Cassie Nightingale (Catherine Bell), Middleton’s favorite enchantress, and her young-teenage daughter Grace (Bailee Madison), who shares that same special intuition as her mom, welcome Dr. Sam Radford (James Denton) and his son to town. When the New York transplants move in next to the Grey House, they are immediately spellbound by the mother-daughter duo next door, but Sam and Cassie quickly find they may not see eye to eye. With her signature charm, Cassie attempts to bring everyone together, ensuring all of Middleton is in for new changes, big surprises and, of course, a little bit of magic!
Before I begin this review, let me establish a bit of my background with Hallmark and the Good Witch franchise. If you follow my blog at all, you will know that I am an avid Hallmark advocate. There is very little that airs on this network that I do not like. And when I was asked to review this newest series, I was honored. I was completely unfamiliar with any of the films (I don’t know where I’ve been), and I can tell you honestly that viewing the films before enjoying the series is not essential. I plan to get caught up so it can add to my enjoyment of the series. But I came in knowing virtually nothing, and I did not feel lost at all.
Additionally, some may be concerned about the “magic” aspect of the show. I realize this may be a turn-off to my readers who are more conservative. Let me quell your fears. I am a committed Christian, and I can assure you that the magic in this show is a delightful element. If you have ever watched any fantasy movies/shows or possibly even the old Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie shows, you will find this show is even better than those. The “magic” is more of a premonition or feeling, and it is completely family-friendly. In fact, the show has nothing objectionable in it. It is suitable for all ages.
Now onto my review!
From the opening scenes of this show, I was drawn into the story. I was only familiar with the two principals, but most of the actors and actresses have been a part of this franchise for some time. The newcomer is James Denton, but he seemed to fit well into the framework of the show. The characters were absolutely delightful, and the story dealt with many family and even current issues. As always with Hallmark, doing the “right” thing was emphasized, and making bad decisions was frowned upon (and not rewarded). But for me, I salute Hallmark for venerating policemen. In this day and age, when the news is inundated with stories of police officers who have done the wrong thing or been reviled by others, it is nice to see a show that gives policemen the honor that they are due.
Honestly, I have never seen Catherine Bell in anything else. I know of the show Jag, but as I have stated before, I am “out of the loop” when it comes to watching many television series. What I can say is that not only is she the perfect fit for the role of Cassie Nightingale, but she is the only one who could play this role so convincingly. I realize she has been with the franchise from the beginning, but she is pure magic on the screen. She is absolutely gorgeous, and her acting is effortless. I forgot that I was watching a show–she embodies the character so well that I was drawn into her world for the time the show was on–and I truly escaped my own reality. Beauty, talent, and credibility–that is the triple threat that Catherine has brought to this role!
On the other hand, I have seen Bailee Madison in a couple other films, and she is truly a bright and up and coming star! Whenever she played her role of Grace (Cassie’s daughter), she lit up the screen. I was completely enraptured with how easily she portrayed her role. There was never any doubt that she was the sweet teenaged daughter who was just discovering her special gifts. Every time I see this girl, her acting just seems to improve (and she has been outstanding in everything in which I have seen her–how does she keep getting better?). She and Catherine interact so well that if I hadn’t known the truth, I would have thought they were mother and daughter.
As to James Denton (who is new to the franchise but not to acting of course), I knew I had seen him elsewhere, but I could not place him. I am afraid I never watched Desperate Housewives, but then I saw he had been in last year’s Hallmark movie Stranded in Paradise–that was it! As Dr. Sam Radford, no doubt he is the perfect foil for Catherine’s character. Their chemistry was full of just the right amount of tension and enchantment to make watching them a pleasure. He is certainly handsome enough, and his character’s early aloofness made me wonder if I would eventually like him in the role. Did he truly fit into this show? By the end of the show, his character had grown on me (brilliant acting on his part as his character evolved throughout the episode–exactly what was supposed to happen). I greatly anticipate what his character will do as the show continues.
My favorite character, however, is Mayor Martha! My daughter’s name is Martha, so she and I both noticed from the beginning that the mayor shared her name. I knew nothing of the actress Catherine Disher, but her character brings a fair amount of humor and fun to series. My poor daughter was not happy that the mayor was pompous (I assured my daughter she was nothing like the mayor even though they share a name), but my favorite scene involved this mayor. I will not spoil the scene, but pay particular attention to the scene where she is stopped by a policeman and the awkward scene that ensues. I look forward to watching this scene again! There is no one else who could bring such believability and incredible comedic timing to this role as this actress, and she adds that wonderful element of humor that every show absolutely must have.
So what did I think? While this show is not yet my absolute favorite series (I am a #Cover at heart), I can honestly say the series was sheer delight! Speaking of Cedar Cove, if you pay attention to the credits, as I did, you might recognize a name–Sue Tenney! I knew the name, and I knew she was connected with Cedar Cove. Yes, she was the executive producer last season and wrote a few episodes. And she wrote this episode of Good Witch and is one of the executive producers. This made me even more excited to watch this show.
So be sure to watch the premiere on February 28 at 8/7 c! Check out the links below for local showtimes. After all, you want to live tweet with the cast and fans, right? When you do, be sure to use the hashtag #GoodWitch, and be sure to follow all the accounts on twitter:
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