After a short hiatus, the Gold Sally Awards polls are back! This time, you can choose which actor was the best one out of the movies I saw in 2020! As usual, you can vote for as many nominees as you’d like. But you can only vote once per person. The poll begins today on March 29th and ends on April 5th. You can vote by clicking on the link under the poll image.
When I accepted The Sunshine Blogger Award and The Blogger Recognition Award back in February, I said I wanted to see Bai Ling join the main cast of When Calls the Heart, portraying Hope Valley’s first female Mountie. I also mentioned wanting to see this happen in my list of Hallmark’s Top 10 Missteps From the 2010s That Should Not Be Repeated. However, these explanations were brief. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Out of all the actresses you’d want to see star on one of your favorite TV shows, why Bai Ling?” Well, that is a very good question, and I’m about to give some very good answers! In this editorial, I will provide four major reasons why Bai Ling should join the main cast of When Calls the Heart. Before I thoroughly explain these reasons, I want to bring up three disclaimers. This editorial is meant to be a suggestion to the creative team of the show. So, any casting decisions are up to them. Bai’s career is her own, which means that whether or not she wants to star on When Calls the Heart is a decision only she can make. Whenever I refer to the main cast of the show, I am talking about the actors and actresses who appear in the opening sequence of each episode.
Bai Would Represent a Series of Firsts for the Show
Since 2014, many characters have come and gone throughout the overall story of When Calls the Heart. Whether these characters have made short appearances or claimed Hope Valley as their permanent residence, each individual has had an important role to play. In the seven and a half season lifespan of the show, there have been no Asian characters featured in any part of the story. Also, no female Mounties have arrived in Hope Valley or any area of Canada. Just in Hope Valley alone, several female characters have been portrayed and written as independent individuals who lead successful lives. From season six to season eight, Fiona Miller has evolved from a telephone operator to a small business owner. Though she has had her obstacles along the way, Fiona has overcome each one in order to achieve her dreams. Having a female Mountie would fit the narrative When Calls the Heart’s creative team has carried since the very beginning. As fans have heard and seen from other on-screen Mounties, this particular job has its challenges. However, I know this new character would prove that she is just as important as the others in Hope Valley!
When Lori Loughlin was removed from the cast due to her involvement in the infamous College Admissions Scandal, When Calls the Heart’s main cast was left without an actress over the age of fifty. The main cast has also not featured any actors or actresses who weren’t white. Because Bai Ling happens to be in her mid-50s, she would become the first actress over fifty to join the main cast in two years. Bai would be the first Asian cast member not only in the main cast, but in the entire show’s history as well. If Bai’s character chose to form a romantic relationship with either Bill Avery or Henry Gowan, they would become the first prominent interracial couple on When Calls the Heart. Up until this point, the show has had only one interracial couple, which were Robert’s parents. But they only made a brief appearance in the 2017 movie, When Calls the Heart: The Christmas Wishing Tree.
New Storytelling Opportunities
In the seven years that When Calls the Heart has stayed on the air, many stories have been included in the script. Each story has explored a different character’s background or a different component of the town. If Bai Ling were to join the main cast of the show and portray Hope Valley’s first female Mountie, that would call for a new story to be told. What would it look like to have a female Mountie in the 1910s, when female Mounties were not as common as they are now? What obstacles would this new character face? These are questions that would be answered if this story were introduced. Since When Calls the Heart has never had a female Mountie before, it would be interesting to see her dynamic among the other characters. Would she be friends with those who have appeared on the show for a long period of time or get along better with those who have been on the show for less than three years? Bai is Chinese, so the screenwriters could find ways to incorporate her culture and heritage into her character’s story. Hallmark has never acknowledged the Chinese Lunar New Year in any of their programs. Having one episode revolving around this holiday would be a good place to start.
Bai is an Underrated Actress with Years of Acting Experience
When Calls the Heart has seen many actors and actresses make their appearances on the show. Some of these actors have household names, such as Brooke Shields. Others have been underrated, like Max Lloyd-Jones. But no matter what status an actor has, the majority of the show’s actors have had at least some acting experience before they starred in an episode. For these points, I’ll bring up Jack Wagner and Pascale Hutton as examples. For thirty years, Jack starred on the soap opera, General Hospital. Within that timeframe, he gained acting experience as well as notoriety. When Jack joined When Calls the Heart’s main cast, his fanbase and notoriety grew, giving him a “standing ovation.” Before she became a series regular, Pascale was given small to supporting roles in two Hallmark productions: 2010’s A Family Thanksgiving and 2014’s Recipe for Love. After making her first appearance toward the end of the first season as Rosemary, Pascale made a household name for herself in the Hallmark community. During her time on When Calls the Heart, Pascale has starred in ten Hallmark films! On June 5th, she will star in her eleventh movie from the network, You Had Me at Aloha!
According to IMDB, Bai Ling has 132 acting credits. While I haven’t seen all of the projects listed, I have watched a few of them, with two of those projects being covered on 18 Cinema Lane (a review of The Crow and a review of an episode from the television show Homicide: Life on the Street). Out of Bai’s projects I’ve seen, two of them have been television show episodes from Homicide: Life on the Street and Lost. However, she was given guest-starring roles in those episodes, working with a limited amount of material. In an interview from 2009, Bai Ling said the following in regards to her career:
“On the other hand, there’s one thing I hope even though I’m grateful: I think other roles I have been offered are not near the level of my talent as an actress. I’m hungry for those great magical roles like Kate Winslet gets. Like my role in Red Corner. I also won an Asian Academy Award, but here, those roles don’t come along for me. I can make magic. Magic is a beautiful gift as an actress to play all these different characters. Those opportunities, I am open for.”
