Buy One Buzzwordathon Fail, Get Two Free

Back in May, I wrote about my first fail in the Buzzwordathon Readathon. Because the book I selected, The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman, put me in a “reading slump”, I didn’t finish it within the month. When I read A Horse Called Holiday by Frances Wilbur, I was able to get back on track with my Buzzwordathon goals. So, for September, I thought I received a second chance to read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Unfortunately, this book took me longer than a month to read. This also derailed my Buzzwordathon reading plans for October and November. However, I did recently complete all three books I planned to read for these aforementioned months. Unlike my other Buzzwordathon reviews, I will be writing shorter reviews for each novel.

Old-fashioned books image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/books-seamless-pattern_1539033.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

September

All the Light We Cannot See book cover found on Goodreads

Title: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Theme: Light & Dark

As I said in the introduction, it took me longer than a month to read All the Light We Cannot See. However, it felt like I spent a year reading this book. One reason is how Anthony prioritized explaining the characters, their actions/choices, and what was happening in their world over telling a story. The book’s 530 page count contributed as the other reason. But Anthony’s attention to detail allowed me, as a reader, to picture the story in my head. There was also a strong use of descriptive imagery. Even though All the Light We Cannot See was broken up into parts, each part consisted of a collection of shorter chapters. This decision gave the book a steadier pace.

Overall score: 3 out of 5 stars

October

White Bird book cover found on Goodreads

Title: White Bird by R. J. Palacio

Theme: Creatures & Animals

I found White Bird to be a solid graphic novel! There was a good balance between well-crafted story and visually appealing illustrations. The use of lighter and darker lines provided a nice distinction between the 1930s/1940s and the present day. I also like how color was used to bring focus to a character, object, or location. While White Bird contained good messages, the delivery of some of them was a bit heavy-handed. The book features heavier subjects, which doesn’t give it a high re-readability rate. However, this was the best novel out of the three I’m reviewing!

Overall score: 4.2 out of 5 stars

November

The Decoding of Lana Morris book cover found on Goodreads

Title: The Decoding of Lana Morris by Laura & Tom McNeal

Theme: Words that end in “ing”

Based on the book’s synopsis, Laura & Tom McNeal had potential to create a charming and whimsical story. Sadly, The Decoding of Lana Morris ended up being one of the worst books I’ve ever read. When creating a story with “magical realism”, it’s important to maintain a balance between the magical and realistic elements. In The Decoding of Lana Morris, though, the magical elements were so underutilized, they were far and few between in the text. This made the story feel like a generic, ‘slice-of-life’ tale. I was not a fan of the protagonist, Lana Morris. It took her longer than necessary to figure things out. She lacked foresight and critical thinking skills because of this creative flaw.

Overall score: 0 out of 5 stars

Have fun during Buzzwordathon!

Sally Silverscreen

Disclaimer: All the Light We Cannot See, White Bird, and The Decoding of Lana Morris contain subject matter that may not be suitable for some readers. Reader discretion is encouraged.

Evenings At The Shore: Happily Ever After

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

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 10

Name: All or Nothing at All

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

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

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Don’t Grow Your Troubles

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

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 9

Name: Spring Can Really Hang Up the Most

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

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

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

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Hope At the Bottom of the Box

When Evan talks about his family in this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Mandrake tells him how hope was found at the bottom of Pandora’s Box. The fact Mandrake would say something so profound is not surprising. But what he said was interesting. Pandora’s Box is, more often than not, associated with negativity. I remember hearing a saying about not being able to close Pandora’s Box once it’s opened. When you take “Pandora’s Box” out of the equation, though, you remember how there are such things as good boxes. Presents are a perfect example, as you anticipate what might be inside them. Sometimes, a person is gifted what they need instead of what they want. This is the case for Evan, as Mandrake likely knew hope is what Evan needed.

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 8

Name: I Get a Kick Out of You

Abby and Evan’s story: Evan finally receives his DNA results. Not only does he learn about several of his quirks, he also learns he has cousins in Florida. For the majority of the episode, though, Evan avoids exploring this part of his family’s history. He even takes up magic again, a hobby he had when he was a child. While performing a card trick for Caitlyn and Carrie, Abby talks to Mandrake about Evan’s hesitance. Mandrake explains how Evan has been on his own for so long, he’s afraid of letting others get close to him. Later in the episode, Evan confesses to Abby he’s wanted to know more about his father since he was a teenager. He then tells Mandrake to visit his cousins in Florida. Several days later, Mandrake returns to the O’Brien family home with Evan’s father in tow.

Bree and Luke’s story: Kevin and Sarah’s baby shower is just around the corner. This makes Bree realize she still doesn’t have a gift to give them. Meanwhile, Miranda Livingston arrives in Chesapeake Shores to discuss the movie deal of Bree’s book. Because Bree has never met Miranda before, she doesn’t know what to expect. Miranda’s down-to-earth personality catches Bree off-guard. When sitting in on one of Bree’s classes, Miranda gives Bree some public speaking related advice. Bree isn’t sure what to make of Miranda. At Kevin and Sarah’s baby shower, where Bree gives them a collection of children’s books, Bree turns to Evan about Miranda. Evan reassures her that Miranda is a genuinely good person, recalling their time together on Celebrity Jeopardy. While Luke attends Kevin and Sarah’s baby shower with Bree, he can only stay for a little while. This is because he wants to lay flowers on his parents’ graves. After visiting the cemetery, Luke goes to a convenience store. During this trip, a robber enters the store, demanding the cashier hand over the money from the register. Luke tries to deescalate the situation, even knocking the robber’s gun out of his hand. The scene ends with someone getting shot off-screen.

Jess and David’s story: Jess is hosting a War of 1812 reenactment weekend at The Inn at Eagle Point. While this event is taking place, she has doubts about the longevity of the bed and breakfast. She’s also frustrated she still hasn’t found an investor for her vineyard. She discusses these issues with Bree and David, who assure her she’ll find a way to make things work out. Meanwhile, David believes his father might be innocent. He presents the computer files to Conner and Margaret, who tell David to hand them over to the FBI. Several days later, FBI Agent Malik arrives at The Inn at Eagle Point. She appreciates David handing over the computer files. But she informs him there will still be a trial. David also turns to Mr. Peck’s business associate, Baron. Even though Baron doesn’t know who exactly is guilty, he believes Mr. Peck is innocent. When all of his options to hire a lawyer don’t work, David turns to Connor and Margaret for help.

Image of magic show essentials created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/card”>Card vector created by macrovector – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I know Mandrake meant well by bringing Evan’s father from Florida. But the fact he didn’t let Evan know ahead of time was out of character for him. Ever since he was introduced last season, Mandrake always looked out for Evan’s best interests. From what I recall, he never did anything without Evan’s permission. So, all of a sudden, Mandrake does something against Evan’s wishes? To me, that was a break in continuity.
  • The commercial for this episode was somewhat misleading. When Bree and Luke were featured in the commercial, Luke says something along the lines of how he needs to be on his own. Bree then appears concerned over what Luke told her. That scene’s presentation in the commercial gave the impression Luke and Bree were experiencing another relationship related issue. But in the episode, Luke was telling Bree he was going to visit his parents’ graves.
  • Toward the end of the episode, Kevin confesses to Sarah how he wants to go back to medical school to become a doctor. While this is a great chapter in Kevin’s story, we only have two episodes left until the show is over. According to the commercial for the next episode, it looks like Sarah might give birth. Maybe there will be another time-jump in the series finale?
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? What you you think happened to Luke? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Happy Un-Birthday to You

Bree reveals to Luke how she doesn’t like birthdays. As her birthday is approaching, all she wants is treat it like any other day. While I feel birthdays should be a day of celebration, Bree might have an interesting point. Over the years, I’ve heard quotes about how bigger moments are made up of smaller moments. I also remember a quote from the 1997 film, Titanic, about making every moment count. Based on this episode, my guess is Bree just wants every day to be equally celebrated. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as that’s why the present is called “the present”: every day can be a gift.

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 7

Name: It’s Not For Me to Say

Abby and Evan’s story: During a visit to the O’Brien family home, Evan says he feels like he’s known Abby forever. Abby asks if he’s saying he loves her. Before Evan can answer, Mick walks into the kitchen. Because Evan didn’t answer Abby’s question, Abby wonders throughout the episode if Evan loves her. She asks Kevin for advice, but he, once again, is no help. Later, in the episode, Abby confronts Evan about the unanswered question. This makes Evan wonder if she loves him back. They agree to say their responses at the same time. While Evan says, “I love you”, Abby says “You love me”. However, she does tell Evan she loves him. Toward the end of the episode, at an O’Brien family dinner, Evan shares with Abby how he wants to take a DNA test. This is because he wants to learn more about his family.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: Six months after the events of the previous episode, Kevin and Sarah are at their ultrasound appointment. Despite not wanting to know the gender of their baby, Kevin catches a glimpse on the ultrasound screen. Unsure what to do about the situation, he turns to Bree for advice, with Bree telling her brother he needs to comes clean with Sarah. He also tells Mick about his dilemma, learning more about his father during their conversation. Kevin does eventually tell Sarah what he saw, his wife delighted by this latest discovery. At the O’Brien family dinner, Sarah and Kevin reveal there are having a baby boy.

Mick and Megan’s story: When Megan returns from Los Angeles, Mick decides to take her on a date to a local, fancy restaurant. On this date, Mick tells Megan he’d like her to move back into the O’Brien family home. She refuses this offer, as she doesn’t want to disrupt Mick’s recovery. Later in the episode, Mick reveals to Megan he built a pergola in the O’Brien’s backyard. Megan is impressed when she sees this structure in person, especially since she claims to have waited over twenty years for it. This is where Megan tells Mick she needs some more time to decide what to do next. Toward the end of the episode, at the O’Brien family dinner, Megan asks Mick to retrieve an item from his room. When he goes to his room, Mick finds Megan’s suitcases, indicating she decided to move into the O’Brien family home.

Heart shaped balloons image created by Katemangostar at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by katemangostar – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

David and Jess’ story: Jess is finding it difficult to secure a business loan from the bank. Even when she tweaks her business plans, it isn’t enough to receive a loan. Meanwhile, David gets a call from his dad’s lawyer. Mr. Peck wants his son to visit him at the Washington D.C. prison he’s currently in. David reluctantly visits his dad, but only as a cathartic experience. When David goes to the prison, Mr. Peck still claims his innocence. He also tells David about a secret apartment he owns in D.C., along with a flash drive containing valuable information about his company. Mr. Peck even encourages his son to contact the only business associate who didn’t abandon him. When he arrives at The Inn at Eagle Point, David looks through the files on the flash drive. This makes him start to think his dad was really framed.

