Hallmark's "Journey of My Heart" QUIZ

Starring:  Rhiannon Fish and Darien Martin

Released:  2021-Summer Nights

Summary:  A wildlife biologist travels to Alaska where she finds inspirational guidance from a Native American family plus an unexpected romance with a rugged wilderness guide.

Rhiannon Fish and Darien Martin star in Hallmark's "Journey of My Heart"
Abby captures some great shots that will help her complete an updated eagle census.  
Image: Crown Media

Journey of My Heart Similar to Chasing Waterfalls

Rhiannan Fish and Darien Martin score two thumbs-up from Hallmark fans who love this story about a study of the eagle population on Native American land.

As always, Hallmark's focus remains on diversity, hence the inclusion of indigenous people in the script and cast, but non-woke fans enjoy it anyway.

After all, the scenery is breath-taking, even though the movie is filmed in Vancouver rather than the story's Alaskan setting.  

Hallmark's Journey of My Heart
Image: Crown Media

Just like Chasing Waterfalls where Cindy Busby falls in love with her rugged nature guide, Christopher Russell, Rhiannon Fish captures the heart of Darien Martin, her wilderness guide.

Busby is looking for a waterfall that has never been photographed, and Fish is searching for the hidden location of a large eagle population.  Both women agree not to reveal the coordinates of the sites, but oops, the geo-tagging on their photos make the secret locations public, aaaaand this upsets their men.  Both ladies have scary run-ins with bears.

At least Hallmark can't get in trouble for plagiarizing themselves.

Native American Spirituality

It's worth noting that many old Hallmark movies contained elements of the Christian faith, even though they were worked into the story discreetly and generically enough to serve as blanket sentiments that people of any faith could find relatable.

With Woke Wonya Lucas at Crown Media's helm, inspirational overtones stemming from the Christian faith have been bulldozed.  This especially affects Christmas movies.  Jewish traditions have found their way into a few movies, but the true reason for the annual celebration is ignored.  Instead, non-Jewish people are seen embracing what are only secular traditions, like tree lighting ceremonies, wreath-making, and reindeer relays.  

Hallmark's Journey of My Heart
Hallmark doesn't mind telling viewers about putting faith in eagles for protection, but you'd never hear them endorse putting your faith in Jesus. Image: Crown Media

While Hallmark clearly is worried about offending non-Christians with their holiday movies, they apparently have no qualms about making spiritism a focus.  Journey of My Heart talks about the Great Spirit, the idolization of eagles as messengers, talismans such as the eagle feather amulet, and nature worship.  Native American spiritism can't be disguised as a generic belief system everyone can relate to.  It's very specific.

Pretty hypocritical of Hallmark.      

You've Seen Fish And Martin Before

If Fish looks familiar, it's because you've seen her in supporting roles in Hallmark movies including, You're Bacon Me Crazy, The 27-Hour Day, and Aurora Teagarden Mysteries:  How to Con a Con.

What do you think of Fish as a Hallmark leading lady?  Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section!

Hallmark's Journey of My Heart
Image: Crown Media

You may remember Martin from Chateau Christmas and Hannah Swenson Mysteries:  Sweet Revenge.  He star seems to be rising.  Would you enjoy seeing him again as a Hallmark leading man?

My take is that Fish is a fresh, new face, and she proved she could be a leading lady in this movie; however, she doesn't have strong star-appeal.  I will never hope to see her in a movie like I do Lacey Chabert.

Martin is handsome, but his acting is more stiff than charismatic.  In a ring of Hallmark leading men, he doesn't stand out in the crowd. 

The movie is enjoyable, but these two actors are like the B side of a record. 

Hallmark has openly acknowledged their pursuit of new talent, but could it be their financial woes are serving as the impetus? 

Join Us On Social Media

If you are a Hallmark movies fan, you can find us on a variety of social media platforms.  Our groups are unique because you are encouraged to share honest feedback on all movies.  Some groups function like thought police and will block you for not gushing about every movie and actor.  Our groups value freedom of speech.

Wes Brown Delivers Perfection In Hallmark's "Sweet Pecan Summer," But Christine Ko Bombs

Starring:  Christine Ko and Wes Brown

Released:  2021-Summer Nights

Summary:  Sparks fly between a woman and her ex-boyfriend as they work together to sell her aunt's pecan farm.

Hallmark's Sweet Pecan Summer Starring Wes Brown and Christine Ko
Wes Brown and Christine Ko definitely don't make a believable match.  Image: Crown Media

Hallmark Rolls The Diversity Dice Instead Of Casting Couples With Chemistry

After a long day, it's nice to unwind with a feel-good Hallmark romance movie.  Most of us don't care what race the couple is as long as the casting director paired two people together who can actually act and create sparks for the viewers.