The creative team behind When Calls the Heart has a beautiful opportunity to grant Bai’s wishes. Placing Bai in the main cast would give her more acting material than she has received from other television shows. It would also allow her to receive the recognition she deserves.
Casting Bai Would Force Hallmark to Address Some of Their Hypocrisy
In my list of Hallmark’s Top 10 Missteps From the 2010s That Should Not Be Repeated, I brought up how Hallmark has become blatantly hypocritical since 2019. Their stance on diversity is one area where Hallmark’s hypocrisy has been obvious. Last year, George Zaralidis, Hallmark’s network program publicity vice president, said, “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us.” But the network’s actions have been much louder than their words. I will bring up the Canfield family as an example for this point. Season eight has seen the introduction of the Canfield family. Now that the show is about halfway through the season, the Canfield family has appeared in less than ten scenes total. They also haven’t received a major storyline yet. When they do face a conflict, it is resolved in the episode after it was introduced. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and her love triangle have been covered for two and a half seasons. It also has been heavily promoted in the show’s marketing, even when an episode has little or nothing to do with the love triangle. On a recent cover of TV Guide, the only cast members that were featured were Erin Krakow, Chris McNally, and Kevin McGarry. The cover’s caption read “Who will Elizabeth choose? The irresistible love triangle of Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart.” The Canfield family or any other character were not only absent from the cover, but they were also not referenced. Emphasizing one character or storyline is hypocritical, as it undermines the other characters and stories the show has to offer. When Calls the Heart was never meant to be about one character, but about the town as a whole. If Bai Ling were to join this show’s main cast, Hallmark would have no choice but to address some of these hypocrisies. This means When Calls the Heart’s creative team would have to give Bai a significant amount of screen-time and a significant number of lines in the script. She would also have to be significantly featured in When Calls the Heart’s marketing.
Auggie Pullman, from Wonder, once said “Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” For seven years, When Calls the Heart has given many people their “standing ovations” both in front of the camera and behind it. The show’s creative team has created a place where various talents and skills are celebrated. A lifetime of stories have been told because of the show’s desire to give as many people the recognition they deserve. While a ninth season has not been announced yet, fans have already been making requests for the next season. But these requests have revolved around which suitor Elizabeth will choose. What makes my suggestion different is that it is more meaningful than Elizabeth’s decision, and that it will outlive the hype surrounding the love triangle. At the end of day, it’s about bringing a new voice and perspective to Hope Valley’s table. As I bring this editorial to a close, I have to ask: What makes Bai Ling any different from the other cast and crew members on When Calls the Heart? Doesn’t she deserve a standing ovation too?
Here are the links where quotes or information came from:
Over the course of seven and a half seasons, the residents of Hope Valley have experienced a plethora of problems. Some of these problems have been dire, like Henry’s blood pressure or troubles at the bank. Others might be minor and require less than a day to solve. This season of When Calls the Heart has seen all sorts of problems. However, what matters most is how those problems are solved. There have been times when the whole town had to pitch in and help, like when there was a fire at the church shortly before Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding. But sometimes it takes only one person to find a solution to a conflict. Not matter what the residents of Hope Valley face, they always find the answers they are looking for. Let’s see if they solve their problems in this re-cap of When Calls the Heart!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: What the Heart Wants
As the school year comes to a close, Elizabeth and her students prepare for the upcoming graduation and moving up ceremony. Elizabeth is also preparing for the Parent Teacher Conferences. Later that day, Elizabeth meets with Joseph and Minnie during the Conference. Despite spending a short amount of time at the Jack Thornton School, Cooper has been earning good grades and doing well among his peers. After their meeting, Elizabeth invites Minnie and Joseph to the graduation and moving up ceremony. Even though they agree to go, Minnie seems hesitant to attend. When the conferences are over, Elizabeth realizes Nathan hasn’t shown up. So, she sends him a note telling him to come to her house. That night, Nathan arrives at Elizabeth’s house, saying his and Ally’s fishing trip is the reason why he didn’t come to the Parent Teacher Conferences. Elizabeth tells him Ally received straight As on her final report card, but her math grades are the most impressive. Because of this, Elizabeth recommends placing Ally in an accelerated math program. She also points out how the inquiry caused Ally to lose concentration on her studies. Nathan apologizes for the effects of the inquiry and for not attending the Parent Teacher Conferences. He tells Elizabeth he’ll think about the accelerated math program. Later in the episode, Elizabeth goes to Dottie’s Dress Shop for a fitting. While there, she shows Rosemary the dress she plans on wearing for her date with Lucas. Rosemary is impressed with the dress and agrees with Elizabeth’s choice.
The next day, before the graduation and moving up ceremony, Lucas takes Elizabeth horse riding. However, this ride is short due to Elizabeth needing to prepare for her event. When they visit a bridge in the forest, Elizabeth invites Lucas to the ceremony. Lucas declines, as he doesn’t want to make things awkward for Nathan and Ally. At the ceremony, Elizabeth is surprised by a song the students performed in her honor. She’s also surprised by the arrival of a Valley school board member. He wants the Jack Thornton School to join the district and reminds her how she’s not certified to teach disabled students. Elizabeth stands up for herself by telling him the Jack Thornton School is independent and how she will try her best to teach all her students, no matter their abilities. Because she was impressed with the ceremony, Minnie agrees to work with Elizabeth, as she plans on sending Angela to school with her brother. Nathan and Ally also agree to the accelerated math program, even though Ally doesn’t seem too happy about it. The episode ends with Elizabeth having dinner at home with Lucas, due to her desire to stay close to her son. They agree to slowly start a relationship and proceed to hold hands.
After Rachel’s first successful sale at the dress shop, Rosemary is impressed with how well Rachel is adapting to her new life in Hope Valley. But after receiving a letter that says Dottie might sell the dress shop, that happiness is shattered. The news causes Rachel to take a walk and Rosemary to contemplate her future. When Lee visits the dress shop, Rosemary tells him the news. Lee isn’t too worried, as he thinks everything will work out for the better. This troubles Rosemary, with her believing Lee doesn’t understand what she’s going through. Rosemary and Rachel are not the only ones troubled by the news. Clara is concerned about her future income. She’s not only stressed about her temporary position at Nichols and Dime, but she also accepts more hours at Abigail’s Café. At the café, Bill brings up the idea of buying out Abigail to gain more ownership of the café. He asks Clara and Jesse if they would also like to buy out Abigail, but they decline the offer. That night, Clara makes the discovery that all the money in their bank account is missing. When she addresses this to Jesse, he reveals how he gave all their money to an investment that didn’t work out. In anger and frustration, Clara kicks Jesse out of their house. Meanwhile, Rosemary and Lee realize Rachel hasn’t returned from her walk. So, they take a drive in order to look for her. When they arrive at the forest, they find Rachel wandering through the woods. Before they go home, Rachel says she lost her way.
When Lucas crosses paths with Henry, Henry expresses interest in wanting to work with Lucas at the petroleum oil plant again. Because of this, Lucas gives Henry his old office key. Later in the episode, Henry discovers his office is dusty, as it hasn’t been utilized in a long time. Henry is not the only Hope Valley resident to experience good occupational news. Early in the episode, Carson receives a letter from a surgeon he worked alongside in Union City. Though he doesn’t say what’s in the letter at first, Faith eventually puts the pieces together. Carson is invited to become a resident surgeon at John Hopkins. Despite Carson’s concerns about the future of their relationship, Faith encourages him to consider the invitation. Meanwhile, Ned experiences stomach troubles. Even though Florence and Carson insist that Ned accept medical treatment, Ned refuses. Florence expresses her concerns for Ned, which cause her to place her hand over Ned’s hand. Because Carson and Faith walked into the Mercantile at that moment, Ned suggests putting a bell on the door to let Ned and Florence know if customers are coming in.
Some thoughts to consider:
During Elizabeth’s fitting at the dress shop, Rosemary thinks about her future employment options. She tells Elizabeth she wants to do something she loves while also making a difference. This makes me wonder if Rosemary will finally get her long-awaited theater? She could lead acting classes as well as directing plays. The theater could also be a place where families can spend some quality time together.
Ever since When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas, I have felt there are too many continuous storylines on the show. This episode serves as a perfect example, as new pieces of different stories were introduced. None of these stories were resolved at the end of the episode, with the conflict of Angela’s education being resolved way too quickly. Having so many storylines make the overall show feel bloated. The creative team needs to have a better handle on which storylines can be covered over several episodes and which ones should be resolved in one episode.
As I mentioned in my re-cap, Lee doesn’t seem too worried about the future of Dottie’s Dress Shop. Because of his demeanor, I wonder if Lee is planning on purchasing the dress shop for Rosemary? That could mean the dress shop would be Rosemary’s, with the name of the business making a change to Rosemary’s Dress Shop. It would also mean Rosemary would become the next small business owner of Hope Valley!
What are your thoughts on this episode? How do you think the characters will solve their problems? Let me know in the comment section!
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!
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!
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.
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!
In this episode of When Calls the Heart, we are introduced to two new characters; Angela Canfield and Rachel Thom. Though their lives are very different, they share one thing in common. Both young women have a mother who is protective of their daughter. From a distance, it can seem like these mothers are strict and unfair. But when we get to know these characters, we learn that their hearts are in the right places and they have the best intentions for their child. As Angela and Rachel grow up, they will want to go out into the world and have lives of their own. In this episode, we see each young woman has a talent worth pursuing. How those talents are used, nobody yet knows. Until those moments come, let’s re-cap this week’s episode of When Calls the Heart!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: Welcome to Hope Valley
The Canfield family begins moving into their new home. In an effort to welcome them to Hope Valley, Elizabeth brings some books from the library. When Elizabeth arrives at the Canfield’s house, she meets Joseph and Minnie. She is also introduced to Cooper and Angela, who is blind. Elizabeth gives the children Call of the Wild and the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series. Minnie declines Elizabeth’s invitation for Angela to come to the Jack Thornton School, as she says she’ll teach Angela at home. Later that day, Elizabeth visits Joseph at the gas station. She expresses excitement about teaching Cooper and Angela. Joseph reminds her how Minnie is protective of Angela. Elizabeth tells him that even though she isn’t certified in teaching blind children yet, she hopes to teach Angela in the near future. The next day is Cooper’s first day of school. As Cooper introduces himself to the class, the Canfield family listens through the school’s front door. As they walk home, Angela expresses interest in going to school with Cooper, as she wants to spend time with children her own age. Minnie is against the idea because she doesn’t want Angela to face prejudice like she did before. Joseph feels that this won’t happen in Hope Valley, based on how the residents have treated the family so far. Minnie then agrees to think about what Angela wants. Back at home, the Canfield family continues to unpack their wagon. During this activity, Angela climbs into the wagon in order to reach the piano. After she accomplishes her mission, she starts playing ‘Clair de Lune’. As Jesse and Elizabeth are giving Cooper a ride home, they hear the piano music. Everyone is impressed with Angela’s musical talents, especially Elizabeth. In a private conversation with Minnie, Elizabeth compares Angela’s desire to reach the piano to her desire to learn among her peers. Minnie shares how her family experienced difficult times ever since Angela was born. Elizabeth tells Minnie how she will never stop trying to help Angela and her family.
Nathan’s inquiry begins in Hope Valley. On the first day, Andrew questions Bill. Bill shares how even though he was present during last year’s prisoner transfer, he didn’t see who shot the now deceased Mountie. Andrew points out how Nathan could have shot the Mountie. The next day, Nathan is questioned by Andrew. One of the questions is about his time at Fort Clay three years ago. Bill objects to this, as he feels it does not relate to the prisoner transfer from last year. After the hearing, Bill asks Nathan what happened at Fort Clay. Nathan reveals he broke protocol by making an arrest on his own. Because Fort Clay was Jack Thornton’s last assignment, Bill asks Nathan if he knew Jack. Nathan replies by saying no. The inquiry has also been bothering Ally. During recess at school, Ally shares that Nathan was suspended after he served at Fort Clay. This causes Elizabeth to wonder if he knew her husband. On the day of the final verdict, Ally visits Nathan at the courthouse. Right before Andrew gives the final verdict, Ally enters the courthouse, confessing how Nathan is a good man. She also says his reputation is impeccable (a word she learned from Elizabeth) and how Nathan is the closest thing to a father she has. After Ally leaves, Andrew agrees to drop the inquiry. Before the end of the episode, Elizabeth apologizes to Lucas for keeping his mother’s secret from him. Lucas also apologizes for being disrespectful toward Elizabeth. After making up, they agree to have dinner together. Nathan then approaches Elizabeth, giving her an opportunity to ask about his time at Fort Clay. She asks Nathan if he ever met Jack, which he replies no. When she asks why he never shared this information with her, Nathan says he never found the opportunity to do so.
While Mike and Jesse are helping Fiona load some furniture into her barber shop, Clara gives Jesse the cold shoulder. When Fiona points out how harsh Clara is being toward Jesse, Clara reveals how she is teaching him a lesson for purchasing Lee’s motorcycle without consulting her first. Later in the episode, Jesse and Clara share an ice cream cone. When discussing finances, Clara reminds Jesse how even though Lee offered the motorcycle to Jesse for a good price, Jesse will still have to pay for repairs. Not only does Jesse agree to give the motorcycle back to Lee, but he also agrees to communicate with Clara when it comes to major purchases. Several scenes later, Fiona reveals how she is going out of town to see her family. Clara says she is seeking extra employment so she and Jesse can purchase a house someday. Fiona decides to help Clara by hiring her as a barber.
Lee’s sister, Susannah, and her daughter, Rachel, have come to Hope Valley for a visit. Even though Lee is excited to see his sister again, he and Rosemary quickly notice how Susannah is protective of Rachel. One morning, Lee, Rosemary, Susannah, Rachel, and Elizabeth have breakfast at the Queen of Hearts Saloon. When Elizabeth discovers Rachel has recently graduated high school, Elizabeth asks Rachel what her plans are for the future. Rachel says she wants to be an actress like Rosemary. Because they know how protective Susannah is, Rosemary and Lee try to dissuade Rachel from this career path. Later that day, as Lee takes the motorcycle to the lumberyard, Rosemary and Rachel go to the dress shop. While helping Mollie with a fitting, Rachel gives Mollie fashion advice that ends up improving Mollie’s look. Rosemary takes notice of Rachel’s eye for fashion and agrees to give Rachel an outfit from the store. When Rosemary and Rachel come home, Rachel models her new Freedom Alls and makeover. Susannah disapproves of this look and tells Rachel to change back into her previous outfit. Because Rosemary senses tension between Lee and Susannah, Rosemary talks a walk. When Rosemary arrives that evening, Susannah apologizes for being disrespectful toward her. She also asks if Rachel can stay with the Coulters. Even though Lee and Rosemary agree, Susannah explains how she doesn’t want her daughter to grow up in the city.
Mollie is still determined to attract Bill. When Florence questions this, Mollie says she’s in it for the long haul. In an effort to get Bill to notice her, Mollie purchases a fancy dress from Dottie’s Dress Shop. At first, she isn’t thrilled with the dress Rosemary picks out for her. Then, Rachel gives Mollie a necklace and satin ribbon sash to complete the look. These simple changes instantly cause Mollie to change her mind about the dress. That evening, Mollie goes to the Saloon, where Bill happens to be. When Mollie arrives, Bill leaves in a hurry, not noticing Mollie’s dress. Seeing Mollie’s disappointment, Florence invites Mollie to join her and Ned at their table, as they also happen to be at the Saloon. The next day, as he’s passing by Mollie in town, Bill makes a comment about Mollie’s dress. This makes Mollie feel validated.
Some thoughts to consider:
Jesse, Clara, and even Ally appear to have purchased their ice cream cones from the Mercantile. However, Opal and Hattie revealed in season five that Hope Valley had an ice cream parlor. Did these characters purchase their ice cream cones at the parlor off-screen or did the parlor close down? If the latter is the case, maybe a new character could purchase the ice cream parlor in season nine.
This episode was funnier than I expected! One of the funniest scenes was when Elizabeth is about to join Ally at the courthouse. Elizabeth tells Robert to watch the class while she is away. Robert then appears satisfied with her decision and says to himself how he’s the right man for the job.
I thought it was nice of Carson to give Faith her own doctor’s bag! This simple gesture keeps up the season’s continuity, as Faith told Carson in the previous episode how she wanted to be taken seriously as a doctor. The bag also serves as a symbol for the start of Faith’s medical career. I hope we get to see this bag in future episodes!
What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you have any predictions for what will happen in the next episode? Tell me in the comment section!
The Gold Sally Awards recognizes the crucial role screenwriting plays in the filmmaking process. Among the best movies I saw in 2020, you can choose which film contained the best story! Even though you can only vote once per person, you are able to vote for more than one nominee. As I’ve said before, the link to the poll is featured under the list of nominees. This poll starts today, March 15th, and ends on March 21st.
Jesse’s new haircut. Henry presenting yellow roses to Florence. Clara and Rosemary opening a box of inventory from Dottie. What do these things have in common? They are all small details that make a big impact! When it comes to writing, it’s the little things that count. With Jesse’s haircut, it maintains the consistency within the show’s overarching story. Yellow roses symbolize friendship, which Henry was seeking after the accusations he made in the previous episode. Dottie is a character that hasn’t appeared on the show in several seasons, so hearing Clara and Rosemary say her name was a pleasant surprise. Throughout this season, I will be on the lookout for more small details that stand out in the script. In the meantime, let’s start this re-cap of When Calls the Heart!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: From the Ashes
When attempting to remove more oil from the geyser, Mike suggests to Lucas that the crew should drill another 50 feet. Even though it is a risky move, Lucas agrees to the idea. As the crew continues to drill, they feel a rumbling beneath the ground. After the crew runs away from the geyser, oil begins to burst out of the hole. All of the sudden, the geyser explodes into flames. This was caused by a high-pressure blowout that took place during the initial drilling. Lucas and Jesse try to figure out what to do, while also trying to keep the other crew members safe. They are eventually joined by Bill, Henry, Ned, and Nathan. Henry suggests dynamite be used to distinguish the fire, an idea the rest of the men agree to. Right before this plan is put into place, Fiona shows up to lend a hand. The group gathers all the dynamite they can find and push them from a cart into the fire. Their plan works, causing no fatalities or major injuries. The fire also causes little to no damage.
While Rosemary and Elizabeth discuss Elizabeth’s potential relationship between Nathan or Lucas, Lucas crosses paths with them on his way to the library. After Elizabeth ends her conversation with Rosemary, Lucas tells Rosemary how he noticed his mother appeared different than usual. This causes him to want to call his father in an attempt to surprise his mother. At this point in the episode, Lucas still doesn’t know about his parents’ situation. While editing Elizabeth’s manuscript, Elizabeth shares how it’s difficult to keep Helen’s secret from Lucas. She suggests Helen tell her son what’s been going on. When Elizabeth looks out the window in Helen’s room, Helen addresses Elizabeth’s feelings for Nathan and Lucas. After the geyser explosion, Lucas meets Helen at the Café. When he asks her where his father is, she tells him she’ll find out where he is. Eventually, Lucas finds out the truth about his father. He approaches Elizabeth and asks her why she kept this secret from him. She says Helen told her not to say anything to him. A few scenes later, Helen visits Elizabeth at her home. She feels overwhelmed by her relationship issues. Elizabeth reminds Helen how she needs to show her husband her vulnerable side and fight for her marriage. Helen pauses the editing process on Elizabeth’s manuscript to go home and rekindle her relationship with her husband. Meanwhile, Lucas is still upset with Elizabeth. She tells him what she told his mother. Lucas feels Elizabeth doesn’t know what she is talking about because she is currently not in a relationship.
At the Mercantile, Lee receives a package. This package contains a chair he purchased on his and Rosemary’s South American vacation. Jesse, who also happens to be at the Mercantile, tries to sit in Lee’s chair. Lee discourages this, as he says it’s bad luck if he isn’t the first person to sit in the chair. To take Jesse’s mind off of the chair, Lee instructs Jesse to take Lee’s motorcycle to the lumberyard, as Lee plans on selling it. When Jesse goes to Lee and Rosemary’s house, he chooses to ride on the motorcycle, discovering how much he likes it. However, Clara disapproves of the motorcycle when Jesse pays his wife a visit at the dress shop. Jesse decides to buy the motorcycle from Lee. After Lee sells it for $20, Jesse takes a trip to a neighboring town on the motorcycle. During his journey, the motorcycle runs out of gas, causing Jesse to walk with the motorcycle to his destination. Meanwhile, in Hope Valley, Rosemary takes a seat in Lee’s chair while he is at work. Unfortunately, Lee’s chair breaks due to a cracked leg. When Lee comes home, Rosemary apologizes for breaking Lee’s chair. Lee then reveals how he and his grandfather built a chair like the one Lee bought when he was younger. He also shares how he misses building things. At the end of the episode, Rosemary creates a work station for Lee, so Lee can get back to building again.
Bill asks Nathan if he’s still interested in purchasing his land, as Bill says there is another buyer interested in the property. Nathan replies he has changed his mind. Andrew, a Mountie who mentored Nathan, informs him of an inquiry that is about to take place. Because a Mountie was killed in last season’s prisoner transfer, Andrew is investigating Nathan’s involvement in the Mountie’s death. Because Andrew was mentored by Bill, Bill notices the tension between Nathan and Andrew. At Nathan’s office, Bill asks Nathan why he doesn’t like Andrew. Nathan doesn’t provide any details. Andrew visits Bill, in order to inspect the potential courtroom for the inquiry. Bill asks Andrew the same question he asks Nathan. Just like Nathan, Andrew doesn’t provide any additional information.
The day after the geyser explosion, Florence notices how Ned appears in pain whenever he walks. Florence volunteers to take him to the Infirmary. While at the Infirmary, Faith discovers Ned has an internal ankle fracture due to Ned’s foot falling into a hole. However, Carson says Ned has an external ankle fracture. Frustrated by this experience, Faith shares her feelings with Clara and Fiona after Ned’s visit. Later in the episode, Faith shares with Carson how her recent experience is similar to what she went through in medical school, where she wasn’t taken seriously and no one seemed to listen to her. She tells Carson how she wants to be heard and seen as a doctor.
Some thoughts to consider:
Even though I liked the storyline involving the geyser, I wish it had lasted a little longer and raised the stakes a bit higher. This could have been one of the most suspenseful moments in the show’s history, with the audience questioning certain characters’ outcomes and wondering what the explosion’s aftermath will look like. I will say this particular storyline was more interesting than most of the subplots in the season premiere.
I heard a theory of Jack possibly returning to Hope Valley after his identity was mistaken and he experienced amnesia. Because Jack is brought up in the preview for next week’s episode and after Bill mentioned the other buyer interested in his property, maybe this theory could be true? It would provide a convenient way for Elizabeth not to choose Nathan or Lucas. However, nothing has been confirmed or denied by anyone associated from the show.
Now that Lee is going to start building again, I wonder if he’ll finally build Rosemary that theater she wanted since season two? It could provide the show’s creative team with a story to give Rosemary and Lee. The theater would also create growth in Hope Valley.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you looking forward to the Canfield family’s introduction in the next episode? Tell me in the comment section!
To celebrate the anniversary of 18 Cinema Lane’s beginning, I host a movie awards to highlight the best films I saw in the previous year. As I had several projects on my plate in February, the Gold Sally Awards were pushed back. However, the Gold Sally Awards are still happening, starting with the Best Movie category! In this division, all of the films that were featured on my Top 10 Best Movies I Saw in 2020 list will compete for the title of Gold Sally Awards’ Best Movie. Like in years past, you are allowed to vote for more than one nominee. But you can only vote once per person. This poll starts today and ends on March 14th. On the bottom of the poll, there is a link where you can submit your vote. If you’re having technical difficulties, please don’t hesitate to speak up in the comment section.
When Lee goes to the Infirmary after he injured his back, Joseph Canfield, a new character on When Calls the Heart, tells Rosemary he’ll pray for Lee. Not only was the gesture thoughtful, but it also highlights an important component of the show. Since the show’s beginning, faith has been interwoven throughout the overall story. Whether it was Elizabeth’s students putting on a Nativity play during Christmastime or the characters adding Biblical values to their lives, faith is one of the cornerstones of Hope Valley. It has been a while since services were shown in the church or since a pastor has stayed in the town for more than a few episodes. Adding a new pastor to When Calls the Heart’s growing cast of characters would continue to emphasize the importance of faith. It would provide the town with someone to turn to whenever someone is struggling. The pastor’s journey of faith could also be explored. In the meantime, let’s start this week’s re-cap of When Calls the Heart!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: Honestly, Elizabeth
Helen Bouchard spends her morning reading Elizabeth’s manuscript. When Lucas visits her at the Queens of Hearts Saloon, Helen expresses no interest in leaving her room. Later that day, as Elizabeth is on her way to the Infirmary to visit Lee, Lucas asks Elizabeth if she’ll visit Helen. After Lucas explains how Elizabeth is easier to talk to, Elizabeth agrees. At the Saloon, Elizabeth arrives at Helen’s room, bringing a basket of homemade muffins. Helen refuses the muffins and also frowns upon Elizabeth’s lateness when it came to handing in her manuscript. When Helen asks if Elizabeth can meet with her the next morning to look over Elizabeth’s manuscript, Elizabeth agrees. The following day, Elizabeth and Helen work on editing the manuscript. They have difficulty seeing eye-to-eye, as they only finish the first page. To resolve this issue, Elizabeth suggests they take a break by going for a walk. On this walk, Helen reveals that she likes Elizabeth’s honest writing. She also confides in Elizabeth how her husband left her. Helen says her husband was in London the last time he was located. She tells Elizabeth not to tell Lucas about this news. When Lucas arrives to invite Elizabeth to dinner, she turns down the invitation. Instead, she recruits Lucas to help plan a special night in for Lee and Rosemary. Throughout the episode, Helen takes notice of Lucas’ feelings for Elizabeth.
A box for the Coulters arrives at their house. Joseph Canfield comes to help Lee bring the package into the home. During this procedure, Lee hurts his break. He is taken to the Infirmary by Rosemary, Joseph, and Jesse. At the Infirmary, Carson discovers Lee has sprained his back. He tells Lee and Rosemary how Lee will have to rest at the Infirmary until the afternoon, when Lee will be able to go home. Back at home, Lee is still in pain. He plans to take it easy by sitting on the sofa. Later that evening, Elizabeth surprises Lee and Rosemary by planning a special night in. She gives them wine and a record that have something to do with Hawaii. As they dance to the music, Lee confesses to Rosemary how he has always wanted to visit Hawaii. The next day, they discover what the box contained. While the majority of the contents consist of coffee, they also give a sombrero and poncho to Elizabeth’s son, Jack.
Nathan visits Bill with the intention of starting the process of Ally’s adoption. Even though Bill thinks it is a bad idea with Ally’s father in prison, Nathan explains how this is the perfect time to start the process. As Bill fills out the necessary paperwork, Nathan finds a map of Bill’s property. Bill explains how the land is for sale, as he doesn’t spend much time using it. Later in the episode, Nathan tells Elizabeth how he plans to visit Bill’s land. He also shares his desire to settle down. Before the episode ends, Nathan expresses his feelings about Bill’s property to Elizabeth, saying how it would the perfect place to build a house. Elizabeth tells him how she cares about him and is concerned about the future of their relationship. She doesn’t want to lose him like she lost her husband. Even when Nathan explains how he’d quit being a Mountie, that doesn’t dispel any of Elizabeth’s concerns. After Nathan tells her he loves her, Elizabeth rides away on her horse, Sergeant.
Toward the beginning of the episode, Fiona opens her barber shop, which is called Nichols and Dimes. She explains how she incorporated her former boss’ name into her business, as a symbolic gesture to show how she is more than just “a small spoke in a big wheel”. When she is seeking customers, Henry, Jesse, and Mike turn down the offer. As the episode progresses, Mike comes to the barber shop after he lost a bet with Jesse. As Fiona is giving Mike a haircut, she explains why she re-opened the barber shop. During this process, she accidently cuts Mike’s ear with the trimming scissors. Horrified by the ordeal, Mike rushes to the Infirmary. Later in the episode, Mike returns to the barber shop. He apologizes for abruptly leaving. Fiona tells him both of them are equally to blame. She then becomes surprised when Clara and Faith bring Jesse and Carson to get a trim.
While driving through the country roads, Joseph Canfield experiences car trouble as the car’s engine stops working. He goes to Hope Valley in search of help. When he enters town, Joseph finds Jesse and asks him for help, an offer Jesse accepts. When Jesse finishes fixing Joseph’s car, they witness Robert’s horse-riding adventure. As Robert loses control of the horse, Elizabeth chases after him while riding her own horse. When revisiting Hope Valley, Joseph expresses interest to Bill about purchasing the gas station. Joseph also shares how he’d like to call Hope Valley his home. Bill and Henry take Joseph to Henry’s house, which is currently for sale. Even though the house needs some repairs, Joseph purchases the house, claiming it will be the perfect place for his family to live. After this exchange, Henry visits the mercantile. When he discovers his letter has been returned and partially opened, Henry demands to know who is responsible. Carson, who just so happened to come to the Mercantile at that very moment, suggests Henry leave in order to prevent the conflict from escalating further. As Henry is leaving, he collapses on the stairs. While Carson reminds Henry of his troubling blood pressure, Henry tells Carson how nothing he does will ever be good enough. Carson takes Henry to the Infirmary in an attempt to resolve this issue.
Some thoughts to consider:
This episode was much stronger than the season premiere! I liked how the overall story placed more emphasis on the plots and conflicts of the characters instead of the love triangle and relationships. Within the episode, interesting storylines were either revisited or introduced. Nathan’s plan to adopt Ally is one example. After Nathan explained why he wants to adopt Ally now, I have gained an understanding for the creative team’s decision to not use Ally’s father to serve a multi-episode storyline.
Why is Mollie suddenly interested in Bill romantically? For seven seasons, Mollie has never expressed any desire to be in a relationship with anyone. In this episode, she seemed jealous of Helen when Mollie spotted Helen and Bill at the Saloon. To me, this part of the story feels random.
Similar to the previous season, there is a lot of mystery surrounding Henry’s character. Not only do we not yet know the significance of the letter, but also why Henry is suddenly interested in getting back into the petroleum business with Lucas. I hope we start receiving answers as this season continues.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Which storyline interests you the most? Tell me in the comment section below!
Originally, I was going to review a different movie for the 3rd Annual So Bad It’s Good Blogathon. But when I found a DVD copy of Scarlett at a local consignment store, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to review the film! Last year, I discovered Gone with the Wind received a sequel many years after its release. While I’m not a fan of the sequel’s predecessor, I thought the 1994 film would be perfect content for the aforementioned event. According to IMDB, Scarlett premiered as a TV mini-series. This gives the sequel a run-time of six hours, which is even longer than the first movie. I never thought Gone with the Wind needed another chapter, as everything ended on a definitive note. However, curiosity got the best of me, as I wanted to find out if this could finally be the “so bad it’s good” movie I’ve been looking for!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: While I like the acting overall, there were three performances that were stand-outs. The first one came from Sean Bean. I haven’t seen much from his filmography, but I remember his portrayal of Ian Howe from National Treasure. Based on these two movies, it seems Sean is very talented when it comes to portraying on-screen villains! Without spoiling the film, I will say Lord Richard Fenton is a despicable individual. However, it was interesting to see how Sean carried his character in each scene he appeared in. Whenever in public or around Scarlett, Richard comes across as a dashing gentleman. But behind closed doors, he reveals himself to be selfish and controlling, which makes Richard’s overall persona very ugly. In all my years of watching movies, I’ve seen few actors effectively portray characters that had likable and unlikable qualities. Within the film, Scarlett, Sean single-handedly accomplished this; making the audience despise Richard, but appreciate Sean’s acting abilities! The second stand-out performance was Annabeth Gish’s! In historical fiction/period stories, few female characters from a wealthier background contain a personality that is gentler in nature. With the way Annabeth approached her character, Anne, she brought something to the table that isn’t seen often. This not only provided a contrast to Scarlett, but allowed Anne to be her own character. Anne’s gentleness came across on screen very naturally as well! Tina Kellegher’s portrayal of Mary Boyle is the third stand-out performance! A strong sense of emotionality worked in Tina’s favor. This component to her performance presented her character as a believable individual, as if Mary had actually existed at some point in time. Miss Boyle experiences some difficult situations throughout the movie. However, Tina pulled off a performance that appeared flawless!
The costumes: In period films, one of the notable aspects is the costumes. They are one example of a physical representation of the story’s respective time period. The costumes in Scarlett not only looked historically accurate, but also impressive! It also helps how the costumes compliment the actors wearing them. Scarlett’s wardrobe was amazing! It featured a color palette that never appeared over-the-top. Each piece featured patterns and textures that felt fitting for the 1870s, with color combinations working well together. I honestly can’t choose a favorite outfit, as it was fun to discover what outfit Scarlet would wear next! While I realistically don’t have any place to wear one of Scarlett’s outfits, it’s nice to think about which piece I’d like to own in real-life.
The conflict between the British and Irish: Within the overall story, there was an ongoing conflict between the British and Irish. According to the Irish characters, this was due to the British wanting to take over Ireland. I’m not familiar with this particular period in world history. Despite that, I found this part of the story to be fascinating! Because of Scarlett’s Irish heritage and the fact she had family living in Ireland, it gave Scarlett a reason to be aware of the political and social environment around her. Her interactions with Richard also highlight the different sides of the conflict itself. There were other people in this story who were directly connected to this conflict as well. One of Scarlett’s cousin’s, Colum, is a priest. However, he is also a member of a group of Irish people fighting for freedom against the British. It was interesting to see how Colum navigated his own struggles of religious duty and standing up for his people.
What I didn’t like about the film:
Scarlett and Rhett’s on-again/off-again relationship: I am not a fan of Scarlett and Rhett’s relationship. Even when I try to give it a fair chance and watch it with an open mind, I still do not like their relationship in this movie. One of the reasons why is how it was continually on-again/off-again. This was so repetitive, it became tiresome. It was also difficult to determine if Joanne Whalley and Timothy Dalton, the actor and actress who portrayed Scarlett and Rhett, had any on-screen chemistry. Scarlett and Rhett’s relationship problems did not need to be explored, especially after Gone with the Wind’s ending. In fact, seeing Scarlett and Rhett’s on-again/off-again relationship diminishes one of the most famous scenes and quotes in cinematic history, where Rhett says “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”. In my opinion, this situation took place simply to justify the sequel’s existence.
Unnecessary stories: As I already mentioned in my previous point, Scarlett and Rhett’s on-again/off-again relationship felt like it was taking place simply to justify the sequel’s existence. This wasn’t the only story within the film to make me feel this way. In the first half of Scarlett, Ashley is struggling to keep his business afloat. Scarlett recruits Sam, a former slave of the O’Hara household, to assist Ashley in building more homes, in order to save Ashley’s business. That storyline is one I found myself not caring about. It also didn’t lead anywhere, as it didn’t have a consistent presence in the overall film. Scarlett’s feud with her sister was another story I thought was unnecessary. Throughout the film, they refused to see eye-to-eye about the future of Tara. While Scarlett’s sister was still living in the house, Scarlett was considering selling it. I thought it was odd for Scarlett to think about selling Tara. In the first movie, she loved Tara so much, Scarlett slapped a woman in the face for expressing her opinion against the place. For Scarlett to completely change her mind without any explanation seemed random.
Choppy scene transitions: At some points in the movie, there were scene transitions that were so abrupt, it caused the film’s overall flow to feel choppy. When visiting a family member, Scarlett is about to share how she became so wealthy. Right as she was about to tell her story, the next scene started, showing another family member walking toward his house. It seemed like parts of the movie were missing. Some of these scene transitions were so jarring because the change of tone was so drastic. One scene showed Colum speaking with an Irish neighbor about their plans to fight the British. This dramatic and serious moment was met with a light-hearted scene where Scarlett goes to a horse fair. The journey from point A to point B needed a bridge.
My overall impression:
I can’t call Scarlett “so bad it’s good”. In fact, I would never consider it a bad movie. Objectively, this is a competently made project, where the creative team behind it clearly knew what they were doing. Subjectively, Scarlett is a mixed bag. The conflict between the British and Irish was the best part of this story! It was fascinating to see it unfold and discover how the characters were involved. With the parts of the story directly referencing Gone with the Wind, I found those to exist simply to justify the sequel. Until Scarlett went to Ireland, I was questioning why the movie was made. Personally, I would rather watch a miniseries about the British and Irish conflict over the one I just did. As I wrap up this review, I realize I still haven’t found my “so bad it’s good” movie. Time to go back to square one.
Overall score: 6.1 out of 10
Do you have a movie in your life that you’d consider “so bad it’s good”? If so, what is it? Let me know in the comment section!