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Cedar Cove, Season Two (2014)


About the Show:
Network: Hallmark Channel

Reviewed: Episodes 1 – 3

Letting Go, Part 1
Letting Go, Part 2
Relations and Relationships, Part 1

Among all of the darker themes in crime dramas and darkness in general in today’s pop culture, sometimes it’s nice to find “light.” The first of Hallmark Channel’s original series, I have to say, I’m pretty sure I found a new guilty pleasure for summer time TV watching – one that won’t leave more conservative viewers reaching for the remote.  

Things are changing in Cedar Cove. People are forging out, leaving the town in the rearview while others are struggling to find purpose in their lives. For Shelly (Haley Sales) and Eric (Tom Stevens), a battle is still ongoing as to what is going to happen to their child. Shelly is determined her daughter should be adopted because much as Eric tries, when the going gets tough, he walks away and she isn’t prepared for single parenthood. Then there is Eric’s father Jack Griffith (Dylan Neal), who is in an emotional downward spiral with his son – never mind his own well-being. Making things unintentionally worse is Olivia (Andie MacDowell), who promised Shelley she’d use her legal knowledge and contacts as a judge help her find a home for her child.  


Then there is Justine (Sarah Smythe). Olivia’s daughter has just lost the restaurant to a mysterious fire and despite what he says, Justine is confident her boyfriend Seth (Corey Siever) doesn’t really want to be burdened with a restaurant when his real calling is being on the sea… only trouble is, Seth has just proposed and Justine is conflicted – she knows where Seth’s heart is, what about her dreams? What is it that makes her happy? Until she knows this, she is making changes in her own life, similar to Maryellen (Elyse Levesque), who is making a big move when she decides to follow her boyfriend to New York, leaving her mother, Grace (Teryl Rothery) without the company and extra income, which opens the door to hardships and a slew of financial snags. 

I will confess, I watched this with no knowledge of its maiden voyage (unless you count promotional spots), yet surprisingly, I didn’t struggle overmuch with the premiere of the follow-up season in keeping the “who’s who” of Cedar Cove intact. The script was pretty self-explanatory so that, while we didn’t understand all of the emotional implications (having not travelled these character journeys in season one), I didn’t wind up feeling lost over all of the connections. Apart from the characters what really endeared this to me was its setting. Everything feels cozy and friendly while settling in for this Canadian filmed drama, making it an ideal summer escapism that’s got more going for it than trying to be the next top rated summer series, which in turn makes us want to cheer its quality wholesomeness. 

Though some of the minor plotlines boiled over in all three episodes and came across as a repetitive because of that (or maybe it’s a pattern than makes more sense once we see the first season), there is no question that this show is one of Hallmark’s best – right next to Signed, Sealed, Delivered (the writing in that show is fantastic, have I mentioned that??), just because it isn’t afraid of being different then the flashy shows usually making noise on our TV screens. This is more akin to what one might find in Pushing Daisies (in terms of its lighthearted, quaint premise) or what I imagine Gilmore Girls might resemble (speaking of its small town setting), and while the writing may not always live up to its competitors, I admire it because it has as important of a story to tell as any television series out there, and that’s not all there is to like.

The acting makes the show easy to watch (including seeing Bruce Boxleitner in a role, who many of us classic TV buffs probably know from Scarecrow and Mrs. King) though of course – as with every TV series, we quickly pick our favorites among their on-screen personas. Justine will have to earn my respect whereas someone like Grace is easy to like from the beginning. Then there is Shelly and Eric, who are likable enough, yet their life quickly becomes what seems like a revolving argument – stay together, be a family or let the baby be adopted; arguments heat up, there is tears and forgiveness; repeat, all of which (no matter the emotion) doesn’t stick around half as long the whole “drama” of their story. 
 

Setting the stickler “critic” part of me aside, this series is gold. It was just what I needed at
the time because I was (and still am) on the lookout for something happier to enjoy on my TV screen. Sometimes, visiting a small town for an hour – even fictional, is just what we need for the best kind of escapism. For me, I found that in Cedar Cove.  

Find season one now on DVD in stores and on-line or catch it on Amazon Instant Video, and don’t forget to catch the premiere of season two Saturday July 19th on the Hallmark Channel – it will air twice on its premiere night.  

                    
(Content: one couple has a child out of wedlock and another lives together outside of marriage – nothing comes of this aside from the one remark of living together. Another character is a recovering alcoholic. The show is rated TVPG.)
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Rissi
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10 comments:

  1. Thank you for reviewing this Rissi!
    Netflix has season 1of this show, but I wasn't sure if it was good or not.
    I will have to give this show a try:0)

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Ella. I'll be chatting about season one soon as I get my DVD set in the mail then watch it, so once I post about it, I'd love to know your thoughts on season one, too! :)

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    2. Thank Rissi!
      My Mom and I watched the pilot episode yesterday and really enjoyed it.

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    3. Fun! My set is supposed to arrive next week, so I'll look forward to that as well - and hopefully I'll enjoy season one as much as the beginning of two. :)

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    4. I hope you will enjoy season one!

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    5. Thanks, Ella. Sure hope you do as well. :)

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  2. Love Cedar Cove! It's my favorite Hallmark series--Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a close second. I'm glad you could follow along without having seen the first season, as I'm trying to convince my mom to join me for season two :-)

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    Replies
    1. I enjoyed what I saw of Cedar Cove very much, Becky. I may still let Signed, Sealed, Delivered edge it out a smidgeon though both are excellent. :)

      Good luck with your convincing. Hope it works out! :)

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  3. My MIL loves this show. I've been curious, so it sounds like I need to give it a chance. And, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, too! :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, do, Tammy! Both are really good if you like lighthearted, entertaining shows that don't require you to be on the edge of your seat. That's what I like best about this one. :)

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