When Calls the Heart, New Year's Wish (2015)
The Hallmark Channel has produced many an original over the years. Originals that ranged from the genres of romantic comedies and historical romances to television series. One thing all of their titles share in commonality is their ability to be wholesome. Their latest gem follows in that path. After the events of the season two finale, fans (or “Hearties” as they are more commonly known) were holding their breath for what would come of Elizabeth's and Jack’s continuing on-and-off again romance. This first two-hour episode begins the third season and with it, a new agreement is reached.
Picking up immediately where season two left off, Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) leaves the unwelcome visitor, Charles – her old suitor from the city, behind as she sets off to find Jack (Daniel Lissing). Unaware that Jack observed Charles’ arrival and worse yet, the proposal he made, Elizabeth’s attempts to assure Jack that Charles means nothing to her any longer fall on deaf ears. This drives a wedge again between the pair, both of whom were just coming into a steady courtship.
Elsewhere in Hope Valley, Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) is busy making preparations for the arrival of an important newspaper reporter and she spends her time dashing about town doing what she does best: bossing everyone around. Then there is Abigail (Lori Loughlin). Still reeling from the betrayal of Bill Avery (Jack Wagner), Abigail is considering the possibility of a new relationship with the new preacher Frank Hogen (Mark Humphrey), a man who also harbors secrets.
To kick this rambling off, I’m going to start with a negative and then finish on a better opinion. Or that’s the idea. Much as I enjoy this sweet series, the one thing that I constantly let “annoy” me (which I use in a loose sense since I like the series in spite of my complaints) is the costuming. While watching I couldn’t help but feel like too many of the pieces were out of place which, for that scene, sort of takes me out of the period and charm of the story. That being said, I appreciate all this show has to offer.
As is its hallmark, this 2-hour special (which is essentially kicking off its highly anticipated third season) packs a lot of trials, heart-to-hearts and smiles into this one episode. Many trails are left unblazed which I suspect is in consideration of the third season which will, in all probability, pick up several of these unfinished stories. One thing this special does iron out is the relationship between Elizabeth and Jack. Whether or not it ends to fans satisfaction I won’t say (but feel free to chat about it down below or come back after the episode to chat it up!). Either way, I hope the writer’s leave it alone as it is currently because so much back and forth conflict has been tried and re-tried, and I do believe it will flow nicer if the conflict is left to other means of story. Also best resolved quickly would be Frank’s potentially shady path. Given how Bill’s story turned out (which also gets some resolution), I’d not be eager to see Abigail go through such a similar experience.
This episode is not without its comedic moments either. While Elizabeth tries to work out the problem one of her student’s is having (not to mention trying to make nice with another someone to hilarious results) and Abigail opens her heart to a new person, Rosemary is again consumed with achieving perfection in little Hope Valley as she digs herself in deeper getting up to the usual comedic shenanigans. Anyone who has been anticipating this will relish spending two hours in Hope Valley on this day after Christmas. It’s a fun way to enjoy a bit more holiday entertainment spent with beloved characters (including lesser characters like Clara) and it’s neat to see this as a New Year’s special versus’ a Christmas production.
Catch the return to Hope Valley in When Calls the Heart: New Year’s Wish tonight, December 26th on Hallmark Channel. Until then, have a peek at the promo video.
Will you be watching this premiere tonight? Let me know what you thought down below.