Bree and Luke’s story: While talking about their relationship, Bree and Luke discover their birthday is on the same day. They also discover they don’t like birthdays. Bree and Luke tell each other not to give presents. But throughout the episode, they second guess themselves. They even turn to Kevin for advice on this issue. On their birthday, Bree gives Luke a glass plant holder for his cactus. Meanwhile, Luke didn’t give Bree a present, as that was their original agreement. He also gets a cake that says “Happy Birthday Luke and not Bree”. At the O’Brien family dinner, the O’Brien family sings “Happy Ordinary Day” to Luke and Bree.

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Before this season premiered, I assumed there would be a time jump in the series finale, as a way to tie up the last remaining loose ends. But since this time jump happened at about the season’s half-way point, it only makes sense for Kevin and Sarah’s story. After that six-month time jump, it seems like not much has changed for the other characters. It also makes me wonder if Caitlyn will share what her “whatever” was she brought up in the previous episode? I’m starting to think this time jump was an unnecessary creative decision.
  • This episode was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I have been impressed with David and Jess’ story! It has been intriguing, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Jess has even come a long way since she was introduced back in 2016. On the other hand, though, Bree and Luke’s story was not only the weakest one in this episode, it’s, so far, the weakest one this season. Did we need an hour-long story about Bree and Luke struggling to not get a gift for one another? I’m hoping their next story is much stronger than this one was.
  • As I said in this re-cap, Mick built a pergola for Megan. Between his job and recovery process, how did he find the time to build it? With this six-month time jump, I’m guessing Mick built the pergola a little bit at a time. However, I wish the dialogue had provided a clearer explanation.
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? Do you like the six-month time jump? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: When in Doubt, Choose Joy

Ever since she found out she was pregnant again, Sarah has been unsure how to feel. On the one hand, she wants to be excited about this new life chapter. But, she’s also afraid of losing the baby again. In an effort to give her sister-in-law some heartfelt advice, Abby tells Sarah “When in doubt, choose joy”. In my re-cap posts, I always try to incorporate some direct aspect of the show into the introduction. This could be one of the character’s quotes, a specific theme, or an event that occurred in the story. As soon as Abby told Sarah the aforementioned quote, I knew it was going to be the title of my re-cap post. Not just because I like her quote, it could also be said about a favorite television show. Why do people choose a given show as their favorite? Why do viewers keep coming back to a specific story? It’s likely that show gives them joy.

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 6

Name: Straighten Up and Fly Right

Bree and Luke’s story: Bree and Luke haven’t spoken to each other in a week, due to their last interaction at the Seaside Festival. While she misses Luke, Bree worries he has already moved on. But when she tells her dad how she feels, Mick suggests she should go to The Bridge and talk to Luke. Later, at The Bridge, Bree visits Luke and gives him a house-warming present, as he is moving into The Bridge temporarily. During this interaction, Bree apologizes for not believing Luke about the fortune cards. She also explains how she has, historically, been anxious about being in a serious relationship. Not only does Luke forgive Bree, they both agree to trust one another and let go of their insecurities. After receiving a tour of Luke’s new apartment, Bree receives a text from an actress named Miranda. Miranda wants to adapt her book into a movie, the same book that was based on the O’Brien family. Before she makes any decisions, Bree asks her family for their blessing. The family unanimously agree to the adaptation, discussing which actors and actresses should portray them as well.

Mick’s story: Mick continues to attend NA meetings. While things seem to be going well, he hasn’t found a sponsor yet. Meanwhile, Mick is planning a trip to Red Rock with Megan. But when Megan falls ill, the trip is postponed. Mick asks Luke if he’d like to be his sponsor. Luke turns down the offer, as he feels that would be a conflict of interest, since he and Mick are friends. At the most recent NA meeting, Mick confesses to encountering temptation, sharing how he found some leftover painkillers in Connor’s bathroom, during a visit to his son’s apartment. But in a one-on-one conversation with the leader of the NA meetings, Mick reveals he actually took one of his son’s painkillers. The meeting leader tells Mick he is already working on the first step; admitting you have a problem. The leader also agrees to be Mick’s sponsor.

David and Jess’ story: In an effort to take her mind off of David and his issues, Jess plans to purchase a vineyard. While practicing her business pitch with Abby, Jess reveals how she has done plenty of research and taken some business classes. Impressed by her sister’s efforts, Abby tells Jess she will share her idea with a business associate she knows. Later in the episode, Abby shares with Jess how the business associate loves Jess’ idea. This gives Jess the confidence to follow through on her plan. Meanwhile, David receives a phone call from his dad. Mr. Peck claims he is innocent and someone within his company framed him. David is unsure whether his dad is telling the truth. However, he and the FBI agent from the season premiere agree to wire tap his cell phone. The next time Mr. Peck calls, David confesses how his phone is tapped. Mr. Peck tells his son he is planning to come back to the States, in an effort to prove his innocence.

