High-Caliber Television That Nourishes the Heart
They don’t make television like this anymore. The words of executive producer Michael Landon, Jr. confirm it: “Yes, it’s old fashioned to make this show in a world where meth deals and vampires are TV heroes, but I’m okay with that. Our cynical culture needs to get back to a few old-fashioned themes like redemption, forgiveness, sacrifice, courage and being good neighbors.” How glad am I that Michael Landon, Jr. and Brian Bird have combined their talents with those of gifted writers and actors to bring When Calls The Heart into our homes. It functions as more than just a television show. It does more than entertain. When Calls The Heart warms the heart, offers hope, brings healing, and lends peace.
On this visit to Coal Valley, we make the acquaintance of the Grady family. Though intelligent and uncannily gifted in model building, the Gradys’ son Bo struggles to learn to read. Elizabeth is in a unique position of serving as both teacher and counselor. As is her habit, we see Elizabeth dive in to help Bo with unrivaled compassion and determination. Meanwhile, she and Jack are trying hard to bury the hatchet and move past their petty disagreements. It’s a real treat to see Krakow and Lissing continue to build upon their already strong chemistry, giving Jack and Elizabeth a solid footing in friendship that could finally take hold. We also see another friendship taking root and producing fruit: that of Abigail and Elizabeth. Abigail lost both her husband and son in the mine disaster, and though stalwart and wise, she feels rudderless beginning a new chapter in life without them. She and Elizabeth serve as sisters and confidantes to one another, sometimes offering encouragement but mostly just an understanding ear, a safe place to land.
Though life goes on, the aftershock of the mining incident is still felt. In the second half of this feature, we witness the homecoming of the only survivor of the accident: Adam Miller. Adam’s been convalescing in the hospital, only he didn’t share the extent of his injuries with his wife and family. Award-winning actor Chad Willett plays Adam, bringing a powerful portrayal of a “wounded warrior” who, changed far beyond merely the physical aspect, struggles to pick up the pieces of his life and find his place in the home and town to which he has returned a broken hero. Just as Elizabeth plays multiple roles, Jack is constable, friend, neighbor, and brother to Adam when things get rough.
As in prior episodes, once again the resourcefulness and resilience of the community of Coal Valley comes shining through. As the children put on their Founder’s Day program, you’ll experience a gamut of emotions. These uniquely brave children of this Western Canadian mining town will tickle your funny bone, and bring a smile to your face and tears to your eyes. You’ll be glad for having taken time out of your noisy life to sit a spell in Coal Valley.
— Dawn Teresa
5 of 5 Hearts. High-Caliber Television That Nourishes the Heart.
When Calls The Heart: Second Chances continues a standard of excellence for which this Hallmark Channel Original Series is known, raising by yet another notch what was already a high bar.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the above DVD for free from Edify Media in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”