Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove

 
(i)

 

Squeaky-clean small-town romance might not interest kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Values such as honesty, kindness, and faithfulness are on display, and supported both implicitly and explicitly, as when Lockhart discusses the joys of living in a friendly small town and almost ends her relationship with Griffith because he's "evasive" with her.

Positive role models

Lockhart is a judge and is honorable and works hard to provide justice. For the most part, the people of Cedar Cove are respectful and friendly towards each other. Characters who stray from the righteous path (for instance, one philanderer) are criticized and lose friends.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Since the Hallmark series is lifted from a series of romance novels, romance is ever present but of the long gazes and quick kisses variety rather than anything sexual. The ultimate goal of a relationship is marriage, and philandering automatically results in being dumped.

Language

One "damn."

Consumerism

Cedar Cove is based on a series of romance novels, which viewers may want to purchase after watching.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One main character works in a bar so there are many scenes of drinking and serving alcohol, as well as friends talking over bottles of wine. No one acts drunk. Another main character is an alcoholic and working hard to remain sober.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove is a gentle romance set in a small lakeside town that's suitable for all ages but might not interest younger viewers. Romance runs throughout, though most of the goings-on are innocent and sweet rather than passionate and tumultuous. Still, there is plenty of flirting and dating and some kissing, plus a proposal, an estranged couple who decide to give their marriage another shot, and a philandering bad guy who gets his comeuppance. Language is similarly squeaky-clean, with just one "damn" in the series' pilot. Several scenes are set in a bar, though no one ever acts drunk, but one character is managing sobriety, so this concept is discussed.

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What's the story?

In the delightful lakeside town in DEBBIE MACOMBER'S CEDAR COVE, Judge Olivia Lockhart (Andie MacDowell) dispenses justice from the bench. Or, at least she would, if annoying Cedar Cove Chronicle reporter/mysterious new hottie in town Jack Griffith (Dylan Neal) would stop sniffing around for a story after he saw her delay divorce proceedings between Cecilia and Ian, a married couple who lost a daughter but haven't fallen out of love. You see, Olivia's been offered a big promotion in the big city, and she's thinking about taking it despite the fact that that would mean leaving her mother and daughter Justine, who's on the verge of getting engaged to a creepy, duplicitous land developer. Plus, Olivia's in love with her tiny town, its quirky people and its small town parades and annual seagull-calling contest...and she's starting to have feelings for Jack.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In classic Hallmark Channel style, this mild romance series is as gentle and inoffensive as a kiss on the cheek from Grandma. Andie MacDowell looks as great as ever and brings snap and spark to the role of Olivia, who could have been treacle-y in less capable hands. She's the pleasantly tart anchor that keeps all the determinedly adorable townspeople and their many eccentricities from being way too precious.

As it is, Olivia and the rest wind up being lovable and easy to watch. Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove doesn't challenge the intellect or emotions, they're pleasant and cheerful, just like the book series from which the series is adapted. If the romance shelf at the library holds great appeal to you, this will too. Don't expect younger viewers to really want to watch along, but neither will they be disturbed by anything they happen to see.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove is a realistic portrait of small-town life. Are the people of small towns really so picturesque and charming? Or is that what people who live in big cities like to think?

  • Most of the main characters of Cedar Cove are middle aged and older. Teens: Do you enjoy watching older people onscreen? Do you appreciate seeing their romantic goings-on? Why or why not?

  • Is the viewer supposed to like Olivia Lockhart? What about Jack Griffith? How are they dressed, lit and otherwise presented? What about the villians of the show, such as Justine's friend Warren. Are we supposed to like him? How is he presented differently from Olivia and Jack?

TV details

Cast:Andie MacDowell, Dylan Neal
Network:Hallmark Channel
Genre:Drama
Topics:Book characters
TV rating:NR

This review of Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove was written by

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