Evenings At The Shore: Happy Un-Birthday to You

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

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 7

Name: It’s Not For Me to Say

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Before this season premiered, I assumed there would be a time jump in the series finale, as a way to tie up the last remaining loose ends. But since this time jump happened at about the season’s half-way point, it only makes sense for Kevin and Sarah’s story. After that six-month time jump, it seems like not much has changed for the other characters. It also makes me wonder if Caitlyn will share what her “whatever” was she brought up in the previous episode? I’m starting to think this time jump was an unnecessary creative decision.
  • This episode was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I have been impressed with David and Jess’ story! It has been intriguing, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Jess has even come a long way since she was introduced back in 2016. On the other hand, though, Bree and Luke’s story was not only the weakest one in this episode, it’s, so far, the weakest one this season. Did we need an hour-long story about Bree and Luke struggling to not get a gift for one another? I’m hoping their next story is much stronger than this one was.
  • As I said in this re-cap, Mick built a pergola for Megan. Between his job and recovery process, how did he find the time to build it? With this six-month time jump, I’m guessing Mick built the pergola a little bit at a time. However, I wish the dialogue had provided a clearer explanation.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you like the six-month time jump? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: When in Doubt, Choose Joy

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

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 6

Name: Straighten Up and Fly Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • While at the spa, Abby receives a phone call from the school nurse. The phone call is about Caitlyn, as she’s been spending more time in the nurse’s office lately. But when questioned about this by Jess, Caitlyn says these trips are nothing serious, that it’s just “whatever”. This explanation is so vague, Caitlyn’s “whatever” could be anything. So, I’m curious to see what’s going on in this part of the story.
  • After reading this episode’s synopsis on Hallmark Media’s website, I had assumed Jess bought a vineyard in a spontaneous, leap-of-faith. So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover she put a lot of thought, time, and research into her decision. Jess has impressed me this season. In the previous episode, she was the “voice of reason”, giving Bree realistic dating advice. Now, she’s expanding her business ventures in a way that is practical and has potential for long-time success. Jess and her possible vineyard could lend themselves to a spin-off show!
  • During the scenes involving Mr. Peck and his son, Mr. Peck is talking on the phone in a phone booth. The phone booth itself looks like the red booths typically associated with London, England. However, the nearby tents, wardrobe of the background characters, and limited amount of lighting indicate an outdoor market in the evening. I know Mr. Peck’s specific whereabouts are supposed to be kept a secret. But I kind of wish the show’s creative team had told the audience where Mr. Peck was.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Do you Jess’ business plan is a good idea? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: A Real, Real Fortune

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

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 5

Name: L-O-V-E

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

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

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

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

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Some thoughts to consider:

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

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

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Created by Sally Silverscreen at Adobe Creative Cloud Express

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Evenings At The Shore: Behind Closed Doors

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

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 4

Name: That’s All There is to That

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • This is one of the heaviest episodes Hallmark has ever created. When a show introduces a serious topic, like addiction, into their story, the overall tone is going to be darker. However, the other plots in this episode couldn’t balance out the heaviness of Mick’s narrative. With Mick’s story specifically, I found the dialogue inconsistent. While some of it sounded realistic, other dialogue felt like it came straight out of a PSA (public service announcement).
  • Maybe it’s just me, but Kevin and Sarah’s story felt a bit cruel. This is the same couple who experienced a miscarriage a season ago. To add to that, this is the last season of Chesapeake Shores, meaning the viewers won’t be able to witness Sarah and Kevin’s journey as parents. I do like how this is another loose end getting tied up. However, it kind of seems like the show’s creative team is making a promise they know they can’t fully keep.
  • It was nice to see Megan in this episode. However, I was really confused by her presence. In the previous episode, Megan was preparing to leave for Los Angeles. She and Mick have said they will try to maintain their relationship long distance. Unfortunately, there was no clear explanation for why Megan was still in Chesapeake Shores. In this same episode, the disappearances of Nell, David, and Jess are explained. Nell is visiting a friend in Ireland, while Jess and David are out of town with David’s mom and sister.
  • As I said in the premiere episode re-cap, it’s a shame this is the last season of Chesapeake Shores. Another reason is how the viewers are going to miss out on Harper’s inclusion in the overarching story. Despite appearing in one scene, I ended up liking Harper as a character. If Hallmark’s upcoming shows, Ride and The Way Home, don’t work out and the network is looking for new ideas, maybe Connor and Margaret’s law firm could serve a spin-off!
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think of Kevin and Sarah’s news? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Have a Good Night

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

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 3

Name: Night and Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Megan and Mick’s conversation has been teased on the show for several seasons. While I am glad this loose end was finally tied up, it ended up being a whole lot of nothing. Sure, Mick and Megan are now on the same page when it comes to their relationship. But what did they expect to accomplish by bringing up their past relationships? I guess with the show coming to a close, there’s not much explaining that could be done. However, after spending six years watching Chesapeake Shores, perhaps I expected a little more.
  • From what I remember, this is the first season Bree’s and Connor’s home have been featured on the show. With Bree’s home, only the living room has been shown. However, the space boasts a nice, airy atmosphere! My favorite part of Bree’s house are the large windows, as they make the room feel larger in scale. Meanwhile, I loved the combination of warm wood and lights in Connor’s apartment! These elements created a cozy environment, which looks aesthetically pleasing on-screen.
  • I’m aware this is only the season’s third episode. However, I do wonder if David and Jess’ story is going to become drawn out like Mei’s story was on When Calls the Heart? The couple was not featured in this episode. In fact, we still don’t the truth behind Mr. Peck’s choices. Whatever the resolution to this story is, I just hope it’s a satisfying one.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts of this episode? Do you think Mick and Megan’s conversation was underwhelming? Please tell me in the comment section below!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: In The Good Old Summertime Review

Earlier this month, I said I would review In The Good Old Summertime for the Van Johnson Blogathon. Now, with the arrival of the aforementioned event, it’s time to talk about this film! There are two reasons why I selected the 1949 movie. The first is it was recommended to me by Becky, the same reader who suggested Easy to Wed. The second was how the summer season is winding down. Because the movie is titled, In The Good Old Summertime, I figured it would serve as a sort of last hurrah. As of 2022, the 1949 title is the fourth one of Van Johnson’s I’ve seen. While I found both Plymouth Adventure and Easy to Wed just ok, I was not a fan of Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see what I thought of In The Good Old Summertime!

In The Good Old Summertime poster created by
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: As I said in the introduction, In The Good Old Summertime is the fourth film of Van Johnson’s I have seen. Therefore, I knew what to expect from Van, talent wise. While portraying Andrew, Van utilized emotions well. A great example is when Andrew and Veronica are attempting to sell some sheet music to a customer. The sheet music in question was “Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey”. During this song, Andrew looks threatened, like he knows Veronica is doing a better job at selling the music than he would have. Because of the quality of his acting talents, Van was able to make scenes like this one feel believable.

In The Good Old Summertime is the fifth movie of Judy Garland’s I have watched. Looking back on those films, I have noticed how Judy is a more versatile actress than I feel she gets credit for. While waiting for her secret admirer, Veronica, Judy’s character, appears visibly nervous. She’s glancing around the restaurant and constantly readjusting her flower and poetry book. When Andrew arrives, Veronica’s unpleasant feelings toward her co-worker grow stronger. Her face appears troubled, frustrated over the fact he won’t leave. At some points during this interaction, Veronica raises her voice. When she eventually returns home, Veronica appears deflated, her night not going as she expected.

I am not familiar with Spring Byington as an actress. Despite this, I enjoyed her portrayal of Nellie Burke! Her on-screen personality was so pleasant. Even when she was upset at Otto Oberkugen, she was still a character worth rooting for. Spring and S.Z. Sakall had good on-screen chemistry. One good example is when Nellie is trying to explain a misunderstanding. During this conversation, Otto reveals his insecurities as a musician. This explanation comes across as genuine, as a businessman trying to save face. Meanwhile, through gentleness and kind words, Nellie reassures Otto he is the only man she cares about. It was nice to see two older characters fall in love, especially since this type of romance story doesn’t seem as common as those featuring younger couples. Through the acting performances and screenwriting, Spring and S.Z. brought forth a couple that was interesting to watch!

The musical numbers: At Otto’s music store, a harp is introduced among the instrumental stock. In order to sell the harp to a potential customer, Veronica plays the harp to a song called “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland”. With the combination of Judy’s vocals and the harp instrumental sound, the song exuded the dreamlike tone the film’s creative team was striving for. Even with the inclusion of a piano, these sounds complimented one another. The aforementioned song, “Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey”, was performed in two tempos. At Veronica’s suggestion, the first tempo is slower, providing a romantic tone. But with the second, faster tempo, a jollier tone is presented. Because of this musical, creative decision, it was interesting to hear how one change can make a song sound so different.

The historical accuracy: In The Good Old Summertime takes place around the late 1800s to early 1900s. With that said, there are many aspects of this movie that appeared historically accurate! One of these areas was the wardrobe. Louise Parkson, portrayed by Marcia Van Dyke, is Andrew’s friend. She is attempting to win a prestigious audition. When this audition arrives, Louise wore a white dress with a full, floor length skirt. The sleeves are medium length, covering Louise’s upper arms. The dress also had a higher neckline. These design choices represented modesty in women’s fashion from that time.

