Date of airing: May 11, 2019 (Hallmark Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.057 million viewers, 0.19 rating with Adults 18-49, 0.12 rating with Adults 18-34, 0.28 rating with Adults 25-54, 1.54 rating with Adults 50+, 0.26 rating with Females 18-49, 0.11 rating with Males 18-49, 0.15 rating with Females 12-34, 0.09 rating with Males 12-34
For a time I was watching a few dozen of Hallmark’s Christmas movies in 2016 and 2017, because I wanted to expand my television horizon and see whether there is some form of excitement behind the execution fo the same premise over and over, and considering I watched Hallmark Christmas films for two Christmas seasons, it must mean I have found some sort of enjoyment in them. But maybe I just like to torture myself, because it’s obvious that neither the Christmas films nor the general films of the cable network manage to deliver anything else but a simple romance between two white people, and before they can share a kiss at the very last second of the film, they have to jump over some obstacles. All this is being done in a small town in America mostly (sometimes in the big city, but it’s never shot like that), and non-white people are rarely involved in speaking parts in Hallmark movies, let alone being part of the main narrative of the 83 minutes. It’s 2019 now, and I am wondering if anything about that has changed.
And it hasn’t. Not that I was expecting for Hallmark films to change in the year and almost a half I haven’t watched them, but I was hoping for a little bit of the silent outcry that has been happening in the backroom corners of Twitter being of use in this case, and telling Hallmark that they maybe should think about bringing in a little more representation into their films and not make the viewers remind themselves that they are living in a world of white supremacy. If aliens from other planets were only getting the Hallmark Channel on their intergalactic television, don’t be surprised that they are gonna react with shocked faces when they suddenly see black and Asian and Native faces after they started invading the world, and those aliens are gonna be confused about it.
A FEELING OF HOME was a solid Hallmark offering. The story was as worthless as any other Hallmark production, but as it stands, some of the cast members delivered a nice amount of charm, and Joanna Walsh happened to be convincing as the big girl from the East who gets dropped into the somewhat familiar West and has to acclimate herself on a ranch, while also dealing with some daddy issues, and then naturally falling in love with the rancher man, because that is what always happens in Hallmark films, and the world is going to end as soon as a Hallmark film does not offer a love story that is being concluded with a kiss during the final scene. I did like the issues Abby had to resolve with her father Wes, although the conclusion of that story seemed kind of weird and out fo character for Wes, who was more worried about his daughter screwing up his truck or his tractor than he felt needing to tell her that he always appreciated and loved her. Those daddy issues, if properly developed, could have turned A FEELING OF HOME into a more unique Hallmark offering, but at the end of the day it’s pretty obvious how the cable network wants their films to look like, and under absolutely no circumstance can a script ever change and become a runaway. Which means the daddy issues theme of the film can only be scratched at its surface, but they were never allowed to fully blossom and create actual drama for the characters involved, even if those would have turned A FEELING OF HOME into a better film.
While Joanna Walsh was a solid actor during these 83 minutes, Nathan Dean Parsons was unable to get out of the stereotypical cowboy/rancher depiction, and he was unsuccessful in sounding any different from Texans on a ranch, whose life-long dream it is to own a ranch and have a couple ranch animals they take care of. Ryan’s voice sounded like he was bored most of the time, disinterested in what was happening around him, unable to be anything else than the rancher he was written as. And not unlike the majority of the male leads in Hallmark movies, Ryan didn’t have any conflict to resolve with himself, or obstacles to jump over, because the story of the film relied entirely on the woman of the story to come forward with her feelings for the man, and make that ever romantic move at the end. Okay, Ryan did tell Abby that he never felt out of love with Abby, but it’s not like Ryan tried to make the decision for Abby to stay in Texas and be with him. In fact, Ryan just drove away, and it needed a deus ex machina in the form of Gina and Jacob suddenly and surprisingly showing up in Texas with Carrington to give Abby the opportunity to think about staying, as if neither of the two love birds was able to make the decision to upend their previous lives and step into a new one — with each other. As if Hallmark films don’t have characters who can make life-changing decisions for themselves, so they need a happy accident to make that decision for them. And Carrington loving the Yellow Rose barbecue sauce, and not being angry at Gina for lying to him about Abby’s New England roots, is definitely a huge convenience for Abby.
Meanwhile, A FEELING OF HOME had its standard awkwardness going on. The montage of Abby and Ryan fixing his home and hanging out at the ranch gave me the weird vibes, because for most of the montage, all the two lovebirds could do was look at each other and smile about how much of a great job they were doing at that moment, or how much they were in like with each other. One of those montage moments turned especially hilarious, when Ryan looked at Abby painting the wall yellow, and Abby was just painting that one spot, separated from the part of the wall she already painted. The effort to turn Hallmark romances into something more realistic and grounded ends in making me laugh about them every once in a while.
Best part of the film: Abby made a French omelette, and it made me hungry. The food definitely looked good in this film.
Worst part of the film: Wes was not a good father to his daughter Abby, as he never gave her enough trust to do what she needed to do on the ranch. That was terrible fathering.
Weirdest part of the film: Abby fixed the troughs with her headphones. Great, now she has to buy new headphones, and who really has money for that in this econ– Oh wait, everyone is super rich in Hallmark films, and no one ever has to worry about not having money.
Non-white player of the film: Carmen, played by Caitlin Stryker, has been the representation for non-white people in this Hallmark production, giving Abby and Ryan an opportunity to spend an evening with a dinner and some wine, because Carmen is the one who sells the wine.