Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Television Critique 2016 – 06/04/2016: Hallmark Channel Murder Mystery Series

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a TV Show review.
Prologue: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: Worth watching these made-to-TV movies - some easy and some hard to chew candies.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel has five mystery movies in the form of series - Aurora Teagarden Mystery Movies, Garage Sale Mystery Movies, Murder She Baked Movies, Flower Shop Mystery Movies and Gourmet Detective Mystery Movies. Originally started with Garage Sale Mystery Movies, gradually Hallmark added the remaining three to the package of the mystery movies releasing the new ones together. The Gorumet Detective Mystery Movies released along with these but less frequent that the rest. So for the sake of this discussion I will remove that movie from my post. All these movies are based on books written by real authors. :)

In the month of June, Hallmark came up with four new movies in the series (barring Gourmet Detective Mystery Movies) with leading actresses being the sleuths. I always look forward to these movies but I am partial to some compared to the other.

Here is the order and why of it.

Garage Sale Mystery Movies:

The series stars Lori Loughlin as Jennifer Shannon who owns an antique shop called Rags to Riches. With her keen observation skills and penchant to not let go of a quest, she stumbles upon key evidences and clues in solving several murders in her town. The movies are based on two-part book series by author Suzi Weinert: Garage Sale Stalker and Garage Sale Diamonds.

I like this series the most because - first, its Lori Loughlin and who doesn’t love her since the days of Full House (albeit I saw them mostly as reruns after coming to US). Second, the plots revolve around garage sales, antiques and estate sales which is my favorite activity to do. Third, the rest of the characters simply blend in making it a very beautiful tapestry.

Flower Shop Mystery Movies:

This series stars Brooke Shields as Abby Knight an ex-lawyer who owns a flower shop after being widowed and left with a daughter and nothing to do on hands. The movies are based on books of the same name written by Kate Collins. These movies didn’t come into the package of series for Hallmark until 2016. Yet, I rank them second purely because of the theme involving flowers and Brooke Shields of course.

Although I hadnt watched many of her movies, but I admired her in whatever few she acted in. She always made me wonder how the heck she looked ageless. She and the myriad of actors in this movie series tell a well made murder mystery just like one of Abby's flower arrangement.

Aurora Teagarden Mystery Movies:

This series stars Candace Cameron Burre as Aurora Teagarden who is a professional librarian and belongs to a Real Murders club. With her inquisitive nature, her ability to see clues that regular investigators miss and her profession as a librarian giving power to research, she constantly meddles in a case and inadvertently solves it much to the frustration of the local cops. The movies are based on books written by Charlaine Harris who had written a series of eight crime novels between 1990 and 2003 centering on Aurora Teagarden.

I was hesitant to watch this series in the beginning because of Candace Cameron Burre. Yes, she is also from Full House that I admired a lot watching, but for some reason Candace was never my favorite. Perhaps her permanent frown or scrunch look that she portrays all the time, could be a turn-off to me. All her method of delivering the dialogue  - almost comes out as a shriek most times - also didn’t help in anyway for me to like her. However the plots in the movies and the character she portrayed made me consider her series as well. But, please can someone tell her that she doesn’t have to frown or scrunch her upper face all the time.

Murder She Baked Movies:

This series stars Alison Sweeney as Hannah Swenson who is a small-town baker and always getting tangled with a murder and cops. With her ability to find clues in food and baking, she becomes a valuable asset to Mike Kingston - a cop who moved into this small town after a personal tragedy - despite his reluctance. These movies are based on cozy mystery novels written by Joanne Fluke with 23 books under her belt just for this series.

In the beginning I liked these movies, but as the series progressed, it put me in a lot of confusion about the Hannah Swenson. So far four movies have been released and she still hasn’t decided if she like the cop Mike Kingston better or Norman Rhodes - the dentist. She seems very indecisive. I always like a closure for any chapter or event. When that doesn’t happen I lose interest. That is what is happening with this movie series slowly. Will have to wait and see if in the movies she decides sooner than in her books - which I am told that after 23 books she hasn’t settled on Mike or Norman and still is dangling them along. Verdict on this series is still out until a few more movies and then will decide.

All in all four good movie series to watch out for and enjoy.

Spoiler Alerts:
1) I have not read any of the books all these movies were made of. Something for future reads I should remember.
Tags: critique by amateur, reviews, tv shows

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