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My Review (4.5 stars):
When Calls the Heart (2014—) is like my new favorite TV movie series . . . (Not that I actually follow many TV series) . . . but anyway, I love it! I mean, movies based on author Janette Oke’s lovely, historical tales? Always worth watching! ^__^
After quite adoring the first season (read my reviews of Lost and Found: episodes one & two and A Telling Silence: episodes three & four), I was so looking forward to season two, and recently was able to watch it on itunes.
Let me first say, it was wonderful to be back in Coal Valley with Elizabeth Thatcher and Jack Thornton! The two are closer than ever after their first kiss, and our hopes soar as we wait eagerly for . . . a forever commitment, perhaps? Never mind that actress Rosemary is still squeezing her way into the picture for some reason, Jack and Elizabeth are just meant for each other! But then comes the dreaded telegram . . . Yep. That telegram sure paves the way into a lot of complications.
Other than that, we have Henry Gowen still trying to blame Abigail Stanton’s deceased husband for the mining accident; and the old villain is still as villainous as ever! If not more! Ooh, I just really want to smack him sometimes! What an awful guy. But he somehow worms his way into high positions.
People show up unexpectedly throughout the course of this season . . . sometimes to good results; sometimes creating havoc.
Eek! This season sure creates havoc with your emotions! Prepare to be really angry with at least three characters that can’t help but be utterly infuriating! Why don’t they take their noses out of other people’s business (and love life’s), and go back to where they belong! Just leave!! Leave so-and-so with the man she truly loves!! Stop tearing them apart . . . ! -_-
Romance abounds. Jack, Elizabeth, Rosemary, Abigail, Bill Avery, plus a passel of new characters have the ups and downs of their love stories displayed. Not to mention, Julie Thatcher finds herself a new man . . .
Whew, that girl! She spells trouble, if ever someone did! O_O Wild, dreamy, and rather naïve, she’s always dreaming up some dangerous, romantic escapade with a darkly handsome guy. I had to roll my eyes a few times, but she does make for an interesting character, *smiles*, and you can kind of feel for her, even if she’s a little misguided at times.
Rosemary . . . continues to be annoying. Though, I will say she’s not nearly as bad as the first season. And, she does change and shape for the better as season two progresses. She certainly adds some splash and drama!
I probably like the character of Abigail Stanton even more in these episodes! Really such a sweet, strong, fun, gentle woman. She’s kind of a mother figure to a few different young ladies; yet also has a love life of her own going on.
Jack and Elizabeth!!! <3 <3 There is just something about this couple that makes your heart burst in their happy moments, and shatter in their tough times! And you can’t help but dearly want the best for them as a couple, even during the hardest of their trials. They’re just sooo adorable together—and quite perfect for each other.
Jack is so sweet, strong, and gentlemanly! He kind of has this shy side too. And Elizabeth . . . she truly does love him! Even if she doesn't quite realize it!
And though we’ve got lots of drama and up and downs in this season, they’re still just . . . just . . . ! I don’t know. I squeal internally when I watch a love story like theirs unfold. It simply beautiful. (AHH! When will season three come??)
*Ahem* Sorry about that. Had to fangirl a little. There’s something about those old-fashioned, gentleman and lady, courtship-feel, rugged man on his horse and feminine woman in her sweeping skirts, type of romances that just are the best.
Anyway, we spend some time in Hamilton and some time in Coal Valley. There’s not so much of Elizabeth teaching the children this season, which is a bit disappointing, :( But it’s alright. There’s plenty of other things going on to keep us occupied.
And that season finale!!!! Is anyone else still feeling affected by it to this day?? ;P But seriously, it was epic, and beautiful, and shocking, and great, and swoony, and crazy . . . And ended with a dreadful cliffhanger. And—and how is my poor heart going to hold up under that until season three comes out??? O_O Traumatic stuff, guys. We most definitely need a season three. If they don’t make a season three . . . well, I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point. Haha. But Jack and Elizabeth!!! And Julie! And Abigail! I’m a storyteller. And we can’t leave this fabulous story unfinished!
*Sigh* Going on. Season two did have a different feel than season one. As I mentioned, there was less time spent in the schoolhouse, and more time spent in Hamilton. We got to know Elizabeth’s family better, which was nice . . . in some ways. Others not. We even got to know some of Jack’s family, which was quite wonderful. But it was feeling more, um, 1910 than “prairie days”.
On that note, I was rather appalled at how revealing some of the gowns got. Season one was definitely more old-fashioned, family-friendly feeling. This season, we have some plunging necklines and tight skirts . . . (goodness, how do you even sit down in that thing??). So that was disappointing to be sure! I dearly miss all the sweet, modest, fun, period costumes of the first season.
There was also, between all the romances budding and blooming, quite a bit of kissing in this season. Several were like the zoomed up on the faces, drawn-out, “um, that’s probably enough now” kind of kissing scenes. Which, you know, we could do without. But, it’s not the worst thing ever.
A “scandalous” scene/conversation or two. Feels like there’s a lot of teasing about kissing in the first episode or two (Jack and Elizabeth having just shared their first kiss in the end of season one). There was also a scene where a lady falls and hurts her knee. The guy asks politely, “May I?” before examining it; but to be honest, it all felt rather shocking to me. Haha! *winkles nose*. Most of the “scandalous scenes” weren’t actually inappropriate—but there were one or two that I felt maybe went a little too far or just felt kind of edgy. But my siblings still watched it, and besides yelling “EWW” at the kissing scenes, they didn’t seem to notice anything else. ;)
For some more complaints about the romantic side of this season . . . there were just a lot of love stories going on. And a lot of drama. Some people complained that the series is starting to feel like a soap opera, and unfortunately, I could kind of agree at points.
But when all’s said and done, Jack and Elizabeth together makes up for everything. And overall, I just really love the When Calls the Heart (2014—) series. We get some really good values and themes; a, for the most part, Christian and family-friendly feel; and just a wondrous tale all in all. There’s a few amazing characters that just draw you into their stories and won’t let go. There’s trials and difficulties to solve and overcome. And beautiful romances that stand the tests of time and opposition. Little town schoolteachers and handsome Mounted Police. Bad guys, suspicious activities, counterfeiters, and a few punches and gunshots. A lovely café run by a strong, kindhearted widow. Silly children, dances, and one mysterious preacher.
It’s just too good to miss! If you’re into Janette Oke’s novels, the Love Comes Softly movie series, and period dramas, you must give When Calls the Heart (2014—) a try. You can also watch the movie When Calls the Heart (2013) if you want. It doesn’t perfectly precede the TV series, and doesn’t have the same actors/actresses, but still gives vital backstory.
Beware of some immodest gowns and a bit much of romance drama in season two of When Calls the Heart (2014—), but otherwise, it’s simply delightful. I love Jack and Elizabeth and so, so can’t wait for season three! ^__^