Saturday, March 28, 2015

Good Witch | Season 1, Episode 5

I recently discovered Good Witch, a new original TV series run on the beloved Hallmark Channel, mainly through commercials on the channel itself while housesitting and the reviews written by the lovely Rissi. Since then I've had the pleasure of keeping up with it and, though I know I'm starting a little late in the season, I'd like to share my thoughts with you all -- and hopefully convince you to watch it, too ;) Yep, it's a gem.

In the fifth installment to the first season, Sam (James Denton, Grace Unplugged) is still dealing with repercussions from his failed date with Stephanie (Kylee Evans), while Cassie (Catherine Bell) and Lori (Hannah Endicott-Douglas) are worried about Grace (Bailee Madison, Once Upon a Time), who appears to be missing, having disappeared from her study time with Anthony (Shane Harte). Nick (Rhys Matthew Bond) takes it upon himself to escort disobedient Grace home from the Coffeehouse, a bar-like business with many older men whom Nick distrusts. Then there's Ryan (Anthony Lemke, A Wish Come True), who's struggling with his decision to raze the historical houses in Middleton to the ground -- and besides that, there's his “interesting” relationship with Cassie, which since their impromptu kiss has been really awkward.

Yep, it's complicated. There's a lot going on -- or at least that's what it seems to me, since I didn't expect Hallmark to draft such a great series! Good Witch is family-friendly and full of fun, yet also dramatic enough to tease. I enjoy seeing James Denton (whom I recently watched in the Christian film Grace Unplugged) again -- he's a dynamic actor who presents a great persona across the screen. Catherine Bell's character, Cassie Nightingale, is much less fiery and feminist than the typical twenty-first century female lead, instead being sedate and wise. That being said, she can get riled, mostly by her cousin Abigail (who strangely reminds me of the YouTube beauty guru Blair Fowler -- also, Bailee Madison, who plays Grace, reminds me of another beauty guru, Ingrid Nilsen) who's recently moved to town. So yes, characterization is mostly good -- Grace is a sweet albeit a little snooty perfectionist, Nick is clearly falling for her while refusing to get his bad-boy-ness under control, and Ryan is energetic, competitive, and a little too easily pressured. The only character I really dislike so far is Lori Russell, Cassie's stepdaughter. She comes across as childish (though she's supposed to have graduated college) and flat to me.

In the past couple episodes, there have also been some graduating themes, one of which was Abigail's decision to play God over all of Cassie's relatives and close friends. This is a recurring theme throughout literature, myth, and all types of fiction -- and it always ends badly. The aggravating thing about Abigail is she seems to, in her stuck-up fashion, believe she's doing what's right by eschewing everyone's lives so the right people end up together and the wrong people don't. This showcases her pettiness and selfishness -- if she were really a kind person (I don't say “a kind person at heart” because none of us really are -- the sin nature is inborn in all of us) she would never purposely cause suffering or, as in Grace's case, others to sin. In general what she seems to be doing by explaining to Cassie that her actions were purely for others' good (A.K.A. showing people their own shortcomings, shifting circumstances so those shortcomings are more easily noticed, etc.) is actually justifying her own shortcomings. This is why you can't play God, people. You're not perfect. You can't pretend you don't have faults by making other people see their own.

Jeez! I'm really rusty at critical exegeses. Forgive me for that.

The second theme is that of the compass -- the symbol of a search for meaning, search for truth, or search for one's path in life. In this episode, Grace breaks the compass Cassie gave her in episode four -- symbolic, perhaps, of her refusal to find the way back to the truth and confess to Cassie that she wasn't on a study date with Anthony -- she was going to meet Abigail at the Coffeehouse. It's also symbolic of the fact that compasses are useless if you don't use them to find your way!

Overall, this series has absolutely been enchanting so far and I think you should tune in tonight at 8/7 central to watch this lovely episode. Also, I just have to randomly note that while I ship Nick and Grace, I also like Sam and Cassie . . . but only one of them can work out since if Sam and Cassie got together Nick and Grace would be brother and sister! Darn.


  1. Yay! Glad you are liking these, Hannah! I think they are so cute and fun and sometimes poignant. As you say, Cassie is a wise character and oftentimes, you can learn something from each episode. Loved this episode - albeit Grace got on my nerves a bit with her recent character thread (and Abigail is ALWAYS bugging me). Wonder what will happen with these next two episodes (which will likely deal with Sam's returning ex) since this series tends to be a pattern of 2-episode storylines. :D

    Great thoughts!

    Ps; thanks a bunch for the shout-out, friend. :)

    1. Yeah, I have noticed that this series tends to play as though a pair of episodes were actually a Part 1 and Part 2 to a story. :)

      Haha, this may sound odd, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds depth in storylines. It seems that that's a rarity in the modern world -- to peer past an author or screenwriter's surface writing and see what belief/life lesson he or she meant to convey behind it -- and I think some people would find me odd for trying to interpret their reasoning. I'm glad you don't :)

      Oh you're welcome! but no biggie -- I love your blog and it deserves plenty of shoutouts, believe me ;)

    2. Not at all! I hear what you're saying about interpreting a writer's reasoning, but that's part of the beauty in storytelling - what a viewer (or reader) gets out of it. We probably all get something different out of the same thing, which is cool, I think. :)

      It's fun to dig deeper in storytelling. So many stories have poignant lessons to impart.

    3. Yes indeed :) I love that there's no right or wrong answer and that all that's required is to think more deeply and challenge our brains.

  2. I've just started watching the show too! I'm still on episode 3 so I'll definitely come back to read the whole post after I catch up. (: I'm in love with your blog! Just followed via GFC. (: x

    Truly Yours, Kyle | trulyyourskyle

    1. Oh wonderful! Don't you love it? It's great -- I love that it's so clean, too, and yet (almost) right up to par with normal primetime TV.

      Thank you for following, Kyle! That was so sweet of you :)


Go 'head, leave a comment! I gladly respond to every one :)