Take 3: Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death Review

Even though I’ve been reviewing films from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries lately, I haven’t reviewed a mystery film from Hallmark’s second network since May. Because of this, I decided to review the newest movie in the Picture Perfect Mysteries series, especially since I have seen the first two installments. Like the other series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Picture Perfect Mysteries has been an enjoyable collection of films. The series also has a distinct identity that sets it apart from the various current offerings on this particular channel. A mystery story featuring a murder mystery stage play is not new, as the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries series had a similar concept in the 2019 movie, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play. In fact, there was a play poster in the background of Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death that was titled “A Very Foul Play”. However, I was curious to see how a detective and photographer duo would approach this specific type of mystery.

Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Thing I liked about the film:

The acting: In Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death, the acting ranged from fine to good. However, there were some stand-out performances I’d like to bring up. One came from series regular, Trezzo Mahoro, who portrayed Allie’s friend Noah. What I liked about his performance was how lively and expressive it was. A good example is when Noah discovers Maya has figured out the password on his laptop. The look of shock on his face truly appeared genuine. Another note-worthy performance was Willie Aames’! As one of the characters said in this movie, Neil Kahn was “mild-mannered”. While this is true, Willie made this part of his character consistent. Because Neil is a director of mystery stories, this is a different yet interesting creative choice when it comes to acting. Speaking of Neil, I also enjoyed seeing April Telek’s performance! Throughout the film, her portrayal of Neil’s wife was very natural. This is evident in the scene where she and Neil are having an argument about their personal lives.

The interior and exterior design: In some scenes, Neil Kahn’s house was featured on screen. This is certainly one of the most photogenic houses shown in a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film! The exterior was pale yellow Victorian, complete with a wrap around porch. Impressive interior designs added to the grand scale that is also shown on the house’s exterior. Dark wood was a consistent component of each room shown in the movie. The living room boasted a large wood fireplace paired beautifully with green marble. Neil’s library also featured wood, as seen in bookshelves covering the walls. An eye-catching design choice was how arches outlined the shelves, an element that isn’t often found. In one scene, the living room in Allie’s house can be seen in the background. A stone fireplace was illuminated with soft lights, with a complimentary bookshelf next to it. This shows how good interior and/or exterior design came from multiple locations!

The cinematography: There was some cinematography in Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death that really surprised me in a good way! One notable example is when a suspect is being questioned at the police station. As the scene plays out, emphasis is placed on the clock and the suspect’s face. They were both zoomed in at various points in the scene, highlighting the suspense and fear a person might face in that situation. Another interesting use of cinematography is when Allie and Sam were having a conversation after the murder victim was discovered. When each character was speaking, they were given close-ups to help the audience focus on Sam’s or Allie’s part of the conversation. This specific area of film-making, cinematography, added intrigue to the overall project!

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What I didn’t like about the film:

Story points that didn’t lead anywhere: Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death contained story points that ended up not leading anywhere. One of them was the robberies that were taking place in Willow Brook, the small town featured in this series. During the movie, Sam was in charge of solving the film’s murder and a string of robberies. Unfortunately, this part of the film became an afterthought, as it had little to no connection to the main plot. Another story point involved a local loan shark. While he was shown and mentioned on a few occasions, the loan shark didn’t have a consistent enough presence to be a meaningful part of the story. If this character would have been given more importance, maybe he could have been a red herring.

Allie’s relationship with Daniel: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series usually show the male and female protagonist forming a romantic relationship over time. Even though this is only the third Picture Perfect Mysteries movie, I feel Allie and Sam will likely become a couple. Because of this, I found Allie’s relationship with Daniel, a newspaper reporter, to be pointless. When Allie’s friend, Maya, suggests that Allie go on a date with Daniel, it felt like the screenwriter was trying to force a love triangle into the story. Allie and Daniel’s departure from their date came across as awkward, like they knew their relationship wasn’t going to last. To me, it seemed like this aspect of the movie was unnecessarily shoved into the narrative.

A choppy pace: I found the overall pace in Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death to be choppy. This is because there wasn’t a good flow in-between scenes. In one scene, Allie and Sam are discussing color paint samples for Sam’s house. Shortly after, one of the murder suspects is giving Allie clues. Mysteries series from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries space out scenes that are not mystery related, as to not make the movie feel too dark. However, this installment in the Picture Perfect Mysteries series seemed to fill their script with as much content as possible with the intent to worrying about the overall flow later.

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My overall impression:

At best, Picture Perfect Mysteries: Exit, Stage Death was a fine film. It definitely had its strengths, such as some stand-out acting performances and interesting cinematography. But, in my opinion, the movie felt like it just met a requirement. As I mentioned in this review, this is the third chapter in the Picture Perfect Mysteries series. By this point, the question of how the overarching story arc can move forward should be answered. This film, however, does not answer that question. What it does instead is almost put the series in a stand-still, forcing it to stay in one place. Having story points that don’t lead anywhere is just one example of how this happened. Yes, the mystery was intriguing. But this is only a part of a mystery film. If there are other parts of the story that don’t work, the movie is going to have shortcomings. While it is unknown at this time whether the Picture Perfect Mysteries series will receive a fourth film, I just hope it’s stronger than this movie was.

Overall score: 7 out of 10

Have you seen the Picture Perfect Mysteries series? Would you like to see this series get a fourth film? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) Review

When I published my Hallmark Hall of Fame Reading Challenge last March, one of the literary works I listed was Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. While I’ve never read the play, I was interested in seeing how Hallmark Hall of Fame would adapt this particular story. Sadly, I couldn’t find this specific version on DVD, VHS, or digital, as a lot of the collection’s movies from the ‘50s to about the early ‘80s appear to be lost. When I discovered Vincent Perez starred in the 1990 adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, I thought seeing this version would be the next best thing. It was also a perfect choice for The Third Broadway Bound Blogathon, as it was listed under the “Movies Made From Broadway Shows” section in the very first announcement for the event. This blogathon also happens to take place days before Vincent’s birthday, so this became another reason to review Cyrano de Bergerac! I was able to obtain a copy of this film, but I had to purchase two DVDs and a Blu-Ray just to find one that worked with my home entertainment system. Read my review to find out if this film was worth the search!

After weeks of searching, I finally found a DVD copy of Cyrano de Bergerac I could watch! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscren.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Since I chose this film because of Vincent’s involvement, I’ll talk about his performance first. One aspect that stood out to me was how his voice was always soft-spoken. This fit his character, Christian de Neuvillette, well because he wasn’t as confident with his words, like Cyrano. I also noticed how sincere Vincent’s performance came across. No matter what situation Christian is in, he always has his heart in the right place. The goodness of this character showed through in Vincent’s portrayal, which helped Christian be as likable as possible! Since I just mentioned Cyrano, I will now talk about Gérard Depardieu’s performance. The word I’d use to describe his portrayal of the titular character is expressive. Every feeling Cyrano was experiencing felt genuine, emotions appearing in his facial expressions, body language, and poetry. Toward the beginning of the film, Cyrano performs at a local theater and participates in a dual shortly after. Gérard was able to adapt to every situation given to his character. Besides Vincent and Gérard, the cast is filled with talented actors and actresses. Anne Brochet is one of those cast members, bringing a gentle nature to her character, Roxane. Through emotionality, Anne brings her character to life in a way that feels believable. One example is when Christian and Cyrano visit her at her balcony.

The historical accuracy: As I’ve said before on this blog, the quality of a film’s historical accuracy can show how much a creative team cares about their project. The historical accuracy of Cyrano de Bergerac is proof of this statement! The world in this movie felt immersive, presenting the locations with a sense of realism. The set designs reflected the financial situation/social status of the characters, with the local bakery and Roxane’s room being perfect examples. While the bakery featured a simpler interior design, Roxane’s room appeared elegant. Costumes looked appropriate for that specific time period, with the color palette for the cast’s wardrobe ranging from lighter shades of beige and blue to darker tones of gray and black. Tools and utensils from yesteryear were used by the characters, such as Cyrano and Christian applying a wax seal on letters to Roxane. This movie shows that no detail was ignored.

The humor: One of the strongest elements of this film was the humor! Not only was it well-written, but the humor itself seemed to fit that world. The funny moments within Cyrano de Bergerac were also given good executions by the actors. My favorite scene is when Christian continuously interrupts Cyrano’s story by making references to Cyrano’s nose. During this exchange, Christian would sometimes only say “nose” to get a reaction from Cyrano. While Christian appears unfazed by Cyrano’s reactions, Cyrano becomes more irritated as the scene continues. This scene made me repeatedly laugh, as I found it hilarious!

The Third Broadway Bound Blogathon banner created by Rebecca from Taking Up Room. Image found at https://takinguproom.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/announcing-the-third-broadway-bound-blogathon/.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The under-utilization of Vincent Perez: Vincent Perez is one of the reasons why I sought out the 1990 adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, as I’ve enjoyed his acting performances so far. Before watching this movie, I knew his involvement in the project was a break-out role and likely the biggest role he received at that time. However, because Vincent is billed as the main supporting actor, I was disappointed to found out he was in the film for a limited amount of time. The majority of the story revolves around Cyrano, which means that Vincent was only given a reduced amount of material to work with. There were even large intervals when Vincent was not featured on screen. Usually, main supporting actors receive about half the screen-time the film’s protagonist does. In the case of Cyrano de Bergerac, however, the antagonist, Comte Antoine de Guiche, is given more prominence in the production than Vincent’s character.

The war storyline: Prior to seeing Cyrano de Bergerac, I had a general knowledge of what the story was about. The movie is even classified as a “comedy-drama”, with the assumption that the romantic aspects of the story would fall under the “drama” part. While the comedy and romance within Cyrano de Bergerac dominated the first half of the film, a storyline involving a war took over the film’s second half. The build-up toward the event and the reasoning behind it felt too “inside baseball”. It also caused the entire story to pull a “bait and switch” with its overall tone. Based on the knowledge I had about this film and even based on the DVD cover, I expected the light-hearted tone within the first half to have a consistent presence throughout the film. Even though there were romantic and light-hearted moments within the second half, some of them didn’t feel like they fit in the context of the war.

The poetic monologues: I’m aware that Cyrano is known for being “a man of many words”. I also know the original play was written only in verse. The poems themselves weren’t the issue, as the poetic monologues within this film were performed and written well. However, some of them lasted too long. Toward the end of the movie, Cyrano recited one of his signature monologues. Because it was long in time length, the monologue made the scene drawn out. I realize that the reason for the long monologues was to satisfy the film’s run-time. Personally, I think, at least, a few of the them should have been a bit shorter in length.

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My overall impression:

I’ve heard that the 1990 adaptation of Cyrano de Bergeracis “the definitive film version of the Edmond Rostand play from 1897.” This is the only film version of the story I have seen. As I also said in the introduction, I have never read the play. So, I can only judge this film simply as a film. Cyrano de Bergerac is a good, solid movie! I found myself invested as the story was unfolding and I can definitely see how this could be presented on Broadway. The poetic dialogue was an interesting choice that helped this project achieve a unique identity. However, there were aspects that prevented the production from being better than it was. Some of the poetic monologues were too long, causing scenes to feel drawn out. Despite flaws like that one, I’m glad I was given an opportunity to see this film! If you do choose to watch this version of Cyrano de Bergerac, keep in mind it is a rarer title to find on physical media. While this movie did receive a Blu-Ray release, prices can get expensive.

Overall score: 7.6 out of 10

Do you enjoy movies based on Broadway shows? Are there any literary adaptations that you like? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun on Broadway!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Coming Together to Celebrate

Season finales are usually known as a sad time. Your favorite show is about to end, for now, and you have to wait a whole year for it to return. But season finales can also be a good thing. Creating any season of a television show is very time, energy, and financially consuming. There are risks involved with adding another chapter, as the future can be uncertain. However, with those things come rewards. Some of these are a season renewal, a new movie, or critical acclaim. Season finales can also stir up reflection. It causes one to look back on the current state of the show, as well as how far it has come. This is a time for celebration, when achievements and triumphs can get recognized. It’s also a time when we can tell our favorite and new characters “See you later” instead of “good-bye”.

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 6

Name: Watercolors, Wishes, and Weddings

 

Abby’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Mick approaches Abby with an offer to work at his construction firm. She tells him that she will think about it. The first person she tells about the business deal is Jay, with her sharing this news with Jess and Bree later in the episode. After discussing this piece of information with Jay, he invites her on a lunch date. She agrees to go by joining him at Sally’s Café. While Jay and Abby are there, they cross paths with Trace and Emma. Because of the awkwardness of the situation, Jay and Abby leave the restaurant. Instead, they go to a nearby shore. Abby shares with Jay how difficult it is to avoid Trace. He tells her that just because she has history with Trace doesn’t mean that she has to have a future with him. The next day, Abby, once again, crosses paths with Trace. He shares with her that he will finally build that recording studio he’s always dreamed of. Even though she’s happy for him, Abby still chooses to spend her time with Jay. At Kevin and Sarah’s wedding reception dinner, Abby reveals that Derrick, the CEO of the financing management who was introduced at the beginning of the season, has officially been indicted. She also shares that she isn’t going to lose her job at her current business firm. Despite this, Abby is still contemplating Mick’s offer. At the end of the episode, Abby goes to the same beach that Trace is at. Their interaction causes them to share a kiss.

 

Trace’s story: As Emma performs at The Bridge, Mark Hall arrives to watch the show. But that’s not the only reason why he’s in Chesapeake Shores. Mark approaches Trace with a proposal to help Trace record a song with Emma within the small town. Because Trace has no intention to make new music and because Chesapeake Shores doesn’t have any recording studios, Trace agrees to produce a single for Emma. He researches different venues for Emma to perform at and he contacts some of his friends in Nashville. Emma doesn’t feel ready to start a musical career, but Trace reassures her that she’ll never know if she’s ready until she takes that first step. Trace also makes the decision to build his recording studio. Later in the episode, he tells Abby about his plan. Trace also interacts with Abby when she and Jay went to lunch at the same time he and Emma are at Sally’s Café. Before the episode ends, Trace and Abby interact one last time. During their interaction, they share a kiss.

 

Mick and Megan’s story: Because of Abby helping Mick with his business situation, he asks her if she’d like to work at his construction firm. Abby tells him that she’ll think about it. Mick lets his brother, Thomas, know about his relationship with Megan. Even though Mick shares his concerns about the relationship’s longevity, Thomas ends up supporting his brother’s decision. When he spends time with Megan, Mick reveals that his former business partner has publicly announced Mick’s association. Meanwhile, Megan is buying art supplies and taking up sketching. She shares with Mick that she hasn’t painted since she was pregnant with Bree. Throughout the episode, they both attend Kevin and Sarah’s wedding reception and Bree’s play.

 

Kevin and Sarah’s story: In this episode, Kevin and Sarah continue their discussion on the size of their family. When they figure out the math, they both come to an agreement about having two or three children. Sarah’s family also pays them a visit. Because of their arrival, this makes Sarah tell Kevin how her family used to take road trips when she was younger. She also shares how she, sometimes, misses her family. This causes Kevin to agree to spend Christmas with her family and to go to Hawaii for their honeymoon. The episode ends with them attending their wedding reception and Bree’s play.

Theater seats image
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Bree’s story: Before a presentation of her play, Bree meets a literary agent named Brian. He’s impressed by everything she’s been able to accomplish on her own. However, Brian wants to help Bree make the most of her career. With a lunch invitation, he encourages her to discuss her literary goals. Bree agrees to meet with him the next day. At this meeting, Brian informs her that he’s not going to lead her in any direction she’s not comfortable with. At the same time, he tries to get Bree to think about her career with a long-term mindset. Despite this, she has no idea where her career will be that far down the road. When the night of the play arrives, the show is a success! Not only does the play receive a standing ovation, but both Hannah and Bree are presented with flower bouquets. After the show, Brian shares that he wants to bring her play to London. This causes Bree to become excited about her future.

 

Jess’s story: During the official grand opening of The Inn at Eagle Point, Jess finds a ring in a small box. This makes her assume that David will propose to her. Shortly after their bed and breakfast’s grand opening, they receive a fine because of their unofficial grand opening in the previous episode. This causes David to attempt to solve this issue throughout the episode. Because this dilemma prolongs David’s proposal, it also causes Jess to become impatient . When the man who gave David and Jess the fine visit them, Jess convinces him to lift the fine. This plan ends up being successful, as they are able to run their bed and breakfast with no further issues. After this situation is resolved, Jess reveals that she knew about the proposal all along. Because of this, David finally asks Jess to marry him, which she immediately says yes.

 

Connor’s story: Connor tries to find a solution to the case that he was assigned in the previous episode. As Nell meets up with Connor at Sally’s Cafe, he expresses how he misses Danielle. When Nell mentions that her driver’s license has expired, this gives Connor an idea relating to the case. When he presents his findings to Linda, the lawyer from the previous episode, she’s impressed by his work. This causes her to give Connor a job at her firm. When he shares this news with Thomas, he reveals that Connor was to receive an even bigger assignment at his firm that was to take place in New York. Before their conversation ends, Thomas tries telling Connor that Linda may not be as friendly as she seems.

Jewels sparkle in the golden wedding rings lying on the leather
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Some thoughts to consider:

  • Like the third season, this season of Chesapeake Shores was just fine. But I was hoping that the show’s quality would improve by this point. I was told by Ruth, from My Devotional Thoughts, that there will be a fifth season! Hopefully, the creative team behind this program will learn from their creative mistakes and find a healthy balance between being character and story-driven.

 

  • As happy as I am that Jess and David got engaged, I was disappointed by how the dialogue spoiled the surprise. With Jess saying things like “till death do us part” and “happily ever after”, a moment that could have been surprising and memorable ended up being predictable. Hopefully, the audience can witness their wedding in the show. I also hope that the wedding ceremony can be more memorable than the engagement.

 

  • Even though I’ve mentioned that the Chesapeake Shores movie will premiere next year, I wonder if it will air before or after the next season starts? Since the film will just feature the three O’Brien sisters, I also wonder how their story will effect the rest of the show?

Starry night landscape with reeds
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What are your thoughts on this season as a whole? Do you have any predictions for season five? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: A Kite in the Storm

For those of you who follow my re-caps for Chesapeake Shores, I apologize for publishing this post later than usual. As I was writing my review of The Sky’s the Limit, I realized that I needed a short break from blogging. So that’s what I did on the Monday after this episode aired. So, now that this explanation is out of the way, it’s time to start this re-cap! In this episode, Abby tells Jay that she is like a kite in the storm after he shares that two of his students thought that Benjamin Franklin invented the kite. What Abby said could also relate to the other characters on this show. Everyone is just trying to get through the storms in their lives, whether it’s Mick trying to overcome his legal troubles or Bree wanting to face her writing struggles. But kites are controlled by the wind, an element that is beyond anyone’s control. Like kites, the characters on Chesapeake Shores are controlled by life itself. Sometimes, the characters catch a lucky break, such a Kevin and Sarah getting married. But there are times when things don’t go according to plan. A good example of this is when Bree and Simon broke up. But, at the one point or another, every character finds a resolution and survives the storm.

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 5

Name: All the Time in the World

 

Abby’s story: Because of an upcoming deposition and because Carrie and Caitlyn have a scheduled day off from school, Abby needs one of her siblings to babysit her daughters. Kevin and Connor, along with Sarah, volunteer to look after Carrie and Caitlyn at different times of the day. At Sally’s Café, Abby receives free legal advice from Connor. Before he leaves, Jay pays Abby a visit. He asks if he can spend time with her after her deposition, in which she accepts his invitation. He also shares with her why he became a teacher, as the people in his life are what matters the most. At her deposition, Abby makes it difficult for the opposing side to get any answers from her. Because of this, they offer her a vice president position at their business firm if she turns her back on her current firm. Before she leaves the deposition, Abby shares that what she teaches her children is more important than her career. After the deposition, Abby and Jay share a picnic. When she shares the opposing side’s job offer, he reminds her that no one’s road in life is a straight one, as it does have twists and turns. She contemplates Jay’s advice for the rest of the episode. When Mick discovers her notes about her deposition, she gives him an idea that could help him in his legal situation. He recruits her to find a solution to his problems, with Abby agreeing to help. She also briefly interacts with Trace backstage at Carrie and Caitlyn’s play.

 

Trace’s story: Trace is still bothered by what Emma told him in the previous episode. When Emma apologized, she shared that she didn’t know that Mark’s offer could include trying to get Trace back on tour. Trace accepts her apology and reveals that, because of the music business, he’s become skeptical of people. He then invites her to lunch at Sally’s Café, which Emma accepts. During this episode, Trace tells Emma how his family doesn’t always express their emotions and feelings. He also talks about his experiences while on tour. Another situation that Trace deals with is Mick cancelling on their business meetings. Because of Mick’s legal situation, he hasn’t had time to participate in various activities. This makes Trace frustrated by Mick’s lack of attention toward The Bridge. In an attempt to find a solution, Trace offers to buy Mick’s half of the restaurant. When Mick hears Trace’s offer, he tells Trace that he’ll think about it. Trace also crosses paths with Abby backstage at Carrie and Caitlyn’s play. During this brief interaction, he shares that he learned about Abby’s legal situation from Connor.

 

Mick and Megan’s story: One morning, Mick is shocked to learn that Megan wants to take up painting again. Even though he’s taken off guard, he’s supportive of her choice. Throughout the episode, Megan is creating plans for her new studio. When she shares these plans with Nell, Nell tells her that she should recruit Mick’s help in this endeavor. Speaking of Mick, he is so caught up in his legal worries, that he has little to no time for anything else. This starts to affect other people, including Trace and Connor. When Connor asks if there is anything he can do to help, Mick tells him no. Trace starts getting frustrated by Mick cancelling meetings related to The Bridge. To help take some weight off Mick’s shoulders, Trace offers to purchase Mick’s half of The Bridge. Mick tells Trace that he’ll think about the offer. When he arrives at his house, Mick discovers Abby’s notes about her deposition. When he expresses to Abby how impressed he is by this discovery, she gives him an idea that could help him with his problems. Because of this, Mick encourages Abby to use her unique insight to help him.

 

Kevin and Sarah’s story: When Abby is looking for someone within her family to look after Carrie and Caitlyn, Kevin and Sarah volunteer. After an exciting game of badminton, Kevin and Sarah bring up the question of how many children they’d like to have. When they realize that they each have a different idea for the size of their family, they come to the conclusion that they need to take the time to discuss several important topics. When looking after Word Play, Kevin talks to Bree about how rushed his relationship feels. Bree reminds him to appreciate what he has and shares that she feels that everything is how it should be. Later in the episode, Sarah comes by to visit Kevin at Word Play. While they are sharing embarrassing childhood stories, they get alerted on a recent emergency. After the emergency has been taken care of, Kevin and Sarah talk about how their relationship has moved so fast. They also agree to have a larger family.

38860-O1P610
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Bree’s story: Bree’s book has placed in the top ten on a bestseller list and her play has been presented in front of test audiences. Hannah has been with Bree every step of the way, from helping her avoid awkward questions during Q & A segments to suggesting small but essential changes to the script. When it’s time to write a message about herself for the play’s program, she experiences a bad case of writer’s block. At Word Play, she realizes that she and Kevin have something in common; they feel that their lives are moving too fast. However, Bree feels that everything is the way it should be and that they both need to appreciate what they have. On another day, at Word Play, Bree confides to Megan that the version of herself in the play represented who she was. She wants to write about who she is now, which she’s having a difficult time trying to figure out.

 

Jess’s story: Jess and David start to settle into their new bed & breakfast. When Carrie, Caitlyn, and Connor surprise them with the sign from their original bed & breakfast, Jess and David decide to name their new place “The Inn at Eagle Point”. While preparing for the grand opening, the facility loses electricity. Despite David scheduling an electrician to show up the following week, guests have arrived early than expected. Without food, mattresses, or electricity, David and Jess try to figure out how to make their unofficial grand opening a success. When Jess asks Mick for assistance, he politely refuses. Meanwhile, David and Jess put all their refrigerated food in the sink filled with ice cubes. Toward the end of the episode, Nell volunteers to cook meals for the guests. The bed & breakfast also gets its electricity back. When Jess is not around, David hides a stuffed animal horse and a small bag in a drawer.

 

Connor’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Carrie, Caitlyn, and Connor surprise Jess and David with the original sign from their previous bed & breakfast. He also helps Carrie and Caitlyn practice their lines for their play. For the majority of this episode, Connor continues to do research for his uncle’s law firm. He uses his research skills to help Abby create notes for her deposition. He also asks Mick if he can help him with his legal issues, but Mick politely turns Connor’s offer down. When doing research work at The Bridge, he reveals to Trace that he broke up with Danielle. He also tells Trace about Abby’s legal situation. Later in the episode, Connor learns that Abby will be helping Mick with his legal situation. Feeling hurt after learning this news, he approaches the lawyer who lost the case from this season’s second episode. He wants to work at her firm because he wants to be a litigator. She gives him a chance to prove himself by giving him a case that they might lose.

06
Kite in the sky background 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.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • The conflict associated with Jess’s story doesn’t make any sense. How can someone make a reservation when there is no realistic way to do so? If the bed & breakfast isn’t open for business yet, that means that an official website wouldn’t be available for reservations to be accepted. Also, if the electricity is out, then that means an official phone number wouldn’t be working for people to call for reservations. It seems like the screenwriters cared so much about Jess and David’s relationship that the plot ended up suffering.

 

  • Is it just me or did it seem like Nell’s health issues were completely glossed over? I was surprised to see Nell with an oxygen tank, as I’m used to seeing her as an independent woman who usually doesn’t rely on anyone or anything for help. I’m not sure if Diane Ladd, the actress who portrays Nell, or just the character is dealing with a medical situation. Whatever the case, I hope that things work out for the better.

 

  • Back in February, at the Winter TCA Event, Hallmark announced that a Chesapeake Shores movie was greenlit. Because this season of the show only received six episodes, it was speculated that the movie would make up for the limited number of episodes. But I’ve heard that this movie won’t premiere until next year. So, this makes the idea of the fourth season having less than the usual ten episodes seem meaningless.

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.

Are you looking forward to the season finale? What do you think will happen? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Steering the Ship

At the beginning of this episode of Chesapeake Shores, the U.S.S. Kelsey, an important prop in Carrie and Caitlyn’s school play, has been destroyed due to a water leak. This prop has been used in this particular play for fifty-three years, even recording the signatures of former cast members. Abby, Bree, and Jess are obviously heart-broken about the U.S.S. Kelsey’s fate, as Abby and Bree clean up what remains of their school-time memento. On this show, it seems like everyone is trying to steer their ship. In some episodes, the characters’ journeys are smooth sailing. At other times, they end up facing stormy seas. While not as broken as the U.S.S. Kelsey, each character does have flaws in their ship’s foundation. As long as they have an anchor to keep them grounded and a compass to guide them, each character will eventually find their way.

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 4

Name: Breaking Hearts and Playing Parts

 

Abby’s story: Abby, once again, volunteers at her daughters’ school. This time, she agrees to help with school play preparations. Luckily, Jay is the play’s director, so she has a friend to spend time with. As mentioned in this re-cap’s introduction, the U.S.S. Kelsey ends up becoming destroyed. When Jay asks her if she knows anyone who can help re-build this prop, she asks Mick for his assistance the next day. Unfortunately, he turns down her offer. One day, during play rehearsal, she discovers that Trace has volunteered to re-build the U.S.S. Kelsey. She carries on small talk with him, but that’s the extent of their interaction. Later in the episode, Abby and Jay talk about her relationship with Trace. She tells him that she and Trace used to date, but are now just friends. Jay and Abby also agree with share lunch together. When their lunch outing arrives, they also invite members of Abby’s family. They end up having a good time, with Jay even sharing his fries with Bree. At the end of the episode, Abby and Jay marvel at Trace’s handiwork as they take one final look at the new U.S.S. Kelsey. During their observation, Abby notices that Trace preserved all of the signatures from the old ship.

 

Trace’s story: When Mark Hall makes one final offer to make Emma a singing sensation, Emma politely turns him down. This decision pleases Trace, as he has rarely seen people tell Mark no. One day, at The Bridge, Trace meets Jay for the first time. The purpose of this meeting was for Jay to convince Trace to re-build the U.S.S. Kelsey. When Trace learns that Carrie and Caitlyn told Jay about his handiwork, Trace agrees to volunteer. Trace shows up to play rehearsal one day, which happens to be on the same day that Abby is helping with the play. Abby and Trace share small talk, but that’s about it. After getting to know Jay a little bit better, Trace realizes that Abby may be starting a new relationship. For the majority of this episode, he has been torn between wanting to get back together with Abby and potentially beginning a new relationship of his own. At The Bridge, one night, Trace helps Emma with an original song. During this song-writing session, Emma kisses Trace. After Trace kisses Emma back, he shares that he probably shouldn’t have done that. The next day, Trace apologizes for the unplanned kiss. During this interaction with Emma, he learns that one of Mark’s offers to Emma involved her trying to recruit Trace back on tour. This discovery makes Trace lose trust in Emma.

 

Mick’s story: Mick’s legal situation just became more complicated. His former business partner is trying to make a deal where Mick is named co-conspirator. Mick’s lawyer also suggests that he hire a PR firm to help him establish a presence on social media. Because of everything that going on in his work-life, Mick’s personal life has been affected. One day, he ends up cancelling plans with Megan because of a meeting with his lawyer. He apologizes to her by giving her a red rose and explaining what’s been happening. Mick shares that he’s overwhelmed by the changes that are taking place around him. Megan forgives him and accepts the rose.Megan’s story: At the beginning of this episode, Megan is busy planning Kevin and Sarah’s wedding, as well as creating a vision board for herself. When discussing her progress with Nell, Megan is told that she should focus less on the past and more on the present. During lunch with the O’Brien family, Kevin and Sarah announce that they recently eloped. This shocks the family, especially Megan. Not only that, but she’s also heart-broken that her chances of planning their wedding are now gone. When they ask her if everything’s ok, she tells them that she’s fine. But, in reality, she’s trying her best to hide her true feelings. Throughout the episode, Megan processes what has just happened. She also realizes that Mick has been trying to process what’s been going on in his life. At the end of the episode, Kevin and Sarah reveal that, even though they eloped, they want to organize a wedding reception. This pleases Megan and makes Mick happy for her. Mick and Megan share a gesture that indicates that they are growing closer in their relationship.

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

Bree’s story: Bree is dealing with the aftermath of her break-up with Simon. She changes the end of her play, which pleases Hannah and is a better fit for the story. But, no matter what she does, she still feels upset about Simon leaving her life. The people around her have been understanding of her situation, from Abby inviting her to help clean up the U.S.S. Kelsey’s remains to Jay sharing his fries with her. Trying to take her mind off of her dilemma, she helps David and Jess with a personal problem. But, when she helps them solve their issues, she realizes that she’s the only sibling in the O’Brien family that isn’t in a relationship or starting a new relationship. This causes Jess, David, and Connor to comfort Bree.

 

Jess’s story: Jess and David are trying to choose an overarching style for their bed & breakfast. Jess wants the bed & breakfast to have a traditional look, complete with a couch from their previous bed & breakfast. David thinks the facility should adopt a modern style, using a day bed that he cherishes. When they ask Connor for advice, he is unable to help them make this decision. For the majority of the episode, David and Jess are finding it difficult to come up with a solution. When Danielle, Connor, and Bree hang out at the new bed & breakfast one day, Bree suggests that Jess and David try to look at the problem from the other person’s perspective. This technique helps them realize the importance of their beloved piece of furniture. They both come to an agreement where they not only get to incorporate both of their styles into the bed & breakfast, but they also get to create a new, shared style for the main sitting area.

 

Connor’s story: Connor is figuring out where his relationship with Danielle stands. He feels that Danielle telling him “I Love You” complicates things. He turns to various family members for advice, including Nell. She tells him that it’s important to “like who you love”. While helping Kevin move his belongings to Sarah’s house, Connor tells Danielle that he loves her. But, Connor still feels like something isn’t right in his and Danielle’s relationship. When he is comforting Bree at David and Jess’s bed & breakfast, Danielle doesn’t approach Bree to console her. The next day, at dinner, Connor addresses Danielle’s dislike toward her family. She doesn’t provide an answer, but instead talks about how she doesn’t like to spend time with his family. This makes him realize that he and Danielle want very different things in life. He shares this thought with her.

Ship steering wheel pattern background
Ship steering wheel pattern image created by Jemastock at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by jemastock – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

 

  • In this episode, I found some of the wardrobe choices to be very interesting. In the very first scene, I noticed that all of the O’Brien sisters are wearing a white shirt. In another scene, Hannah and Bree wear outfits that are color coordinated. Hannah’s shirt is black and her jacket is maroon. Meanwhile, Bree’s jacket is black and her shirt is maroon.

 

  • In the scene where Connor and Danielle realize that they want different things in life, Andrew Francis and Britt Irvin gave one of the best performances in any Hallmark project they’ve ever appeared in! It was both emotional and powerful, things that are needed for a scene like this. It makes me wish that Andrew and Britt would receive a lead role in a Hallmark film.

 

  • Ever since the third season, it feels like Chesapeake Shores has plateaued. In the first two seasons, the show had a healthy balance between being story-driven and character-driven. From season three on, the series has become so character-driven, that it comes at the plot’s expense. Every time an interesting subplot is about to be introduced or an overarching plot can be revisited, the screenwriters don’t take advantage of those creative opportunities. What also doesn’t help is how this season is only six episodes long.

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.

How do you feel about this episode? Do you think that Kevin and Sarah made the right decision? Please state your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: Stupidly Beautiful

In this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Jess asks if something can be “stupidly beautiful”. This question made me contemplate the meaning behind her phrase. What does it mean to be “stupidly beautiful”? Maybe it means receiving wise advice that could be tough to hear, but needs to be heard. This can be making time more useful for yourself, even when it means making up for lost time. Going over necessary decisions that may not be easy to make could also fit this definition. Because Jess’s phrase was not given an official definition, the meaning behind it is up for interpretation. There are other aspects of this season of Chesapeake Shores that can also be left for interpretation. What’s different about things like Mick’s legal woes or Trace’s relationship problems is how they’re going to be resolved sooner or later. Let’s see how these and other situations are explored in this week’s re-cap of Chesapeake Shores!

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 2

Name: Leap of Faith

 

Abby’s story: During a business meeting, Abby confronts the CEO of the financing management that was introduced in the previous episode. When she’s questioning him about the lack of documents in the company’s file, her boss interrupts the meeting. In a private conversation, Abby shares that she thinks the financing management is participating in a ponzi scheme because of how the company structure allows more money to come in through new clients. Her boss tells her that she shouldn’t say anything about the situation until they have more information. Abby becomes conflicted about what she should do. At Sally’s Café, she asks Trace for advice on what actions to take. He tells her that no matter what decision she makes, even if it’s a difficult one, it needs to be made. This encourages Abby to email the financing management’s CEO about sending her business firm the rest of the requested files. The next day, Abby’s boss tells her that she was been taken off the assignment because the financing management went to a different business firm. She defends her decision to email the CEO by stating that she doesn’t want people to be financially hurt. While attending an open house with her sisters, Abby reveals to Bree that she plans on reporting the financing management to the authorities. Bree encourages her to do what she feels is right. Abby ends up filing a report on the financing management. The following day, at work, Abby’s boss tells her that not only is the financing management being investigated, but that Abby is being suspended during this time period. Despite being upset about the situation, her boss is proud of her for following her instincts.

Trace’s story: Donovan, the famous country singer from Season 3, pays Trace a visit in Chesapeake Shores. During his stay, he tries to convince Trace to go back on tour. Trace stands by his decision to stay home, telling him that he has more important priorities to tend to. In an effort to change Trace’s mind, Donovan invites him to sing a duet at The Bridge. After he leaves, Donovan gives Trace a guitar as a gift. Also, at The Bridge, Trace helps Emma by taking the blame for her mistake, which involved not putting away cleaning supplies where they belong. Chris, the financial advisor from Season 3, tells Trace that he will be handing over his control of The Bridge back to Trace. This is because Mick thought it’d be a good idea and because Chris is managing waffle houses in another state. Also, in this episode, Trace gives Abby advice about her situation at work.

Mick’s story: Mick visits his business partner again, in an attempt to find the truth. During their meeting, the business partner admits to not seeing eye-to-eye with Mick when it came to business ethics. He even threatens Mick, telling him that he will be accused of being a co-conspirator if he says anything about the situation. Later in the episode, Mick learns that his business partner has officially been indicted and how there’s a chance that Mick could also take the fall for his business partner’s wrong-doing. When he consults with his brother, Thomas, about the situation, he is met with good and bad news. The good news is that there’s a way to prove that he had no knowledge of his business partner’s whereabouts. The bad news is this situation will cause Mick’s reputation to be tarnished to a certain extent. Also, in this episode, Mick helps Jess save her bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, this building is unsalvageable, so there’s not much that Mick or Jess can do. Mick also gives Connor advice about respecting the wishes of his employer.

Megan’s story: Megan is enthusiastic about Sarah and Kevin’s engagement. She volunteers to help Sarah plan the wedding. Megan goes dress shopping with Sarah and coordinates other details for the celebration. When Mick confronts Megan about her involvement in the wedding planning process, she shares that her participation allows her to make up for her absence when it came to planning other family functions. Mick reminds her that because the children are all grown up, she has more time to do the things she wants to do. This makes her feel better about her situation.

dress_01
Wedding dress image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin’s story: During an emergency call with his EMT team, Kevin saves the life of his former coach. When he asks him if he has any family to contact, his coach reveals that he’s all alone now. Throughout the episode, Kevin reflects on his memories involving his former coach as well as regrets about not keeping in better contact with him. He talks to Sarah about how his coach affected him at a critical time in his life. He also shares memories with Connor and Trace. At the end of the episode, Kevin surprises his former coach with a mini pep-rally in his honor, inviting former team-mates to the event.

Bree’s story: At one of the rehearsals for her play, Simon comes to surprise her. With him returning from a book tour, Bree is thrilled to have him back in her life. He’s even happy for her when her book surpasses his on a bestseller list. But the more time they spend together, the more she realizes that Simon has, somehow, changed. Throughout the episode, Bree tries to figure out what’s going on. Despite the fact that she can not find an answer, she still feels like something is wrong. When Simon and Bree read through a scene from her play, Bree expects to be kissed by him. This is because a kiss was written into the scene. After Simon kisses her, Bree continues to feel like something isn’t right.

Jess’s story: When David and Jess visit the Inn, they discover that the building is in worse shape than they thought. She asks Mick to help save her Inn. After contemplating every possibility, Mick reveals to Jess that there’s no way that the Inn could be salvaged. Jess is upset by this because she feels that the Inn was the first thing that she could call her own. While still feeling bad about losing the Inn, David suggests looking for a new bed and breakfast through a real agent agency. Jess and David attend an open house later in the episode. At first, Jess doesn’t like the way the house looks. But after she enters the house and goes through some of the rooms, she changes her mind about purchasing a new bed and breakfast. When Jess and David visit the Inn one last time, David surprises her with a sprinkler from the grounds. This is to remind Jess that no matter where they go, they’ll always have a piece of the past with them.

Connor’s story: While Connor is thrilled to take his environmental case to court, Thomas is not. He expresses his frustrations toward Connor and tells him not to take the case to court. Connor asks Mick for advice about what to do. Mick tells him he needs to respect Thomas as his employer. Later in the episode, Connor and Thomas tell the opposing side of the environmental case that they don’t want to take the case to court. The opposing side agrees, giving both of them a settlement to sign. When Connor reads the fine print, he discovers that he and Thomas won the case. After the meeting, Thomas tells Connor that even though the case worked in his favor, he shouldn’t have taken matters into his own hands. As a result, Connor is assigned to research work.

water grass.
Sprinkler image created by Whatwolf at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/water”>Water photo created by whatwolf – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:
• While it’s great to see Megan helping Sarah plan her wedding, I was wondering why Sarah’s mom wasn’t participating in wedding festivity preparations. She, as well as Sarah’s dad and brothers, was introduced last season and Sarah’s family doesn’t live that far away from Chesapeake Shores. I’m hoping that Sarah’s mom appears in upcoming episodes to assist Sarah in planning her wedding.

• Looking back on this episode, I think that Kevin’s story should have been fleshed out more. It seemed like that narrative was glossed over, not exploring the themes of regret and mentorship as fully as they could have. What I think would make up for this is Kevin and Sarah inviting Kevin’s former coach to their wedding.

• In my last Evenings At The Shore post, I predicted that Trace and Emma would become a couple, even if the relationship is temporary. After seeing the way Trace interacted with Emma in this episode, I’m starting to change my prediction. I’m predicting that Emma will think Trace likes her, but he will still try to win over Abby’s heart again. When Emma confronts Trace about her feelings for him, he will reject the idea for starting a relationship with her. This will not only make Emma upset, but she will frame Abby by making her look more jealous than she really is.

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 of this episode? Which story was your favorite? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!
Sally Silverscreen

Evenings At The Shore: A Spoonful of Ice Cream

Another year, another season of Chesapeake Shores! After a very eventful week on 18 Cinema Lane, it’s nice to write a post that’s different from the usual movie review. Like last year, I will continue to re-cap Chesapeake Shores and share my thoughts on certain aspects of each episode. What’s interesting is how this show is receiving only six episodes. While shorter seasons for Hallmark Channel shows is nothing new, it seems rather late in the game for this particular series to get fewer episodes in their fourth season. However, Chesapeake Shores is receiving a movie, so maybe that is a reason for this decision. In the season finale re-cap post from last season, I shared that Season 3 of Chesapeake Shores was fine, but not as good as the first two seasons. My hope for Season 4 is for this show is get back on track and continue to tell stories that are engaging and intriguing. Now, let the re-capping of Chesapeake Shores’ fourth season begin!

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

Chesapeake Shores Season 4 poster
Chesapeake Shores created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Chesapeake%20Shores%20Season%204&episodeIndex=4001.

Season: 4

Episode: 1

Name: The End is Where We Begin

 

Abby’s story: It seems like Abby has moved forward from her relationship with Trace. At work, she attempts to recruit a new client to her business firm. When she meets the potential new client, the CEO of a financing management, everything seems fine. That is, until she checks in on their numbers. The more she looks at it, the more she feels they don’t add up. She tells Mick and Connor about her situation, where Connor suggests that the financing management’s CEO could be taking part in a ponzi scheme. Later in the episode, Abby crosses paths with Trace during her morning jog. When he apologizes and tries to convince her to start their relationship over, Abby refuses and continues with her jog.

 

Trace’s story: Trace returns home from his band tour. He tries to call Abby, but she won’t answer his calls. When he goes to Abby’s house to deliver flowers, Mick answers the door instead. The next day, when Mick pays him a visit, Trace tells him that he’s staying home for good this time. Mick, however, is not convinced. At The Bridge, Trace meets Emma Rogers, a bartender who also happens to be a songwriter. He tries to persuade her to sing in front of The Bridge’s audience. Emma ends up turning down the opportunity, saying that she doesn’t sing in front of people. Later that day, Connor visits Trace at The Bridge. When Trace tells Connor about his issues, Connor tells Trace where Abby is going to be so he can meet up with her. At the end of the episode, Trace and Abby cross paths on Abby’s jogging trail. Trace attempts to patch up his relationship with Abby, but Abby wants no part of it.

 

Mick’s story: One morning, Mick receives word that one of his business partners is being investigated. This was caused by the business partner laying down the foundation of a property. Mick visits his business partner, who claims that he’s innocent. He also visits Trace, who says that he’s staying in Chesapeake Shores for good this time. Mick and Megan spend more time together, reminiscing about the past and reflecting on family traditions.

 

Bree’s story: Bree’s career is reaching a bright spot. Her book has not only climbed up one place on a bestseller list, but she’s looking for a producer for her new play. Throughout the episode, she meets several producers who like the script. However, Bree feels that none of them understand her work. One day, Hannah Urso, a famous writer who now works with a prestigious theater in Baltimore, visits Word Play. Bree is so excited when she finds out that Hannah wants to help her bring her story to life. When Hannah shares her thoughts on the script, Bree feels that she has finally found a producer who understands her writing.

Jewels sparkle in the golden wedding rings lying on the leather
Fancy jewelry image created by Freepic.diller at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding photo created by freepic.diller – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Kevin’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Kevin reveals to his siblings that he plans on proposing to Sarah. He hopes that he can propose to her while they are at Jess and David’s new bed & breakfast. Every time Kevin is about to propose to Sarah, he gets interrupted. One evening, he expresses his frustrations about the situation to Jess. She tells him that he shouldn’t be so focused on creating the perfect proposal. Kevin takes his sister’s advice and finally proposes to Sarah while they stop to change a tire on the side of the road. Sarah found a place where they could see the sunset over a large body of water. When Kevin asks Sarah to marry him, she, of course, says yes.

 

Jess’s story: Jess takes a trip to visit David at their new bed & breakfast. She invites Kevin and Sarah to join her on her trip. When Jess first arrives at the bed & breakfast, she’s excited about spending time with David and having her own business again. But the more time she spends at the bed & breakfast, the more she hates it. At first, she doesn’t want to tell David how she feels, especially since his parents purchased the facility for them. After she gives Kevin advice about his wedding proposal, he encourages her to be honest with David. After Kevin and Sarah leave, Jess tells David how she feels about the bed & breakfast. She learns that David feels the exact same way about the facility. They plan to own a bed & breakfast in Chesapeake Shores instead.

 

Connor’s story: One day, after work, Connor learns from Danielle that she just received a promotion. Not only that, she reveals that she now has a new car. Connor expresses his happiness for his girlfriend. At work, Connor negotiates with the opposing side of an environmental case. This assignment causes Connor to start reflecting on his career. When he meets up with Danielle and a friend, they remind him of how, in law school, he said he wanted to be a litigator. This makes him think about his future even more. At Sally’s Café, Connor talks to Abby about the future of his career. Abby shares her business situation with Connor. The next day, Connor makes the decision to take his environmental case to court, which shocks the opposing side. He also helps Trace meet up with Abby again.

182361-OWOO51-765
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.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Something that Jess said in this episode really concerned me. When she was talking about the bed & breakfast with Kevin, she tells him that it reminds her of David’s parents, but in a negative way. Whenever the subject of David’s parents is brought up, David seems to have a negative opinion toward them. If Jess and David are dating seriously enough to ever consider marriage, they’re going to have to deal with David’s family for a very long time. Besides, it’s been said that if you marry a significant other, you’re also marrying their family. Hopefully, Jess and David revolve this issue in the near future.

 

  • While I’m happy that Kevin and Sarah got engaged, I really hope this show doesn’t adopt the “planning-a-wedding-in-an-unrealistic-time-period” cliché. I’ve said on more than one occasion that I am not a fan of it. After this year’s “June Weddings” line-up, it seems like Hallmark is trying to move away from this cliché. So, I would really like to see them continue to do so.

 

  • Here’s a prediction I have for Season 4: Trace and Emma become a couple. This causes Abby to get jealous, leading her to find a new male significant other. Despite these choices, Trace and Abby still have feelings for one another. So, they end their temporary relationships and get back together.

 

  • I thought this episode was just fine. It felt like overarching stories were beginning, instead of focusing on episodic subplots. If the rest of the season takes this story-telling approach, it would be very different from the other series on Hallmark Channel.

Starry night landscape with reeds
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What are your thoughts on the season premiere? Do you have any predictions for Season 4? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play Review

As the sun will soon set on the season of Summer, the sun is setting on this year’s Aurora Teagarden Month. Since I’ve reviewed the previous two films, it only makes sense to talk about the last movie, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play. In my review of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: An Inheritance to Die For, I said that I wasn’t going to get my hopes up about something I saw in the trailer for the next film. That “something” was a murder mystery play. Because I was disappointed by the murder mystery party in the aforementioned film, I figured that the murder mystery play was only going to make a brief appearance in Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play. Like I do with every film I see and/or review, I watched the movie with an open mind and low expectations, hoping that I would be proven wrong. Was I pleasantly surprised or proven right? Check out my review as Aurora Teagarden Month prepares to take its curtain call!

Aurora Teagarden 12 poster
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=307&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Aurora+Teagarden+Mysteries+A+Very+Foul+Play.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Once again, the cast in this installment of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries was top-notch! It was great to see returning characters interact with new characters. Ever since Dylan Sloane joined the series in Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: The Disappearing Game, his character, Phillip, has become a key member in this overarching story. Through his acting talents, Dylan has become unforgettable in the community of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The amount of believability and versatility he brought to his role in Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play helped me stay invested in his story as well as raise the stakes in this movie. Matthew James Dowden had such a pleasant on-screen presence in this latest film! He portrayed a new character named Robert Brown. With a healthy dose of likability, Matthew made his character favorable enough to not be too obvious in who he is or what he’s doing. What works in his favor is that he appeared in a Hallmark mystery film prior to being cast in this particular movie.

 

A new location: Because Aurora and her friends and family attended a Mystery & Crime Convention, the whole movie took place in an out-of-town hotel, as well as the surrounding area. From what I remember, this is the first time the Aurora Teagraden series had a film take place outside the typical small hometown and/or usual settings. Since Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play took place outside of Lawrenceton, it gave the story and mystery a new perspective. Even though Aurora always takes matters into her owns hands when it comes to solving the crime, she is compelled even more to find justice when a member of her family is falsely accused of the crime. This is also caused by the police force being different from the one in Aurora’s hometown. Because she doesn’t have connections with the police in this mystery, this forces Aurora to be even more resourceful than in previous films. What’s so great about Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play is that, with the new location, it gives this series a breath of fresh air. Even after four years and over ten films, the Aurora Teagarden series always find a way to be creative and engaging!

 

A sense of teamwork: In previous Aurora Teagarden films, audience members have seen various characters help Aurora solve the film’s mystery. But, as I just mentioned, all of the key characters were in a new setting. This means that they lacked some of the usual resources that they use in the series. It was harder for some more than others, especially Lynn. Instead of seeing it as a disadvantage, the characters used their surroundings to their advantage by working as a team and making the best of their situation. What helped them was having a group of people with unique talents and insight. For example, Nick Miller is a psychology professor, allowing him to think of possible motives for each suspect. Meanwhile, Arthur and Lynn are police officers, so they were able to give their perspective on the case. Seeing the camaraderie of the characters was entertaining, even when it came to characters who usually don’t get along very well. I feel that a story element like this could have only worked for an already established series.

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What I didn’t like about the film:

A slower pace: It seems like in this year’s Aurora Teagarden Month, the pace has been a constant issue. It has made the movies feel slower than they should. In Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play, the pace caused the film to feel a little bit drawn out. One example is the part of the story where Phillip is being threatened with an arrest. Hopefully, next year’s Aurora Teagarden Month can resolve this flaw.

 

Some scenes being shorter than others: What I noticed while watching Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play is how some scenes ended up being shorter than others. An example of this is when Sally and Robert attend the victim’s funeral. Just when they were about to make a big discovery or say something important, the movie would quickly move on to the next scene. While I understand the intent for having some of these scenes be short, it felt a bit choppy within the film’s overall flow.

 

The “building condos” cliché: This part of the movie didn’t bother me as much as the first two points did. However, I felt that this cliché needed to be addressed. The more Hallmark movies I watch, the more I notice that whenever there’s a character who’s a contractor, architect, builder, or businessperson, they are almost always planning on putting condos into a particular neighborhood. This idea is usually met with disdain and objection. In this recent Aurora Teagarden film, one of the suspects’ plans was to purchase a piece of land in an effort to build condos on it. I’ve never understood why this cliché is incorporated into films so much. Sure, it can provide a conflict to the plot. But, in a film like Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play, this cliché was unnecessary.

12 size
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My overall impression:

Out of all the films that premiered during Aurora Teagarden Month, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play was the best one! There were a number of things that made this film good. An overarching example was having the story and mystery take place in a new location. It provided a new perspective and a breath of fresh air. The murder mystery play that I mentioned in the introduction made a satisfying appearance in the film! When it comes to the first Aurora Teagarden Month, however, I’d say that it was just fine. The first movie, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Game of Cat and Mouse was decent, while Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: An Inheritance to Die For ended up being ok. On the bright side, there were no films in this line-up that were bad. The Aurora Teagarden series is now the longest running mystery movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries! With the series turning five years old next year, the creative team behind the Aurora Teagarden movies will have to step up their game if they want Aurora Teagarden Month to be an even bigger success. At this point, I think that everyone involved at Hallmark’s second network knows what they’re doing.

 

Overall score: 7.9 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on Aurora Teagarden Month? Would you like to see this television event return next year? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Edward, My Son Review + 70 Follower Thank You

Two weeks ago, 18 Cinema Lane received 70 followers! The reason why I waited this long to publish my 70 follower dedication post is to decide whether I should review Edward, My Son or The Secret Garden. I ended up choosing Edward, My Son because I haven’t heard many people talk about the film. In fact, I had never heard of this movie until this month. When I chose to review Edward, My Son, I discovered that it was based on a play. I also learned that it was about a father who wanted to protect the well-being and assets of his son. Curious about how this father was going to complete his mission, I became very intrigued by this story. With that, it’s now time for me to review my 14th movie in this series, Edward, My Son!

Edward, My Son poster
Edward, My Son poster created by MGM-British and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Image found at http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/73917/Edward-My-Son/#.

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: I thought Edward, My Son had a good cast! Spencer Tracy’s and Deborah Kerr’s performance was one of the most memorable parts of this film! Both of them brought the emotional intensity and versatility that helped their portrayals of Arnold and Evelyn Boult be as strong as they were. All of their emotions appeared very natural, providing depth to their characters and to any given scene. Mervyn Johns’ performance in Edward, My Son was such a pleasant surprise! He convincingly portrayed the terrified nature of his character, Harry Simpkin. Even though this character was not on-screen very often, Mervyn found a way to make this character as memorable as possible.

 

  • The evolution of Arnold and Evelyn Boult: Throughout the film, Arnold and Evelyn Boult evolve as individuals. This process started because of the actions and choices of Arnold. As time goes on, Evelyn changes as a person, being negatively affected by Arnold’s decisions. The way that Arnold and Evelyn evolve over the course of the film was very effective. This was because of how well-written and well-acted these characters were. Arnold and Evelyn’s evolution also effectively showed how time was passing in the story.

 

  • The staging of the sets: Before watching Edward, My Son, I found out this movie was based on a play. When I saw the film, all of the sets reminded me of scenes that could be found within a play. In Edward, My Son, there is no action and very few transitions between locations. The story itself doesn’t seem too complex. These factors helped this play make a smooth transition to the screen. The only thing about this movie that felt cinematic was any time Arnold spoke directly to the audience.

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What I didn’t like about the film:

  • An Absence of Edward: Even though this movie is titled Edward, My Son, Edward never makes an on-screen appearance. In fact, Edward is only incorporated into the film through the dialogue of other characters. Because of this creative choice, it treats Edward and his story like an afterthought. Instead, the primary plot focuses on Edward’s father’s rise to power and fortune. The creative team behind this film did not show and tell their audience about Edward. They never give them the opportunity to get to know and connect with him as a character. Since the audience was not given this chance, the things that happen in Edward’s personal life don’t feel emotionally effective.

 

  • A longer run-time: Edward, My Son is almost two hours. This caused the story to feel a bit drawn out. It also made the film end about 10 to 20 minutes too late. Personally, I think Edward, My Son should have been at least an hour and ten minutes. If this were the case, then the story could have been a bit more condensed.

 

  • An uncompelling story: As I’ve already said, the primary plot of Edward, My Son is about Arnold’s, Edward’s father’s, rise to power and fortune. Since I was more interested in learning about Edward, I didn’t really think Arnold’s story was compelling. Watching Arnold progress from a caring father and husband with good intentions to a self-centered, power hungry man was a little bit interesting. However, it wasn’t interesting enough to make me, as an audience member, satisfied. Had the movie showed the points of view of both Arnold and Edward, I think it would have added intrigue to the overall narrative.

Jewels sparkle in the golden wedding rings lying on the leather
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My overall impression:

Edward, My Son was an ok film. It definitely had the pieces to be a good, quality project. However, the biggest issue I had with Edward, My Son was the lack of Edward. Even though Edward is not an on-stage character in the play, I didn’t like how Edward did not appear in the movie. The film focused more on Arnold and the changes he experiences over the course of twenty-three years. Therefore, the title should have been more reflective of the overall narrative. In my opinion, I think that Edward should have been an on-screen character. We not only could have gotten to know him, we also could have seen how his father’s choices affected him. It also would have been a great opportunity for an actor to either start their career or help their career grow. I’m guessing there were several actors, at the time, who would have wanted to accept a role in a movie like this. If Edward was an on-screen character, it could have helped an actor achieve a “standing ovation” that they had probably worked very hard to earn. Sadly, this opportunity was not available because of the creative choices that were made for this film. That is the one thing I will take away after watching Edward, My Son. Thank you so much to all my 70 followers! Your support of this blog really means a lot to me!

 

Overall score: 6 out of 10

 

What did you think of my review? Is there a movie from 1949 that is your favorite? Please tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen