Monday, March 7, 2016

Purity at the Heart of Things (When Calls the Heart)

 Written for the Period Drama Challenge hosted by Laurie over at Old-Fashioned Charm.

What happened to purity? What happened to shows like Touched by an Angel, Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and a myriad of other family-friendly shows that used to fill night-time viewing hours? Even Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman had a fairly wholesome atmosphere, despite the steam rising between Dr. Mike and Sully.

Ads for tv programs like Quantico, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal run rampant every time I turn on the tv, it seems. And every time I see an ad for the next episode of almost any show, one thing is always the same . . . sex. ALWAYS. It doesn't matter what show we're talking about or what episode it is. Even Castle, a show I used to love, has its fair share of sex scenes. There might not be outright nudity, but it's close enough and definitely enough that your imagination can fill in any blanks.

This is television as we know it today.

Except for one small, shining light, a beacon of hope known as When Calls the Heart.

Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton, Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher, and Daniel Lissing as Jack Thornton

Have you heard of it? I should hope so because the name is getting out there! Yes, it runs on the Hallmark channel, but don't just dismiss it because you don't watch Hallmark. I've heard people won't watch WCTH just because of that fact, which means you're really missing out on a show that almost makes me believe we could someday have family television back again.

I'm throwing this in now so I don't forget . . . When Calls the Heart runs on Hallmark on Sundays at 8/7!

It is set in 1910, right smack dab in the middle of the Edwardian era. Young Elizabeth Thatcher, wealthy socialite decides it is her calling to become a teacher in a small town known as Coal Valley, deep in the heart of western Canada. She wants her life to make a difference, but she never imagined that she would fall so deeply in love with the people of Coal Valley. And that she would find such a dear friend in Abigail Stanton who lost her husband and son in a recent coal mining disaster. Or that the flicker of possibility might burn when she meets the local constable, Mountie Jack Thornton. In Coal Valley, she finds a home.

Kavan Smith as Lee Coulter (SIGHS) and Pascale Hutton as Rosemary LeVeaux

And as time progresses, Elizabeth realizes just how much she needs Coal Valley. The second season finds the series in a turn-around, with the coal mine closing down and a charming businessman named Lee Coulter deciding he wants to set up housekeeping and build a sawmill, taking influential power from Henry Gowan who had run the coal mine and risked the lives of his miners. An old flame from Jack Thornton's life, Rosemary LeVeaux even makes an entrance, trying to snatch Jack's heart from Elizabeth, only to find herself possibly falling for Lee instead, a much better match for such a determined and forthright woman. And now the town, once known as Coal Valley, is Hope Valley, a much better name and so well-suited to the group of people determined to thrive and care for each other.

Mark Humphrey as Frank Hogan and Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton (❤ them so much!)
The third season has just gotten under way, heading into a redemption arc when the rumor mill starts grinding about the past of Hope Valley's pastor, Frank Hogan, a diamond in the rough who arrived in Hope Valley in the 2nd season. Abigail Stanton, after a distrustful relationship with Bill Avery of the mounted police, has just begun trusting again and finds her interest in Frank to be more than platonic. Now she decides if she is willing to stand by him and trust his story or step aside and let the chips fall where they may. And Rosemary, a woman accustomed to getting what she wants, is discovering that what she wants is Lee, more than she ever imagined possible.

One of the best things about When Calls the Heart is that Jack and Elizabeth do not carry the whole story on their own. This show is reminiscent of Road to Avonlea where you had so many delightful characters who you loved in their own right. Each one was individualistic and special, adding to the story in a meaningful way, growing the society through their presence. It is the same with When Calls the Heart. I love Lee and Rosemary so much this season that it makes my heart hurt. And watching Frank and Abigail together, feeling their way along, is so beautiful. Jack and Elizabeth are precious because they have the issue of their different upbringings to work through and you just cheer for them so hard, wanting desperately for their relationship to be a success.

Daniel Lissing as Jack Thornton and Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher (ADORABLE)
And all of this is accomplished without sex. You never have to worry when you sit down to watch an episode of When Calls the Heart what you might see. You never have to hide the eyes of your little ones or cover their ears. This show is wholesome, family-friendly goodness in every respect. I will say that the second season did deviate from the established norm of the show, putting Elizabeth back in her home town of Hamilton and trying to contend with Downton Abbey in style and flair, but the 3rd season is a return to Hope Valley, to the people and places that I grew to love in the first season. The season that won my heart.

If you're like me, tired of tv programs dragging down your purity, give When Calls the Heart a try! If we, as a society, as a family of believers, want quality television programming for the family, then we have to do our part by watching what's out there. When Calls the Heart fills a little hole in my spirit that I didn't even realize was there until one of my dearest friends, Lynn, introduced me to Hope Valley and all of its delightful inhabitants.

And let me whisper a little secret in your ear. There's a Facebook Group called Fans of Hallmark's When Calls the Heart. Oh my gosh, this group is amazing! If you give the show a try and like it then I encourage to take your love a step further.

Become a Heartie!

Because that's what we're called, Hearties, and this group is a total and complete GODthing! We are now over 32,000 strong and that's just the US Hearties on FB. There are groups for fans who are all over the world!

And the best thing? You can get involved. Every couple of months, I go to a Colorado Hearties lunch with a lovely group of ladies who I just ADORE. We sit, we talk about WCTH, we eat, and we love on each other as sisters in Christ. It's the best thing ever!

This show really is of God. It's also of Janette Oke, Brian Bird and Michael Landon Jr., but it is definitely God working through them and their vision. When Calls the Heart is something entirely unique, entirely special, and unlike anything the Hallmark channel has ever seen. We're trending, folks! Get in on the action! Try a little purity of heart and see how you feel! I just bet you'll bubble over with so much joy you won't know where to put it!

And now you know why I've taken to using ❤ in my posts lately. It's a reminder to myself to love and share about When Calls the Heart. Because it's time to make a difference and what better way to do that than through a show whose message is about hope, faith, love, and redemption!? ❤


  1. Love this post! I skipped the middle, 'cause I've only watched the first season, but I loved reading about why you love this show. Really, I loved it :)

    Okay, I'm becoming really darn interested in Lee and Rosemary. I gotta get my game on and keep watching! ;)

    I hadn't even thought of it, more's the pity, but you're right--this show is one of the very few (I can't actually think of another one bar kids' shows, which can be pretty cool too) that actually knows how to get by without sex.

    It's not my absolute favorite (YET *wink wink*), but you're definitely getting me more intrigued ;D And thanks so much for the eye candy in this post! All the pretty pictures *sigh*

    1. Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed my little fangirling post!

      Yes, Lee and Rosemary are delightful. She's a bit hard to swallow at first, for quite a few episodes, but she grows on you, or at least she did me, as soon as she stopped chasing Jack. Lee might be my favorite male character now. He just keeps being so absolutely ADORABLE. And a perfect match for Rosemary. Argh, so CUTE!

      And yes, I had fun with the pictures. They help make the world go round. I will say that the 2nd season has a very different feel than the 1st season. VERY DIFFERENT. But I know why it happened that way and I don't hold it against the show. The 3rd season is pretty much back on track and I am so happy with what they're doing now. Forge your way through the 2nd season and you will be rewarded!

  2. Well, my mom gets the Hallmark channel, so when I visit her after Easter, I'll see if we can watch an ep!

    1. That would be awesome! If you take Netflix, the first 2 seasons are on there as well. It's really a lovely, sigh-worthy show in every respect. Plus, I have a thing for mounties. ❤


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