I think the words “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” are in order, wouldn’t you say? But believe it or not, we’re killing two birds with one stone in that tiny little phrase. Two years ago today, a little after 1:00 in the afternoon, I gave birth to my very first boy. He’s named after his father and grandfather, two self-proclaimed “non Hearties”. But here’s the clincher: their names are William (Bill’s real name), and Lee, (Leeland Coulter’s endearing nickname). So the joke’s on them! I end up having a son named after two WCTH characters born on a WCTH actor’s birthday. How lucky am I?!

                 

Now, on to celebrating said WCTH actor’s special day. Since today is #WonderWednesday, we’ll be talking about a project other than our wonderful series. This was tricky, let me tell you! I’ve already reviewed her movie Chance at Romance, (back in January if you want to go look it up,) and it’s completely against my holiday purist principles to discuss a Christmas film almost 2 months before Halloween. It’ll be hard enough to talk about Marrying Father Christmas (and those like it,) in November. But I’ll live. 😉 So I broadened my horizons beyond Hallmark, and turned to her guest appearance on NCIS. She doesn’t have a whole lot of screen time, but the time she DOES have displays her incredible talent very well.

A brief backstory of her character and the plot: a hand belonging to a Navy SEAL is found in a river in Paraguay. He is presumed dead, so 2 NCIS special agents have to go inform his wife – Erin. And her name is Elizabeth here too! However, new information comes in, and the team discovers that Petty Officer Matthew Dean is alive and well…minus a hand. So they journey once again to his home to give his wife the shocking update. She said in a Home and Family interview that she has quite a bit of experience playing a grieving military fiancée or wife. Boy, does she!

Anyway, the first time we see her, the camera cuts to a view of Erin’s tear-stained face. Her eyes are bloodshot, her cheeks are flushed, and her voice is gravelly. Her mourning is so all-encompassing. We all knew she was good, but it’s so great seeing her throw herself into a small role. It proves the old saying, “There are no small parts, only small actors”; which she definitely is not!

We find out she and Matthew were childhood sweethearts. Aww! She talks about how it wasn’t unusual for him to go on a solo trip after a tour to decompress… “and when he came home, he would be my Matty again.” Double aww!

The one problem is the agents’ confusion when Elizabeth laments that she never expected her husband to die on a fishing trip in Canada. Obviously, the wife was not informed of the covert mission to Paraguay. It turns out Matthew was doing a very good deed of saving young boys from becoming child soldiers. The sad thing is we don’t get to see her reaction when she’s told her Matty is still alive; we only see her open the door. Dang it! That kind of material is GOLD!

After the team finds the petty officer, Gibbs (the main character played by Mark Harmon) hands him a satellite phone, and practically orders him to call his wife. Matthew chuckles, and says after all he’s been through, she’s the one person he’s afraid of. Then he walks up the stairs to make the call. Once again, we miss a perfect moment that we know Erin would have knocked out of the park…and I think we all would have loved to see her play a character whose love came back from the dead, right? But the little pieces we get of her are sure amazing, aren’t they? Just like her!

Happy birthday, Erin! We hope you know how much you’re loved, and you have MANY more birthdays! And all of you, have a lovely day! Enjoy the collage at the end to mark this special occasion. Pictures by Crown Media, and artwork is by Heartie Janny Joose. Awesome job, Janny! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart make your hope blossom.

               

 

           

Hi, there! Wow! Halfway through the week! Well, no reason to stand on ceremony, right? Let’s cut to the chase. This being the final Wednesday in August, (sigh! Goodbye, August!), and this was Garage Sale Mystery month, we’ll talk about…the final chapter of Garage Sale Mystery: Murder in D Minor. No additional WCTH cast and crew beyond the core family, Frank, and Neill Fearnley, (I’m telling you, they’ve GOT to have Sarah Strange guest star, and “complete the ring” so to speak,) there was a new character I really like. That character is Dean. Isn’t he fantastic? I laugh so hard every time he is on the screen! Since this is the first time we’ve seen him, I suspect this is his only appearance in a GSM movie, but does his character light up a room! When Jenn finds him lying unconscious on the floor, I was so upset! I was certain he was dead, and that seemed like a HUGE loss! I was quite relieved to find out he hadn’t been killed. Then I cracked up all over again when he shows up at Rags to Riches in all his glory on wheels. Favorite line has to be when he’s talking to Jenn: “Take it easy? What do you know about that?!” To which Jenn must reply, “Touché.” But it is a toss-up between that and his reaction to Howie saying it’s time to go. His huge groan with something to the effect of “Just when it’s getting good!” He is just a joy to watch, and you can’t help but smile when you catch a glimpse of him.

I want to talk about Jenn herself for a minute. It occurred to me I don’t talk about just her much. First of all, that blue blouse she was in is STUNNING! That was a FANTASTIC costume choice! Tasteful, elegant, flattering, shimmering…it made her even more lovely, and she’s rather lovely already. Character-wise, there were some fun things with this plot. One thing I noticed is when she and Frank go see Mr. Siles together. Frank asks her to go along because she knows antiques and the lingo that goes with them. Lots of times I wonder why she’s going along on an investigation, and would that be entirely appropriate. But the writers and Lori gave her presence a real purpose…and a magnifying glass in her purse. I’d never seen that before, had you? She becomes more Holmes-like with every passing installment.

One other aspect about Jenn was her lack of pride. Not lack in confidence, mind you, just pride. Several times in these types of movies, we see the main female character get a little puffed up, refuse outside help, then get in over her head, and need help anyway. Even though Jenn takes chances she shouldn’t sometimes, she’s VERY quick to call Frank when she’s threatened, or feels so. And unlike many other characters like her, she doesn’t turn down Frank’s offer to have a unit stationed outside her store AND home. I honestly thought she would, and I was pleasantly surprised when she accepted.

Kids’ turn! I was proud of Logan using his strength to help improve a weakness; we need more teenagers like that in the world! That coach was ticking me off though. What’s wrong with a student having a good idea to improve the team? He redeems himself at the end by scarfing down a huge slice of humble pie, and I’m glad he was smart enough to give Logan the chance he deserves. And the way he starts the whole “Look at me” campaign is just hilarious!

And Hannah. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. She’s quite the powerhouse in this film, isn’t she? She really speaks that athlete’s language, telling him about her “game plan”, and makes him listen. And even though she smiles and giggles at him a little, (WHERE WAS BRETT?!), she doesn’t let him charm her into letting him off easy. Their best interaction is: “You sure you can stand me 3 hours a day?” “As long as they’re paying me.” You go, girl! And the bangs are grown out. I think I like her better without, what do you think?

Okay, plot talk! The opening was superb! I was instantly drawn in. The melancholy piano music, which I can only guess is Fantasia in D Minor is an instant mood-setter. I was confused by the whole note-and-code thing though. I’m a piano player, a piano TEACHER, and I could NOT follow that conversation. Maybe because I’m not a code breaker as well as a musician. Speaking of the piano, did any of you catch the WCTH Easter egg? The piano itself. It’s a 1910 player piano. Hmm… 😉

There was one plot point that I had to chuckle at was Frank finding Siles. Frank NEVER finds the body! Yeah for being a police detective! AND he arrested TWO criminals! Busy boy! Man, I really didn’t know who the killer was going to be, and they held out until the bitter end! I did suspect the granddaughter, but I thought that choice was too obvious; they’d been moving away from the obvious choice, so I thought there was no way. Oops!

Well, time to fly! Have a great rest of your week, Hearties. I really hope it turns out well and enjoyable, and not too stressful. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom.

Hello, hello, everyone! Thanks for your patience yesterday; the day just got away from me. So now we’re going to review The Mask Murder, for real! So let’s not stand on ceremony, let’s get to it! First step, as usual: the WCTH (and SSD) actors. We have the usual suspects: Lori Loughlin, Steve Bacic, Eva Bourne, Connor Stanhope, and now Kevin O’Grady. Then for this installment, we have Jeffrey Ballard (Danny the artist from SSD), Hannah Pederson (Francine the fellow teacher from WCTH,) and Mel Damski (WCTH) directed.

Second step: Reviewing. I want to start with Jason and Jenn’s relationship. Since they’ve been married for a while, and bringing them together isn’t the focus of series, their romance takes a backseat in the plot. But I love how they have cute little ways to keep their spark ignited. Their running joke of the silence being golden was so funny to me. I don’t get a lot of quiet time with 4 small children, and I keep thinking that that time will increase; but obviously grown kids can create havoc too, just a different sort. Then your heart just melts into a puddle when Jason says, “Silence is only golden if I spend it with you.” So adorable! The only statement that could possibly rival that one is Jason’s stereotypical husband remark: “Honey, can I go?” after declaring he doesn’t need Jenn’s permission to help Hannah with her charity project. And let’s not forget Jason’s other endearing comment about silence later in the movie: “Besides your laughter, my favorite sound.” Aww! In my opinion, that’s right up there with, “I know you’re there Elizabeth, I know your perfume.” It’s just so sweet seeing a stable marriage featured with both parties trying their hardest to keep the flame of romance lit.

Then there are the two brand new relationships featured: Hannah and Brett, and Dani and Drew. Do you think they did that on purpose? Jenn and Jason, Dani and Drew? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s cute no matter what. Anyway, I’m really glad they brought back the good Officer Brett Ryan; it makes for great continuity in the story, and Hannah needs a nice guy in her life. And let’s be honest, he’s just really handsome! Right, ladies? 😉

Then we have Dani and Drew. Nice to finally have one of her boyfriends stick for a change, and he’s a nice guy to boot! Wow, imagine that! Dani is seeing someone who is in more than one movie, does not turn out to be the murderer, and obviously adores her. Too bad he’s shorter than she is when wearing heels, but oh well. 😀 One thing I really like about them as a couple is how secure they are. They’re not afraid to take a stroll down memory lane, and revisit all those past times. On the other hand, they’re emotionally mature enough to not live in the past, thus preventing them from making a real connection in the present time.

The non-romantic chemistry ain’t too shabby either. I never get tired of watching Frank and Jenn quibbling about case details over pancakes, especially Frank mentioning his “dad bod”, and Jenn assuring him that he looks great, so he SHOULD have the pancakes. He has those signature lines like “Here we go”, “Should I even ask why you’re here?”, and “Is it safe to assume…” Then there’s Dani in her beautiful green coat trying to be the voice of reason; and when that doesn’t work, she says in her carefree tone, “Promise me you’ll be careful.”

I still can’t believe it was the ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend who committed the murder. Maybe it’s because I’m no good at figuring out mysteries, but I think they do a great job of keeping a person guessing until the very end. The confusion is definitely heightened when the innocent people are so confrontational. Did any Postables notice that the character of Grey seemed to be something of an artist in this series like his character in SSD? Maybe it’s a talent of his in real life?

Last thing I want to mention is something from the locker Jenn and Dani buy. When they look through their newly-purchased merchandise, the ladies find a crate of mason jars from the 1900’s. So THAT’S what happened to all the jars Jack used to propose! 😀

Third step: Saying good night. Thanks for coming again, everyone. And once again, thank you SO MUCH for your lovely and thoughtful birthday wishes. They really made my day. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Continue reading “#WonderWednesday Part 2 – The Boyfriend Didn’t Do It”

Happy day, Hearties! And Postables! And, yes, it is my birthday! I’m (mumble mumble mumble)…No, I’m kidding. I’m 25…uh, plus 10. Thank you so much to all of you who have wished me a happy birthday on Facebook or Twitter, etc. Just you reading and sharing my blog, getting the word out there, is a wonderful birthday tribute. So thank you!

My husband sure did get my day off to a great start! He gave me a wonderful present that I’m sure many of you will appreciate. You can see the picture at the end of the post. And tonight, he’s keeping the kids while I go to a fiction writing class at our library. So excited! It’s the 3rd installment, and I’m learning so much about becoming a better writer! That way I can write better stories for #FanFictionFriday, and eventually write a great book. Yes, my friend Sarah and I are taking the plunge into writing a novel just for people who love quality entertainment like yourselves. It’ll take time since we’re both moms and women with busy lives, but you’ll be among the first to know when we achieve that goal!

Now down to business! If you joined us on Monday, you know that I asked for a vote as to which Garage Sale Mystery movie you wanted reviewed since there were two I hadn’t posted about yet. And the winner is, with a 67% vote…The Mask Murder. But unfortunately, with all the birthday well-wishes, my nutty children needing supervision as they “do my chores for me”, and my class, time has just run out to do the movie any justice. So please tune in tomorrow as I review Garage Sale Mystery: The Mask Murder.

And a HUGE shout-out to Ben Rosenbaum (Mike Hickam) for wishing me a happy birthday on Twitter! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!  

Well hello there! How’s everyone doing? Welcome to the #WonderWednesday edition of Back to School Week! Our district starts TOMORROW!!! YIKES! But I think we’re just about ready, so that’s one good thing. My friend Sarah and I put our heads together to come up with the perfect topic to discuss with you today, and we think we found a real gem: Summer of Dreams. Do you know it? It stars 80’s super pop star Debbie Gibson. It also happens to have LOTS of our favorite people in it too. Marcus Rosner (Charles), Ken Tremblett (Mountie Patrick O’Reilly), Lane Edwards (that same unnamed man that tipped Jack off about Rosemary), Mitchell Kummen (Gabe), Keenan Tracey (part of the Tolliver gang), aaaaannd…Pascale Hutton! Do I really NEED to say who that is? 😉 Even the writers, Neal and Tippi Dobrofsky, wrote 4 episodes of WCTH.

So how does this fit with going back to school? Well, if you haven’t seen the film, Debbie Gibson stars as Debbie Taylor, a down-on-her-luck pop star who gets dropped by her label, and is forced to go spend some “quality time” with her estranged sister Denise (Pascale) in Ohio. Denise just happens to be the assistant principal of a high school that just happens to need a music teacher for an after school program. She discovers a purpose for her life, and a little romance too.

The title is an interesting choice because all the action takes place during the school year; three months to the end, but the school year nonetheless. Pascale’s character even pulls the old “It’s a school night” line when her sister and her daughter are talking a little too long. That, and the 3 main characters are a guidance counselor, a new teacher, and an assistant principal.

I have to say, this is the most “non-Rosemary” role I’ve ever seen Pascale play. She’s the “Elizabeth” of this story, only more subdued and straight-laced. And she downplays everything! Can you believe that? Shows her talent. The first thing she says when Debbie shows up at her door is, “Is anything wrong?” Protesting, Debbie asks if something has to be wrong to visit. Denise’s answer? “Yes.” Despite the fact that she grew up in a performer’s shadow, she is kind and helpful to her sister in her time of need, even though she can’t understand how the money ran out. But she doesn’t let her sit around either. When Debbie finally confesses she’s not just on “vacay”, and Denise agrees to formally take her in, she promises to do laundry and get up earlier than 1:00 pm. I love Denise’s response; she goes into mom and principal mode. “Yes, you will…because you’ll be working.” When Debbie insists she can’t be a teacher because she knows nothing about kids, Denise comes back with, “They’re teenagers. No one does.” And when Debbie tries to back down out of sheer terror outside the classroom, Denise smoothly counters, “You cannot be nervous. You played Madison Square Garden.” It was so funny, but so great seeing Pascale in this kind of role. And she had GREAT chemistry with Debbie Gibson! Which is great because: Newsflash! Next month you’ll be seeing another review like this; there’s a sequel coming! Wedding of Dreams.

Which reminds me, let’s go back to that guidance counselor. I don’t know when I’ve seen a male love interest who is so kind from beginning to end. Usually there’s drama or head-butting in the beginning, and denial in the middle, but Noah Burns (Robert Gant) is an absolute sweetheart! He runs into Debbie while grocery shopping, something she CANNOT due. Rather than judging or giving her a critical eye, he just gets the cart unstuck for her, then shows her where the pineapple is. During the course of the movie, he listens to everything she has to say, keeps her identity a secret as requested, helps her figure out solutions to her problems, then rejoices with her when her label offers her a fat new contract, (even though it kills him inside.) One of my favorite scenes with them is when Debbie is dealing with the cancelation of her program. She charges into his office; he assures her that he’s already heard the news, and opens his candy jar to her. She shakes her head, and says, “I’m gonna need something stronger,” so he offers the licorice jar. It’s totally adorable.

Well, as usual, I have to go before I’m finished. I’ve got at least another page of notes I could comment on, buuuut my daughter does start school tomorrow. Summer of Dreams is going to air again on Saturday the 25th, so you should definitely check it out. This is Hooked Heartie signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom.