Take 3: Holiday for Heroes Review

Because of several blog related projects, I haven’t gotten around to reviewing any of the Christmas movies. But now that I’ve completed those projects, I can finally start talking about some of these films! Since I didn’t review A Veteran’s Christmas last year, I thought I’d make up for that by reviewing Holiday for Heroes. I love Operation Christmas, a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film that premiered in 2016. But since then, I’ve felt that the military related Christmas movies from Hallmark’s second network haven’t been as good as the aforementioned film. While I liked Home for Christmas Day, it was released during Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Christmas in July” marathon. When Holiday for Heroes was first announced, I had to lower my expectations in order not to become disappointed. It also didn’t help that the story reminded me of The Christmas Card, a movie that I found to be just ok. But I hoped for the best as I gave this movie a fair chance. Was I pleasantly surprised or was the film as expected? It’s time to report for duty and read this review!

Holiday for Heroes poster
Holiday for Heroes poster created by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Crown Media Family Networks. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=307&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Holiday+for+Heroes.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I’ve seen all of Marc Blucas’ Hallmark films. In these movies, Marc has always taken his roles seriously and presented the best of his acting abilities. This was no different in Holiday for Heroes, as Marc brought his character to life with believability and charm. While this is the second time where Marc has portrayed a member of the military, his performance was different in Holiday for Heroes. Marc’s character, Matt, was more light-hearted. He also had a more playful and fun personality. This was Melissa Claire Egan’s first Hallmark movie. Despite this, she did a great job portraying her character, Audrey. Her performance was very expressive, allowing the audience to witness the well-roundedness of her acting abilities. It was also emotional at dramatic moments, making those scenes effective. Both Marc and Melissa worked well with all of their co-stars, helping this cast become strong as a whole.

 

The on-screen chemistry: As soon as Audrey and Matt met in person for the first time, I knew that Marc and Melissa were going to have good on-screen chemistry! Throughout the film, the audience got to watch their relationship grow over the course of the Christmas season. Even though their reunion was inevitable, because that’s how Hallmark movies work, I liked seeing everything work in their favor. It was a joy to see Melissa and Marc come together to make this on-screen relationship a reality. Because their acting styles were similar, it allowed their characters to adopt similar personalities from one another. Out of all the Christmas movies I’ve seen this year, so far, this is one of the best on-screen pairs of 2019’s Christmas season!

 

A sense of reality: In my review of The Christmas Card, I said that the unrealistic nature of the titular card was one of the things I didn’t like about that film. This aspect of that story asked me to suspend my belief more than I wanted to. In Holiday for Heroes, the letter writing that took place between Audrey and Matt felt realistic. Because Audrey’s brother happened to be in the same division of the Army as Matt, their acknowledgement of one another makes sense. This movie featured other elements that also seemed realistic. One example is when Audrey and her friend, Jade, found out that their family members in the military would not be coming home for Christmas. When they both received the phone call, the look on their faces and the tone of the voices say everything that the audience needs to know. This was the result of good acting and good screenwriting.

 

A good level of sincerity: When it comes to Hallmark Christmas movies, there are some that try too hard to be sincere. For Holiday for Heroes, the sincerity in the story felt genuine. What worked in this movie’s favor was how the primary focus was placed on, simply, telling a good story. It also put emphasis on finding the right people to help tell this story, both in front of and behind the camera. The overall project gave me, as an audience member, the impression that the creative team’s heart was always in the right place. By watching the film, I could tell that there was a lot of care and effort that was put into it. These are the things that, I think, not only make a great Christmas movie, but also a great movie in general.

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United States Army Monument image created by David Resseguie at freeimages.com. “FreeImages.com/David Resseguie.”

What I didn’t like about the film:

The “red herring” love interest: In some Hallmark films, there will be a “red herring” love interest placed in the story in an attempt to trick the audience into thinking the protagonist won’t fall in love with the other protagonist. In the case of Holiday for Heroes, this role was given to a character named Luke, who was portrayed by William Rubio. While the character himself was fine, I don’t think Luke needed to be a love interest. Because Hallmark movies almost always have the male and female protagonist fall in love, the idea of featuring any “red herring” love interest just doesn’t feel necessary. This creative tactic might be effective for audience members who don’t watch a lot of Hallmark projects. But for people, like myself, who consume a lot of Hallmark content, this could insult their intelligence.

 

The “it’s not what you think” cliché: In my list of The Top 10 Worst Clichés from Hallmark Movies, I talked about how the “it’s not what you think” cliché is hit or miss. This cliché’s inclusion in Holiday for Heroes was not needed. In the movie, Matt was led to believe that Audrey and Luke were falling in love based on their interactions he witnessed. Because of this, Matt automatically made assumptions instead of immediately addressing his issues. As I already said, Luke was the “red herring” love interest and most Hallmark movies feature the male and female protagonist falling in love. This makes me believe that Holiday for Heroes would have better off without this cliché.