When Crown Media CEO, Wonya Lucas, vowed to include more diversity in Hallmark movies, one might have assumed that meant adding more couples who were black, Asian, Hispanic, Italian, or from some other ethnic group.

We are finding that is not the case.

These days, Hallmark often sacrifices good story-telling and smart casting for identity politics.  Roughly 10% of the American population is in an interracial relationship, but you'd think that statistic is closer to 80% from watching the Hallmark Channel.  The focus of many recent movies has been so lasered in on diversity that the oddity of the matchmaking overshadows the poignancy of the plot.

It's almost as if Hallmark owns a set of diversity dice they roll when deciding on pairing their leading and supporting actors.  Occasionally, the dice land on two whites or two blacks, but more frequently, we are seeing people smacked together who don't go together at all.  You've probably noticed the latest batches of movies typically showcase a minimum of one interracial couple, but there are often two.  For example, The 27-Hour Day has two white people in the leading roles, so two interracial relationships are relegated to supporting actors.  Andrew Walker's "mom" is paired with a black man, and one married couple, a white man and a black woman, are staying at the retreat.  In Her Pen Pal, Mallory Jansen's white "ex" attends the wedding with a black date.  Since Candace Cameron Bure plays opposite Warren Christie, two whites, in If I Only Had Christmas, both of Bure's "brothers" are matched with South East Asian women.

This doesn't remotely reflect real-life.  It looks absurd. In fact, you could argue this over-exaggeration of mixed race couples is an insult to diversity.  What's wrong with featuring two people of the same race, regardless of which race it is?  

Hallmark focuses on Asians instead of the story in Sweet Pecan Summer
Who cares if the movie is ruined as long as the cast is diverse!  Image: Crown Media

While Hallmark claims to advocate for diversity so more people can see themselves in the movie characters, they end up making a mockery of diversity.  Ninety-percent of us who aren't in interracial relationships certainly don't see ourselves reflected in these characters!

Sweet Pecan Summer is a perfect example of diversity gone awry.  Wes Brown is one of the most talented Hallmark actors, and he delivers his lines in the movie to perfection.  He brings humor, warmth, charm, charisma, and depth of character to his role and has us eating out of the palm of his hand.  He does all this despite playing opposite Christine Ko, who completely stinks as an actress and contributes not even the faintest heartbeat of chemistry to their onscreen relationship.  Not even Aunt Carol can be coupled with another Asian.  For the sake of diversity, she, like her niece, must be paired with a white man. 

Hallmark Sweet Pecan Summer Cast
Hallmark Channel USED to focus on storytelling, but now they've now shifted to woke ideology.  Image: Crown Media

Ko's acting resumé is meager.  In college, she majored in communications and minored in finance, so entertainment isn't her strong suit.  

Since Brown's real-life wife, Amanda, wrote the original story about her Aunt Carol that Hallmark spun into a movie, it's only natural for him to be cast as the lead.  Ko did not do the script justice and soured the movie.

Ko has publicly discussed the limited roles for Asian actors in the U.S., so naturally, she found an ally in Hallmark, which has gravitated to assigning roles based on ethnicity instead of talent.

Is Heading In An "Unclean" Direction Next For Hallmark?

One reason viewers gravitate to the Hallmark Channel is that the network has long avoided any form of sexual innuendo.  You can typically watch these movies with your kids because they only include a little hand-holding and hugging with one or two great kisses.

Sweet Pecan Summer tests the boundaries.

Did you notice when Aunt Carol is alone and looking online, she says something about how she wouldn't wear that alone in the dark let alone with someone?  When Amanda enters the room, Carol quickly conceals what she's viewing.  You might have missed this, but clearly, she is looking at lingerie in anticipation of being with her boyfriend, Walter.  

Aunt Carol played by Lauren Tom in Sweet Pecan Summer
Lauren Tom should stick with her voice characterizations.  Image: Crown Media

When Walter arrives at the same time as Amanda's parents to help with the pecan harvest, Aunt Carol directs everyone to their rooms and laughingly says to Walter, "You know where you'll be staying!"  The implication is he will be in her room.

The movie fast forwards to the pecan harvest one year later.  We see Carol at, presumably, the beach home she purchased, and no mention is made of her and Walter having married.  Yet, she assures Amanda she and Walter have their bags packed and ready at the door to head her direction when it's time to help.  Are they living together?

