HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Cedar Cove: The Final Season
HTS Overall Score:75
I have mentioned the term “like a Hallmark movie” in regards to sappy romance films in the past, the Hallmark Channel is pretty much the king of fluffy romantic shows and movies that have little substance and usually involving B-list actors that end on a ridiculously high not in such a way that will make your gums ache from the syrupy sweetness. Well, “Cedar Cove” is probably the most Hallmarky of Hallmark shows (yes Hallmarky is a word, I just made it up). Just watch the trailer and you’ll get what I’m talking about. I’ve watched the show off and on over my wife’s shoulder so I was familiar with the previous two seasons, so when this showed up on my doorstep out of the blue I wasn’t scrabbling like a maniac trying to watch two seasons front to back before I could get to this one. A little brush up on my wife’s manic DVR collection got me up to speed and ready for this season.
Season 3 ends right where Season 2 left off, such as being MINUTES from each other. Andie MacDowell has returned to her role as Olivia Lockhart, the judge with a heart, and is reeling from Jack’s lies and betrayal last season. Putting her life back together as best she can she tries to move on, but Jack (Dylan Neal) is truly repentant and devastated over his deception last season. A broken man he tries to put his life back together and fight for Olivia in that way that only a man on Hallmark Channel can do. To make matters worse, he has to deal with his son Eric and granddaughter Adele. It’s best to keep what happens between them a secret and let you watch it, as that is a HUGE spoiler for the rest of the season.
Working as best he can to fight for Olivia, Jack is now pulling out all the stops as he has finally learned what she meant to him in the first place. Something that he had taken for granted the last two seasons. However, a new player enters the game in the form of District Attorney Paul Watson (“Eureka” Colin Ferguson) in a way that definitely seems to spell a bit of trouble for Jack and Olivia’s relationship together (as all of these shows seem to have).
“Cedar Cove” is definitely a show designed for a niche audience. That audience that loves syrupy sweet romances and innocence that will ALWAYS end on that joyous high note. I do have to say that I can whole heartedly recommend the series for someone who has any reservations about sex, violence, language and anything of that ilk that seems to happen on so many TV shows today. The series is about as innocent as a kiss on your mother’s cheek, or two 8 year olds holding hands. However, that also comes with a lot of negatives as that drains a lot of conflict from these types of shows. Intrigue and betrayal of those kinds lead to huge layers of confusion and miscommunication that only fuels a series into season after season of happenings.
I have to say that even though “Cedar Cove” is a bit of a sugar rush, the cast makes it rather likeable. The series is filled with TV regulars such as Andie, Bruce Boxleitner, Teryl Rothery (Stargate Atlantis), Colin Ferguson, Dylan Neal, and the list goes on and on. Season three brings home the bacon as and Jack and Olivia’s relationship is finally brought full circle, with a lots and lots of real estate conflicts, marriage issues, and small town soap opera dramas.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67737[/img]If you’ve seen one season of “Cedar Cove”, or most other Hallmark films, you know exactly what you’re in for. Thick overblow colors and white levels that give a sort of hazy and soft looking image that is meant to look all glowing and warmly inviting. The result is wonderful colors that look rich and resplendent, with a decidedly purple hue to the color grading. However the downside is that the image looks overly soft and hazy for a modern day series on DVD and the image detail is a bit lackluster as a result. There is still plenty of fine detail to go around, as cars, restaurants and the like look appropriately detailed, but facial details are definitely overly smooth and lacking in that crispness that one would associate with the type of show it is. However, most of these can’t be attributed to Cinedigm’s encode, as there is very little artifacting besides some macroblocking here and there, it’s just the nature of the Hallmark Channel and their visual style.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67745[/img]Even though it’s a 5.1 Dolby Digital track, “Cedar Grove: The Final Season” is MORE than a bit front heavy and except for a few ambient noises and the melodic nature of the sugary sweet score the sound STAYS in the front three speakers. Dialog is the name of the game and dialog is what is focused on here. Vocals are crisp and clear with solid directional queues at times in the mains. The dynamic range is a bit flat though, as there really are no highs and lows, just one continuous layer of sound that stays at the same volume and intensity throughout. There’s a teensy bit of bass, but nothing too wild. I saw my subs flicker a bit on the amp but nothing more than a mild bump to the low end to satisfy the requirement of a low end channel.
“Cedar Cover” is not something that I personally love to death, but the solid cast makes it plenty watchable and it’s that type of series that will appeal to your mother and grandmother more than anyone. The series has finally come to an end and it does so with grace and dignity, despite the notice that season 3 would be the final season instead of letting Debbie Macomber’s novels keep on going season after season. If you have a wife or mother that loves the Hallmark channel, than you really can do no wrong, however those on the male side of the gender gap may want to wince and slowly back away. For the ladies.
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal, Sara Smyth
Created by: Debbie Macomber
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 511 minutes
DVD Release Date: March 15th, 2016
Buy Cedar Cove: The Final Season DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: For the Ladies
More about Mike