Vineyard on a sunny day image created by Jcstudio at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/green”>Green photo created by jcstudio – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Margaret and Connor’s story: Margaret finally receives the results of her Bar Exam, which reveal she passed the Bar. Connor and Margaret are thrilled with these results. After posting them on social media, Margaret receives an offer from a large, well-known law firm in Washington D.C. Margaret was not planning on working at a large firm, especially since she enjoys working with Connor. But Connor feels she should, at least, see what their offer is, as he doesn’t want to hold Margaret back. Several days later, Margaret pays Connor a visit at his apartment. She tells him she met with the D.C. law firm, sharing how they wanted her to join their partner program and retreat in Belize. However, Margaret turned down this offer, stating how she wants to continue working with Connor as an official partner. Connor likes Margaret’s proposal and agrees to this business arrangement.

Sarah and Kevin’s story: Sarah accepts an invitation to the spa, as Bree has a gift certificate that is about to expire. Besides Sarah and Bree, Jess and Abby also attend the spa trip. At the spa, one of the employees offers all four women some complimentary wine. This puts Sarah between a rock and a hard place. Because she is pregnant, Sarah wants to refuse the alcoholic beverage. But since she never shared this news with anyone other than Kevin, she’s unsure what exactly to say. Fortunately, Abby saves the day by asking for a fruit smoothie for her and Sarah. In a private conversation, Abby reveals she knew about Sarah’s pregnancy, but only because she correctly guessed this information during her conversation with Kevin in the previous episode. She reassures Sarah she hasn’t shared this news with anyone. Toward the end of the episode, both Kevin and Sarah share their pregnancy with Bree and Jess.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • While at the spa, Abby receives a phone call from the school nurse. The phone call is about Caitlyn, as she’s been spending more time in the nurse’s office lately. But when questioned about this by Jess, Caitlyn says these trips are nothing serious, that it’s just “whatever”. This explanation is so vague, Caitlyn’s “whatever” could be anything. So, I’m curious to see what’s going on in this part of the story.
  • After reading this episode’s synopsis on Hallmark Media’s website, I had assumed Jess bought a vineyard in a spontaneous, leap-of-faith. So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover she put a lot of thought, time, and research into her decision. Jess has impressed me this season. In the previous episode, she was the “voice of reason”, giving Bree realistic dating advice. Now, she’s expanding her business ventures in a way that is practical and has potential for long-time success. Jess and her possible vineyard could lend themselves to a spin-off show!
  • During the scenes involving Mr. Peck and his son, Mr. Peck is talking on the phone in a phone booth. The phone booth itself looks like the red booths typically associated with London, England. However, the nearby tents, wardrobe of the background characters, and limited amount of lighting indicate an outdoor market in the evening. I know Mr. Peck’s specific whereabouts are supposed to be kept a secret. But I kind of wish the show’s creative team had told the audience where Mr. Peck was.
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? Do you Jess’ business plan is a good idea? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: A Real, Real Fortune

In this episode, when Bree and Jess are discussing a fortune from an arcade machine, Jess wonders if the fortune is “a real, real fortune”. Jess’ quote in correlation with this episode’s story presented an excellent message. There are so many “fortunes” within the O’Brien family. Connor was able to recover from his heart attack. Megan received her dream job. Even Abby found love again after her heartbreak with Trace. In the short run, these things may feel like a little victory. But in the long run, it can affect the overall happiness and success of a given character. It’s nice to see when our favorite characters reach their goals and achieve their dreams. After investing in their journey, it can seem like the wait was worth it. When Chesapeake Shores’ six year run ends, the O’Brien family’s story will be set in stone. But until then, let’s re-cap this week’s episode!

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 5

Name: L-O-V-E

Bree and Luke’s story: While cleaning out The Bridge’s attic, Luke finds a fortune telling arcade machine called Mr. Mystic. He loans the machine to the arcade booth of Chesapeake Shores’ Seaside Festival. In order to test if the machine works, Luke and Bree put a nickel in the machine. They both receive a fortune that states; “Your true love is right before your eyes”. Luke doesn’t think much of this coincidence. But Bree thinks it was intentional. She discusses this possibility with Jess, with Jess suggesting she should bring up her thoughts to Luke on their upcoming date. During this date, which is dinner at a local restaurant, Bree asks Luke if he intentionally gave himself and her the same fortune. Luke confesses that he did put the fortune cards in the machine, but didn’t read the cards ahead of time. Bree feels Luke may be keeping the truth from her. Luke confirms multiple times the card placements were not intentional. He becomes so uncomfortable by Bree’s constant prying, he leaves their date early. The next day, at the Seaside Festival, Bree discovers Kevin and Sarah received the same fortune she and Luke did. Realizing he was indeed telling the truth, Bree apologizes to Luke. She claims she has trust issues. Luke also claims to have trust issues, though his issues relate to those who don’t trust him.