The Sixth Van Johnson Blogathon banner created by Michaela from Love Letters to Old Hollywood

What I didn’t like about the film:

The underutilization of Buster Keaton: I haven’t seen many of Buster Keaton’s films. But based on what I know about his filmography, he seems like he’s a comedic actor who utilizes physical comedy. In In The Good Old Summertime, however, Buster wasn’t given much material to work with. There were two scenes where Buster’s character, Hickey, trips and falls. But these felt like weak attempts at giving Buster something to do. If anything, it seems like Buster was cast in the film just for the sake of it.

A drawn-out plot: The story of In The Good Old Summertime revolves around Veronica’s and Andrew’s search for their respective pen-pals. While this plot can lend itself to a good story, it was drawn-out throughout the entire movie. It got to the point where, after Veronica’s secret admirer was revealed, she was being manipulated into believing the secret admirer is someone else. This was likely done to keep the plot going. But it just felt too cruel for my liking.

No strong subplots: So much time was given to the aforementioned main plot in In The Good Old Summertime. As a result, there were no strong subplots. Some aspects of the narrative could have lent themselves to good side stories. But because the script focused so much on the main plot, these ideas weren’t able to reach their full potential. For example, Otto is experiencing difficulty selling some harps. This felt like a running joke that didn’t lead anywhere. An interesting story idea would have been if a wealthy customer was looking for a specific harp. Otto would then spend the rest of the movie trying to locate this instrument.

String of musical notes image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/pentagram-vector_710290.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundvector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

This is the third time I have participated in the Van Johnson Blogathon. While I reviewed Van’s episodes of Murder, She Wrote the first time around, I wrote about Plymouth Adventure last year. Both Plymouth Adventure and In The Good Old Summertime have one thing in common: there were ok. With the 1949 film, I enjoyed the musical numbers. They were not only entertaining, but creative as well. But there were times where I felt more effort was placed in the musical numbers than the script. This movie adopted the “enemies to lovers” trope, which could work in a story. Unfortunately, this part of the script was drawn-out. While watching In The Good Old Summertime, I kept thinking back to Meet Me in St. Louis. The 1944 musical not only takes place in the early 1900s, but also stars Judy Garland. Personally, I think In The Good Old Summertime is a weaker version of Meet Me in St. Louis.

Overall score: 6.9 out of 10

Have you seen any of Van Johnson’s films? If so, which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: The Second Time Around

I’ve been busy lately with several upcoming blog related projects. But I’m back with a new re-cap of Chesapeake Shores! In this episode, Abby is figuring out what her and Evan’s second date will be. Until this season, I hadn’t thought about the significance of a second date. Granted, any date is an important one. But Evan, in the previous episode, brought up an excellent point; the second date is where both parties feel comfortable enough to enjoy each other’s company. Both Bree and Jess share memories of their second dates in this episode, looking back on them fondly. While Jess and David have become married since their second date, Bree has moved on to a new relationship. With that said, I wonder if we’ll see her and Luke’s second date this season?

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 2

Name: Memories Are Made of This

Abby’s story: Abby is trying to organize the perfect second date. Overwhelmed by the possibilities, she turns to her sisters for advice. Jess recommends a picnic, like she and David shared years ago. But, Jess warns Abby of the food poisoning potential, as David became ill after eating bad clams. Bree reminds Abby of the time she and her ex-boyfriend went to a carnival. Unfortunately, no carnivals are taking place at the time of Abby and Evan’s second date. Later in the episode, Abby shares her idea with Evan of attending a jazz concert. To Abby’s misfortune, Evan is not a fan of jazz music. What she comes up with instead is a two-in-one date: Abby and Evan catch crabs and then eat them in a shoreside picnic. Since this is an activity she used to do when she was younger, Abby feels this is a great piece of her life to share with Evan. The date is a success, with Evan eager to learn how to catch crabs. During the picnic, they even hold hands. Afterwards, Abby tells Jess and Bree that her and Evan’s second date was “perfect”.

Jess and David’s story: To Jess and David’s surprise, David’s mom arrives at The Inn at Eagle Point. She fled there in an attempt to escape the paparazzi and social ridicule. David’s mom tearfully confesses how her friendships have become destroyed because of her husband’s choices. Fortunately, there is a room at the bed and breakfast for Mrs. Peck to stay. A few days later, David’s sister arrives in Chesapeake Shores. She came to The Inn at Eagle Point for the same reason as her mother. David’s sister claims her boyfriend broke up with her after the news of Mr. Peck was first reported. Jess and David have a room available for David’s sister too. The next day, a group of photographers and reporters show up at the bed and breakfast, somehow finding the location of David’s mom and sister. In an effort to drive them away, Jess approaches the photographers and reporters, telling them to leave the premises or else they will be charged with trespassing.

Bree and Luke’s story: Bree has finished writing her short story. To receive some constructive criticism, she asks Luke to read her work. But before letting him read it, Bree tells him the story’s inspiration was his time in prison. After Luke reads the story, he tells Bree that even though her writing was good, it didn’t feel believable. In order to make her work better, Bree asks Luke about his prison experience, taking notes along the way. Later in the episode, Luke rereads Bree’s story. This time, he enjoys it more, as his suggestions improved the piece. Meanwhile, at The Bridge, Luke notices Mick seems off during their conversation. Mick appears distracted, like he’s not fully paying attention to anything Luke is saying. Troubled by Mick’s demeanor, Luke remembers how his boss was prescribed painkillers. He warns Mick about the dangers of a painkiller addiction. Unfortunately, Mick becomes upset and storms out of The Bridge.

Breakfast tray image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/composed-healthy-fruit-and-coffee-on-tray_1441643.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Mick and Megan’s story: Mick finally has his cast removed, the same one he received toward the end of the previous season. While his arm was healing, Mick was prescribed painkillers by his doctor. When he asks for a refill of his prescription, his doctor tells him he no longer needs the painkillers. In fact, Mick’s doctor tells him he only prescribes painkillers when necessary. Frustrated by this news, Mick frantically searches his bathroom for any remaining painkillers. He finds one in a drawer, satisfying his fix. Meanwhile, Megan turns down the job offer from Los Angeles. She claims Connor’s health is her number one priority. Feeling guilty over this, Connor tries to convince his mom to change her mind. Over the course of the episode, he recruits the rest of the family in his attempt. They agree to discuss the matter over dinner. When the dinner arrives, the O’Brien family encourage Megan to take the job offer, telling her how she should do what her heart desires. After their convincing, Megan agrees to accept the job in Los Angeles.

Connor’s story: Connor is still recuperating from his recent heart attack. However, his health is improving. Even his doctor is impressed with his progress. During that time, Margaret has stayed true to her word: keeping the law firm afloat and delivering Connor his mail. She has also been studying for the upcoming LSAT. Connor offers to help Margaret by going over flashcards with her. When the day of the LSAT arrives, Margaret feels confident about her test performance. But, she only completed the first part of the test so far.

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

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I know this is only the second episode of the season. But, so far, it seems like Kevin and Sarah are, once again, receiving the short end of the stick, story wise. In this episode, Kevin shares how he and Sarah are taking a trip to Maui. While the trip is not necessarily a bad thing, I’m hoping Sarah and Kevin are given a satisfying conclusion to their story. With this upcoming trip, does that mean Sarah and Kevin are only going to appear in a short amount of episodes? Now that I’m mentioning it, I’ve also noticed Nell has not been featured this season so far. I wonder how many appearances she’ll make in the last season?
  • Before this episode aired, I predicted Abby and Evan’s second date would be mini-golfing. This is because we’ve seen the O’Brien family mini-golfing in a past episode. But I was pleasantly surprised by what Evan and Abby actually ended up doing. The idea itself was not only creative, but thoughtful as well. If we get to winess Luke and Bree’s second date, I would be curious to see what Bree comes up with!
  • The third season of Chesapeake Shores revolved around the fallout of Bree’s infamous manuscript about her family. Every member of the O’Brien family had their reason for opposing their involuntary involvement in Bree’s story. Now, three seasons later, Bree wrote a short story, using Luke’s time in prison as inspiration. Even though each writing situation is different, I’m surprised Bree chose to take inspiration from someone close to her, especially after receiving so much backlash for that manuscript. At the same time, I’m also surprised Luke wasn’t upset about his prison experience being used as literary inspiration. For Bree and Luke’s sake, though, I’m glad this writing experience was better than the manuscript’s was.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? What do you think Luke and Bree’s second date could be? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Tired of Waiting

When it comes to a new season of a television show, there’s a certain amount of waiting the viewers are expected to do. Whether it’s casting updates or the resolution of a particular story, things don’t often happen as quickly as we, the fans, would like. But this season of Chesapeake Shores is different. Since it is the final chapter, ‘Chessies’ (fans of the show) want the story to last a little longer. They want to hold on to these characters and this world as much as possible. Unfortunately, because it is the last season, time is a luxury that isn’t available. So, the only option ‘Chessies’ have is to enjoy the time the show’s creative team has given them. As Connor says in this episode, “Every day is a gift”.

