Touching, Top Notch, Positive Family TV
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With this, the 3rd two-episode DVD compilation of When Calls The Heart, I again marvel at the skill of the show’s writers. There are four subplots here: Carla Noonan largely pregnant with child and taken in by Abigail; smooth-talking new-to-town miner Billy Hamilton and his attentions to Elizabeth; humble new miner Dewitt Graves creating waves with young Caleb Dunbar as he tries to get close to Caleb’s widowed mother Mary; and Jack’s investigation and pursuit of a thief. None of these strands competes with the others or predominates. Rather, all are fluidly pieced together to sustain your attention throughout.
I have seen all twelve episodes of Season 1, but it’s always a joy to revisit them with each DVD release. I love the continuity that the writers build into episodes, even with small mentions: Wendel Backus, former town drunk, is now a proud teetotaler, Elizabeth still burns to a crisp everything she cooks, Young Albert is seen fishing alongside Caleb, and Reverend Anderson is again preaching in the clearing in the woods.
Each subsequent episode of When Calls The Heart expands viewers’ knowledge of the townspeople of Coal Valley, planting the town and its inhabitants deeper into our hearts. This time we get better acquainted with Mary and Caleb Dunbar and Carla Noonan. And we see new miners arrive in Coal Valley to replace those killed in the mining accident that left so many widowed and fatherless. Two big town functions occur as a result of these men coming to town: The Miners Dance, and The Miners Games. Watching the dance in the saloon and the games on the town square, you’ll be transported to the old West (albeit, this time, the Canadian West), and what a romp it is!
We are reminded of the character of those who live in Coal Valley: brave, strong, resourceful, kindhearted, generous people. These were harder times in which to live, but they were also simpler. The simplicity of life depicted on screen casts important things into relief: community, family, and loving one’s neighbor. Thematically, the focus centers on how our brokenness can be our greatest impediment to building relationships. As Caleb and Dewitt Graves come to terms, and as Elizabeth learns a lesson, the importance of and development of trust is explored.
And, yes, thankfully Elizabeth and Constable Jack make continued inroads.
As always, these episodes are full of humor and pathos. You’ll enjoy your respite in Coal Valley, and when you walk away, you’ll find your burdens lightened and your heart better for having spent time in this little mining town.
— Dawn Teresa
5 of 5 Hearts. Touching, Top Notch, Positive Family TV.
When Calls The Heart: The Dance continues the high-caliber work of this Hallmark Channel original series. Thankfully, Season 1 (which contained 12 episodes) garnered a devoted following and the Hallmark Channel has committed to a second season which will begin airing in May of 2015.