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Santa stationary image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/creative-christmas-letter-and-envelope-template_3281562.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

My overall impression:

Holiday for Heroes was a genuinely good film! Instead of reminding me of The Christmas Card, the movie reminded me of Operation Christmas more than I expected! What is great about this film is how it doesn’t rehash the story of the 2016 project. Holiday for Heroes tells a story that happens to share some of the same themes. There were several components that worked in this movie’s favor, from the acting to the film’s sincerity. These things added to my enjoyment of the movie! Even though we’re not half-way through the Christmas season yet, Holiday for Heroes is my favorite Christmas movie from 2019, so far! It was heart-warming without trying too hard to be and I think it’s a good movie for both Hallmark fans and casual viewers of Hallmark.

 

Overall score: 8.6 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups this year, so far? Which movie has been your favorite? Please tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Jen Lilley could star in a potential Hallmark movie + exciting TV movie news!

Before February has officially ended, I wanted to publish one more Word on the Street post for the month. February has been a very busy month for me on 18 Cinema Lane. From participating in two blogathons to achieving 75 followers, I’ve had quite a bit of blog related content on my plate. Fortunately, I’ve found the time to publish the material that I wanted to publish before the month was over. Some of that material is the four movie news stories that are related to Hallmark and Lifetime. While three of these stories are speculation, one of them has been confirmed as a Hallmark movie. Like I’ve done with other Word on the Street stories, I will talk about each of these stories and share as much information as I could find. I will also share some of my insight about these stories. Now that’s start discussing these pieces of movie news!

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On-line movie purchase image created by Makyzz at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/on-line-order-cinema-movie-tickets_1577652.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/technology”>Technologyvector created by Makyzz – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Last month, in a Word on the Street post, I listed several movie titles that had not yet been attached to any networks. One of those titles was “Puppy Party Romance”. At the time, the project was about to go into production in early February. According to an article from Soap Opera News, it looks like this movie might be a Hallmark production! In the article, it is said that Jen Lilley has been attached to the project. Other cast members have also been announced; they are Christopher Russell, Lindsay Maxwell, Mark Brandon, and Bailey Skodje. Christie Will Wolf has been attached to this movie as the director and Navid Soofi is the film’s producer. When I visited Jen Lilley’s IMDB filmography page, this movie was listed as “For the Love of Dogs”. As of February and early March 2019, Hallmark has not confirmed or denied that “Puppy Party Romance” is their movie. But, it wouldn’t be surprising if this ended up being a Hallmark film. Two years ago, Jen starred in Eat, Play, Love, a Hallmark movie where dogs played a key role in the story. No matter which network airs this movie, I think we’ll hear an announcement about it sooner or later.

If you want to check out the references that I mentioned, visit Jen Lilley’s IMDB page or this link:

https://www.soapoperanews.net/2019/02/days-of-our-lives-alum-jen-lilley-cast.html

Group portrait of adorable puppies
Group of puppies image created by Rawpixel.com at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background photo created by rawpixel.com – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

In that same Word on the Street post from last month, another movie that I mentioned was “Web of Dreams”. At the time, the film was in production until February 11th. Recently, I found this project listed on Max Lloyd-Jones’ IMDB filmography page. Not only has Max been attached to “Web of Dreams”, but there are other Hallmark stars that have been cast in this film, such as Keenan Tracey and Cindy Busby. While looking at the IMDB page for this movie, I noticed that the film’s official writer is Virginia C. Andrews. When I visited her IMDB page, I discovered that she is known as V.C. Andrews, the author whose claim to fame was Flowers in the Attic. With this acquired knowledge, I did some research on Goodreads to learn more about “Web of Dreams”. It turns out that Web of Dreams is, indeed, one of V. C. Andrews’ novels and it is the fifth book in the Casteel series. I’ve never heard of this series until I learned more about this movie. However, I am familiar with V. C. Andrews. Even though I have never read her books, I have seen Lifetime’s adaptations of the Flowers in the Attic series and My Sweet Audrina. Let’s just say that those films are not “Hallmark appropriate”. Based on all the information I shared, it looks like “Web of Dreams”, as well as the Casteel series, could be a Lifetime presentation.

If you want to visit the reference that I mentioned, visit the IMDB page for “Web of Dreams”.

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Spiderweb image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/pattern”>Pattern vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Speaking of Cindy Busby, I discovered on her IMDB filmography page that she has been cast in the movie, “Letter from My Mother”. This movie was another title that I shared in a Word on the Street post last month. Besides Cindy, the other cast members that have been attached to this project are Jordyn Ashley Olsen, Karen Holness, Jaime M. Callica, Heather-Claire Nortey, and Emma Oliver. While this film has not been given an official synopsis yet, Michael Scott has been listed as the film’s director. Michael has directed several movies for various networks, so it’s unclear, right now, which network “Letter from My Mother” could premiere on. When I first heard of this title, I thought that, maybe, it was a Hallmark Hall of Fame project. Because this movie doesn’t appear to be associated with Hallmark Hall of Fame, I’m wondering if “Letter from My Mother” could be a Mother’s Day themed story? I also wonder when we’ll hear any news about the next Hallmark Hall of Fame project.

If you want to visit the reference that I mentioned, visit the IMDB page for “Letter from My Mother”.

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

Two weeks ago, an Instagram account called joylenznews attached the hashtags #MessageInABottle, #hallmarkchannel, #hallmarkmovies, and #hallmark to a photo and video of Hallmark star, Bethany Joy Lenz. In the photo, there is a caption that says “Meet Abbey”, which implies that Bethany’s character could be named Abbey. In the video, not only does Bethany appear to be visiting a winery, the photo on the video says “The absolute best set! Nothing like the smell of oak barrels and wine in the air…oh, and hey @joylenz!” This means that a winery could play a role in this film’s narrative. When I clicked on the hashtag #MessageInABottle, two particular photos caught my attention. The first one was of Bethany at Hallmark’s Winter TCA Event. In this photo’s caption, which appears to come from Bethany’s official Instagram account, Bethany not only confirms that “Message In A Bottle” is a Hallmark Channel movie, but she also says that it will premiere during the “Spring Fever” line-up and that Andrew Walker will also be starring in the film. Andrew Walker, in a photo from his Instagram account, also confirmed that he and Bethany were going to star in “Message In A Bottle”. Hallmark has not yet announced this film’s release date.

If you want to visit the reference that I mentioned, visit the official Instagram account of joylenznews (at joylenznews).

Message in a bottle on beach.
Message in a bottle image created by Rawpixel.com at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/tree”>Tree photo created by rawpixel.com – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on these pieces of movie news? Which project sounds interesting to you? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Story of Us Review

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! It seems like it has become a tradition for me to review a Hallmark movie on February 14th. Last year, I reviewed an appropriately themed film called My Secret Valentine. This film was also the first movie that I ever reviewed on 18 Cinema Lane! This year, I have decided to review another Valentine’s Day themed Hallmark movie called The Story of Us. While I thought the film’s basic premise sounded like other Hallmark movies I’ve seen before, I was looking forward to seeing Sam Page and Maggie Lawson’s performance in the film. So, even though I watched this film with low expectations, I still hoped that this movie was good. Was this movie as good as I had hoped? Keep reading if you want to see if my review of The Story of Us has a happy ending!

The Story of Us poster
The Story of Us poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=The+Story+of+Us.

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: The cast in The Story of Us was very strong! I think that everyone in this movie did a good job portraying their characters! Even though I wasn’t a fan of My Favorite Wedding and Christmas Encore, I did enjoy Maggie Lawson’s performance in both of those movies. In The Story of Us, Maggie’s portrayal of Jamie was very believable, providing the right amount of natural reactions and expressions! Sam Page is another actor whose performances I’ve enjoyed in several Hallmark movies. His portrayal of Sawyer was great, giving his performance enough charm and talent to bring a sense of likability to his character! All of the performances in the supporting cast were very good as well! I really enjoyed Marco Grazzini and Zibby Allen’s performances as Rick and Lucy! Both of these characters came across as sweet and genuine. I hope that Marco and Zibby can appear in more Hallmark movies in the future.

 

  • The on-screen chemistry: Like I mentioned earlier, Maggie and Sam both gave a great performance individually. They also gave a great performance as a pair! Their interactions were fun to watch and their delivery of witty dialogue added to their on-screen presence. I also thought that Marco and Zibby had good on-screen chemistry! Seeing Rick and Lucy’s relationship develop over the course of the film was something that I liked seeing. Their interactions were so sweet and adorable, helping their on-screen relationship appear as genuine as possible.

 

  • The humor: Hallmark Channel movies are known for incorporating humor into their films. The Story of Us was no different, with several funny moments that were found throughout the movie. One of the funniest scenes in this project was when Sam’s character, Sawyer, accidently took too much of an important ingredient while he was having a disagreement with Jamie at a cooking class. This error that Sawyer made was hilarious because of how relatable the moment was. Having humorous moments that make audiences laugh with the characters and not at them is what makes The Story of Us so memorable.
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Valentine’s Day themed items created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • Too many plots: In The Story of Us, there were six plots simultaneously going on throughout this movie. Because of this, some plots were given more focus than others. An example of this is how the Fire and Ice Festival was not talked about as much as Jamie’s efforts to save her bookstore. Personally, I think that The Story of Us should have had, at least, one main plot and two subplots. This way, all of the plots could have balanced out each other and had an equal amount of focus.