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

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

Season: 6

Episode: 1

Name: The Best Is Yet To Come

Abby’s story: Abby, along with most of the O’Brien family, are waiting at the hospital. During their wait, Abby receives a visit from not only Evan, but Jay as well. Throughout the night, it is revealed the voice-mail from the previous season was intended for Evan. However, he didn’t hear it until he left the hospital. The next day, Abby worries Evan doesn’t want to give their relationship a chance. But, while paying Abby an unexpected visit at work, Evan reveals how his delayed response was due to a misunderstanding. Once that small conflict is resolved, Abby and Evan agree to organize a first and second date. Because of Connor’s recent medical situation, this first date will have to be scheduled at a different time. Later in the episode, while sharing ice cream with Bree and Jess, Abby learns what Evan has planned for their first date. He shows up to the O’Brien shore with a yacht, dressed in a suit rented from Rome. After Abby dresses up in a green, floor-length gown, they share a lobster dinner created by Evan himself. They also dance, while almost sharing a kiss. However, Abby and Evan agree to take their relationship slowly.

Connor’s story: Connor is rushed to the hospital after suffering from a heart attack. He does, however, pull through, even promised a full recovery by his doctor. But due to the severity of the heart attack, Connor will have to make some healthier lifestyle choices. For the time being, he is just thankful to be alive. These new health concerns make Connor worried about his relationship with Margaret. However, Margaret reassures him they will work things out. Connor eventually returns home. When Margaret visits him at the O’Brien family’s house, he shares how, because of his recent health issues, he’ll have to take a break from working. To prevent his law firm from closing, Margaret agrees with help in any way possible.

Bree and Luke’s story: Bree and Luke spend more time with one another. This catches the attention of Mick. At The Bridge, Mick warns Luke what will happen if he hurts Bree. He also offers Luke a manager job, which Luke accepts. Later in the episode, Bree finds out about Mick’s conversation with Luke. She confronts Mick about this at the O’Brien family home. Bree feels she can take care of herself. Meanwhile, Mick just wants what’s best for his daughter. For now, though, Bree and Luke are still moving forward with their relationship. During bonding time with Abby and Jess, Bree reveals she is planning on writing another story. This time, though, it won’t involve the O’Brien family.

Illustrated image of yacht created by pongpongching at freepik.com. Ship sailboat vector created by pongpongching – www.freepik.com

Jess and David’s story: David’s father is still on the run overseas. This upsets David, as the news is also upsetting his mom and sister. Throughout all of this, Jess has become David’s shoulder to cry on. However, she is having doubts over whether her support for David is enough. One day, at the Bed and Breakfast, an FBI agent pays David a visit. She even gives him a business card, hoping he’ll give her the information she’s looking for.

Megan’s story: Megan is still upset over her and Mick’s conversation from the previous season. When he tries to apologizes, Megan senses he’s lying. Despite this, Mick attempts to be as honest with Megan as possible. Before Connor comes home, Mick and Megan agree with Connor staying in the O’Brien family home. Megan also agrees to help Connor in any way she can. Mick wonders if this means Megan is giving up the job offer from Los Angeles, the one that Megan was offered in season five. Megan confirms this by stating how her son needs her, also stating how she will never leave him again.

Heartbeat image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/medical-logo_763775.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/logo”>Logo vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • It’s honestly a shame this is the last season of Chesapeake Shores. One of the reasons why is how the show’s newer characters didn’t receive much of a chance to truly shine. Take Evan, for instance. He made a splash in the previous season, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Because of his background and Robert Buckley’s acting talents, the sky is the limit for Evan and his story. We even learned a little bit about Mandrake in this episode, with him revealing to Kevin how he was once in the military. I guess one way to look at it is the show’s cancellation is a blessing in disguise. At least we, the fans, don’t have to worry about these newer characters receiving terrible character development or stories.
  • With Chesapeake Shores’ final season receiving very little marketing and because last seasons more often than not garner bad raps, I’ve been lowering my expectations. It’s only the beginning of the season, so I’ll hold judgment for now. With the final season premiere, however, I thought it was fine. The stories weren’t deep, but they did attempt to tie up some loose ends from the previous season. From a storytelling perspective, I appreciate that effort.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see a cat in this episode. From what I remember, there has never been a cat on any of Hallmark’s TV shows. I’d like to think Felix (the cat) will eventually become Evan’s pet. But because of how quickly he left, I’m wondering if Felix is meant to represent a symbol of some sort? Maybe he’ll visit the show’s other characters?
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.

Did you like the season premiere? Which story resolution are you anticipating? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Children of a Lesser God Review

May’s theme for Genre Grandeur is ‘Best Picture Nominated Movies that didn’t win’. As the Oscars have been around for more than fifty years, there were plenty of titles for me to choose from. But I knew the main-stream, bigger name films were going to get selected by other participants of Genre Grandeur. So, I decided to choose a movie that was not only off the beaten path, but also less talked about than other films. This is one of the reasons why I’m reviewing Children of a Lesser God. Eric Binford, from Diary of A Movie Maniac, is another reason why I chose to write about the 1986 project. While talking about non-preachy movies containing messages, I brought up the Hallmark Hall of Fame production, Sweet Nothing in My Ear. After Eric mentioned how he loves Marlee Matlin, I realized I have never reviewed any project from Marlee’s filmography. I have seen Sweet Nothing in My Ear, as well as a handful of Switched at Birth episodes. But I’ve never discussed the ABC Family show on 18 Cinema Lane and I didn’t review the 2008 Hallmark Hall of Fame film. It should also be noted how the last time I wrote about an ’80s movie was last September.

Children of a Lesser God poster created by Paramount Pictures

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Since Marlee Matlin is one of the reasons why I chose to review Children of a Lesser God, I will talk about her performance first. While portraying Sarah, Marlee’s facial expressions and body language were expressive. They were also as fluid as her sign language. During an assembly, Sarah witnesses a performance from James’ students. At first, she appears content, not seeing any issue with the performance. But as the performance goes on, Sarah’s face progressively changes, appearing angry for reasons not yet revealed. In fact, Sarah becomes so upset by this performance, she ends up breaking a mirror. The strength of Marlee’s acting abilities not only allowed her to stand on her own, talent-wise, but also go toe-to-toe with William Hurt!

In Children of a Lesser God, William Hurt portrays James. The first thing I noticed about his acting performance was how he was able to balance the light-hearted and serious moments of the story! Toward the beginning of the film, James is explaining to his students why they should learn to speak. To demonstrate a likely scenario, James does a hand-stand, in an attempt to make his point. Later in the film, James learns more about Sarah. She explains how, in high school, her male peers would desire an intimate relationship with her, yet refuse to take the time to get to know her. During this conversation, James becomes frustrated over things he can’t change, such as Sarah’s past. Similar to what I said about Marlee’s performance, William was also expressive in his role. The expressive nature of his performance is what helped him maintain a consistent portrayal!

Several scenes show James interacting with the students in his speech class. These scenes are meant to serve as the more light-hearted moments of the film. One of the students in this class is Lydia. Portrayed by Allison Gompf, Lydia was not afraid to try new things. In fact, she was one of the first students to try speaking. What helped Allison and her character be memorable was her on-screen personality. It was so bubbly and up-beat, you can’t help but smile every time she appears on screen!

The on-screen chemistry: As I just mentioned, both Marlee and William gave solid performances individually. However, they also performed well together! The strength and expressiveness of their acting abilities worked in their favor and complimented one another. These aspects of their combined performance allowed them to showcase a relationship that felt realistic. One of my favorite scenes in Children of a Lesser God takes place when James wants to listen to one of his records. But shortly after he puts on a Bach record, he is overcome with guilt. James turns off the record, telling Sarah he can’t enjoy the music because she can’t hear it. A few moments later, Sarah puts the record back on, as she knows how much James enjoys the music. Through the acting, as well as the screenwriting, this scene is a great example of the sacrifices and compromises that can take place within a romantic relationship.

 An introduction to deaf culture: Whenever I talk about a movie highlighting a specific culture/community, I try to remind my readers that the film in question is not the “end all, be all” when it comes to discussing that culture/community. This is the case when talking about Children of a Lesser God. The students in James’ speech class are their own individuals, displaying distinct styles and expressing unique perspectives. These students, including Sarah, have their reasons why they either want or don’t want to speak. At one point in the film, James’ students perform in their school’s assembly. Throughout this performance, they sing, dance, and sign while on stage. The joy expressed by these characters can be seen and felt. This scene shows one can experience joy when they’ve found a place to belong.

Sign language alphabet image created by Freepik at freepik.com. Hand sign vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

What I didn’t like about the film:

A confusing title: With a title like Children of a Lesser God, I’m going to safely assume “children” is referencing deaf people, with the title itself emphasizing how deaf people are just as important to society as hearing people. But in the movie, Sarah is the only deaf character the story revolves around. Yes, there are deaf characters featured throughout the film. However, these characters are shown as well-adjusted individuals who aren’t prejudiced or mistreated. As I mentioned before, Sarah recounts a situation that happened to her in high school. Sarah’s mother, portrayed by Piper Laurie, shares traumatic events Sarah experienced in her life. But all of these events happened prior to the film. With all this said, the title, Children of a Lesser God, seems confusing.

A limited presence of James’ students: As I said earlier in this review, the moments where James interacts with his students were meant to be the more light-hearted moments of the film. But throughout the movie, the presence of the students themselves were limited. I really liked the camaraderie between these characters, as it made their connection seem believable. Because of the student’s limited presence, it left few opportunities to get to know them. Sure, we learn about them through their experiences in James’ speech class. But compared to James and Sarah, I felt like I, as an audience member, only became familiar with James’ students. I kind of wish they had received their own subplot.

No appearances from Ruth: When Sarah’s mom is talking to James about Sarah’s past, she mentions her other daughter, Ruth. She also mentions how, in high school, Ruth’s male peers were more interested in Sarah. Despite Ruth getting brought up in the story, Sarah’s sister never appears in the film. Personally, I think this was a missed opportunity. It would have been interesting to hear the perspective of a sibling of someone with a disability. I also wanted to know how Ruth felt about what Sarah went through in high school. In the movie’s opening credits, I learned Children of a Lesser God was based on a Broadway play. I haven’t seen this play, so I don’t know if Ruth is a character that is meant to be in the story. But, like I said, it still feels like a missed opportunity.

Orange cat image created by Freestockcenter at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/ginger-cat_883376.htm’>Designed by Freestockcenter</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/gold”>Gold image created by Freestockcenter – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Children of a Lesser God is a character-driven movie. With these types of films, you need a cast that is so strong, it gives the audience a reason to stay invested in the overall story. That is exactly what this 1986 production achieved! Even though Children of a Lesser God primarily revolves around Sarah and James, the supporting cast was great to watch. Presenting an introduction to the deaf culture also helps. Though I liked this movie, there were some aspects of this project that could have been stronger. I wish James’ students had received their own subplot and Ruth had appeared in the story. But as I said in this review, Children of a Lesser God is based on a Broadway play. Therefore, I don’t know what was in the original source material. As I close this review, I’d like to say I can’t speak for whether Children of a Lesser God should have received the Best Picture award. That’s because I haven’t seen Platoon or the other films nominated in 1987.

Overall score: 7.7-7.8 out of 10

Have you seen Children of a Lesser God? Which movie do you think should have won Best Picture in 1987? Please let me know in the comment section below!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: The Masks We Wear

On this episode of When Calls the Heart, there is one character who wears a mask for the majority of the story. While the audience learns the motive behind the mask, it was interesting to see how the other characters responded to this decision. Some characters knew what was going on, so they helped this character in any way they could. Others had no idea what was happening, turned off by the sudden changes in this character. But this episode serves as a reminder how, sometimes, we truly don’t know someone. That is why, throughout the show, the residents of Hope Valley attempt to get to know each other. Whether it’s a simple, friendly conversation or an elaborate celebration, the show’s creative team has, more often than not, given both the characters and the audience an opportunity to become emotionally invested in a characters’ story. There are even times when these characters have become fan favorites. So, have you figured out which character was wearing a mask in this episode? Find out if you’re right in my re-cap of When Calls the Heart!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there will be spoilers within this re-cap.

When Calls the Heart season nine poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel

Season: 9

Episode: 9

Name: Recent Memory

Major story:

Wyman Walden has returned to Hope Valley. But this time, he wants to purchase the Queen of Hearts Saloon. Fiona also returns from San Francisco with some not so good news. According to Fiona, Henry was straight forward when asking about the investors’ intentions for the mines. Due to Henry’s angry approach, three of the investors had to remove Henry from the conference room. The investors also propose to remove Henry from the petroleum plant, but on one condition. This condition is Lucas has to stay with the petroleum plant for one more fiscal year. Meanwhile, with the saloon, Lucas attempts to bluff Wyman into purchasing the saloon. But Bill has beat him to it.

In a private meeting with Wyman, Bill confesses he’d like to become mayor again. Using specific laws, Bill comes up with an agreement with Wyman; he’ll give Wyman the saloon and drive Lucas out of town if Wyman will help Bill in his mayoral quest. After putting on that figurative mask, Bill only tells a handful of people what he’s doing. For those who aren’t aware of Bill’s plan, they are put off by his sudden change in character. Nathan is one of those characters put off by Bill’s changes. Bill eventually informs Nathan what is going on. But Bill tells Nathan in enough time to concoct a plan. Later in the episode, Bill meets Wyman to collect the payment for the saloon. Before any transactions occur, Bill arrests Wyman on multiple charges, including an attempted murder charge from another town. Meanwhile, Julius Spurlock tries to drive out of Hope Valley, in an effort to run away from accountability. Nathan catches up to Julius, even shooting Julius in the arm to stop him. After everything is said and done, Bill finds a way to return the money Wyman took from unsuspecting business owners. When Lucas finds out about Bill’s plan, however, he is upset. Lucas explains his own plans for conning Wyman. Unfortunately, this plan brings suspicion toward Lucas’ character.

Money image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/bills-and-coins-in-isometric-design_1065328.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

With Minnie and Angela on an out of trip to St. Louis, the café is short staffed. Joseph is able to find a few of his friends to help for the time being. During Lee’s time working in the kitchen, Joseph discovers what Lee did with his and Minnie’s new loan. He confronts Lee about this at the café. Lee apologizes for getting involved, claiming his good intentions. Joseph is upset he wasn’t asked first. At dinner one evening, Cooper confesses he’d like to be his own boss. This confession comes after Joseph askes about Cooper’s decision on attending church. Even though Joseph is supportive of his son, he reminds Cooper how he shouldn’t become too big for his britches, especially when it comes to God. The next morning, Cooper askes his father if they could go fishing. Joseph tells his son how they have work to do, despite being the boss of the café. This gets Cooper to consider his previous decision.

One morning, Faith discovers Mei is leaving for Chicago. While Mei is on her way out of town, Nathan comes to the saloon, asking why she is leaving. Mei explains Geoffrey is pursuing the fake charges against her, meaning she has to appear in court. Nathan arranges for an officer to look out for Mei. Later that evening, Faith crosses paths with Nathan. This leads them to discuss marriage. Nathan claims marriage isn’t on his “to-do list”. Meanwhile, Faith says she and Carson drifted apart because she wasn’t ready to get married. They both agree to get ice cream, especially since Faith has a key to the ice cream parlor.

While helping Lee fix his hair at the salon, Rosemary confesses an editor from Hearst Publishing has expressed interest in including the Valley Voice in their collection of publications. After Fiona finds out this editor is Arthur Gilchrist, she calls him from the Mercantile. Later in the episode, Fiona discovers, through a phone call, that Arthur plans to visit Hope Valley in the near future. She also remembers Arthur is one of the petroleum plant investors. Fiona visits Rosemary and Lee at the saloon and explains all of this to them. They agree to keep their distance from Arthur. Meanwhile, Lucas confesses to Elizabeth what has been happening with Wyman. In an effort to keep Lucas safe and because Elizabeth’s birthday has arrived, they agree to let Lucas spend the evening on Elizabeth’s couch. The actual celebration was a small, intimate affair. But it did give Elizabeth and Lucas a chance to bond and spend time together. With everything happening in Lucas’ business life, Elizabeth has been stressed about his well-being. After Wyman and Julius have been arrested, she thinks Lucas is in the clear. But when she learns more of Lucas’ plan, her stress over Lucas returns.

Birthday cake image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/chocolate-birthday-cakes-collection_765437.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/birthday”>Birthday vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • I’m going to be honest: Mei’s story has become, so far, the most disappointing one this season. This is because it is the most frustrating. In my previous episode re-cap, I pointed out how Mei’s story was strung out for more than half the season. This made me to wish her secret had been revealed sooner, so the audience could spend more time getting to know Mei. Now, she has left Hope Valley, with only three episodes left in season nine. Because Mei has been so guarded and secretive for so long, I don’t feel like I truly know her as a character. That creative decision has led me to not feel emotionally invested in her or her story. If Mei returns for a possible tenth season, that would be nice. But if she doesn’t, I wouldn’t mind her departure too much.
  • When I look back on When Calls the Heart as a whole, I can’t think of many bonding, heart-to-heart moments between parent and child. These moments between fathers and sons are also extremely rare. Therefore, it was nice to see Joseph and Cooper talking and spending time with one another in this episode! Through these interactions, the audience learned more about where Cooper was in his journey of faith. We also received some wisdom from Joseph. These moments were my favorite in this episode and I hope we receive more of them if When Calls the Heart is granted season ten!
  • While visiting the saloon one evening, Nathan wore a long, black, tailored coat. Despite never seeing him wear this coat before, Nathan (as well as Kevin McGarry) looked great wearing it! I hope to see him wear this coat in future episodes!
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What did you think of this episode? Would you miss Mei if she left When Calls the Heart? Please tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen