Back in May, I reviewed an INSP film called County Line. I chose to review this movie because I wanted to help this network’s films receive their “standing ovation”. Within this review, I said that I would review Christmas on the Coast when it was released. Six months later, this movie has finally premiered! This means that it’s now time for me to review Christmas on the Coast. As much as I was looking forward to the film, I will admit that my expectations for it were low. This was, mainly, because the film’s plot sounded like a typical Hallmark movie. However, I stilled watch this film with an open mind. What did I think of Christmas on the Coast? Set sail through this review if you want to find out!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: I thought the cast of Christmas on the Coast was really talented! All of the acting performances in this movie were such a highlight for this film! Everyone brought so much emotion and versatility to their roles, making all of the portrayals captivating to watch. When I first found out that Bonnie Bedelia had been cast in this movie, I was so excited to see her performance in the film, especially after seeing her portrayal of Joy in A Joyous Christmas. After I watched this movie, I felt that Bonnie did a really good job portraying Dru’s mother, Ellie! I also thought Cait Pool really shined in this movie as she portrayed the character of Peyton. Bonnie, Peyton, and the other actors in this film are those that I’d like to see appear in any type of Hallmark project!
The scenery: According to IMDB, Christmas on the Coast was filmed in the state of Georgia, specifically in the areas of Darien and St. Simons Island. While watching this film, I thought that the natural landscapes featured within the movie were great to look at! I also think that the scenery was captured really well on film. To me, the scene where Dru was at the beach while a sunset was in the sky was beautifully filmed!
The on-screen chemistry: While Julie Ann Emery and Burgess Jenkins each pulled off a good performance within Christmas on the Coast, I also thought that they pulled off a good acting performance as a pair. As the film progressed, it truly felt like Dru and Brysen’s relationship was growing over-time. Julie and Burgess’ performance appeared so believable on-screen, giving the impression that their characters really came to care about each other.
What I didn’t like about the film:
Too many quick-cuts: In Christmas on the Coast, there were several images of stock footage that were used to introduce a scene. These images were featured in-between scenes and were sometimes used as a transition from one scene to another. When these images were shown, they appeared a little too quickly on-screen. This didn’t give me, as an audience member, enough time to get a good look at what was featured in these images.
The lighting: In some scenes that were filmed outdoors, I noticed that the lighting looked darker than in scenes that were filmed in buildings and homes. At one point, I honestly thought something was wrong with my television.
Lack of subplots: While watching Christmas on the Coast, I was disappointed when I found out that the only plot within the film was the main plot. Before I watched the movie, I had expected, at least, two subplots to be included alongside the main plot. Even when Dru decided to join her mother’s Christmas event planning committee, I though that a subplot would emerge and take shape as the movie went on. Unfortunately, that never happened.
My overall impression:
I really enjoyed Christmas on the Coast! It improved upon the things that I didn’t like about County Line, such as having a good pace and utilizing the talent of everyone within the main cast. Yes, this movie did remind me of a Hallmark movie. However, it reminded me of a Hallmark movie that was good in quality. Although INSP doesn’t make a lot of movies, especially those that are Christmas themed, I think the network has what it takes to create films that are memorable and have a lasting impact. Hopefully, INSP will be encouraged to make more movies as time goes on. In a day and age when several networks compete against each other to be crowned the most watched network during the Christmas season, INSP definitely deserves to have their voice heard. This network definitely has a unique perspective that can bring something creative and special to the table.
Overall score: 8 out of 10
Have you seen any of INSP’s films? Would you like to see this network continue to make movies? Let me know in the comment section!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!