Following the shocking proposal of Charles, both Jack and Elizabeth are left confused about the true nature of their relationship. They must sort out how they really feel about each other, even in the midst of other controversies, including Bill Avery’s dark secrets, the constant schemes of Henry Gowen, and the town’s new adaptations to the logging industry. Also, new and budding romances are aplenty in the newly christened Hope Valley, along with new colorful characters. Like always, the people of Hope Valley will have to navigate each new challenge together and keep remembering that hope is just around the corner.
Production Quality (1 point)
So, for starters, the production quality of When Calls the Heart diminishes significantly in Season 3. The camera work stays the same as always, but the sets and locations are severely limited, with obvious reuses of them. The characters rarely do anything outside of the winding street of Walnut Grove Hope Valley. As usual, the costuming and makeup is worse than ever, making it impossible for the audience to believe that these people are supposed to be low to middle class frontier people. The musical score is abysmal and the editing is all over the map, mostly settling for an episode-by-episode approach. There’s nothing wrong with this, but as will be discussed later, it disrupts the original purpose of this show. In short, corners were cut in this season, demonstrating an overall lack of regard for quality.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
Not only is the Season 2 ‘cliffhanger’ resolved with lightning speed, it is quickly replaced with one mindless storyline after another. People do this and that, Harriet Olson Rosemary schemes stuff, the town has events, people come and go, and Jack and Elizabeth continue a mind-numbing and painful dance of on and off romance. The Hamilton characters are kicked out; we’re not sure if this was a blessing or a curse. Bill Avery, once a promising double agent character, is reduced to a washed up guy who hangs around town. Henry Gowen continues his usual bad guy stuff and generally accomplishes nothing. Ever the town counselor, Caroline Ingalls Missy LaHaye Abigail acts like she’s doing things like running a diner and riding horses and taking care of orphans. Elizabeth attempts to teach and play acts a hard working frontier woman while Jack does Mountie stuff. Lots of things are talked about that happened off screen. The Christian message is long gone by now, replaced with trite Joel Osteen sayings from Abigail and Pastor Hogan. Shallow subplots are introduced and quickly resolved. Overall, there is zero creativity in this season and the much-anticipated season finale climax fizzles out with the New Year’s fireworks at the beginning. The writers give us no reason whatsoever to want another season, because there is no direction whatsoever anymore in this series. But in the upside down world of Hallmark, Michael Landon Jr. and company trolled the ‘#Hearties’ for an entire season of false pretense and proved that they could do whatever they wanted and still get renewed. The mind boggles.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
The acting has been on a downward trend since the first season, but Season 3 reaches new lows. The starring cast demonstrates they have no intention to try to be good at acting, nor do they have to try. Any air of professionalism demonstrated in previous seasons is gone, replaced with mindless line delivery and forced emotions. Every scene seems very staged and fake, just actors and actresses saying lines they don’t really care about. The only thing that keeps this portion from being zero is some slightly interesting acting from certain cast members.
Continuity Quality (0 points)
As previously mentioned, the original purpose of When Calls the Heart has been washed away in that flash flood or that mud slide. The continuity collapsed along with the mine (again). There is no driving purpose to Season 4. Once this show’s strongest point, the continuity has been completely abandoned in favor of a mindless stretch if silly episode that accomplish next to nothing.
This was such a disappointing season to endure. There was so much potential in this show, but it has been tossed by the wayside. It’s so sad to know that an opportunity to create truly quality and far-reaching Christian entertainment has been squandered in favor of more fake and manufactured ideas. We get that from Hallmark all the time—why not change things up? The viewers are not stupid, so why treat them that way? Creators need to think better of their audiences and give them shows that provoke the imagination and challenge the status quo, not lull them to sleep or incite undue laughter. It is clear that they knew they could do whatever they wanted and still get renewed, and it is likely that Season 4 will still be heavily watched. But we at Box Office Revolution are still waiting for someone to use Hallmark resources for a better purpose: to create a show or movie series that is dynamic and truly changes things up. We sincerely believe this is what God has called some Christians to do, and we wait to promote and support whoever will accept the challenge.
Final Rating: 1.5 out of 14 points