Sadly, barring any miraculous developments, seasons of When Calls the Heart are no longer eligible to receive full reviews. However, this does not prevent us from sounding off on this waning phenomenon of a series. In our viewing, Seasons 7 and 8 ran together due to similar themes and circular subplots. Production, acting, and continuity were much the same in both seasons, so there’s nothing pertinent to discuss except for the continual absurdly of the storyline.
Despite some slightly interesting narratives that had potential, such as the new pastor and his family, most meaning is quickly discarded by the writers in favor of WCTH’s usual brand of sappiness. Nonetheless, there are moments when the sappiness is turned down, even when it comes to Rosemary’s character, in favor of standardly boring drama. Silly, childish conflicts continually take precedence over meaningful plot developments, and mindless conversations are the order of the day. As a result, the characters remain as static as ever, going nowhere on a treadmill of romance.
Did I mention the 438298203 romantic subplots that are found in these two seasons? The doctor and Nurse Carter (before the doctor leaves due to being too expensive of a cast member). Jesse and Clara (with their ridiculous forced dramas). The switchboard woman and the post office guy. The notoriously overlooked Hickam and that new “trendy” strong female character. Stock Lee and Boring Rosemary. Old Bill and some random woman? This is all without mentioning Elizabeth’s nauseating love triangle with the saloon guy and that Mountie from Heartland, which eventually leads to Elizabeth and the saloon guy (for now) and Nurse Carter and the Mountie (maybe).
As the town struggles with first-world problems that you might find inside a dollhouse, the series’ main character (?), Elizabeth, trying to fill the “huge” gap left by the Hallmark-banned Lori Loughlin, is tossed around at the writers’ whims, making random decisions for no reason. She likes the Mountie. She likes the saloon guy. She hates the Mountie. She hates the saloon guy. And on and on and on and on…
Why are we supposed to care about these characters anymore? What are the stakes? What are we supposed to learn? What’s the point? Can Michael Landon Jr. get anymore mileage out of his patented Young Widow Romance Cycle? Is this still a Christian series? Why do I watch it? When will Hallmark finally cancel it? What does Janette Oke really think about this stupidity? How many Hearties will hate this post? Does anybody care about WCTH anymore?
In all seriousness, by reducing the sappiness of the series, the WCTH team might be slowly isolating their own audience. The writers had already painted themselves into a corner, but when the niche WCTH audience isn’t satisfied, will they continue to reward the writers? How many seasons can this series realistically sustain before sagging ratings displease Hallmark’s advertisers, forcing the network to cancel? Do people really want to see this same stuff over and over again?
I supposed that only time will tell as we forge ahead into another ridiculous season.