Friday, April 29, 2016

REMEMBERING JAMES CARROLL

James Carroll 1956-2016
Those who remember and still enjoy the wonderful series Wind at my Back will be saddened to learn of the passing of James Carroll this past Wednesday who was diagnosed with cancer in December. Remembered best for his iconic Canadian role of Max Sutton, a devoted school teacher turned writer and radio guru, United States born James Carroll did not grace the television screens of 90s families as much as other famed actors may have. Yet his contribution to the wholesome entertainment world will definitely be remembered for those who followed the productions of Kevin Sullivan and Sullivan Entertainment.

Although I knew little of Carroll outside of Max Sutton, I was fascinated to learn how life imitated art in his later years leading up to his passing. For many years, just like Sutton, Carroll was an icon in Canadian radio, having hosted his own show and helped to build a station from a small basement operation to a service of a large community. To learn more about the accomplishments of James Carroll, read this wonderful piece by Canada's National Post which includes an excerpt from Carroll's work on the excellent, wholesome television series Wind at my Back.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

GIVEAWAY: LOVE'S UNENDING LEGACY


It's been awhile since I've hosted a giveaway at Hearth and Home. So to remedy that, I am giving away a used DVD copy of the fifth installment of the Love Comes Softly saga "Love's Unending Legacy." View movie trailer here

To enter this contest, simply use the form on the "Contact and Links" page above and use the movie's title in the message field. Please also help me spread the word about the contest on social media! For Twitter users, don't forget to include my handle @wholesomeTV in your tweets. Thanks for participating!

Contest will run until April 15, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Only one entry per person please. Winner will be chosen at random using the old-fashioned paper drawing after contest has ended.


Monday, March 28, 2016

HOPE CENTER HIGHLIGHTS: SMALL TOWN, BIG MAYOR

I still haven't quite fully comprehended the immense fact that a town with barely a speck on the map to represent it and one that has such a strong connection to me personally is going to enter the national spotlight this week. Upon hearing the news, shocked was an understatement to describe my initial reaction. But that shock is a good kind of shock. For I am greatly looking forward to the future of this brand new reality television series coming to UPTV


Small Town, Big Mayor focuses on the very much small town of D'Lo, Mississippi, located in the rural southern central area of the state and its mayor John Henry Berry as he sets out on a long-needed quest to restore the town from certain ruin. Without putting a hand to the plow today, this small town that once was big and had deep history and was worth admiring will forever be lost and never remembered for future generations. According to UP, STBM will premiere as a half-hour sneak peek this coming Thursday, March 31st at 9:30 p.m. EST with hopefully more to come in the form of a regularly airing series on the network. Spread the word! If you admire a small town stepping up to keep their legacy alive, then invite a few friends to watch and tell UPTV that you want more of this series. I know I'll be doing the same.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

WHEN CALLS THE HEART SEASON 3

Audiences around the world fell head over heels for a young schoolteacher who crossed the Canadian prairie to teach a one-room schoolhouse, or should I say saloon, and reach out for the acceptance of a community in need of all she had to offer as an educated woman of the east. It was not easy at first. From mice catastrophes to burning down her home to accidently saying she drank and coming face to face with a student's eager punching arm, Elizabeth Thatcher had her work cut out for her. But was she cut out for the west of the early 20th century? Well, so far we have had two seasons of When Calls the Heart to see if the answer to this question is yes or no. What do you think? I personally think she has come a long way and has much to look forward to in her home of Hope Valley along with her closest friends by her side. And...especially a certain Mountie. I'm preaching to the Heartie choir here, aren't I?

Season two left off on a very rocky note. What with a dude on one knee and everything. Remind me again why 30,000 people were upset? Oh, yes that's right. It was Charles on bended knee and not Jack. Anyways, New Years' brought with a renewed hope in the lives of the people of what had now come to be Hope Valley in light of the coal mine closing its doors for good. And with hope in the hearts of the residents once again as the lumber mill came to town thanks to Leland Coulter, it was clear that a name change was in order. Rosemary found her place alongside Lee, Abigail saw new vision in the joy of a possible courtship and the love of two children in need of a family, while Jack and Elizabeth continued to bloom into the next chapter of their courtship (away from Charles of course) and the town continued to thwart the difficulties of life in the turn of the century frontier.

Season three is off to a great start in many ways. Fans will be pleased with Elizabeth's return to journaling, a bit more in depth emotion to characters we've never seen before, and the blooming romances throughout. The ratings thus far are to be considered as a job well done by Hearties across the globe in an effort to "efangelize" and garner a greater audience for this season in hopes for seasons to come.

If you are already a Heartie, as the fans call themselves, all that I have stated above is no news to you. But if you are not yet a fan, consider tuning in this week to another riveting adventure in Coal Valley as we approach the middle of the season and several game-changers in the lives of the Hope Valley residents. So Follow Your Heart to Sundays and watch When Calls the Heart every Sunday night at 9 p.m. EST only on the Hallmark Channel.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SONS OF THUNDER

Marco Sanchez, Chuch Norris, and Jimmy Wlcek
From March to April of 1999, CBS saw the beginning of a new series, a spin-off from the ever classic hit in Walker Texas Ranger. The series would pick up with stories from the recurring characters Trent Malloy and Carlos Sandoval who originally made their debut in Walker in the season five two-hour episode "Sons of Thunder." The twosome went on to reprise their roles in many episodes of future seasons of Walker. This new series by the same name, Sons of Thunder, first aired March 9, 1999, and ran for six weeks before being canceled by the network. That stinks, CBS. Anyways....

After a trying ordeal, Detective Sandoval (Sanchez) quits the Dallas Police force and joins his best friend Trent Malloy (Wlcek) in starting up Thunder Investigations, a private investigator service serving the Dallas metroplex. After biting off a bit more than they can chew and acquiring spunky side-kick and office manager Kimberly Sutter, the threesome are thrust into adventures they hardly could have thought up on their own as they strive to save lives and help those truly in need within the city. Throughout the short series, Walker lead characters Ranger Walker, Ranger Trivette, and also Alex Cahill reprise their roles as supporting characters much like Trent and Carlos did in Walker. (Look for a detailed review of the 2-hour pilot movie from Walker in the near future.) 



SOT was an excellent storyline to choose as a spin-off. With its strong moral base, clearly defining the line between wrong and right while showing how far a little courage, strength, and doing what's right can go, I would have loved to see more of this series made. Even if it may have not been as par-none as Walker was, I think they got a raw deal in just being given six episodes. Not fair in my opinion. That being said, the "Sons of Thunder" episode and characters were my absolute favorite from Walker and in television overall. So it was very much exciting to see that they had continued their stories and given the characters their own series. It is quite unfortunate though that it only lasted for such a short time. As far as content goes, there are a lot of similarities to Walker. So refer to my Walker review for more information there. My rating: 4 out of 5.