Sunset Over Hope Valley: For Better or Worse

Before I start this When Calls the Heart re-cap, I’d like to remind everyone that Thursday, April 2nd, is the last day to cast your vote for the Best Supporting Actress of the 2nd Annual Gold Sally Awards! The next poll will be posted on the April 3rd! Here is the link to the poll:

 

It’s time to vote for the Best Supporting Actress of 2020’s Gold Sally Awards

 

It’s hard to believe that Jesse and Clara’s wedding is the third one that has taken place on When Calls the Heart. So many milestones have happened on this show in the six years it has aired on Hallmark Channel. From being the longest running program in the network’s history to its consistent ratings, the show has found so much success in less than ten years. But, like any show, When Calls the Heart is not perfect. As I mentioned in last week’s re-cap post, the creative team behind the program experienced backlash after Jack’s death. They also had to deal with the “Abigail situation” last year, causing the show to experience a temporary delay. Despite these flaws, the show has survived each situation. The fanbase has stuck by When Calls the Heart’s side and cheered it on, which helped keep the show running. There are both positive and negative qualities to this show. But since it has left a special place in the hearts of their fans, it has become a program worth fighting for. These aspects make me wonder if When Calls the Heart is like a relationship?

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

When Calls the Heart Season 7 poster
When Calls the Heart poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=When%20Calls%20the%20Heart%20Season%207&episodeIndex=7001.

Season: 7

Episode: 6

Name: In Perfect Unity

 

Major Story:

For the majority of the episode, Clara and Jesse make last minute preparations for their wedding. But as the day of the wedding approaches, Clara becomes more reflective toward the past. At the café, Clara shares with Bill that she’s been thinking about her deceased parents. Bill tells her that they would have been proud of her and he would have wanted someone like her to be his daughter. The current wedding also makes Clara think about her first wedding. The night before the ceremony, Clara shares her fears with Elizabeth about losing Jesse, similar to how she lost Peter. Elizabeth reminds Clara not to worry about “what ifs” and that the time she spends with Jesse is the most valuable part of their relationship. On the day of the wedding, Clara and Jesse’s plans for an outdoor wedding don’t work out, as it ends up raining for the whole day. In an instant, Elizabeth decides to host the wedding and the reception at the saloon. During a two-hour time-frame, Elizabeth and several of Hope Valley’s citizens come together to set up the venue. The wedding and reception itself run smoothly, with Jesse and Clara receiving the ceremony of their dreams. At the end of the episode, Elizabeth ends up catching Clara’s bouquet.

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Bride and Groom image created by Freepik at freepik.com  <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/nice-couple-wedding-invitation_841530.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding vector created by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

Minor Story:

At recess, Robert approaches Elizabeth. He reveals to her that he’s been thinking about becoming a Mountie. This conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Pastor Zeke. Later that day, Elizabeth continues the conversation she and Robert started at recess. While learning more about Robert’s reasons for choosing this profession, she discovers that he plans on abandoning his education in order to start his Mountie training. Elizabeth suggests that Robert should spend a day with Nathan, so he can see what it’s like to be a Mountie. After Nathan agrees, Robert visits Nathan to gain insight about his potential occupation. While there, Robert believes that the prisoner who is currently in jail could be a nice person. Nathan warns Robert not to become emotionally involved when it comes to any Mountie related situation. The next day, Nathan and some of his fellow Mounties are in the process of transferring the aforementioned prisoner. During this transfer, the prisoner tries to escape. However, Nathan catches the prisoner before the event can cause more fear for the citizens of Hope Valley. After this event, Robert tells Nathan that he’s not sure if he wants to be a Mountie anymore. This is because he doesn’t feel he is brave enough to be a hero like Nathan. Nathan confesses that he doesn’t always feel brave and that when he was Robert’s age, he didn’t feel ready to become a Mountie. At Jesse and Clara’s wedding, Elizabeth tells Nathan that Robert has decided not to become a Mountie. She shares with Nathan that Robert wants to focus on his education and be a kid.

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Mountie face image created by Bakar015 at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/a-set-of-canada-icons_1050671.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food vector created by Bakar015 – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Even though the saloon looked visually appealing, I think the main story’s conflict was more on the predictable side. When Calls the Heart has done a good job this season what it comes to subverting expectations. I would have liked to see this same story-telling approach applied to Jesse and Clara’s wedding. As I mentioned in last week’s re-cap post, I was disappointed by their wedding taking place indoors. It makes me wonder why Jesse and Clara didn’t just receive a Christmas wedding in the first place?

 

  • I liked Robert’s storyline, but I don’t think it should have been featured in this episode. Because Jesse and Clara’s wedding was an overarching event within the episode, the episode itself should have kept its focused on the wedding. Robert’s storyline in the context of the main story felt random.

 

  • I loved Clara’s wedding dress! It had a different style from Rosemary’s and Elizabeth’s dresses and it suited Eva well! Like the previous two dresses, I hope Hallmark hosts a contest where the winner receives Clara’s dress!
Red sunset clouds over trees.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a>.<a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on Jesse and Clara’s wedding? Do you have any predictions on who the next couple to get married will be? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar Review

Now that I’m back from my week-long hiatus, it’s time for me to get back to doing what I love: talking about movies! As the first order of business, I will review Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, my first post since jumping back into blogging after my temporary break. The first time I talked about Signed, Sealed, Delivered’s latest installment was back in May, when Hallmark Movies & Mysteries gave the film an official movie page on their website. I also talked about Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar in two June Word on the Street posts: when the film’s synopsis was released and when I shared my thoughts on the movie’s trailer. As I’ve mentioned before, Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a series that I find to be very hit-or-miss. But, like I do with every movie I watch, I gave it a fair chance and watched it with an open mind. With that said, all I have to do now is put a stamp on this review and send it out to my readers!

Signed Sealed Delivered To the Altar poster
Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Signed%2c+Sealed%2c+Delivered+To+the+Altar

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: An element to this series that has remained consistent is the quality of the acting performances! Whether it is the main cast or guest supporting actors, everyone involved in these movies brings out the best in their acting abilities. Specifically, in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, two actresses that really stood out to me were Kristin Booth and Jessica Sipos! Ever since the very beginning, Kristin has always been one of the strongest actors in the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series. Especially in this latest film, Kristin effortlessly brought the versatility and emotion to the multi-dimensional role of Shane McInerney. For her very first Hallmark movie, Jessica pulled off a great performance! I have also seen Jessica’s performance on Chesapeake Shores, where she has proven to be a great addition to the series!

 

The on-screen chemistry: Throughout this series, the characters of Oliver, Shane, Norman, and Rita have grown as individuals and in their respective relationships. This particular movie focused a lot on Norman and Rita’s relationship, as they were the engaged couple who were about to get married. Geoff Gustafson and Crystal Lowe always appear as if their characters truly love each other. Each of Norman and Rita’s quirks complement one another and their relationship comes across as sweet and genuine. Kristin and Eric Mabius also had great on-screen chemistry! Both of them effectively gave a convincing performance of two people in a growing, as well as blossoming, relationship. What helps is each of these on-screen couples has consistently appeared and worked together throughout the lifespan of the series, giving each actor the time to truly get to know their characters and the significance they have in the lives of the others characters.

 

The messages and themes: The Signed, Sealed, Delivered series is known for delivering (no pun intended) messages and themes that are inspirational and uplifting. That was prevalent in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar. Some of the messages featured in this film deal with inner strength, the foundations of a happy marriage, and the various displays of love. These messages and themes are shared in a way that can make the audience feel good about the program they are watching. The messages and themes are effortlessly woven into the story, making it feel like they are not delivered in a preachy or overbearing way.

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

What I didn’t like about the film:

A slow pace: Most Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies have drawn out stories, as to flesh out creative ideas and character development. Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, however, felt like the stories were drawn out for too long. Because of this, it made the movie feel longer than intended.

 

The POstables owning the spotlight: Anyone who knows anything about the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series would know a good portion of the movies revolve around the four main characters (Oliver, Shane, Norman, and Rita). But last month, I shared one of my biggest critiques of this series, which was more screen and story time being devoted to the POstables than to the film’s respective mystery. In Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, I felt there was an imbalance between the story of the POstables and the mystery surrounding the wedding dress. Because Norman and Rita were finally getting married, their story took the most precedence out of all the plots in the movie. The mystery of the wedding dress was well-written, but it, ultimately, ended up getting overshadowed.

 

The under-utilization of Carol Burnett and Keb’Mo’: In my blog post about the Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar trailer, I said that not only was Keb’Mo’ featured at the beginning of the trailer, but that Carol Burnett’s appearance was also mentioned. However, I was really disappointed by their lack of screen time. In Carol’s case, her character spent the majority of her time in the movie interacting with the other characters via video-chat. As for Keb’Mo’, his character, Gabe, only appeared in one scene to sing a song. Also, Gabe’s story from Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground was shared by a secondary character to other minor characters, denying Gabe the opportunity to express his gratitude and appreciation to the POstables.

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

My overall impression:

As decent as Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar was, I can’t say it was anything worth writing home about (again, no pun intended). Because of the things I didn’t like about the movie and having the mystery of the film spoiled for me by a video on the official movie page for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, I couldn’t enjoy the film as much as I had wanted to. Just like how the trailer made me feel, the movie itself also made me feel like this could be the last Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie. My feelings about the potential finale to the series are based on things like what some of the characters said in the film and the montages during Norman and Rita’s wedding. I have not heard of any official news about new movies coming in the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series, but anything is possible. Whether this series stays or goes, it really doesn’t matter to me, as I think Hallmark Movies & Mysteries have movie series that are stronger than Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

 

Overall score: 7 out of 10

 

Have you seen Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar? Do you want the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series to continue? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen