Happy New Year, my dear friends! How are all the Hearties on this fine, fresh, first day of a new decade? Did you do something fun last night, and/or today? For photographic evidence of the Clements family shenanigans, scroll down to the bottom. 😉 We had snacks and sparklers, noisemakers and nail polish, and of course, our 2020 adornments! 😀 And both my girls even made it to midnight for the first time!

This morning, naturally, we watched the Rose Parade on Hallmark Channel, our jaws dropping at all the incredible detail on those magnificent floats. We’ll be like Jack and Elizabeth a little later today, and set our New Year’s resolutions.

Well, here we are! We’ve arrived at our final holiday post for the season. Sigh! It was lovely while it lasted, and as Elizabeth declared in “Home for Christmas”: “No one wants Christmas to end.” But if it was around all the time, it wouldn’t be special. I really struggled with which movie to review for the last Christmas movie we’d discuss. Four components helped me make the decision: 1. It’s #WisemanWednesday, and this film literally used the words, “wise man”. Logical decision. 😉 2. I know the director, so that kind of obligates me to talk about it. Only kidding, Maclain! 😛 3. This movie would be fresh in everyone’s minds today, because there was an encore presentation last night. Last, but CERTAINLY not least needs only two words: 4. Andrew. Walker. Am I right?

Andrew sure was a busy bee this season! Several actors were in multiple Christmas movies this year, but very few were the leads in each movie they were in! And there’s no doubt that he gave a flawless performance in both. There’s just one thing, and I’m taking an official poll, so either put your answer on the Twitter poll, or in comments here, or a comment on Facebook. A) Andrew Walker WITH facial hair in “Christmas on My Mind”, or B) Andrew Walker WITHOUT facial hair in “Merry Bright”? My vote? I’ll cast the first one. Definitely B! I’m a sucker for a clean shaven handsome face; there are few men I prefer with a beard. I definitely wasn’t feeling that huge mustache in WCTH Season 1.

Speaking of which, let’s pinpoint the WCTH actors in this one. There are actually quite a few. There’s Andrew himself. Clayton James (Brad the fiancé,) is off and on as Kevin Townsend the blacksmith, the one Fiona likes. I hope they keep that up because I think they’re adorable! Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez (Ryan the art student) was that adorable boy, Adam, who Rosemary helped during the carnival at the end of S5. But my favorite other than Andrew is none other than Preston Vanderslice (Beau) was that sweet Mountie who took a message from Elizabeth to Jack back in S4.

Andrew and Ashley were cute together, but my absolute favorite couple to watch in this movie was Andrew and Preston as brothers! I couldn’t take my eyes off them; they played off each other so well, and were very easy with one another. I can’t pick the best of my two favorite parts involving them. It’s a toss-up between all their “family discount” banter, and Beau’s first interaction with Lucy. Zac informs her they broke up two years ago. Lucy looks to Beau as if for confirmation, and his confused but affirmative nod just made me crack up! Those are two actors I never tire of watching, and they were being guided by my favorite director. It’s a win-win-win! 😀

I had never seen Ashley Greene in a project before; I’m one of THOSE people that did not get aboard the Twilight train. This is also her first Hallmark movie. I think she did a good job. She and Andrew were well paired. You’d never know there’s an 8-year difference between them. The premise here was complicated at best! Can you imagine thinking you’re engaged to a guy you’ve been broken up with for two years, who’s dating someone you don’t really care for, and you’re engaged to a man who don’t remember at all! Try to keep all that straight after a head injury! Then poor Zac! The horrible position he’s in, trying to remain neutral when he’s obviously still in love with her! Awkward!

My favorite scene between the two of them has to be when Zac finally procures a Christmas tree with “the family discount”, i.e. taking without paying, and they decorate it together. Like “a wise man” told Lucy long ago, “finding the right tree should not be rushed.” The decorating isn’t rushed either. There’s lots of comfortable yet flirtatious touching, and plenty of playful banter. And to top it all off, Lucy puts Zac’s lost Christmas sweater under the tree with a big red bow.

There is one part that is unsurpassed, I’ll admit. The final kiss. Talk about heat! I’ve always thought Andrew was a great screen kisser, and that blocking was very moving. There’s something about a man rushing toward you ready to sweep you into his arms. It was a pretty amazing kiss! Well done, team!

So, we’ve officially arrived at New Year. Happy 2020, all! See you next week! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy HAPPY Monday, everyone! At least, I hope it’s happy. Did you have to go to work today? I didn’t technically go to a job; but it’s just me here, housesitting my in-laws’ place with the four crazy kids while hubby’s working. But it’s good; we’ve just been both chilling and bustling around, trying to retain the feeling of merry and bright. 😉 No, that’s not the movie I’m reviewing, we’ve already done that. But we ARE talking about one of the earlier films of the season. It aired in November, and it stars a very prominent WCTH actor with whom many Hearties are infatuated. POstables will love him too from “From Paris With Love” where he played Joey the restaurant owner; that’s the first time I ever saw him. He’s also Mitch on “Heartland”, another big hit with many Hearties; and he’s even appeared as a very distinguished guest star on “When Hope Calls”. The ONE! The ONLY! KEVIN MCGARRY, starring in “Christmas Scavenger Hunt”.

This movie was not my favorite one of the lineup this year, but I thought it had it’s own special charm that was undeniable. I did appreciate the very different premise of the storyline; we’ve never had a holiday hunt before. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a scavenger hunt of this caliber in any of the films on Hallmark until now. So that was fun! This is just the kind of activity that I think would be perfect to bring in some Christmas cheer. And even though they called a clue “hard” when it was anything but, the clues as a whole were cute, and clever, and very well-worded. I was just surprised that so many people had the day off work so they could participate. 😀
Speaking of surprises, I had absolutely NO IDEA that Tom Arnold was going to star in this movie! It caught me completely off guard. I haven’t seen him in a Hallmark Christmas feature since “Moonlight and Mistletoe” in 2008, when he portrayed Candice Cameron Bure’s father, Nick. What a firecracker Carl was in this one though! First he assumes Belinda has broken up with Logan, so he gleefully blurts out: “You dumped him!” Then, when that idea doesn’t stick, dear old Dad becomes a sly dog by teaming up Dustin with Belinda, instead of the originally intended Susan Shultz. And Belinda wasn’t even intending to join; she was thrown into the lions’ den by her best friend, Faith. Those two HAD to be in cahoots! That’s the ONLY explanation as to why it was pulled off so seamlessly.

Let’s move to characterization. Kevin played a very confident, almost cocky-in-a-good-way character, which is so different from Nathan in Hope Valley, at least currently. Gotta especially love the little details like Dustin’s immense love for rivers of gravy, and his terror at admitting he’d gone out for one coffee with Belinda’s arch rival from high school before, in his words, “I came to my senses.” He also does a great job with not being angry with her when he finds out what’s going on with the mill. I was sure he was going to blow up at her, but he was so sweet and understanding! That’s how all reactions should be, right?

Kim Shaw portrayed the conflicted businesswoman very well. She had a job to do, but she still cared about the town, and her reaction to finding out about Dustin’s dad was right on point! You can see the change in her feelings without her saying a word once she knows the truth. You can also see her about to combust until she’s able to confide in Faith.

The funniest line from the movie, at least in an awkward sense…well, there’s two. One has to be when their music teacher very generously gives Belinda the snow globe that just happens to contain the word LOVE inside. The tension could be cut with a knife! The only words Dustin can manage to push out are, “Nice birds,” obviously trying to skirt around the gargantuan elephant in the room. The other is closer to the beginning when Belinda claims Dustin acted like a baby every time he lost a track meet. Then boom! Who’s hand appears on the counter? And Belinda’s reaction is PRICELESS! The shock, the embarrassment, and just a tinge of anger are perfectly combined when she accusingly asks, “What are you doing here?!” Of course there’s a very innocent and simple explanation of “the pipes”.

The funniest line as far as comic timing and delivery is another of Kevin’s. He just has great skills! It’s when Dustin, Belinda, and third wheel Logan are baking cookies, (which is the WRONG place for a silk tie in the first place!), and butter spatters on said tie. Logan says he’s going to try to wash it off, and Belinda is trying to assure him it’ll come out of the delicate fabric. The moment he’s out of earshot, Dustin whispers, “You know it’s BUTTER, right?”

That brings me to the chemistry. I think they had it! I’m a big sucker for history, so I couldn’t help but giggle when they talked about memory lane having “a few potholes”, including the hunt victories, and the yeti prank. They weren’t afraid to talk about the past, which some former couples can’t do. But they had no qualms about digging up the past. My favorite tidbit has to be that he’s the only one who has a nickname for her. Everyone, even her father, calls her “Belinda”. But even 10 years after the breakup, Dustin is still calling her “Bel”. It was endearing! And it made the moment of the kiss all the better! First he smiles when she says she still loves him, then totally interrupts her monologue by gently charging and laying a big one on her. Then what do we hear? “I missed you, Bel!” No, there was no mistletoe, but it was definitely worthy of it.

Let’s end by backing up a bit, to the big revelation as to why Dustin broke Bel’s heart. He did the noble, but incredibly stupid thing, not telling her his father lost his job. He “didn’t want to hold her back”, which I think is a ridiculous reason to not be honest with someone, but putting that aside… Did you hear what he said? He said, and I quote, “Take a walk with me.” I couldn’t believe it! I seriously wondered if it was done on purpose, as a kind of Easter egg to #Hearties, and giving us a hint about the show, or if it was pure coincidence. I guess time alone will tell.

Well, everyone, next time I talk to you, it’ll be next year! Be sure to tune in for my last #WisemanWednesday. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy New Year, Hearties! Welcome to the final #FaLaLaLaFriday of the season! It might have been a possibility for me to do another one a week from today, depending on content and airing schedules, except for one thing: my niece is getting married! So my Friday is a little booked up. 😉 I’m not making any promises after the crazy month we’ve had in the #HookedHeartie household, but I don’t FORESEE any roadblocks to posting something on Monday and Wednesday.

Wow, I still can’t believe Christmas is already done! Once again, I do wholeheartedly apologize for all the spaces between blogs; so much popped up that I was not expecting. Then the holiday blew in in full swing, and pretty much every minute, even on Christmas Day, was full scheduled. Things should slow down, and be a bit more regular in the coming weeks. Let’s just hope the content has some of our wonderful actors in it so I have something to post. 😀

So?????? What did you think? I’ve seen several differing opinions on lots of levels, but I personally thought it was well done. I especially enjoyed how level the playing field was kept; Elizabeth had moments with Nathan, and moments with Lucas. Who do I think won this time around? Well, I guess you’ll just have to listen to the podcast to find out! 😀 Here’s the link:

 

 

By the way, all you #TeamHenry Hearties and Michael Hickam enthusiasts out there, be sure you give a listen. I promise you will NOT be disappointed!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and that you felt the joy of the season. I also hope you still carry those feelings with you throughout the New Year. Take care, all of you! Here’s hoping I see you for #MistletoeMonday ! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well, it seems #WisemanWednesday has the magical touch for me being able to post to all you wonderful people! We’re coming up on the big day, big for a lot of reasons! Only two of those reasons being that two wonderful men in red will be stopping by our homes soon! And just so all you #TeamLucas fans out there don’t think I’m giving him his fair share, this is for you: It’s a mere six sleeps (if you’re a “Muppet Christmas Carol” fan like me,) until two very generous givers will make their presence known in our cozy houses. 😉

So for today, I have another fun podcast for you to listen to, or watch, if you prefer. It’ll help pass the time as you’re driving, shopping, wrapping, baking…making all that Christmas magic. I know it’s been a tough few days in the Hallmark world, but hopefully this can help you sit back, relax, and laugh a little.

This past weekend’s line-up has several When Calls the Heart players in it. AND!!!!!!! We had our first sighing of a When Hope Calls actor! I was wondering when that was going to happen! It’s Rob Stewart, who played Tom Clay. He’s featured in, not one, but two of the four, and he was great! Even the #POstables get represented with Peter Benson in “Holiday Date”. That one took the cake on using WCTH alumni! There was Ava Grace Cooper, Bruce Boxleitner, Christine Chatelain, and Ken Tremblett, all in the same film! But the designated “Wiseman” for this week is definitely Eric Close from “Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday.

One reminder before I let you loose. If you’re doing that last minute online shopping, I’d consider it the best Christmas present if you’d go through the links here on the blog. Then there’s always the ads. Every little click helps! 😀 Well, that’s enough plugs. 😉 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Oh my gosh, everyone! I’m so sorry about the silent streak! I’ve been running, running, running between my boys having a relapse in sickness, and multiple Christmas events; some of which I was partially in charge. In fact, I was actually composing this post as I sat behind the scenes at our church’s Nativity display event; I was part of the musical numbers, and I was in charge of costumes for the monitors watching over the scenes. We had literally hundreds of displays (just over 400) from all over the world! So amazing!

Now for today’s movie. I thought about doing part two of Christmas Town, but as a die hard Heartie, I would be remiss if I didn’t review the Yuletide film of our leading lady. Plus, for #WisemanWednesday, it’s a perfect choice, because the main man sure THOUGHT he was wise. That’s right! I’m speaking about “Sense, Sensibility, and Snowmen”. I’m certain I’m the only blogger who’s covering it. HA HA! But I wouldn’t consider myself a true fan if it didn’t go on here. And in addition to Erin, there are two other WCTH actors in this movie! Did you catch all of them? There’s Jan Bos; he was Edward’s dad, and the mining company lawyer in WCTH. There’s Jason McKinnon, who had the nerve to be on the screen at the same time as Erin! 😉 Just teasing, Jason! You’re a wonderful actor! In SSS, he played the sweet lawyer Brandon; but in WCTH, he’s that sniveling and conniving, (not to mention “shockingly bold”. Thank you, Rosemary!) Thomas Higgins. And BONUS! We have Gary Peterman and Emma Pedersen from Signed Sealed Delivered. He played Mr. Roberts on the episode “The Masterpiece”, and here, he was the very difficult Stanley Green. SHE was the Montaldo’s employee, Nikki, in “One in a Million”, and here, she was part of the Dashworks team.

To start us off, this movie is in the same category as Christmas Town: totally loved the whole thing, it was just on the wrong channel. From that very first moment when Ella (Erin) turns around, and with that signature light in her eyes, tells Marianne to hurry up, you knew this was going to be a lighthearted, festive romance. Speaking of that moment, it was very telling in so many ways. We find out that the writers switched the names of the sisters, which kind of threw me off, I admit. I’m a huge Sense and Sensibility fan, so I noticed it right away. I wondered if it was done with a purpose, or just to switch things up. And I was under the impression that the party planning business was a small, start-up company with just the two of them. But it was their father’s company, and there was a group of employees. And one cannot go wrong with a wreath of cupcakes, so they were obviously doing something right. Right? 😉

May I interject here that after witnessing the dynamic duo that was Erin Krakow and Kimberly Sustad, I am wholly convinced that Kimberly would make an amazing guest star on WCTH. Who’s with me? Their chemistry and the way they played off of each other was…NAILED IT! I don’t know if my favorite part was them whispering very obviously over their shoulders about revealing Ella’s feelings for Edward, or the Christmas morning gift frenzy. And there’s also that tiny little and HILARIOUS scene where Brandon and Marianne are literally spying on the reluctant couple. Can you just see Kimberly as a best friend from the city, or a cousin of Elizabeth’s? Funny enough, I can totally picture her as a Hope Valley resident, or a frontier woman just outside of town. Something to think about, Hallmark Channel.

About the leading man: geez, what a know-it-all! But they usually are at that point. Watching Edward getting knocked down a peg or two in that scene at the bar was classic; especially Brandon’s facial expressions indicating he get off his high horse or fail. Ella really socks it to Edward a time or two on her own. The prime example was the incredulous tone and shocked expression Ella manifests when Edward mentioned that kids never test-played with the toys from the company. Or maybe it was when Ella retorted that she’d get Edward a bulk order of beige scarves with beige accents. Those scenes are great, but it’s nothing like him buying the suggested snowman scarf as proof of her influence on him.

Oh and yeah, the kiss helps too! 🙂

Photo credit: Erin’s Twitter 

I think Luke and Erin made a nice couple. Did you know they went to Juilliard together? It really worked. I think they should pair up again.

And on that note, this little Christmas elf needs a little sleep. Can’t wait to talk to all of you again. Hopefully, that will be Friday! Please keep coming back and enjoying the content. I do so love writing for you, and hearing your feedback. As always, sharing, liking, retweeting, and clicking on ads is incredibly helpful. And if you’re spreading holiday cheer with online orders, it would be amazing if you were to do your Amazon shopping by clicking on one of our links.

Keep making it a Merry Christmas, everybody! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!