This is new territory for Hallmark.  If Hallmark is testing the waters and setting the stage for more sexual content, it will further erode their brand.

Hallmark Plots Are Growing Tedious

For a long time, fans have lovingly chided about the predictable and recycled plots of Hallmark movies, but aren't they beginning to grow wearisome?  Enough is enough.  If you give a kid 20 Legos and ask him to make as many new creations as he can, there is a limit.  Eventually, the possible combinations reach a natural end.  

While the genesis of  Sweet Pecan Summer is attributed to Wes Brown's wife, it's not a new and inspired story.  At all.  The biggest differences in this movie compared to others is that the farm produces pecans instead of something else, like pears (Harvest Love) or grapes, and it's being sold intentionally rather than sinking from debt or lack of patronage.  The farm is "saved," and both J.P. and Amanda pursue and achieve their dreams.  

Isn't it time Hallmark stop rearranging the exact same pieces and start telling stories that are more unique?  If prior Crown Media CEO, Bill Abbott, can recapture the former glory of Hallmark on his new network, GAC-Family, that launches September 27, 2021, fans will likely migrate there and leave Hallmark behind.

The BEST part of Sweet Pecan Summer, aside from the pure awesomeness of Wes Brown and getting to see his real-life daughter cameo, is the hilarious performance of Chase Ramsey, who plays J.P.'s best friend, Chris.  Every time you see his character appear, you can expect to laugh.  The large doses of humor in this movie are a much welcome addition to compensate for the total flop of the rest of the cast.

Chase Ramsey plays Chris in Hallmark's Sweet Pecan Summer
Chase Ramsey makes a lot of funny cracks about parenting, among other things. Image: Crown Media

"A Little Daytime Drama" Quiz AND Vote For Your Favorite Jen Lilley/Ryan Paevey Movie!

Starring:  Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey

Released:  2021-Fall Harvest

Summary:  In order to save her daytime soap drama from cancellation, head writer Maggie must convince Darin, her real-life ex-boyfriend, to return to the show.

Hallmark's A Little Daytime Drama Starring Jen Lille<br />y and Ryan Paevey
Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey are cute together.  Image: Crown Media

Lilley And Paevey Reunite

Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey stole our hearts in 2017 when they starred together in Harvest Love, the story of a doctor who visited her family's pear farm in order to reconnect with her son.  She also ended up falling in love with the farm manager.

Fans were excited to see Lilley and Paevey coupled again for another Fall Harvest movie, especially since both actors were once soap stars themselves.

Alice (Linda Dano) is getting ready to retire, and she hopes to pass the producer baton of her soap drama to Maggie (Lilley).  The ratings are dropping though, and the show is in danger of cancellation.  The top execs want to boost ratings by bringing Darin Mitchell (Paevey) back to the show, but since he and Maggie had a sour break-up, begging him to return stings her pride.

A Little Daytime Drama is a smidge more unique than typical Hallmark plots, yet many fans judge Harvest Love to be the better movie of the two.  Vote below to let us know what you think!

Out With The Old, In With The New

As much as Maggie adores Alice, she wants to make significant changes to their soap drama to modernize it and appeal to younger viewers.  At first, Alice resists, but she soon comes to see the value of Maggie's ideas and the need to move in a different direction to help the show survive.

If you've ever worked for an older boss, you may be able to relate to the frustration of wanting to infuse new life into the job when your boss wants to stick with the same-old-same-old methods that are in desperate need of a reboot.

Alice was smart to retire.

Linda Dano stars as Alice in Hallmark's A Little Daytime Drama
It's hard for Alice to retire and let go, but she quickly learns to enjoy herself! Image: Crown Media

If You Love Trivia, Try This Movie Quiz!

Let's have some fun with A Little Daytime Drama!  See if you can remember these details from the movie.  Trivia quizzes are a great way to relive the movie over again in your mind.  

Join Me On Social Media!

Join other Hallmark fans to discuss all the movies by finding us on one or more of these platforms:

Vote For Your FAVORITE Hallmark Summer Nights 2021 Movie!

That's A Wrap!  Hallmark Summer Nights 2021 

Hallmark fans were treated  to TEN new original movies during the Summer Nights 2021 season.  Since Christmas in July was sandwiched in the middle, summer movies seemed to last a little longer.

Before we happily drown ourselves in pumpkin spice and all things Fall Harvest, let's recap the Summer Nights 2021 line-up and cast our vote for the BEST of the bunch.

Vote for your favorite Hallmark Summer Nights 2021 movie.