Abby and Evan’s story: Abby and Evan attend the Seaside Festival. Evan becomes excited when he discovers the Mr. Mystic arcade machine. After Abby puts a nickel into the machine, their shared fortune states, “Your true love is right before your eyes”. At first, Evan and Abby think it’s a silly fortune. But as the episode goes on, they contemplate what the fortune could mean. Evan talks to Mandrake about what happened. Mandrake, however, answers his questions with questions. Meanwhile, Abby turns to Kevin for advice. Unfortunately, she feels his help was unsatisfying. Later in the episode, Evan and Abby go on a date. Prior to the date, Evan rented the entire restaurant and hired a string quartet. During the date, though, Abby and Evan reveal some truths about each other. Abby shares she’s been hesitant to start another relationship because she hasn’t been on her own in quite some time. Evan confesses he’s been on his own, more often than not. Therefore, starting a new relationship is fascinating to Evan. They agree to be just two adults spending time together. Abby and Evan also agree to go on less formal dates.

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

Mick and Megan’s story: Megan has begun her new job in Los Angeles. She seems to be enjoying this new chapter in her life, settling in just fine. Meanwhile, in Chesapeake Shores, Mick is working through his addiction. He recently began attending NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings. But he’s hesitant to admit he’s an addict. Mick and Megan are continuing their relationship by calling each other several times a day. One of these phone conversations is overheard by Carter. Out of everything he heard, Carter picks out Mick’s addiction. At first, Megan doesn’t have a problem talking about Mick’s recovery journey. As her conversation with Carter goes on, however, she becomes aware of his criticism toward Mick. Upset by this harsh criticism, Megan ends the conversation. In Chesapeake Shores, while fixing the bathroom sink, Mick finds a bottle of painkillers. Throughout the episode, he struggles with temptation. In a series of coincidences, including a Mr. Mystic fortune that reads, “Your true love is right before your eyes”, Mick is prevented from relapsing. Toward the end of the episode, he admits he’s an addict at an NA meeting.

Connor and Margaret’s story: Connor is looking forward to meeting Margaret’s family. Margaret, however, is nervous. This is because she doesn’t know if her father will like Connor. The next day, Connor and Margaret go to the Keller family home for an early evening dinner. Things seem to be going well, as Connor and the Keller family appear to get along. Then Connor decides to tell one of his “lawyer jokes”, even though Margaret warned him not to. After Connor shares one of these jokes, there’s an awkward silent. A few seconds later, the Keller family genuinely laughs at the aforementioned joke. That evening, Margaret reveals to Connor how her family adored him.

String lights with hearts created by Freepik at freepik.com <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/valentine-s-day-background-with-string-lights_1476879.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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • While it was interesting to see how some of Chesapeake Shores’ couples interpreted the same fortune, I wish the fortunes had been a bit more personalized. For instance, Mick and Megan’s shared fortune could have read “The journey is tough. But you are tougher”. This would have correlated with Mick’s recovery as well as Megan’s desire to maintain a long-distance relationship. At first, Luke, Bree, Abby, and Evan receiving the same fortune seemed like a coincidence. But when Mick got the same one, the idea became repetitive.
  • Based on what the Mr. Mystic arcade machine looks like, I’m guessing it was built between the 1910s and 1920s. If this is true, how would Mick and Luke order replacement fortune cards? Sure, the cards themselves didn’t look that old. But, when it comes to arcades in the 21st century, fortune telling machines don’t seem to be in high demand. Because of everything I said, I wonder if this machine will make an appearance on When Calls the Heart?
  •  On Hallmark’s television shows, it’s nice to see a familiar face every now and then. In this episode, Karen Holness made an appearance as Margaret’s mom. This was such a pleasant surprise, as I haven’t seen Karen in a Hallmark production in quite some time. It also makes me wonder who else could appear this season?
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Are there any predictions you have for the rest of the season? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Created by Sally Silverscreen at Adobe Creative Cloud Express

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Evenings At The Shore: Behind Closed Doors

I want you to think of your favorite character from a tv show. You might have been following that favorite character’s story for years. Maybe that character grew on you so much, they recently became your favorite. Reflect on their story; the journeys they’ve taken, the trials they may experience, and the successes they will achieve. No matter what their story entails, the creative team behind that respective character’s show gives viewers moments they want them to see. Now, think about your favorite character’s story outside of their show. How different would their journey be? Would their story be as exciting or interesting as the show depicts? This is the case for Mick on Chesapeake Shores. In this episode, he is struggling with a very serious issue. However, this particular story is what the show’s creative team wants the viewer to see. Think about what Mick might have gone through outside of Chesapeake Shores’ overarching story.

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 4

Name: That’s All There is to That

Mick’s story: Because Mick’s doctor refused to refill his painkiller prescription, Mick receives a refill from two different doctors. He creates fake stories in order for his plan to work. To hide his addiction from his family, Mick stores the pills in his car’s glove compartment. However, he is not doing a good job of hiding his problem as he thinks he is. When Mick passes out in his office, Abby becomes alarmed. This is because he forgot to pick up his granddaughters from tae kwon do practice, something he promised to do the day before. When Thomas is paying Megan a visit at the O’Brien family home, he asks her where a series of important documents are located. After she suggests looking in Mick’s car, Thomas not only finds the documents, he also finds the pills. Later in the episode, at a party to celebrate Carrie’s latest art award victory, Thomas privately confronts both Abby and Kevin. All three of them agree to approach Mick as gently as possible when it comes to this subject. That same day, on the O’Brien family driveway, Mick frantically searches for his pills. This is when Thomas confronts his brother, with pills in hand. The conversation does not go over well, turning into a huge, heated argument. Even when Thomas reminds Mick of their father’s alcoholism, it isn’t enough for Mick to come clean.

The next day, Mick crashes into a parked car, due to the effects of the pills. While no one is hurt, the parked car did receive heavy damage. Several moments later, Kevin arrives to help out his father. But inside of calling for a tow truck, he calls Thomas about the incident. Later that day, at the O’Brien family home, Thomas, Megan, Abby, Kevin, and Bree stage an intervention. When Mick arrives, they confront him about his addiction. Feeling cornered, he angrily storms out. Kevin and Abby then follow their dad to confront his addiction further. This doesn’t work either, with Mick going to The Bridge. This is where Mick talks to Luke about his alcohol addiction, with Luke claiming treatment saved his life. Because of this heart-to-heart discussion, Luke successfully encourages Mick to get the help he needs.

Connor and Margaret’s story: Connor is ready to go back to work. Before this happens, Margaret shares the law firm’s financial woes. But they also received a divorce case, involving the couple who owned the pet store the law firm now resides in. Another order of business is having a secretary. This is something Margaret and Connor work on the following day. At the law firm, they meet a potential candidate named Harper. Despite not attending college, she does have secretary experience. Due to this, Connor and Margaret decide to hire Harper for the job. They also agree to make their relationship official.

Breaking heart image created by Kjpargeter at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/broken-heart-valentine-background_1041991.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Kjpargeter – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Bree and Luke’s story: Luke receives news his apartment now has black mold in the floorboards. This means he’ll have to find a new home. Bree volunteers to help him locate another apartment. But every time they check out a place, Luke faces one dilemma: his criminal record. Bree feels Luke is being treated unfairly. Luke has grown used to it. In the meantime, she has offered Luke an invitation to stay at her house.

Kevin and Sarah’s story: Kevin and Sarah have returned from Maui, refreshed and reconnected. Several days after their return, Sarah invites Megan for a visit. During this visit, Sarah reveals she is pregnant again. Megan encourages Sarah to tell Kevin, even though Sarah doesn’t want to get Kevin’s hopes up. Toward the end of the episode, Sarah does share her pregnancy with Kevin. While they are both excited by this recent news, they agree to take things one day at a time.

Travel suitcase image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/water-color-travel-bag-background_1177013.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.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • This is one of the heaviest episodes Hallmark has ever created. When a show introduces a serious topic, like addiction, into their story, the overall tone is going to be darker. However, the other plots in this episode couldn’t balance out the heaviness of Mick’s narrative. With Mick’s story specifically, I found the dialogue inconsistent. While some of it sounded realistic, other dialogue felt like it came straight out of a PSA (public service announcement).
  • Maybe it’s just me, but Kevin and Sarah’s story felt a bit cruel. This is the same couple who experienced a miscarriage a season ago. To add to that, this is the last season of Chesapeake Shores, meaning the viewers won’t be able to witness Sarah and Kevin’s journey as parents. I do like how this is another loose end getting tied up. However, it kind of seems like the show’s creative team is making a promise they know they can’t fully keep.
  • It was nice to see Megan in this episode. However, I was really confused by her presence. In the previous episode, Megan was preparing to leave for Los Angeles. She and Mick have said they will try to maintain their relationship long distance. Unfortunately, there was no clear explanation for why Megan was still in Chesapeake Shores. In this same episode, the disappearances of Nell, David, and Jess are explained. Nell is visiting a friend in Ireland, while Jess and David are out of town with David’s mom and sister.
  • As I said in the premiere episode re-cap, it’s a shame this is the last season of Chesapeake Shores. Another reason is how the viewers are going to miss out on Harper’s inclusion in the overarching story. Despite appearing in one scene, I ended up liking Harper as a character. If Hallmark’s upcoming shows, Ride and The Way Home, don’t work out and the network is looking for new ideas, maybe Connor and Margaret’s law firm could serve a spin-off!
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? What do you think of Kevin and Sarah’s news? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Have a Good Night

When you hear the phrase, “have a good night”, it’s usually spoken right before bedtime. But what exactly does “have a good night” mean? Perhaps one wishes their loved ones a good night’s sleep. Maybe it is hope for an evening event going according to plan. Another possibility is the anticipation of a nighttime adventure. At the end of the day (no pun intended), I guess “have a good night” is what you make it. Because the O’Brien family contains multiple members, each one of them could have their own definition of this phrase. This is especially the case when it comes to the events in this episode.

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 3

Name: Night and Day

Abby and Evan’s story: As a team building exercise for his business, Evan announces the arrival of the annual scavenger hunt. He doesn’t want to participate, as he feels it should only be reserved for incoming employees. But Abby insists Evan should join in on the fun, as he is a part of the Kincaid team. Evan agrees to take part, only if Abby is his partner. The next day, Abby and Evan are ready for the scavenger hunt. They receive a series of instructions, which Evan wants to bend. Abby encourages him to follow these rules, such as only using their phones for taking pictures and calling for help. All seems to be going well. But when it comes time to drive at night, Evan is apprehensive. Like the team player he is, Evan agrees to drive his car at night. But during this trip, one of the tires blows out. At this point, Evan wants to call it quits, due to his mother’s fatal car accident. But after Abby successfully changes the tire, Evan changes his mind. He even tells Abby about his mother’s accident. This revelation was done because of how much he cares about Abby. At the end of the scavenger hunt, Abby and Evan go to their last stop; the park. While there, they discover they didn’t win. However, Evan and Abby do share their first kiss.

Mick and Megan’s story: Megan is preparing to travel to Los Angeles for her new job. Before she leaves, she wants to have dinner with Mick. During this dinner, Megan wants to talk about what happened between their divorce and when she returned to Chesapeake Shores. The following evening, she and Mick share a lobster supper. It’s at this time the pair have a discussion they have been putting off for over ten years. Megan discusses the relationships she’s had while in New York. Mick shares his previous relationship with a woman named Martha. While the evening progresses, Megan and Mick get into an argument over a custody agreement. But during dessert, they decide not to talk about the past. The next morning, over breakfast, Mick and Megan agree that talking was the right decision. They also feel their long-distance relationship can work.

Vintage style kitchen image created by karlyukav at freepik.com Light photo created by karlyukav – www.freepik.com

Connor and Margaret’s story: While Connor appreciates his family’s support, he feels smothered by their constant care. During one of Margaret’s visits, Connor shares his desire to move back into his apartment. Margaret doesn’t want to interfere with personal family matters. However, she does eventually agree to drive Connor back to his place. In the middle of the night, Connor packs a backpack and leaves the O’Brien family home. He walks down the street, where Margaret is waiting for Connor in her car. A few scenes later, they arrive at Connor’s apartment. Their time together starts with sharing a kiss. It leads to them talking all night. During their conversation, Margaret reveals her dreams for the future. These dreams include becoming a lawyer, being recognized as a well-known litigator, then achieving status as a member of Maryland’s Supreme Court.

Bree and Luke’s story:  At Luke’s apartment, a pipe has sprung a leak. The problem is so bad, it won’t be fixed until the following day, at the earliest. When Bree asks where he’ll sleep, Luke confesses he’ll sleep at The Bridge. Believing that idea won’t do, Bree invites Luke to stay at her place, which Luke agrees. When they arrive at her home, Bree reveals it has always been her dream to live in her current house. She tells Luke she has admired the house since she was a child. Luke ends up spending the night on Bree’s pull-out sofa. This is when Luke’s secret is revealed. During the night, he experiences a nightmare. Embarrassed by this, Luke thinks it’s a better idea to sleep in his truck. Bree confesses she’s experienced nightmares before. She also tells Luke it’s ok to turn to someone for help. Eventually, Luke falls back asleep. Bree’s stays up late reading a book.

Sleepover guest image created by Macrovector at freepik.com.<a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/infographic”>Infographic vector created by macrovector – http://www.freepik.com</a&gt; Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Megan and Mick’s conversation has been teased on the show for several seasons. While I am glad this loose end was finally tied up, it ended up being a whole lot of nothing. Sure, Mick and Megan are now on the same page when it comes to their relationship. But what did they expect to accomplish by bringing up their past relationships? I guess with the show coming to a close, there’s not much explaining that could be done. However, after spending six years watching Chesapeake Shores, perhaps I expected a little more.
  • From what I remember, this is the first season Bree’s and Connor’s home have been featured on the show. With Bree’s home, only the living room has been shown. However, the space boasts a nice, airy atmosphere! My favorite part of Bree’s house are the large windows, as they make the room feel larger in scale. Meanwhile, I loved the combination of warm wood and lights in Connor’s apartment! These elements created a cozy environment, which looks aesthetically pleasing on-screen.
  • I’m aware this is only the season’s third episode. However, I do wonder if David and Jess’ story is going to become drawn out like Mei’s story was on When Calls the Heart? The couple was not featured in this episode. In fact, we still don’t the truth behind Mr. Peck’s choices. Whatever the resolution to this story is, I just hope it’s a satisfying one.
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 of this episode? Do you think Mick and Megan’s conversation was underwhelming? Please tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Lake Effects Review

‘Family Vacation Films’, that’s the theme of August’s Genre Grandeur. When one mentions this subject, the idea of happy times or fun destinations usually come to mind. What also comes to mind is how a family chooses to go on these trips, mostly to have a good experience. But what if a family takes a vacation out of necessity? And what if it wasn’t possible for that family to take a literal trip? Perhaps a “staycation” would have to be in order. A figurative trip away from personal hardships, doubt, and stresses of everyday life. This is the case of Lake Effects, the movie I’ve selected for this month’s event. While Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, could be a vacation spot, the protagonist and her family live in that location. But due to a family tragedy, they are forced to take a break from their daily lives. Whether a family vacation is close to home or travels abroad, what’s important are memories shared together.

Lake Effects poster created by Life Out Loud Films (LOL), Hallmark Channel, and Anchor Bay Entertainment 

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Around the time of this film’s release, 2012, Jane Seymour appeared in several Hallmark productions. Whether starring in Dear Prudence and Perfectly Prudence or in a supporting role in A Royal Christmas, these roles have been enjoyable to watch. In Lake Effects, Jane’s portrayal of Vivian was one of the strongest performances in this movie! A tradition Vivian and her husband, Ray, shared was Ray giving Vivian a pink rose every Friday. While cleaning out the closet, Vivian finds a box of old roses from Ray. Out of the blue, she starting sobbing. Because of Ray’s death, all Vivian’s bottled-up feelings bubbled over.

Another strong performance came from Scottie Thompson, who portrayed the protagonist, Sara. While sharing a drink with her sister, Lily, Sara reminisces over memories of her father. But when she remembers a secret her father kept from the family, Sara’s demeanor quickly changes. Her face falls in a serious expression, not sugarcoating anything she’s saying. Sara’s tone of voice is also serious, attempting to get Lily to see things from her perspective.

I was pleasantly surprised by Ben Savage’s performance in Lake Effects. His character, Carl, was very different from his portrayal of Corey Matthews from Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World. Carl was an enthusiastic man who was passionate about finding a mythical creature called the Smithy. But there are times when he can be awkward. This is the case when being interviewed by a television host. During the interview, Carl has a blank look on his face, unsure of what to do. Sitting tense on a couch, Carl is nervous about being filmed, especially since he’s never been interviewed before. What made this performance work was how believable it was.

The scenery: At the end of Lake Effects, on-screen text states the movie was “filmed entirely on location at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia”. As someone who never knew this location existed until I watched this movie, I was impressed by the natural beauty it had to offer! The film opens with the sun rising over the lake. The peach-gray glow of the rising sun reflected off the water, creating a peaceful environment. In an overhead, cutaway shot, the lake was shown during the day. The clear, blue water was surrounded by green lawns and a mixture of green and orange trees. Topped off with a clear sky, this location appeared inviting!

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 I didn’t like about the film:

On-the-nose music: As I’ve stated before, music can highlight a scene’s intended mood and elevate emotions among the characters. Even if there are lyrics within the music, those songs should appropriately fit what’s happening on screen. But in the case of Lake Effects, the music was so on-the-nose, it was, honestly, cringey. One example happens when Sara and Lily are sharing drinks at a local restaurant. A live band performs a song containing the lyrics “there’s a storm that’s brewing outside”. A few minutes later, Sara shares Ray’s secret, causing animosity between her and Lily. Because this happened on more than one occasion, the on-the-nose music became annoying.

Inconsistent elements: There were some elements of the story that were inconsistent. Technology was one of them. When Sara is arriving at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, she is experiencing technical issues with her Bluetooth earpiece. She even says “is it still stringing tin cans around here”? A few scenes later, Sara accepts a call on her cell phone in her parents’ driveway. Based on that short call, it seems like her phone is working perfectly fine. As I already mentioned, Sara has a Bluetooth earpiece, as well as a cell phone. This phone looks like a smartphone from around the early 2010s. Meanwhile, Carl receives a call on a flip-phone from the previous decade. In one scene, a cassette boombox was featured at an event. With all that said, it seems like Hallmark forgot when Lake Effects was meant to take place.

Too many cliches: Back in 2020, I reviewed JL Family Ranch: The Wedding Gift. One of the flaws of that film was how many Hallmark movie cliches were featured in the story. Lake Effects has the exact same issue. The 2012 production was filled with cliches typically found in Hallmark Channel movies. A few of these cliches are the “woman from the city coming back to her small hometown” cliché, the “save the (insert establishment here)” cliché, the “business person is a jerk and/or out of touch” cliché, and the “small town festival conveniently taking place” cliché. What’s frustrating about Lake Effects is how it was originally shown on what is now known as Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. This second network has historically created films that were more dramatic and serious from Hallmark Channel’s lighter content. The inclusion of these cliches made the purpose of this story confusing. Was this film meant to be a Hallmark Channel movie, but Hallmark ended up premiering it on the second channel? Or was Lake Effects always meant to have a serious tone, border-lining Hallmark Hall of Fame?

So many story ideas: Like I just mentioned, there were too many cliches found in Lake Effects. These cliches lent themselves to several story ideas. Because of the inclusion of the “save the (insert establishment here)” cliché, part of the story revolved around Sara attempting to save her family’s home. Since so much emphasis was given to this part of the plot, other story ideas weren’t fully developed. In Smith Mountain Lake, there was a group called the “She-Doos”. This group consisted of women who take occasional trips on their jet-skis. With the “She-Doos”, there was an interesting story idea waiting to come to fruition. Unfortunately, it was competing with several other story ideas, trying to win over the audience’s attention.

Colorful travel suitcase image created by Pikisuperstar at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/beautiful-illustration-of-travel_2686674.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/watercolor”>Watercolor vector created by Pikisuperstar – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Lake Effects is a movie Hallmark fans typically don’t talk about. It also seems to have been forgotten over the years. Now that I’ve seen the film, I think I have an idea why this is the case. The 2012 title is uninspiring. It’s filled with too many cliches, but doesn’t take the initiative to try anything new. Lake Effects attempts to adopt many different stories. However, the execution of these stories was weak. I will admit the scenery was aesthetically pleasing. But, as I’ve said before on 18 Cinema Lane, “the scenery can’t save you”. Like I’ve also said, a film’s script can make or break a production. If the script isn’t strong, there’s only so much a creative team can do to remedy the issue. While watching Lake Effects, there were a few story ideas trying to burst out of the murkiness of poor content. Sadly, these ideas couldn’t reach above the surface.

Overall score: 4.5 out of 10

Have you seen Lake Effects? Are there any lesser known Hallmark movies you’d like to see me review? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen