelets for Mick, Evan reveals how he never knew his father. So, his mother was the only parent in Evan’s life. At the hangar, Mick and Evan see the plane’s damages, which are worse than Mick realized. Evan offers to purchase a new plane for Mick, but Mick refuses the offer. Realizing how rude this could come across, Evan goes to Mick at his business firm and apologizes to him. When Mick shares his feelings about his injuries, this causes Evan to reveal how he injured his back. When he was 18, he was riding in the car with his mother. Evan wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and he isn’t sure whether his mother was drunk or tired. Evan survived the accident, but his mother passed away.

Megan’s story: Megan is making last minute preparations for the art show. She receives a lot of support, including from her family. When Kevin visits her at the art show venue, he says he wants to tell her something. But instead of telling her his and Sarah’s news, Kevin gives her encouraging words. The art show ends up being a success. During the event, Mick approaches Megan as he contemplates his future. He plans on traveling the world someday and would like Megan to join him. Megan agrees with Mick’s plan.

Connor’s story: Connor is looking for an assistant for his law firm. When Nell volunteers to be his assistant, Connor accepts her offer. But this arrangement is not as successful as Connor hoped. Because of Nell’s advice for clients to solve their problems on their own, Connor isn’t receiving any work. So, Connor searches for a new assistant. After multiple interviews, Margaret comes to the law firm. She tells Connor she quit her job shortly after Connor quit his, stating how he is a lawyer of integrity. Connor then gives her the assistant job. Shortly after this happens, Bree and Luke come to Connor. Luke explains how he failed a drug test, with him swearing he didn’t consume any drugs. The test in question claims Luke took amphetamines. Remembering Luke took allergy medication at The Bridge, Connor suggests how the allergy medication could have caused the drug test results. Unfortunately, the allergy medication contains a different set of ingredients. Connor also suggests Luke take another drug test, which he later passes. Three days later, Luke’s hearing is about to begin. But, all of a sudden, Connor passes out. This incident, as told by Connor, was triggered by stress. It also causes the hearing to be pushed back a week. Margaret encourages Connor to take the doctor’s advice, starting with a trip to a local yoga class. After the class, Margaret asks Connor what helps him relax. He tells her he feels relaxed when he spends time with his family around their outdoor firepit.

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Jess and David’s story: After leaving with his groceries, David receives a phone call from his father. Mr. Peck tells his son how he didn’t make smart choices when it comes to investments. He not only tells David he loves him, but to not listen to everything he hears. This phone call concerns David and makes him worried by his father. At the art show, David tells Jess about the phone call. Jess asks if he told his mother about what his father said to him. David says he doesn’t know if his mother knows about his father’s financial troubles. Jess then thanks David for keeping her in the loop.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: Sarah develops pregnancy related food cravings. First, she craves peanut butter and avocados. Then, she wants barbeque potato chips and cream soda. Despite these cravings, Kevin is more than willing to make Sarah happy. Before they leave the station for the art show, Sarah tells Kevin she doesn’t feel well. She then collapses onto the floor with no known reason why.

Nell and Arthur’s story: Arthur is amazed by how many people showed up to the art show. But he also doesn’t like being in large crowds. So, he and Nell go to a nearby outdoor patio where there are less people present. On the outdoor patio, Arthur tells Nell how he only cared about creating art. When it comes to fame, he claims his wife took care of that part of his career. Nell asks him what he would really like to do. He responds by saying dancing. Their story ends with the two of them dancing together on the patio.

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • I found the scene where Nell was Connor’s secretary hilarious! But I also liked how she tried to give the clients legitimate and meaningful advice. After watching that scene, I now want to see Nell become a radio host whose job is giving listeners advice. This would not only allow more appearances for Nell, but it would also create an interesting story for her.
  • While I’m glad the art show was a success, I’m surprised how well Arthur took it. As I’ve said in previous re-cap posts from this season, Megan did not tell him about her plans for the art show. Because of this, I was expecting Arthur to get upset at Megan. But, once again, I was proven wrong about this outcome.
  • I understand Megan was upset about Mick’s recent situation. But when she, basically, accused him of being selfish, I thought that was very hypocritical of her. In this re-cap, I said Megan was upset that Mick would leave without letting anyone know where he was going, as she felt he would have left behind a loving family if something had happened to him. But that’s exactly what she did when she left her family prior to the show’s events. I kind of wish one of the characters would have pointed this out to Megan.
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What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think will happen in the season finale? Tell me what you think in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Sally Watches…Touched by an Angel (Again)!

As I mentioned in my recent Word On The Street story, the newest Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie is on its way. Premiering on October 17th, this movie will bring their audience a new chapter to a story that started all the way back in 2013. The series is executive produced by Martha Williamson, who also executive produced Touched by an Angel. Similar to Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Touched by an Angel has seen many guest stars appear over the course of the show’s nine season life-span. One of them was Bai Ling, who guest starred on Touched by an Angel in 1998.

Even though I have seen many episodes of Touched by an Angel before, I don’t recall ever seeing the two-part episode, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, the episode I’ll be reviewing for this post. Prior to writing this article, I had heard it was “one of the most moving episodes from the television drama”. With curiosity getting the better of me and because Bai’s birthday is on October 10th, I decided to revisit this show and review this particular episode. Two years ago, I wrote about another Touched by an Angel episode, “The Sky Is Falling”. Like that post, what will be discussed is what I liked about this episode, what I didn’t like about this episode, the story itself, the other factors from this episode, and my overall thoughts.

This is a screenshot of one of the Touched by an Angel DVDs I own. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

What I liked about this episode:

Last November, I reviewed an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street titled “And The Rockets Dead Glare”. In that post, I talked about how, while portraying Teri Chow, Bai was forced to rely on emotion instead of actions. This was compared to her characters in The Crow and Lost; Myca and Achara. Because of how effectively she used emotion, Bai was the stand-out actor in “And The Rockets Dead Glare”! I’ve seen only a handful of projects from Bai’s filmography. Despite this, I have noticed that she has a strong sense of emotionality. She not only knows how to control that emotionality, but also how to use that control to her advantage. Portraying a character named Jean Chang, the emotions Bai brought to her role in “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” felt realistic and genuine. Earlier in the episode, Jean crosses paths with Monica and Edward, a toy company CEO, at a local Chinese restaurant. In an attempt to recruit her for an upcoming business trip, they ask Jean why she doesn’t want to go to China. This is where Jean explains her very heart-breaking life story. Throughout this explanation, Bai’s emotions flawlessly adapted with each part of Jean’s story, ranging from blissful reminiscing to tear-inducing sadness. This strength in Bai’s acting abilities allows her performance to contain depth. It also gave the audience a reason to feel empathy/sympathy for Jean.

What I didn’t like about this episode:

One of Edward’s co-workers is his friend, Alex Stella. Throughout “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, Alex was rude and self-centered, especially toward Jean. It got to the point where his attitude became so annoying, it was tiresome to watch him in a static state. I understand Alex was meant to show the viewer that, sometimes, people won’t change, no matter how hard you try. I’ll also admit this is not a bad lesson to teach. But because of this episode’s story and because of the nature of Touched by an Angel, I wish the angels had paid Alex a visit and opened his eyes to selflessness.

The story itself:

Touched by an Angel is a show that was not afraid to take creative risks. “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is a perfect example of that statement. I haven’t seen the movie, Red Corner, but I am familiar with its basic premise. The story of “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is very reminiscent of the film due to topics discussed within the script. Criticism of China’s government and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests are the two major subjects revolving around this episode. Because of the serious nature of these subjects, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” was heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. Similar to the Touched by an Angel episode, “The Sky Is Falling”, the story of “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is a fictional narrative wrapped up in a real-life historical event. During Jean’s recollection of her past, black-and-white flashbacks and video footage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were shown on screen. The use of these visual techniques presented an interesting and creative way to discuss a piece of world history.

The other factors from this episode:

  • As I mentioned earlier, Alex is rude and self-centered, especially toward Jean. To further explain my point, I will bring up two examples from this episode. When Monica suggests a translator should join their business trip to China, Alex suggests speaking to Jean about the idea. While Edward assumes Jean’s ethnicity based on her appearance, Alex carries that assumption into his and Monica’s meeting with Jean. Even though Jean calls Alex out on his assumptions during this meeting about the aforementioned idea, Alex’s promotion of the idea itself should have been more professional. When Alex, Edward, and Monica have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, Jean soon arrives. The three then discover Jean had lied about her ethnicity. Upset by this discovery, Alex approaches Jean and yells at her in public, accusing her of lying about other things. I understand Alex was disappointed by Jean’s decision. Even Jean admitted that her decision was wrong. But, like I said about the previous example, Alex could have handled this situation more professionally and in private.
  • Throughout the episode, Edward and Jean develop “romantic” feelings for one another. I’m using the word “romantic” loosely, as the only romantic gestures they perform are holding hands and Edward kissing Jean’s head. When a romantic relationship is introduced in a movie or television show, it is usually done with an endgame in mind. Without giving anything away, there wasn’t an endgame for Jean and Edward’s relationship. Their relationship also felt “insta-love”, as it progressed at a quick pace. With all that said, I don’t think a romantic relationship was necessary for this particular story.
  • Touched by an Angel shows the angels going undercover in different professions based on an episode’s mission. In “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, Monica goes undercover as the Chinese consultant of Edward’s toy company. As Monica interacts with Edward and Alex, I was confused why Monica was the Chinese consultant instead of Jean. When Alex was explaining what Monica would do on their business trip, it made me wonder why Jean wasn’t originally recruited for the consultant position, especially since she knows more about China than Monica. But, without giving anything away, it makes sense why this choice was not made.

My overall thoughts:

“The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is a tough episode to write about. On the one hand, I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from watching it. It contains one of the strongest stories in the show’s history and features strong acting performances, especially from Bai Ling. On the other hand, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon” is not for the faint of heart. This episode is so emotionally intense, I was left mentally drained after watching it. Because of that, the episode doesn’t have a high re-watchability rate. What I will say is this story is an important one. In fact, I would say this episode’s story is one of the most important Touched by an Angel has ever told. So, if you’re interested in watching “The Spirit of Liberty Moon”, my advice would be to watch it in the right headspace. Speaking of Bai Ling, I realized something while watching this episode. As I said earlier, I’ve seen only a handful of projects from Bai’s filmography. Based on her roles I have seen, I noticed how her characters are, more often than not, surrounded by unfortunate circumstances. Myca is one of the villains of The Crow, so her unfortunate circumstances don’t cause the audience to feel any empathy/sympathy for her. But for Teri, Achara, and now Jean, their unfortunate circumstances can, to varying degrees, cause feelings of empathy/sympathy from the audience. During my movie blogging journey, I hope to see Bai portraying a character whose circumstances are more fortunate and happier.

Rating: A solid 4 out of 5

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Have you watched Touched by an Angel? If so, which episode is your favorite? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun on television!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Light a Candle

In this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Nell says she always lights a candle for Mick. Her reasons for letting a candle were never revealed. But it did make me think about something. Lighting a candle for someone is usually seen as a sign of remembrance or keeping them in your thoughts. The characters on this show are always in someone’s thoughts, whether its between each other, the fans, or the show’s creative team. A candle can also represent the characters’ vulnerability. Some of them are trying to prevent their candle from being blown out, in an attempt to simply survive. Other characters want to spread the light around by sharing that shine. Together, they are bright, illuminating among Chesapeake Shores. This helps bring out the best in each character.

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 8

Name: Where or When

Abby’s story: Abby is scheduled to attend two business trips, one in Ohio and one with Evan in Pennsylvania. When she tells Bree and Jess about these trips, they think Evan is whisking Abby away in order to profess his feelings for her. At first, she laughs off the idea. But as the Pennsylvania trip approaches, Abby begins to wonder if her sisters are right. On the day of the trip, Evan takes Abby to his home in Pennsylvania. While there, he explains how they have made a connection, even though it has happened suddenly. As Evan is taking an emergency business call, Abby calls Bree and Jess. She tells them what Evan told her, with Jess and Bree thinking they were right. But when Evan comes back, he asks Abby if she’d like to join his business firm. Abby not only refuses Evan’s offer, but she also shares what her sisters thought he was going to ask. Evan considers buying the O’Brien business firm, but Abby tells him there are more important things in life than money.

Mick’s story: While looking through a stack of mail, Abby comes across a package for Mick. In this package is an urn and a letter explaining the ashes were to be spread all over Chesapeake Shores. The letter also stated how Mick was a good friend to the deceased. Because the letter or package were not addressed, Mick and Abby are desperate for answers. Abby finds out the ashes came from a nursing home in another state. She also discovers the ashes belonged to a man named Eugene. These clues still don’t give Mick any answers. Later in the episode, Abby presents Mick with Eugene’s obituary, revealing how Eugene’s nickname was Buzz. This causes Mick to remember his connection to Eugene. At a juice bar called “Juicy Juice”, Mick reveals to Abby how, many years ago, he would go to the bar and talk with Eugene. At that time, the bar was a completely different establishment. Shortly after Megan left the family, Mick relied on Eugene, recalling how he always listened to what Mick had to say. Now, many years later, Mick realizes just how much he meant to Eugene. Toward the end of the episode, Mick takes a plane ride with Eugene’s ashes in the passenger seat, likely fulfilling Eugene’s last wish.

Megan’s story: Megan hasn’t given up her plans to host an art show. She calls her friend, Carter, to help her pull some strings. He not only arrives in Chesapeake Shores to see Arthur’s art, but he shows up at the O’Brien family home as well. When Carter is introduced to Mick, he immediately labels Mick as the “ex-husband”. While Carter attempts to label Nell the “ex mother-in-law”, Nell replies how there’s no such thing as “ex mothers-in-law”.  For most of her story, Megan is seen making various phone calls, with Carter doing the same. Throughout the episode, Mick wonders if Megan and Carter had ever dated. Nell suggests that Mick just ask her. After many phone calls and negotiations, Megan and Carter uncover a loophole in Arthur’s contract with the art dealer from in the previous episode. While celebrating their victory over wine, Megan notices Mick’s sudden departure from the living room. Following him into the kitchen, Megan asks what is happening. This is when Mick asks his awaited question to Megan. She confesses how she used to date Carter, but that it happened many years ago. This conversation makes them realize they haven’t talked much about the past.

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Bree and Luke’s story: Luke is still planning on telling Bree about his past. He tells Connor at The Bridge how he is going to tell her that day. Connor also reveals news about Luke’s situation. He contacted a friend on the parole board who said how difficult it was to switch parole officers. However, Connor’s friend agreed to continue looking into the situation for Luke. When Luke tells Connor how he doesn’t have the money to pay him, Connor says that his case is pro bono. Meanwhile, at the University of Maryland, Jerome shares with Bree how Luke was arrested for assault and battery. He tells Bree how he found this information from a friend at the university’s law department, days after he saw Bree and Luke dancing at Jess and David’s wedding. Upset by this news, Bree goes straight to The Bridge. She demands to know if Jerome was telling the truth. When Luke admits he did get arrested, Bree asks him why he was hesitant to tell her. He says he didn’t want Bree to look at him the way she looking at him at that moment. Back at the University of Maryland, Bree calls Jerome out for his decision to search Luke’s information. While Jerome claims he did it to look out for her, Bree knows he did it to encourage her to date him. On Bree’s first day of class, Luke unexpectedly shows up. He conveniently arrives as the students are writing a two-hundred-word essay on who they currently are. After class, Bree talks to Luke about what he wrote. Even though she likes Luke’s essay, Luke says he put more emphasis on the content. Before he leaves for a meeting with his parole officer, Bree kisses Luke on the lips. This indicates she has chosen to fall in love with him.

Jess and David’s story: After dealing with a disgruntled guest, Jess discovers a negative review on the bed and breakfast’s Yelp page. It bothers her how she doesn’t know who posted the review, so she leaves a professional reply. While this review also bothers David, he tells Jess not to worry about it. Days later, Jess still hasn’t received any word from the anonymous reviewer. She wonders if it’s from the owner of a nearby hotel. But David encourages her to be the bigger person, stopping her from making any rash decisions. Toward the end of the episode, Jess jokes about suing the anonymous reviewer for libel, with David playfully disagreeing.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: Sarah and Kevin are excited about becoming new parents. However, they want to wait to share their news. Sarah uses this time to reveal how she accepted the Lieutenant position. This makes the couple even more happy. At the station, Kevin gives Sarah a pair of baby shoes. They also agree to share their news over the weekend. Toward the end of the episode, Kevin and Sarah attend a small family gathering at the O’Brien family home. During this gathering, Megan worries over Mick’s absence, as he still hasn’t returned from his plane trip. After making a phone call to the airport, she tells the family how Mick didn’t arrive from his trip.

Money plant image created by Dooder at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/infographic”>Infographic vector created by Dooder – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/watering-the-coin-plant_1076121.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • In my re-cap of this season’s fifth episode, I said how I was disappointed by the revealed summer date, as I thought this meant we weren’t going to see Bree interact with her students. So, I was happy to see Bree teaching her class in this episode, even if it was only in a short scene. Because we’re over half-way through the season, I doubt we’ll get to know any of these students. But, as I said in the aforementioned re-cap, it’s gives me something to look forward to if Chesapeake Shores gets a sixth season.
  • I didn’t like how Jess and David’s story was unresolved. In real life, I know a situation like theirs typically wouldn’t receive any answers. But because the majority of David and Jess’s stories are episodic, I was expecting this story to be similar. Maybe in a later episode, they’ll discover who wrote the review? Maybe the reviewer will be revealed in the season finale?
  • In my list of the top 10 things I wanted to see in Chesapeake Shores’ fifth season, I said I wanted to see more appearances for Nell. Even though this season isn’t over yet, Nell has had more appearances in this season than in the previous one! I also like how she is more involved in the overall story. Including Arthur in season five certainly helps, as they can possibly form a relationship.
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? Who do you think wrote the bed and breakfast’s negative review? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Chasing Ghosts

It was interesting to hear ghosts brought up in this episode of Chesapeake Shores. One of Abby’s daughters says Mick’s pancakes look like a ghost. Trace tells Abby that, while living in Chesapeake Shores, he has been “chasing ghosts”. As I listen to what was said, I realize how the characters on this show have been doing the same thing as Trace. Each member of the O’Brien family has dealt with their own traumas, troubles, and trials. Even characters like Luke and Jerome seem to be wrestling with their own demons. The important thing to remember is that everyone will have a different reaction when they finally face their “ghosts”. They will also come face-to-face with these “ghosts” in their own time. For now, though, let’s re-cap this episode of Chesapeake Shores!

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 2

Name: Nice Work If You Can Get It

Abby’s story: Abby continues to work alongside Mick. But because of Dilpher’s case, potential and current clients have stayed clear of Mick’s firm. At a job site, two of Mick’s clients want to talk with him privately about the case. Abby steps in and defends Mick, reminding them of how he took on a chance on their business. Not swayed by Abby’s speech, they back out of their business partnership with Mick. Before this exchange, Mick makes Abby his official business partner. This is because he’s known since Abby was six that she wanted to work with her dad. Abby is also dealing with the aftermath of her breakup with Trace. Shown through flashbacks, Trace gives his half of The Bridge to Mick and moves out of Chesapeake Shores. He claims that everything about the town reminds him of Abby and that he needs to find a missing piece of himself. At the end of the episode, Abby asks Kevin how long it took him to heal from his breakup with Georgia, his fiancé from season one. Kevin tells his sister it took a while.

Jess and David’s story: Jess is at a crossroads after receiving the prenuptial agreement. She wants to tell David about it, but she doesn’t want to make him upset. So, she tries to avoid the subject as much as possible. Before David’s parents leave, Mrs. Peck gives Jess a diamond bracelet. She and Abby believe this could be a bribe, Mrs. Peck’s attempt to pressure Jess. Later in the episode, when the O’Brien family are surrounding the campfire, Jess comes clean about the agreement Mrs. Peck gave her. David confesses he already knew about it because he found it tucked away in a laundry basket. He also says he burned the papers in the campfire. They both promise to be more honest with one another, which leads David to reveal that the bracelet was not only real diamond, but that it was also a gift from his mother and aunt.

Bree’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Bree tells Abby that, while in England, she had dinner with Simon and his new girlfriend. She also reveals she felt nervous and homesick during her stay. When she is loading clothing donations into her car, she shares with Mick that Jerome, her high school nemesis, made her feel less than. Mick apologizes for not knowing how hurt Bree was. Bree’s revelations don’t stop there. At the clothing donation bin, she runs into Luke, Kevin’s former classmate from the previous episode. She shares she had a crush on him back in high school. When she arrives at the University of Maryland, she learns more about Jerome than she bargained for. Not only did he like her book, he also enjoyed her play. He also tells her how he was unlikable in high school because he had difficulty getting to know others. After Jerome shares the reason why she didn’t make the debate team, because he felt she was a better debater than him, Bree starts to gain a better understanding of Jerome.

Image of ghost reading created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/book”>Book photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin’s story: One again, Kevin goes to the gas station where Luke works. He tells Luke how Mick owns The Bridge and is looking for employees. Luke turns down Kevin’s offer, saying he isn’t looking for charity. However, Kevin’s words must have had an effect on him. Later in the episode, Luke crosses paths with Bree. When he brings up the job offer, Bree encourages Luke to take it. During this conversation, Luke quotes literature by telling Bree that when it comes to life, “it goes on”. After this exchange, Luke takes a shirt and a pair of boots from the clothing donation bin. Meanwhile, Kevin provides a shoulder to lean on for Abby. He gives her advice about moving on after a breakup and reminds her how strong the Irish are.

Mick’s story: Mick and Abby are still dealing with the effects of Dilpher’s case. While Abby is suggesting to take on some new clients, Mick wants to focus on the projects they already have. Throughout this episode, Mick starts to regret working as hard as he did years ago. When talking with Bree about Jerome, Mick is surprised to discover how much Jerome hurt Bree. He also shares with Abby how he missed so much because of his career. However, they are able to relate to how imperfect parenting is.

Pancakes and Syrup image created by vextok at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/banner”>Banner vector created by vextok – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

Compared to last week’s episode, this episode felt anticlimactic. While things were happening within the overarching story, we didn’t receive much information about the individual storylines introduced in the season premiere. Luke’s backstory is still unknown, Connor’s story was not addressed, and Kevin was barely featured in this episode. In a storyline where we did receive answers, Trace and Abby’s breakup, it played out in such an uneventful way. I know this is only the second episode of the season, but I was hoping for something a little more exciting.

While it’s great to see Bree enter a new chapter in her career, it makes me wonder who has been running her bookstore this whole time? Is Bree’s bookstore still in business or did she sell it prior to the events of the fifth season? I hope this is addressed in an upcoming episode.

Before the O’Brien family starts their campfire, Jess can be seen wearing a white denim jacket. When she turns to leave the house, a crystal angel wing design is displayed on the jacket’s back. This is one of my favorite pieces from Jess’ wardrobe! It not only compliments Jess’ personality, but I would love to own a jacket like that!

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? How do you feel about Trace and Abby breaking up? Please let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: The Department of Time

Due to a scheduling conflict, I’m posting this re-cap later than I hoped. But, like my other re-cap posts, I will continue to help viewers by delivering these re-caps as quickly as realistically possible. In the season premiere, as Jay was walking on the beach with Abby, he says he wants to make a complaint to The Department of Time. This is because Jay wishes the summer lasted longer. While reflecting on this part of the script, I think about how Jay’s statement could apply to television shows, especially those from Hallmark. I’ve heard from fans over the years how they wished the seasons lasted longer, wanting to see the network expand the show past ten episodes. But, as the age old saying goes, “Nothing lasts forever”. As Chesapeake Shores returns for their fifth chapter, let’s appreciate the time who do have with these characters and their world.

Just a reminder: If you did not see the season premiere of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 1

Name: A Kiss is Still a Kiss

Abby’s story: Abby is enjoying her new job at her father’s business firm. She is also spending more time with Jay. But what her family has noticed is how she has avoided talking about Trace. They give Abby as much time and space as she needs, allowing her to decide when she’ll open up about that subject. One day, as the O’Brien family are about to play a game, Bree asks Abby what really happened between her and Trace. Shown throughout the episode in short flashbacks, Abby explains that she had an argument with Trace about their future. She feels that they might have loved their memories more than each other. Trace disagreed, telling Abby he cares about his music and her. Meanwhile, Abby discovers just how talented of an artist her daughter, Kerry, is after volunteering for an upcoming parent-teacher meeting. When Abby sees one of Kerry’s paintings, she is blown away by her daughter’s talent. Even Jay gives Kerry words of encouragement. While Kerry is appreciative of these compliments, she thinks her painting could have been better.

Mick and Megan’s story: At home, Mick and Kevin are putting the finishing touches on a porch-swing. After their project, Kevin asks Mick if he thinks he’ll be a good father. Even though Mick has confidence in his son, he tells Kevin to fight for his marriage. Mick says this after he admits that he and Megan were poor planners. During this conversation, Kevin asks Mick if he and Megan are getting back together. Mick simply says that things are going. He then calls Megan and asks if she’d like to go on a date, with Megan saying yes. Later in the episode, Megan and Mick go on their date to a fancy restaurant. During their date, Mick’s former business partner, Dilpher, shows up at the restaurant with his wife. At first, Mick refuses to leave. But when Dilpher comes up to Megan and Mick’s table to say hello, Mick shows him animosity due to his legal decision from the previous season. At this point, Mick and Megan decide to leave the restaurant. On the boardwalk, Mick shares his concerns over his reputation. Megan tells him how people will see his honesty.

Kevin’s story: Kevin wakes Sarah up on the morning of their second month anniversary. During this time, Kevin shares his ideas for Irish baby names. Not satisfied with Kevin’s ideas, Sarah says she’ll choose the names. Later in the episode, Kevin gets gas at a local gas station. While he is paying, Kevin notices that the man behind the counter is a former classmate named Luke. Luke is very short with Kevin, blocking Kevin’s opportunities of starting a conversation. This makes Kevin wonder why Luke has become this way. One morning, as Kevin is jogging through the park, he sees Luke again. This time, Luke is getting ready for work near his truck.

Paint palette image created by Freepik at freepik.com <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/hand-drawn-artsy-tools_836777.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/hand”>Hand vector created by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

Jess and David’s story: As Jess and David plan their wedding, they make the decision to get married in Chesapeake Shores. Their challenge is to convince David’s parents that getting married in Chesapeake Shores is a good idea. After inviting Mr. and Mrs. Peck to The Inn at Eagle Point and sharing their wedding plans, David’s parents agree with Jess and David’s decision. However, they personally wish David and Jess got married at their home in Wales. Mr. Peck tells Mick this in an attempt to change Jess’s mind. However, after Mick shares this conversation with Jess, Jess stays firm in her choice. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peck advises Jess to consider signing a prenuptial agreement. When Jess receives the paperwork, she is dismayed by that concept. 

Bree’s story: Bree returns from England, already sick of tea and bad weather. One day, while at Sally’s Café, she receives a job offer from the University of Maryland. During her conversation with Jess, who also happens to be at the café, Bree discovers that the job is a playwright teaching position. But she also discovers the head of the Humanities department is her high school nemesis, Jerome. At first, she is upset by this news. Later in the episode, as she is talking with Abby and Jess, Bree decides to not show Jerome any fear.

Connor’s story: Connor has found success working at Linda’s law firm. The lawyers, including one named Louis, seem to like him. While working on a case related to wages, Connor becomes friends with a co-worker named Margaret. She not only shares her thoughts on the topic, but she and Connor learn they have some things in common. During a meeting involving Connor’s wage case, Linda is called out of the meeting due to a pre-set appointment. This appointment is with Dilpher, Mick’s former business partner. Dilpher is looking for a lawyer who will help him win his case. Linda thinks pairing Connor with Dilpher would be a good way to get back at Mick.

Wedding postcard created by Kraphix at freepik.com.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/postcard-for-a-wedding-invitation_1058640.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding vector created by Kraphix – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Last year, I wrote a post titled ‘Top 10 Things I’d Like to See in Chesapeake Shores’ Fifth Season’. In this post, I said I wanted to see Kerry and Caitlyn receive their own subplot. I liked seeing Kerry’s character development in this episode. While it’s only the start of the season, learning more about her interests could, hopefully, lead to a subplot for at least one of Abby’s daughters. Also, I discovered on Hallmark’s website that I’ve been spelling Kerry’s name incorrectly. So that is the reason why I will be spelling Kerry’s name like this from now on.
  • As I already said, this is only the beginning of the season. However, I’m already noticing a change in the script. I’ve said before in my Evenings At The Shore re-caps that seasons three and four made the show’s overall quality plateau, placing more emphasis on the relationship drama. In the aforementioned post, ‘Top 10 Things I’d Like to See in Chesapeake Shores’ Fifth Season’, I hoped the relationship drama would be toned down in the upcoming season. In the season premiere, it looks like a healthy balance between a character and plot driven story has returned! I hope this continues throughout the season!
  • Speaking of stories, Kevin’s story seems the most interesting so far! I’m looking forward to learning more about Luke and discovering why he is the way he is. This story certainly gives me a reason to stay invested in season five!
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 the season premiere? Which storyline are you excited to see unfold? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Executive Leader, Michelle Vicary, Walks Away from Hallmark

Last January, I reported how Bill Abbott stepped down from his presidential and CEO position at Hallmark. Now, another business leader from the Gold Crown company has decided to walk away. On May 17th, Nellie Andreeva, from Deadline, published an article about the departure of Michelle Vicary, who was Hallmark’s executive for programming and production. The article states how Michelle will step down from her position “at the beginning of June”. While no replacements have been announced at this time, Randy Pope and Darren Melameth, the company’s SVPs for Programming, Development, and Content Strategy, will serve “as interim co-heads of the department”. The article does not mention why Michelle decided to leave the company. However, Nellie does write how Wonya Lucas, the current CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, “has led a major restructuring” and made diversity and inclusion “a top priority”.

Illustration of woman quitting her job created by stories at freepik.com. Office vector created by stories – www.freepik.com

2021 has, so far, left me wondering if Hallmark has less money than they let on to the public. While everything I’m about to say is pure speculation, I have noticed some things that lead me to believe Hallmark’s entertainment division might not be fiscally strong. Nellie states in the aforementioned article how Lucas’ restructuring of the company has “resulted in some layoffs this year”. Even though the number of layoffs is not mentioned, the news of layoffs is not a good sign for any business. As of mid-to-late May, there have been no announcements for upcoming movies in the Picture Perfect Mysteries series, the Ruby Herring Mysteries series, the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series, and Hallmark Hall of Fame. In fact, there were no new Hallmark Hall of Fame or Signed, Sealed, Delivered films released in 2020. This makes me believe Crown Media Family Networks may be quietly moving away from these series in order to cut costs. In March, it was reported that daytime talk show, Home & Family, would be ending on August 4th. No official reason has been given for the show’s cancellation. Now adding the news of Michelle’s departure, Hallmark appears to be experiencing a rough patch. Everything I said is pure speculation. But I think a tell-tale sign of financial troubles would be if Hallmark created less Christmas movies than they did last year.

What are your thought’s of Michelle’s departure from Hallmark? Do you like the direction the network is currently moving in? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Here are the links to the articles I referenced in this post:

Michelle Vicary Steps Down As Crown Media Family Networks’ EVP Programming Amid Continuing Overhaul At Hallmark Channel Parent

https://tvline.com/2021/03/23/home-and-family-cancelled-hallmark-channel-ending-final-episodes/

Take 3: Chasing Leprechauns Review

Happy Patrick’s Day to all my readers and followers! For Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Luck O the Irish Blogathon, I wanted to choose a Hallmark movie that was either filmed in Ireland or that takes place in Ireland. Since I have seen most of the network’s films that fit this criteria, I selected the 2012 presentation, Chasing Leprechauns. Despite this being my first time seeing the movie, I am familiar with its basic premise. The inclusion of leprechauns helps the film stand out from the tried-and-true rom-coms that frequent Hallmark Channel. I also liked how a relationship wasn’t the central focus of the story. Instead, Chasing Leprechauns revolves around finding a resolution to a conflict. But will these factors equal an enjoyable movie viewing experience? Keep reading to find out if a pot of gold is waiting at the end of this review!

Chasing Leprechauns poster created by Crown Media Family Networks.

Things I liked the film:

The forestry: There are two scenes in Chasing Leprechauns where Ireland’s forestry was beautifully filmed! When Michael and Sarah, two of the story’s lead characters, go to the leprechaun’s forest for the first time, the grass and moss poke out through the snow. It presents an image of spring forcing itself past the wintery barrier. On the beaten path, green trees can be seen in the background, with an afternoon sunlight being cast over the forest. This particular location appears peaceful and serene. Several scenes later, Sarah and Michael spend some time at an abandoned building. While sitting around a fire, the taupe structure of the building is behind them. Green from a nearby tree peeks out of a window, with a foggy view of a field visible from these windows. The space looks haunting and secluded, which is a pleasant change in scenery for a Hallmark project!

The characters of Evelyn and Sheamus: When Michael goes to Ireland, he stays at a Bed and Breakfast run by a woman named Evelyn. Throughout the film, Evelyn has a cheerful personality. She also dreams of traveling to New York City. Hearing Evelyn share which places she’d like to visit was such a joy. I also liked seeing her positive persona! Sheamus is a frequent patron of the local pub. At first, it can be easy to write him off as a man who just likes his glass of alcohol. But when the audience learns more about him, they see Sheamus carries a lot of wisdom and helpful advice. Evelyn and Sheamus were my favorite characters in Chasing Leprechauns! Not only were they well written, but they were also well acted by their respective actor and actress, Marion O’Dwyer and Terry Byrne. I honestly wish this story had focused more on them!

The Luck O The Irish Blogathon banner created by the Brannan sisters from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society.

What I didn’t like about the film:

No leprechauns: As I’ve said before on 18 Cinema Lane, a movie’s title partially serves as a promise to the audience. In the case of Chasing Leprechauns, that promise is featuring at least one leprechaun on screen. Despite what the title claims, there are no leprechauns in this film. Everyone in the small Irish town says there are leprechauns, even dedicating a museum to them. At various moments in the movie, squeaking noises can be heard, implying leprechauns are nearby. But never does a leprechaun show themselves to any of the characters in the story. How am I expected to care about the town’s “leprechaun problem” if the script doesn’t give me a reason to care? How am I to believe the town contains leprechauns when no evidence is provided? Chasing Leprechauns is a textbook example of why you shouldn’t just tell and not show when creating a story.

A drab looking film: Ireland is known for having beautiful landscapes that contain lush greenery and picturesque forestry. Too bad the creative team behind Chasing Leprechauns chose to film their movie in the middle of winter, when all that greenery is buried in snow. I know that snowy landscapes can be beautifully captured on film. However, the movie’s creative team appeared to not take any initiative to do so. This presents one reason why Chasing Leprechauns is such a drab looking film. The movie consistently carried dull shades of black, white, brown, and beige. Even when pops of colors did appear, such as on a scarf, those colors appeared muted. Even though I’ve never been to Ireland, I can honestly say this movie did not make the country look visually appealing.

No sense of urgency: Chasing Leprechauns is a movie where the protagonist says they are going to do something, but spends the majority of the film not doing what they said they were going to do. Though Hallmark doesn’t tell stories like this often, it is one I have grown to dislike. In this movie, Michael, our protagonist, is sent to Ireland in order to get approval for a future building project. Due to the town’s “leprechaun problem”, Michael faces an unexpected dilemma. Throughout the story, Michael spends more time experiencing Ireland than actually doing his job. It gets so bad that Michael’s boss shows up in Ireland to remind him how the trip was supposed to last two days, not two weeks.

A not so bright protagonist: Like I just mentioned, Michael spends two weeks in Ireland instead of the required two days. What is even worse is how it took Michael two weeks to solve his problems. I am aware of how some problems take longer to solve than others. But when Michael has a reputation of being his company’s “fixer”, then that should be embarrassing for him. Even though his job requires him to travel all over the world, he doesn’t take the time to learn about the countries he is visiting. As Michael and Sarah, the inspector, go to the forest where the leprechauns supposedly live, Michael suggests to call a priest and have him perform an exorcism. While Sarah calls him out for his lack of education, Michael reveals how foolish of a protagonist he is.

St. Patrick’s Day image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/st-patrick-s-day-background_1640464.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. 

My overall impression:

Chasing Leprechauns wants to have its cake and eat it too. What I mean by this is the film takes itself so seriously, yet they expect their audience to suspend almost all their disbelief. When you have a story where leprechauns are involved, a sense of magic or whimsy is usually found. But Chasing Leprechauns is devoid of those things. One of the film’s biggest mistakes was not showing at least one leprechaun on screen. I haven’t seen Fairy Tale: A True Story in years. But from what I remember, there was enough whimsy and charm to make up for the lack of fairies. If the creative team behind Chasing Leprechauns knew they weren’t going to put any leprechauns in their project, this is the direction they should have chosen. The magic within that world should feel believable, helping to create a whimsical and delightful place. It could be similar to the Good Witch series, where the magic is more figurative than literal. If you’re looking for a Hallmark film set in Ireland, I’d recommend Forever in My Heart from 2019. The story is much stronger than Chasing Leprechauns’ and the film is more grounded in reality, which gives the audience a reason to take it seriously.

Overall score: 4.7 out of 10

Have you seen any Hallmark movies set in or filmed in Ireland? If so, which one did you like? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun on St. Patrick’s Day!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: CEO of Disney+ to Step Down, Potential Hallmark Films in the Works

In a recent video, Kneon and Geeky Sparkles, from Clownfish TV, reported the news that Kevin Mayer will be stepping down as the CEO of Disney+. While no reason for this decision was provided, it should be noted that Kevin will now be the Chief Executive of the musical app, Tik Tok. He will also be the Chief Operating Officer of the company that owns Tik Tok, ByteDance. To fill his position at Disney, Rebecca Campbell has now been named Chairman of Disney’s Direct-To-Consumer and International, the role that allows her to oversee Disney+. Despite being the former President of Disneyland, she does have experience working with Disney’s streaming service. According to Geeky Sparkles, “she set up Disney+ overseas, she was key in that”. Ken Potrock will now be the President of Disneyland and Kareem Daniel will take Ken’s place as President of Consumer Products. Currently, it’s unknown who will take Kareem’s position as President of Walt Disney Imagineering/Operations/Product Creation/Publishing/Games. Also, Josh D’Amaro is the new Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, the position Bob Chapek left behind when he became Disney’s CEO. Since Josh is giving up his title as President of Walt Disney World in order to take this new position, Jeff Vahle will take his place. Taking Jeff’s place as President of Disney Signature Experiences is now Thomas Mazloum. Through this confusing domino effect, both Kneon and Geeky bring up concerns that I couldn’t agree with more. Kneon thinks these new leadership choices are a bad idea because he sees it as history repeating itself. He brings up how the President of Disney Parks West, Catherine Powell, was let go by Disney last September. Geeky asks, “is any of these changes going to equate to actually, you know, better changes in the parks and better changes, you know, in the Disney company in general or are we just going to get the same old shit, different day”? Kneon responds by saying “Nobody’s in their position long enough to make any kind of a difference”. At this point, it’s difficult to tell how these leadership changes will affect Disney’s outcome. However, I do agree with Kneon’s point. To bring up one example, Bob Chapek has been the CEO for less than six months. But, from my perspective, I find it challenging to think of anything significant he’s done in his new position.

Here are the sources featured in this story:

Type “Disney Plus Boss JUMPS SHIP for TikTok! Disney Leadership PANIC Shuffle?!” into Youtube search bar or visit Clownfish TV’s official Youtube channel (there is some language in this video)

Disney’s Kevin Mayer Is Leaving To Become CEO of Tik Tok, Rebecca Campbell Will Replace Him

Josh D’Amaro Named New Chairman Of Disney Parks, Experiences And Products

New Presidents Named for Walt Disney World and Disneyland

Disney Eliminates Catherine Powell, President of Disney Parks West

Vector collection of business people
Employee leaving job image created by rawpixel.com at freepik.com. https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by rawpixel.com – http://www.freepik.com. Image found at freepik.com.

Trevor Donovan, an actor from Hallmark, appeared as a guest on a recent episode of the Deck The Hallmark podcast. While on the episode, he shared two projects that are currently in the works, but are not completed due to the Coronavirus. The first one was described as an “indie film/Hallmark acquisition that will be shooting in Hawaii”. For the second project, Trevor says it will “hopefully be able to parlay that right into a Hallmark movie in Hawaii after that, so two back to back”. None of these projects are confirmed as belonging to Hallmark, as of May 2020. However, it was indicated in the interview that the potential is there. As far as I know, Hallmark has never filmed a movie or had a movie take place in the Aloha State before. This would introduce their audience to a newer landscape than is not usually showcased. While the plot for both projects is currently unknown, I hope one of these is a Christmas film. Hallmark has never created a Christmas movie that takes in Hawaii. Also, it would be nice to hear Trevor sing Mele Kalikimaka.

Here is the link to the Deck the Hallmark podcast:

https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/deckthehallmark?selected=ADV1983617669 (the episode is titled “Trevor Donovan”)

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Image of Hawaiian poster created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/poster”>Poster vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on these pieces of movie news? Do you have any thoughts about what Trevor’s upcoming movies could be about? Please let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Hallmark and Canada: The Start of an International Friendship

On WordPress, I’ve gained a reputation among fellow bloggers as being the “Hallmark expert”. While I personally don’t see myself as an expert in this blogging space, I do appreciate people’s high regard toward my knowledge of Hallmark productions. During my years of watching Hallmark films, I’ve learned that a good number of movies are filmed in Canada. Also, every scripted television show from the network either currently films in Canada or has filmed in Canada before. Production websites like What’s Filming and Creative B.C. continually feature Hallmark titles on their websites, with productions for movies usually taking place within a month’s time. Others have taken notice of this particular creative choice, with publications like Refinery29 bringing it up in one of their Hallmark related articles. But what causes the company to choose Canada as a prime filming destination over other locations? How beneficial is it anyway? This editorial will explore some reasons why Hallmark has chosen Canada as their best friend when it comes to movie and television production. Negative results that could be caused by Hallmark’s choice will also be discussed. Hallmark has filmed their movies in a variety of locations, but Canada seems to be their favorite.

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The 2020 O Canada Blogathon banner created by Ruth from Silver Screenings and Kristina from Speakeasy. Image found at https://silverscreenings.org/2020/01/15/announcing-the-o-canada-blogathon-2020/.

Saving Money in Order to Spend It

Every movie or television show has a budget that a creative team is required to work within. If there is an opportunity to save money, any creative team is likely to take advantage of it. With the creation of tax incentives, certain states or countries can appear more viable to companies and studios than other locations. Canada first introduced their tax incentives for the television and film industry in 1995, with more tax incentives coming into existence two years later. While it’s unclear when Hallmark started to film their programs in Canada, recent trends would indicate the company first made this decision sometime around 2010. In the past few years, Hallmark has created more than fifty movies a year. These projects, according to Shane Snoke and Kays Alatrakchi from quora.com, can carry a price tag between $300,000 to $2 million. To figure out how much Hallmark would likely pay annually for their films, let’s look at the amount of films the company created for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries last year. On the first network, Hallmark released 64 films. The second network aired 41 films. Let’s say that each movie cost $1 million to make. In total, Hallmark would end up spending $105,000,000 each year among both channels. With this big of a price tag, it makes sense for the company to look for ways to save any amount of money they can.

 

Because every province of Canada has their own tax incentives for the film and television industry, it’s difficult to determine the exact amount of money Hallmark saves on each Canadian filmed production. But there is no denying that wherever a movie or television show is created, Hallmark ends up saving a significant amount of money. The company can apply those savings toward other programs. One example of how this money could have been used is for the creation of Hallmark Drama. Coordinating a television channel is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. Because Hallmark’s third channel first aired in late 2017, it’s likely that Hallmark collected these funds over time in order to fund that project. Another time-consuming and costly endeavor are television shows. A deciding factor for a show’s renewal is whether its respective network can afford to keep it going. With three continuing series on Hallmark Channel, Hallmark needs all the money they can get to keep these shows running. All three series have chosen Canada for their filming needs. This makes Hallmark’s financial goals more attainable.

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Canada postage stamp image created by Ibrandify at freepik.com <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/canadian-flag-stamp-template_836872.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/template”>Template vector created by Ibrandify – Freepik.com</a> Image found at freepik.com

Creating a Unique Experience

The longest running and one of the most popular television shows in Hallmark history is When Calls the Heart. Ever since the show about the Canadian Frontier first premiered in 2014, it has cultivated a loyal and devoted fanbase famously known as the “Hearties”. The success of the series has inspired fans to create a special event called “Hearties Family Reunion”. Started in 2016, this event gives “hearties” an opportunity to celebrate their favorite show. It has also given them a chance to travel to the show’s Canadian roots. Some of the activities that took place at last year’s event include a Q&A segment with the cast, a tour of the Hope Valley set, and even a special movie night. While “Hallmark isn’t officially involved” with the formation of the “Hearties Family Reunion”, according to Meghan Overdeep from Southern Living, Crown Media was one of the sponsors for the 2019 event.

 

One of the reasons why When Calls the Heart has lasted as long as it has is because of the community that formed among the fans. The “Hearties Family Reunion” official website acknowledges this by stating, “Hearties are a community”. To recognize this sentiment, regional mini-parties were a part of the schedule at last year’s event. These parties were intended to help fans connect with other fans from their geographical location. One example is a regional party dedicated to the fans who live in the Southern and/or Midwest regions of the United States. Based on the website’s photos and the continuation of the event, it seems like it has been met with positive responses. One testimonial comes from Ruth, who is the creator of the blog, My Devotional Thoughts. She attended the event in 2017 and even wrote an article about her experience. The focus of that blog post was to highlight her interviews during the event. By reading Ruth’s article, you can hear the enthusiasm in her writing. In fact, when recounting her time at the “Hearties Family Reunion”, she says,I am forever grateful to everyone who worked to make this a weekend I shall never forget”. With responses like Ruth’s, I wouldn’t be surprised if this event returned in 2020!

When Calls the Heart Season 7 poster
When Calls the Heart poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=When%20Calls%20the%20Heart%20Season%207&episodeIndex=7001.

Making Careers for Canadian Stars

Actors and actresses come from various locations of the world. When a state or country has tax incentives that benefit the film and television industry, performers from those locations can sometimes find success with the companies that film there. Hallmark’s decision to film in Canada has helped several actors and actresses grow their careers through their involvement in Hallmark’s productions. Andrew Francis is an actor from Vancouver, British Columbia. He made his Hallmark debut in the 2011 movie, Trading Christmas. In that nine-year time frame, Andrew starred in twelve Hallmark movies, had a recurring role on Cedar Cove, and is a regular cast member on Chesapeake Shores. Another British Columbia native, Pascale Hutton, has also achieved success through Hallmark. After her first Hallmark movie, A Family Thanksgiving from 2010, she has gone on to star in a total of twelve Hallmark films. Similar to Andrew, Pascale became a regular cast member on the aforementioned show, When Calls the Heart. She also made a guest appearance on Hallmark’s first spin-off, When Hope Calls.

 

Canadian actors are not the only talents that have developed on-going careers through Hallmark. Crew members who work behind the camera have also benefited from Hallmark’s partnership with Canada. Michael Robison is a director from Toronto, Ontario. According to his filmography on IMDB, he has been directing since the late ‘80s. Despite working with Hallmark for only three years, Michael has directed thirteen movies, including the upcoming Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film, Mystery 101: An Education in Murder. These opportunities have allowed him to grow his career as a director. Another Ontario talent whose career has excelled with Hallmark is Ivan Hayden, who is from the London area. A multi-talented individual, Ivan currently has twenty-six producing credits on IMDB. Fifteen of these credits are for Hallmark films, including the 2020 “Spring Fever” film, Just My Type. Like Michael Robison, Ivan has been working on Hallmark projects since 2017. Also, like Michael, Ivan accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.

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Missed Opportunities for Other States and Countries

As I have been mentioning in this editorial, states and countries besides Canada may have tax incentives. This factor can encourage companies and studios to work in those locations. By Hallmark continually choosing to work with Canada, it means that other states and countries with tax incentives miss out on beautiful business partnerships. Michigan is just one example. On Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s official website, an entire division of the state’s economy is shown to be dedicated to the film industry. Hallmark rarely creates their programs in the Great Lakes state. Because of this, the state isn’t able to work with a well-known client like Hallmark. Hallmark’s decision also denies the company the chance to take advantage of Michigan’s tax incentives. This situation causes both parties to lose out on great business opportunities.

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Money plant image created by Dooder at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/infographic”>Infographic vector created by Dooder – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/watering-the-coin-plant_1076121.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Hallmark’s Channels aren’t Available in Canada

Even though Hallmark films a lot of their programs in Canada, there are few opportunities for Canadians to see these programs. That’s because all three of Hallmark’s channels are shown exclusively in the United States. Despite Canadian fans asking Hallmark’s business leaders on social media for access to their networks, nothing has been done about this specific situation as of March 2020. There have been some solutions made to alleviate this problem. Released in 2007, the Super Channel is a Canadian network that has given its viewers an opportunity to watch some of Hallmark’s programs. This is made possible through one of their divisions; Super Channel Heart & Home. Another current solution has been the invention of the streaming service, Hallmark Movies Now. This service can be accessed on various devices and through different media outlets.

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Limited Recognition Toward Canadian Businesses

As I just mentioned, Hallmark’s channels are shown exclusively in the United States. This means that businesses based in the United States have an advantage when it comes to product placement and sponsorships. One of Hallmark’s sponsors has been the coffee company, Folgers. Even though this particular product is available in both the United States and Canada, the company is headquartered in Ohio and was founded in California. This makes Folgers a United States based business. It also provides more opportunities for Folgers to advertise with Hallmark. Canadian stores like Chapters/Indigo and services like Pizza Pizza haven’t had commercials featured on any of Hallmark’s channels or their products showcased in any of Hallmark’s programs, as of March 2020. Hallmark’s partnership with Canada seems to have overlooked Canadian businesses.

Painted Cup of Coffee with Natural Coffee Beans on a Chalkboard.
Coffee cup drawing image created by Valeria_aksakova at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Valeria_aksakova – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/painted-cup-of-coffee-with-natural-coffee-beans-on-a-chalkboard_1013935.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

There is no such thing as a perfect business. The decisions that any business makes are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Even when a business does make a good choice, it can sometimes lead to undesirable results. This is the case with Hallmark and their partnership with Canada. There have been positives that have come from this choice where both parties have benefited. Canada’s tax incentives have the power to fund the country’s economy and help Hallmark save money. But, after evaluating the pros and cons of Hallmark’s business decision, it appears somewhat one sided. So many of Hallmark’s programs are filmed in a variety of Canadian locations. Yet, Canadians are not able to watch most of the programs that are created in their home country. As I mentioned in this editorial, there are ways for Canadians to watch Hallmark’s movies and shows. However, they aren’t able to watch the newer productions from Hallmark, especially the mystery films from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Hopefully, as time goes on, Hallmark will recognize Canada as more than just a pretty filming location.

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

Sources for this editorial:

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/12/9008033/hallmark-christmas-movie-filming-locations

https://www.bccpa.ca/news-views-kb/browse-news-views-knowledge-base/taxation/taxation/articles/an-overview-of-film-and-television-tax-incentives-in-british-columbia/

https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-average-production-budget-for-the-typical-Made-For-TV-Hallmark-channel-type-movies

https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-Lifetime-movie

https://www.heartiesfamilyreunion.com/

https://www.southernliving.com/news/hearties-family-reunion-2019

https://mydevotionalthoughts.net/2017/11/hearties-family-reunion-friday-interview-with-cast-members-of-when-calls-the-heart.html

https://www.michiganbusiness.org/industries/mfdmo/

https://www.superchannel.ca/HeartandHome

https://www.hallmarkdrama.com/about-hallmark-drama

https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/about-us

https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/about-us

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Channel_(Canadian_TV_channel)#List_of_channels

https://www.folgerscoffee.com/our-story/history

https://www.folgerscoffee.com/contact-us

https://www.folgers.ca/en/index#default

You can find Andrew’s, Pascale’s, Michael’s, and Ivan’s filmographies  by typing their names into IMDB’s search bar.