The 10 Summer Nights 2021 Original Movies

1.  You Had Me at Aloha

Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith delighted fans with their back-and-forth banter in their roles of two TV co-hosts grappling for control of their hit TV show, Next Destination. Filmed on location in Hawaii, we got to enjoy a taste of paradise.  Paige (Hutton) finally shed her mortification over being called The Goat Lady and learned how to "chill," while Ben agreed to follow the script without too much ad-libbing.  

If you loved this movie, you can take a trivia quiz on it here.  

Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith from You Had Me At Aloha
Image:  Crown Media

2.  The Baker's Son

Eloise Mumford and Brant Daughtery were Annie and Matt, best friends since childhood.  It wasn't until Matt was smitten with a ballerina passing through town with her ballet company that Annie realized she had been in love with Matt all along.  When Annie sold her business and planned to leave town, it finally dawned on Matt that he loved her, too.  He proved it by baking her bread, since his bread only tasted good when he was in love. 

Another fun quiz can be found here for this movie.

Eloise Mumford and Brant Daugherty in The Baker's Son
Image:  Crown Media

3.  Her Pen Pal

Mallory Jansen starred as Victoria, an event planner who went to Paris to plan the wedding of her BFF.  When Victoria learned her ex would be there too with a date, she reconnected with her former pen pal, Jacques (played by Joshua Sasse) so he could be her "plus one."  Jacques was the epitome of the charming Frenchman, and it didn't take long for the two to fall in love.  Since Jacques decided to transform his chateau into an event venue, we assumed Victoria would eventually base her business there.

Her Pen Pal gave us a wonderful Tour-de-France from our couches.

Mallory Jansen and Joshua Sasse in Her Pen Pal
Image:  Crown Media

4.  Sand Dollar Cove

Despite how much Hallmark fans adore Chad Michael Murray, most were not impressed by his co-star in this movie, Aly Michalka, who struggled to produce a simple smile, let alone any warmth.

Elli (Michalka) worked for a real estate developer who wanted her to acquire a beach property owned by Brody (Murray).  The conflict arose when Elli couldn't promise to preserve the pier, which had a rich history and was an important part of Brody's family heritage.

This movie was based on a novel by Nancy Naigle and at least gave us a beautiful beach to enjoy.  

Aly Michalka and Chad Michael Murray in Sand Dollar Cove
Image:  Crown Media

5. Love, For Real   

Starring Chloe Bridges as Hayley and Scott Michael Foster as Luke, this was the second movie of the summer to be filmed in Hawaii.  

While the movie was supposed to be about a fashion designer trying to snag some publicity to get her line financed, it seemed Hallmark was more interested in promoting diversity in lieu of good storytelling.  The "woke" attributes of this movie overshadowed the plot and ruined it for a lot of people.

Chloe Bridges and Scott Michael Foster in Love, For Real
Image: Crown Media

6.  The 27-Hour Day

Autumn Reeser and Andrew Walker, though dynamite Hallmark actors, didn't generate the chemistry in this movie fans expected.  

Lauren (Reeser) was a workaholic with a hit podcast that taught listeners hacks for efficiency so they could spend more time doing the things they loved.  She didn't heed her own advice, however, so she booked herself at a Montana retreat to learn to relax.

Jack (Walker) always wanted to be a veterinarian, yet he found himself working the family retreat, feeling obligated to look after his mom and sister following his father's passing.  

Both characters ultimately found balance in their work that allowed them to pursue their budding romance.

Click here if you'd enjoy testing your recall with a trivia quiz on the movie. 

Autumn Reeser and Andrew Walker in The 27-Hour Day
Image: Crown Media 

7.  Sealed With a Kiss: Wedding March 6

If ever a movie didn't live up to the hype, this one was it.  Fans of the series were excited to see Olivia (Josie Bissett) and Mick (Jack Wagner) finally tie the knot, but ended up being bitterly disappointed.  

Original characters were missing, the script was poorly written, too much focus was on another annoying couple, characters weren't likable, and the acting was sub-par.

Fans blamed Crown Media CEO, Wonya Lucas, for the downturn in Hallmark movie quality, but Lucas turned a deaf ear.  Without an about-face from Lucas, former CEO and now head of GAC-Family, Bill Abbott, will easily be able to reroute Hallmark fans to his new movie channel.

Josie Bissett and Jack Wagner in Sealed With a Kiss:  Wedding March 6
Image:  Crown Media

8.  A Little Daytime Drama 

Since both Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey were once daytime soap stars (Days of Our Lives and General Hospital, respectively), it was comically ironic they were cast in a movie centered on a soap opera.

Maggie (Lilley) was the lead writer of a daily soap that was in danger of cancellation. At the behest of the show's creator, it was decided a fan-favorite star, Darin (Paevey), be brought back into the script. The problem?  Darin was Maggie's ex-boyfriend, and things ended on a sour note.  Maggie had to convince Darin to return in order to save her show and their careers.

While some Hallmark fans thought this movie so-so, many were enthralled with the engaging synergy between Lilley and Paevey.  

Image: Crown Media 

9.  Sweet Pecan Summer

Unique to this movie was the basis of its story.  Not only did it star Wes Brown, who also served as executive producer, but the movie was based loosely on a real-life story written by his wife about her Aunt Carol.

Brown's daughter even had a bit part, so this movie truly was a family affair.

In the movie, Aunt Carol solicited the help of her niece, Amanda, in selling the family pecan farm.  Carol had an ulterior motive though--Amanda had to work with her ex-boyfriend, J.P., a pro baseball player and real estate broker, to get it done.  While the two initially were at odds with one another, they rediscovered their old feelings for each other, just as Carol had hoped.

Christine Ko and Wes Brown in Sweet Pecan Summer
Image:  Crown Media

10.  Journey of My Heart

Many fans noted this movie resembled Chasing Waterfalls, but it was more intentionally slow-paced in a thoughtful way.  It followed a biologist (Rhiannon Fish) into the Alaskan wilderness on an assignment surrounding the nesting area of bald eagles.  Along the way, she received inspirational advice from a Native American family and fell for her rugged wildlife guide (Darien Martin).

Rhiannon Fish and Darien Martin in Journey of My Heart
Image:  Crown Media

Vote For Your Favorite Summer Nights 2021 Movie!

Yes, there were a couple duds in this year's summer line-up, some of the cookie-cutter plots were stale, and too many of the movies were overshadowed by "woke" stupidity, but surely you enjoyed at least a few along the way.

Vote below for your FAVORITE of the ten new movies, and check back to see which one took the lead.

Before you vote, be sure to join our Facebook group!  

Find us here:

Take This QUIZ On Hallmark's "The 27-Hour Day"

Starring:  Autumn Reeser and Andrew Walker

Released:  2021

Summary:  An entrepreneur takes a break from her wellness empire for some much-needed work-life balance, but it's not easy for her to relax.  

Autumn Reeser and Andrew Walker Star in Hallmark's "The 27-Hour Day."
Autumn Reeser and Andrew Walker never disappoint Hallmark fans.  Image: Crown Media

Reeser & Walker Are Fan Favorites

Autumn Reeser and Andrew Walker are Hallmark veterans, and when either of them star in a movie, you know it will be a good one.

Reeser plays Lauren Garrett, a business woman known for her podcast on hacks to be more efficient so you can have more time during the day to do what you enjoy.  Problem is, she doesn't follow her own advice.  Lauren works long hours and is driven by success.  When she meets her favorite business icon, Barbara Davrow, Lauren is elated at the prospect of landing a spot on Davrow's speaking tour.  Brenda, however, quickly assesses that all work and no play will be Lauren's downfall and suggests she first learn to bring balance into her life.

Walker is Jack West, who, along with his mom and sister, runs Meadowlawn Retreat--a place where guests relax in nature and aren't allowed to have any phones or gadgets during their stay. Jack wants to fulfill his father's dream of expanding the retreat, but financing becomes a problem.  

As Lauren and Jack spend time together, he teaches her how to relax, and she inspires him to follow his own dreams instead of his father's.

Is Hallmark Running The Strong Women Theme Into The Ground?

When Wonya Lucas took the reins as CEO of Crown Media, she made clear one of her goals would be to create roles that empower women.  One might even think Lucas's alter ego is Brenda Crichlow, since Crichlow is a black woman who never plays anything less than a top executive or brand owner in every single Hallmark movie.

Wonya Lucas Crown Media CEO
Wonya Lucas is responsible for polluting Hallmark movies with "woke" elements.

Brenda Crichlow in Hallmark movies
Brenda Crichlow always stars as a powerful woman in Hallmark movies.

If women want to run their own businesses and be independent, good for them.  Many of us, however, still like the old-fashioned notion of being swept off our feet and taken care of by Prince Charming.

It seems Hallmark has tipped the scales way out of balance.  Not every woman in the world wants to be a militant feminist set on corporate domination.  Where are the roles that celebrate women with traditional values?  

Join Our Facebook Group!

If you love honest conversations about Hallmark movies, taking fun quizzes, having a chance to win in contests, and more, be sure to join our Facebook group!