 

  • Limited amount of focus on the Fire and Ice Festival: Within The Story of Us, there was a Valentine’s Day themed festival called the Fire and Ice Festival. When this event was shown on-screen, I thought it looked like so much fun! Unfortunately, this festival was presented in the film for only a few minutes. It also wasn’t a part of the film’s main plot, causing the festival to feel like an after-thought. If Jamie used the Fire and Ice Festival to save her bookstore, this would have been a good way to incorporate both ideas into the film’s overall narrative.

 

  • The protagonist’s-ex-unexpectedly-comes-back-into-the-protagonist’s-life cliché: A cliché that I have found in several Hallmark movies is the protagonist’s-ex-unexpectedly-comes-back-into-the-protagonist’s-life cliché. This cliché was present in The Story of Us, when Jamie’s ex, a dentist who moved away to Texas, came back into Jamie’s life after hearing about her efforts to save her bookstore. To me, this part of the story felt unnecessary, like it was added to the overall narrative just for the sake of it. Within the movie as a whole, this part of the story didn’t seem to go anywhere. If this cliché were cut from the film, it wouldn’t have made an impact in the overall project.
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Pink themed image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/mockup”>Mockup psd created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I really liked The Story of Us! While this movie had its flaws, there were things about this movie that I enjoyed. To me, this movie was much better than My Favorite Wedding and Christmas Encore. The narrative of The Story of Us was not only a better written story, but the movie’s overall tone fit the style of a typical Hallmark Channel movie. So far, the “Countdown to Valentine’s Day” lineup has been good. The only other Valentine’s Day themed movie I’ve seen (and reviewed) is Valentine in the Vineyard. I’m really looking forward to Love, Romance & Chocolate because the story sounds very creative and takes place in Belgium (which I believe is the first time Hallmark has ever filmed there)! Hopefully, that movie can be just as good as The Story of Us.

 

Overall score: 7.8 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts about this year’s “Countdown to Valentine’s Day” line-up? Which Valentine’s Day themed movie is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Christmas Card Review

For Moon in Gemini’s The Greatest Film I’ve Never Seen Blogathon, I put a lot of thought into what film I would review. When I thought about which movies I had never seen up until this point, one of the first films that came to mind was the Hallmark movie, The Christmas Card. Since the movie’s premiere in 2006, it seems like a significant amount of Hallmark fans love this movie. The Christmas Card is so beloved that it almost always is included into one of Hallmark’s Christmas movie line-ups. This film also won Hallmark Channel’s first Christmas movie March Madness contest last year! Since 2006, fans of The Christmas Card have asked Hallmark on numerous occasions to give this film a sequel, wishing and hoping that their dream of revisiting this story would come true. Because of my participation in this blogathon, I was finally given the chance to not only watch this movie, but to see if it was truly as beloved as people had made it out to be. So, take a seat on this sleigh ride as we travel through this review of The Christmas Card!

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Thank you, television of mine, for reminding me that I watched this film. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Things I liked about the film:

The acting: For the most part, the acting in The Christmas Card was fine. However, the three stand-out performers in this film were Edward Asner, Lois Nettleton, and Peter Jason! Their performances were so lively and animated when it needed to be, but also contained the emotions required for the film’s dramatic moments. It was always a delight when these three actors came on-screen, with the interactions involving their characters being enjoyable to watch. Because of their ability to provide the right amount of versatility to their roles, Edward, Lois, and Peter brought a good amount of believability to their performances, even more than the other actors in this cast.

 

The scenery: Any time the characters went into the forest, the setting surrounding them was beautiful to look at. The story’s natural landscape were showcased very well in the film and really captured the spirit of the season. Whenever the Spelman’s “special place” was featured in the movie, it was absolutely breath-taking. The natural beauty of the film’s snowy environment was definitely a highlight to this film!

 

The reverence and respect toward the military: Hallmark usually does a good job whenever the military or military families are incorporated into their stories. The Christmas Card is no exception. When the subject of fallen military members was brought up in the film, the creative team associated with this movie not only made sure the right emotions were featured in those moments, but that those moments were presented in a respectful and appropriate manner. During the Christmas Eve Service, the pastor said a prayer where he hoped the members of the military would stay safe during the Christmas season. I thought this prayer was well-written and handled by the film’s creative team with great care.

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Christmas card image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/christmas-card-with-watercolor-mistletoe-decoration_965555.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/watercolor”>Watercolor vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

What I didn’t like about the film:

A weak and drawn-out plot: The main plot of The Christmas Card is Faith (one of the main characters of the film) writing and sending a card to Sgt. Cody Cullen (the film’s protagonist), which causes him to travel to her hometown in order to thank her for the card. Because Cody doesn’t thank Faith for the card until the last ten minutes of the movie, it made the plot feel weak and drawn-out. Before I watched The Christmas Card, I was hoping there would be two interesting subplots to complement the main plot. Sadly, the only plot in this film was the main plot, with the story being filled with “filler” material just to keep the movie going. The scenes that show Cody working at the Spelman family lumberyard, one of the film’s “filler” material, were the most boring scenes in this movie.

 

The character of Faith’s boyfriend: The incorporation of Paul, Faith’s boyfriend, into this story was meant to add conflict for the protagonist. However, I found this conflict to be just as weak as the main plot. It felt like Paul and the conflict he brought were included in this story just for the sake of adding something to the plot. If Paul had been written out of this story, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

 

Being forced to suspend more of my disbelief than I wanted to: More often than not, Hallmark asks their audience to suspend their disbelief when it comes to their movies (which, as a Hallmark fan, I am more than willing to do). However, there were moments in The Christmas Card where I felt Hallmark was asking me, as an audience member, to suspend more of my disbelief than I had wanted to. For example, I thought Faith’s card, while written with the best of intentions, was very unrealistic. I’ve participated in several activities that required me to write a letter or card to a military service-member. During my participation in these activities, I was always told that the only information I could share about myself was my first name. The idea of Faith not only sharing her full name, but also sharing other personal aspects of her life, such as where she lived and photos of what her family’s house looked like, seemed so ridiculous to me, that, to a certain extent, I was taken out of the film.

Greatest Film I've Never Seen blogathon banner
The Greatest Film I’ve Never Seen Blogathon banner created by Debbie from Moon in Gemini. Image found at https://debravega.wordpress.com/2018/09/09/announcing-the-greatest-film-ive-never-seen-blogathon/.

My overall impression:

At best, I thought The Christmas Card was ok. While there were a few good things about the film, it wasn’t enough to sweep me off my feet, as it did for some Hallmark fans. When I reflect on this movie, I can think of Hallmark movies with similar themes that are better than The Christmas Card, with Operation Christmas and Home for Christmas Day being two good examples. While I was watching The Christmas Card, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “this won Hallmark Channel’s very first Christmas movie March Madness”? Over the twelve years that this movie has existed, I feel that it has been over-hyped. I don’t think this movie is bad, but I do think it could have been stronger. I’m glad that Moon in Gemini created The Greatest Film I’ve Never Seen Blogathon because I now have an honest opinion about one of Hallmark’s most beloved films.

 

Overall score: 6.2 out of 10

 

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on The Christmas Card? What Hallmark Christmas movie do you cherish the most? Please let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Almost at the Finish Line

In the season finale of Chesapeake Shores, Mick and Megan were talking about trying to reach the finish line when it came to keeping their family together. Just like with any goal, there will always be a finish line waiting at the end of the journey. When it comes to this Evenings At The Shore re-cap series, my goal was to help people who may have missed an episode or just wanted to remember what happened in their favorite East Coast town. Now, as this season comes to a close, I have finally reached my “finish line” as I re-cap this final episode of Season 3. While Hallmark has not yet announced any future seasons or potential movies for Chesapeake Shores, we can hope, for now, that the O’Brien family has many more stories to tell and journeys to take. While we say good-bye to Season 3, let’s re-cap the Season 3 finale of Chesapeake Shores!

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

Chespeake Shores Season 3 poster
Chesapeake Shores poster image created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%203&episodeIndex=3001

Season: 3

Episode: 10

Name: Before a Following Sea

 

Trace’s story: After consulting with his band mates, Trace finally decides to join his band on their European tour. After telling Abby about his decision, he reassures her that they will find a way to maintain their relationship. In the meantime, Trace spends as much time as possible with Abby and her daughters. Before the start of the Children’s Regatta, Trace is caught off guard when Abby says that she wants to end their relationship. He still reassures Abby that they can make the idea of a long-distance relationship work, but Abby tells him that she doesn’t want to spend more than a few months away from him. As Trace leaves Chesapeake Shores, he is constantly reminded of everything he is leaving behind, such as The Bridge and family.

 

Abby’s story: When Abby learns that Trace is going on his band’s European tour, she is undecided on what to do next. She loves Trace and wants to share a future with him, but she doesn’t want to wait more than a few months for him. Throughout the episode, she turns to Nell and Megan for advice about this situation. Nell tells Abby that in order to have a successful relationship, you must be willing to put the work into it. Megan shares with Abby that it’s important to, sometimes, put your own needs before those of others. In the end, Abby decides to end her relationship with Trace. She tells Trace, before the Children’s Regatta, that she wants to put a stop to their relationship. Even thought Trace reassures her that they can make a long-distance relationship work, Abby sticks to her true feelings and calls off their relationship.

 

Mick’s story: Throughout this episode, Mick prepares for the annual Regatta. He recruits Thomas, Connor, and Kevin to help in his attempt to win first place. As the leader of this boat crew, he takes some time to reflect on cherished memories with Thomas and get the boat ready for the race. Also, in this episode, Mick is confronted by Megan about how they should share the truth about their family’s painful past with Bree. Both Mick and Megan agree to write an honest letter to Bree, which they give to her toward the end of the episode. Right before the Regatta starts, Mick is pleasantly surprised that Bree accepted his invitation to join his boat crew.

 

Megan’s story: Megan is still troubled by all of the anger and hurt feelings that have occurred in the O’Brien family recently. She wants to make things right and does so by taking things one step at a time. She first gives Connor an apology and then advice to Abby. Megan also provides a listening ear when Bree needs it the most. Later in the episode, Megan confronts Mick about how they should tell Bree the truth about their family’s painful past. Megan confesses to Mick that she came back to Chesapeake Shores to help the family heal, but now, she feels she has only made things worse. Megan and Mick agree to write an honest letter to Bree, which they give to her toward the end of the episode. In this letter, they tell their daughter that they, honestly, tried their best to keep their family together. However, things didn’t work out as well as they had hoped. From now on, they were going to work through the pain that had kept their family apart for so long, even if it resulted in taking baby steps to do that.

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Good sailing day image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/summer-landscape-with-a-houselight-and-a-boat_866882.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/design”>Design vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Bree’s story: Even though things are going well with her and Simon’s relationship, Bree is still worried that Simon might still have romantic feelings toward Caroline. Simon reassures her that he and Caroline are just friends, but Bree can’t let her worries go. When Megan visits her at Word Play, Bree shares her worries, as well as her introduction to Caroline, with her mom. Later in the episode, Bree and Simon spend some time together at the Children’s Regatta. Bree also receives a letter from her parents about their family’s painful past and how her parents are planning to heal these wounds. This letter and the truth encourage Bree to join Mick’s Regatta team and help her family win the race.

 

Kevin’s story: Kevin joins Mick’s boat crew as his family prepares to compete in the annual Regatta. When he’s not on the boat, he’s taking a trip to Philadelphia to visit Sarah. During his visit, he confesses to her that he applied for an EMT position in Philadelphia so they can be closer together. A few days later, at Sally’s Café, Sarah reveals to Kevin that she ended up taking her old job at the Chesapeake Shores Fire Department. She tells him that she stayed in Chesapeake Shores because Kevin was willing to do whatever it takes to move closer to her. At the end of the episode, Kevin participates in the Regatta with his family.

 

Jess’ story: When a last-minute change of plans forces the Regatta to find a new caterer, David and Jess step in to save the day. Jess knows the David can create the most delicious meals for the event, but she stills worries that he might want a future that doesn’t involve her. These worries are quickly pushed to the side when David’s parents show up in Chesapeake Shores. They apologize to David and Jess for the way they treated both of them back in Maine. At the Regatta, David’s parents, as well as the rest of the residents in Chesapeake Shores, are impressed with David’s culinary talents. Because of this, and to make up for their ill feelings toward Jess and David in the past, David’s parents show them a listing for a potential Bed & Breakfast. They agree to purchase the building for Jess and David if they both agree to accept this offer.

 

Connor’s story: In his spare time, Connor is learning everything he can about sailing in order to be prepared for the upcoming Regatta. While at Sally’s Café, he receives an apology from Megan about her not being there when Connor might have needed her. The next day, Connor joins Kevin on his trip to Philadelphia to visit Sarah. On the day of the Regatta, Connor is happy when Danielle shows up to watch the race. She wishes him good luck before the race begins. When it’s time for the O’Brien family to compete in the Regatta, Connor is ready to help his family win first place.

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Sailing on the sea image created by Michele L at freeimages.com. “FreeImages.com/Michele L.”

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I was disappointed by the lack of explanation for why the O’Brien family feel apart. Bree’s manuscript seemed to be leading up to a big reveal about why exactly Megan left the family and why Megan appeared to have little to no contact with her family during her absence. However, all that was given was a vaguely written letter about how things were bad in the past and will, hopefully, get better in the future. I’m guessing the screenwriters wanted to save some material for the characters to explore in future seasons, even though they had plenty of time to do that in Season 3.

 

  • In my very first Evenings At The Shore post, I said that I hoped Jess would talk about her past more in Season 3. Sadly, this never happened. Instead, Jess spent the majority of her story obsessing over David and their relationship. Jess is a good character and Laci is a great actress, so I’m hoping Jess receives a stronger and more compelling story if Chesapeake Shores is renewed for a fourth season.

 

  • Overall, I think this season of Chesapeake Shores was fine. However, it was not as good as the show’s first two seasons. In my Evenings At The Shore post where I talk about this season’s seventh episode, I said that this season has been more character-driven than plot-driven. I also said, within that same post, that there was a balance within the overall story of the first two seasons between being character and plot-driven. If Chesapeake Shores gets renewed for a fourth season (which I hope they do), I hope the story goes back to having a balance of being character and plot-driven.
Starry night landscape with reeds
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 overall views on this season? Do you hope Chesapeake Shores comes back for Season 4? Please tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: This Episode is sponsored by Relationships

It seems like this episode of Chesapeake Shores focused a lot on the various relationships of the characters. While the plots this time around didn’t carry the show as strongly as they did in the previous episode, this episode never felt like a “filler” episode. Instead, it felt like an important stepping stone in the lives of Trace and the O’Brien family. Because there are so many characters on Chesapeake Shores, it helps that everyone gets a story and their own set of situations that are unique from each other. This makes the show interesting and provides layers of depth for the overall story. Speaking of these layers, let’s explore them now in this re-cap of Chesapeake Shores’ second episode within their third season!

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

Chespeake Shores Season 3 poster
Chesapeake Shores poster image created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%203&episodeIndex=3001.

Season: 3

Episode: 2

Name: The Way We Were

 

Trace’s story: During this episode, Trace is packing away items from his past and putting them in a storage area within The Bridge. To add to that collection of mementos, Trace’s father visits The Bridge to bring his son a box of baseball cards that Trace used to collect. They reminisce about old memories, as well as how life would have been different if Trace’s ambitions in baseball would have continued. Also, in this episode, Trace is making repairs to The Bridge. During his time there, Donovan shows up to encourage Trace to join him at an upcoming concert. Though tempted, Trace chooses to stay in Chesapeake Shores and uphold his promise to Abby. Toward the end of this episode, Abby reveals that she found a letter within his box of belongings, a letter that she wrote and sent to Trace many years ago. Trace shares with Abby that he didn’t bother reading the letter because he felt it wouldn’t have changed what happened to him and Abby in the past. During a fireside date between him and Abby, Trace decides to throw the letter into his fireplace and move forward with his life.

 

Abby’s story: At the beginning of this episode, Abby helps Trace pack away his belongings and prepare them for storage inside The Bridge. While looking through one of the boxes, Abby finds a letter that she wrote and sent to Trace before she and Wes got married. Throughout this episode, Abby contemplates what should be done about the letter, even asking Kevin for advice. She even thinks about how life would have been different if she hadn’t left Chesapeake Shores. On a date between her and Trace, Abby tells Trace about the letter she found and asks him why he never read it. Abby finds out that Trace never read the letter because he feels it wouldn’t have made any difference. When Trace decides to throw the letter into his fireplace, Abby is shocked at first, but respectfully accepts his decision.

 

Mick’s story: Mick travels to Connecticut to see the boat he has inherited in person. During his time there, he receives a note that helps remind him of the important things in life. When Mick returns home to Chesapeake Shores, he crosses paths with Thomas and his wife, Robin. Mick learns that not only does Thomas disagree with the way Mick has been treating Connor, but that Thomas and Robin are planning to renew their wedding vows in Bali. Thomas disagrees with Mick again when Mick questions the strength of Thomas and Robin’s marriage. Toward the end of this episode, Mick starts repairing the boat and gets a visit from Thomas. Even though he is still upset at Mick, Thomas chooses to spend time with his brother. The episode ends with Mick and Thomas sharing memories together of when they would go on boat rides with their father.

 

Megan’s story: In this episode, Megan meets up with Thomas and his wife, Robin. During lunch at Sally’s Café, Megan and Mick learn that Thomas and Robin plan to renew their wedding vows in Bali. When Mick and Thomas leave the table, Robin catches up with Megan and asks her why she returned to Chesapeake Shores. Megan reveals that she came home for the sake of her children. Megan, throughout this episode, tries to encourage Nell to visit Robin and tell her hello. Nell refuses and believes that Robin is unhappy.

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Envelope with hearts image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/hearts-and-pink-envelope-for-mothers-day_1950691.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/love”>Love image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Bree’s story: Bree travels to Baltimore because one of her stories has been adapted into a stage play. When she arrives at the theater, Bree discovers that Simon has come back to Baltimore on a book tour. He happens to be at the theater on the same day and at the same time as her, so they both decide to catch up for a little bit. After the play, Simon expresses his love for the play and apologizes to Bree for the fall out in their relationship. They both agree to go on a date at her bookstore, Word Play, in the very near future. Later, Bree asks Connor and Jess for dating advice. The remainder of Bree’s story is about her date with Simon, as well as both of them agreeing to give their relationship a second chance.

 

Jess’ story: Jess is still upset at Bree and she still misses David. In this episode, she turns to Connor for a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Jess also takes the time to give Bree dating advice when she comes to her and Connor for help. Toward the end of the episode, Jess receives a letter from David, where he explains that he was on vacation and couldn’t receive a signal at his location. Jess visits Bree at her bookstore and tells her that David invited Jess to meet his family. Even though she is upset at Bree, Jess asks Bree to come meet David’s family with her so she wouldn’t feel alone. Jess’ story ends with Bree accepting Jess’ invitation.

 

Kevin’s story: As he drops Bree off at a local theater in Baltimore, Kevin notices Danielle, in the distance, hanging out with another guy. Thinking about what he saw, Kevin starts to wonder if Danielle is cheating on Connor. During a double date with Connor, Danielle, Sarah, and himself, Kevin is troubled by a statement Danielle made about her work schedule. He feels that Danielle knows more than she’s willing to let on. Later in the episode, Kevin tells Connor about what he saw and shares his best intentions to protect Connor. Connor takes Kevin’s best intentions the wrong way, thus creating a rift between the brothers. Kevin confesses to Sarah that he feels bad about upsetting Connor, but Sarah reminds him that doing the right thing is not always easy.

 

Connor’s story: Connor is still upset at his father. At the beginning of the episode, he stays at the Inn until he can find a place of his own. He not only provides a listening ear to Jess, he also helps Bree when she needs dating advice. After the double date with Sarah, Kevin, Danielle, and himself, Kevin tells Connor that he thinks Danielle is cheating on Connor. Connor is upset at Kevin for thinking the worst of Danielle, causing the brothers to have a disagreement. After Connor signs the final papers for his new apartment, he calls Danielle with the good news. When Danielle tells him twice that she can’t meet up with him for dinner, Connor starts to suspect that there might be some truth to what Kevin told him.

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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.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I wonder if the note that Mick was given at the beginning of this episode will have an affect on the rest of the characters throughout this season? It seems like, sooner or later, everyone in the O’Brien family, including Trace, with have their moment to figure out what’s important in their life. Will Mick’s note be physically seen by anyone else besides Mick or will Mick share the wisdom of the note with those around him?

 

  • I’m curious about why Nell thinks Robin is unhappy. No specifics are given in this episode, but I wonder if Nell will reveal her reasons in a later episode? Speaking of reveals, I also wonder why Megan left the O’Brien family in the first place? Megan’s reason(s) have never been revealed (so far) and I don’t know if her reasons were ever brought up in the books that are based on this show.

 

  • If Connor and Danielle break up, I wonder if the writers of Chesapeake Shores will give Connor a new love interest on the show? If they do, will this new character be introduced in Season 3 or in a future season? In the preview for the next episode, Danielle hesitated when Connor asked her if she was seeing anyone else. But, that video clip in the preview could have taken out of context.
Starry night landscape with reeds
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 did you think about this episode? What’s your favorite relationship on Chesapeake Shores? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Hallmark’s official trailer for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar is released

While both Hallmark networks are preparing to begin their “Christmas in July” marathons and with the “June Weddings” line-up coming to an end, one movie’s release date has been approaching very quickly: that being the premiere of Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar. An official trailer for the film has been posted recently on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ website. With this trailer being the last piece of the film’s official webpage, the online record of Signed, Sealed, Delivered’s newest movie is now complete. Earlier this month, I talked about how both of the descriptions for the next Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie didn’t add any excitement or anticipation for me. Did the trailer do what the descriptions couldn’t (in terms of raising my interest for the movie)? Keep reading to find out what my thoughts are about the trailer for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar!

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

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar’s trailer was quite underwhelming. Very little intrigue was featured and most of the focus was on the “POstables” (Oliver, Shane, Rita, and Norman), causing the mystery surrounding the wedding dress and letter to be overshadowed. One of my biggest critiques of this series is that more time seems to be spent with the “POstables” and their stories, while less of that time is spent on the “missions” and the stories that come from them. With this trailer, however, it makes me feel like this movie could be the unofficial end to the series, making it appear as if Hallmark wants Signed, Sealed, Delivered to end on a positive note. With the narrator’s first line in the trailer being, “their journey together has led to this life-changing moment” and with Rita and Shane saying things like “the first chance to have the rest of our lives” and “maybe it’s time to come home”, I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie also doubled as a sort of finale, where characters’ stories are wrapped up in nice little packages and a sense of closure is given to Signed, Sealed, Delivered’s main story arc. What also leads me to this belief is the return of characters from movies or episodes past. Not only was Keb’ Mo’ (who portrayed Gabe in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground) featured at the beginning of the trailer, but Carol Burnett’s appearance was also mentioned (Carol portrayed Norman’s grandmother on the episode “A Hope and A Future”). As of June 2018, the fate of Signed, Sealed, Delivered is unknown and the quotes that I mentioned from the trailer could be taken out of context. However, if this movie is truly the end of the series, I hope the story of Shane and her sister gets resolved or, at least, addressed.

 

If you want to watch the trailer for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, here is the link: http://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/signed-sealed-delivered-to-the-altar/videos

 

Have you seen the trailer for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar? Do you think this could be the beginning of the end for Signed, Sealed, Delivered? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen