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~ James 1:17

Monday, April 23, 2018

Heartbreaking. My Review of “When Calls the Heart” Season 5 Finale. #Hearties



Please note: Spoilers included below.

Throughout the week, since we were given the news that Jack was possibly gone at the end of episode 9, I didn’t want to believe it was true. I couldn’t. I didn’t. For those of us who are (or who have been) devoted “When Calls the Heart” fans, Hearties, we have invested 5 years and seasons in Jack and Elizabeth’s love story… and this is the Hallmark Channel, after all, famous for romantic tales and happily-ever-after endings. Week after week, we faithfully watched their show, we gave our time and energy, tweeting along or sharing on other social media sites, etc… to support the actors, actresses, “WCTH,” and the joy and promise we felt when we turned on our TV and returned each week to Hope Valley.

After the abrupt, shocking end to episode 9, I kept reading… just wait, wait until you see the finale. That gave me a sense of hope once again; enough hope to believe that somehow everything was going to be okay, that five seasons of watching the romance of Elizabeth and Jack slowly develop on “When Calls the Heart” would not be the end. But when Lori Loughlin came on at the beginning and warned of viewing the finale episode with children present, I was actually filled with dread… as I was sure I was not going to see the happy outcome I had hoped for, the one all fans of “When Calls the Heart” deserved.

Sadly, as I stated before, and Lori Loughlin confirmed by her statement, “When Calls the Heart” is no longer a television show the entire family can sit down on a Sunday evening and joyfully watch together, and I am sad that Hallmark used to be a place we could always trust to come to in the past– to feel uplifted in this uncertain world we live in today. Unfortunately, it is no longer that refuge. The finale left me feeling cheated, as well… as Clara as Elizabeth stated, cheated of the love story I felt viewers were promised. I know things like this, sadly, do happen in real life, but Hallmark, as we all know, is not real life, it’s supposed to be a happy place, a place families can trust, a place where if you visit for an hour or two-your soul feels rejuvenated in the goodness of life and people, and you can go about your evening or day and feel good inside. Since watching the finale of “When Calls the Heart,” I have not felt that same sense of peace about the program. The writers have no idea of the pain they’ve caused so many. After viewing this season’s end, I would not want any of the children in my family to watch and feel the same sadness I did.

I have skimmed social media to gauge reaction, and there’s definitely a mix of emotions among viewers. Some are outraged and done watching the series altogether, while others are sad, yet loyal, through and through. I think this is deeply heartbreaking, how these last episodes of Season 5 have divided loyal fans and viewers, in an hour that was typically meant for entire families to watch together.

If Daniel Lissing had other projects he wanted to do,... fine. His contract was up. But, instead of killing off Jack, why not replace him, instead? This is the decision that hurts most of all. Writers and Producers collaborated together and thought this would be an emotional, bombshell way to end the season… and give them the opportunity to have Elizabeth open up her heart to love again, possibly in season six, and bond with the other numerous widow ladies of Hope Valley.

My Momma reminded me that if they can replace John Boy Walton (Richard Thomas) on The Waltons when he decided to leave the show, they can surely replace anybody. And, later on, in reunion movies, Richard Thomas returned to that role that made him originally famous and so well known. I even believe I recall reading that he regretted leaving the show when he did; fortunately, for him... the door was still left open for him to return.

As for “When Calls the Heart,” I now feel disconnected, let down, and disenchanted with these characters – I had once loved so dearly. The only spark or glimmer of hope for me… was sweet Rosemary and Lee! Without their charm and beautiful smiles, I would have never made it through the finale. And sweet Clara, I definitely felt her heart.

At the end of this episode, as we all saw… Abigail came to the conclusion that Elizabeth was expecting. I found it rather odd that Dr. Shepherd hadn’t concluded this earlier during her checkup at his office. That was rather peculiar. Beyond that… there is, of course, great joy in the promise of new life, but from here on out, Elizabeth’s story will always be bittersweet, and tinged with sadness.

How do I feel about the new, upcoming season of “When Calls the Heart?” I must admit, as much as I have loved this show, and the books that inspired it, by Janette Oke… I do have great, enormous trepidation and hesitation, of giving my time and heart to these characters once again.

Please share your thoughts and hearts in comments below…

Blessings to you all, Net


"Let not your heart be troubled..."
~John 14:1

108 comments:

  1. Very well written. I haven't watched this season for a few reasons but i'm very sorry for the fans who stuck it out and were so let down by a very un-Hallmark ending. It was a poor decision on the writers part to handle it this way. I know myself and my family will not be returning to Hope Valley in the future.

    My biggest reason why is the response I have seen from some of Hallmarks biggest names(Candace Bure and Lori Loughlin in particular) lashing out at the fans and accusing them of not being real fans and saying they would be responsible for people losing their jobs if they don't watch. I watch shows to be entertained and uplifted not out of guilt to keep actors employed and if that is the attitude they have towards fans who have supported them for years I'm not sure I will continue to watch Hallmark in the future.

    I know my view of what the Hallmark channel is has changed. It had always been a safe place for movies my family could safely watch. My money and time go to things i believe in and I'm not sure that includes Hallmark and it's actors any longer.

    K

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  2. I agree with you. There are not that many shows that families and children can watch together safely. I hope that this is not a new trend on the Hallmark Channel. I am looking forward to a season of hopeful Christmas movies! Madelon

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  3. You expressed my sentiments exactly! Why not just replace Daniel with another actor? So disheartening, to say the very least. My husband and I were so disappointed. It will be interesting to see what they have to say on FB Live this evening. We are not sure that we will continue watching after this season.

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  5. I agree with everything you said. And if they were going to kill Jack off, why have Elizabeth be pregnant? I think really bad writing. Hallmark has to be aware of this because of the damage control they are trying to do.

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  6. I'm so sorry you're grieving, Net, I wish I could give you a hug. I wish I could give everyone a hug.

    I have a lot of thoughts. I wasn't expecting that. My theory is that the writers found out Daniel wanted to leave between S4 and S5 so they had no choice but to write a wedding and a death back to back. They definitely thought they had more time to develop their story, hence postponing the wedding till this late, and were caught unawares. We got a gorgeous wedding and some truly unforgettable moments in their love story and I'll always be grateful for that. I'm not a fan of replacing actors mid-show, it's always been very odd to me. I'm very sad but I still absolutely adore the show. Had Erin gone, I would have reacted differently as she makes the show for me (I'm a teacher and find Elizabeth incredibly inspirational both as a woman and as a 'colleague') but she's still there and I want to see her journey unfold. Rosemary and Lee are absolutely wonderful too and I really love their couple and these characters. I'm sad, I need time to grieve, but in the end I can see they did what they could with what they had. It was incredibly brutal and abrupt, though, we had zero warning, and that's what bothers me the most. It's also upset many people and I'm angry about that too - I want everyone to feel wrapped in a cocoon, I wish I could help :(

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  7. Well said, Net, You were firm and strong, yet kind! I wouldn't have been. Our family is in shock! Last night Hallmark & WCTH dug their own graves. They not only killed Jack, they killed the show for our family!

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  8. Oh, Net, once again you summed it up beautifully!! I could cry just thinking about what I watched last night and how it devastated me but I also knew when Lori spoke at the very beginning that it was true; Jack was gone!! All through the show I felt sad and dread for Elizabeth knowing what was in store for her because I, too, was a widow at age thirty eight and all the pain came rushing back for me also. The only bright spot was the children naming the school after Jack and the possibility of Elizabeth being "with child". I suspect this will be the topic of conversation for the next year until Season 6 begins.

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    1. Linda, thank you for your heartfelt comment. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, at such a young age. I cannot imagine how it must have felt for you to watch this particular episode and relive those memories... my heart goes out to you, my dear friend, and my prayers.

      I added a new scripture above- with you in mind.
      “...the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
      ~ Nehemiah 8:10

      Many blessings to you, always! Net

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    2. Thank you, Net, It was a long time ago but sometimes like....yesterday. The joy of the Lord is my strength and the only reason I survived....Peace, sweetie!!

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  9. I don’t understand why everyone views this as no longer being a family show. Perhaps it’s because I grew up and live in a military town so death is unfortunately something we’ve dealt with along with standing together and recovering. Daniel had his reasons and he has a career. I don’t know that any other actor could or would want to attempt to take his spot. The chemistry was nearly untouchable between he and Elizabeth.

    As far as Dr. Carson not catching the pregnancy - when she visited him her symptoms were those of depression (no appetite, sleeping more than usual)...Abilgail didn’t realize she was pregnant until the smell of the coffee made her sick.

    I think we need to remember this is a tv show, these are actors who are doing what they think is best for themselves and their careers. The writers have the big picture in mind while we don’t. And ending the season with a baby is by far the most uplifting thing I can imagine in this circumstance. While I would have loved 5 more seasons of Jack and Elizabeth it didn’t pan out.

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    1. I’m in agreement with you as well. I’m so excited that Elizabeth is pregnant. Something for her to look forward to and she will now always have a part of Jack with her. I’ll miss Jack but am looking forward to next season.

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    2. The show was amazingly written and these are fictional characters! I totally agree with Michelle on all the pregnancy observations in the story. It’s all about love, community, support of each other, hope, which they covered magnificently!

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    3. I may be slightly embarrassed to say this, but I come from watching soap operas, since I was a kid with my mom, and I was a big fan of Melrose Place and 90210 back in the day, so maybe this is why this isn't bothering me so much, I watch A LOT of tv, maybe too much. Like you all I do see it as an escape from the horrible things in life. But since falling in love with Hallmark in 2014, it has been harder for me to watch the crazy shows on other networks, has anyone here watched a Lifetime movie recently? They are scary. I saw a movie with David Hadn Jones who I love all his Hallmark movies, it was so scary I couldn't finish.

      So I do see why many are upset. Hallmark is a place you can go and not be afraid to let your children watch. I just feel they didn't do this to deceive us or for ratings. I just don't see someone like Lori going along with that just for ratings.

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    4. Michelle, it's no longer a family show because when the finale came on, I had to send my young children out of the room to do another activity. We used to have Sunday night treats and watch WCTH together, which has now changed. I'm sad we have lost that time together.

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    5. Elizabeth was already sitting in Dr. Carson's office when her check up scene began. One would presume other questions were asked prior and other medical check ups took place. As a great brain surgeon and experienced doctor, Carson should have also guessed the newlywed, who wasn't sleeping well or eating much, might be pregnant.

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    6. I agree with you, Michelle. And as to Hallmark movies always being family friendly I disagree. O Pioneers! is one example. When I started watching it in the early 90s I was shocked. There have been others as well that because of their content, I haven't found to be family friendly.

      I am one who doesn't always have to have happy endings, and while I cried through the whole last episode, I will continue watching.

      I know the grief of losing a husband and being a widow. My husband passed away at the beginning of last year. He was 55. We'd been married almost 33 years.

      I was heartened to see the support of community Elizabeth has! While it was incredibly sad, I thought it was very well done.

      These are shows, from season 1, I will watch again. And I don't think Jack's character could have been replaced. I've never liked characters being replaced.

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  10. They can correct the mistake..they didn't show a body

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    1. Exactly! My thoughts too.

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  11. Net, I completely agree with you. It was too much, too fast. If they did not know far in advance that Daniel Lissing would not be returning, I wish they would have left his condition unknown (left him missing or hurt, etc.) They could have taken more time to decide how to write the story. They could have considered replacing him. They could have eased us into it in Season 6. I'm so disappointed. As of now, I plan to continue watching because I do love the other characters, but it will certainly be different. Sadly, I no longer think that it will be highly anticipated on Christmas evening. Maybe things will calm down and they will somehow draw us back in over the next months. I wonder though, how will they accomplish that?

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    1. After tuning in to the Facebook live video I learned that they did know well in advance of Daniel's departure. They did what they thought was best for his character. However, I would have preferred to have a hint of what was to come--to be a bit prepared for the sadness. I had no idea and it was hard to watch! I do appreciate that they addressed the fans. By next season, I'll be ready for new stories and lessons from Hope Valley.

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    2. I just don't want to watch a town full of widows and children they just added Elizabeth to the group made it widow valley instead of the teacher and the Mountie different story altogether recast and at least give us back Mountie Jack keep the story line

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  12. I do know how fans feel about this show. It's basically why I don't watch TV series anymore. I watch the Mystery ones, but it's not a weekly show like this one. Once I read about a wedding, I knew it would mean he was leaving. There's a reason why, after years of fans hoping for a wedding, they got one. TV shows are for ratings and they got their ratings with the wedding and death.

    I am sending hugs to everyone that feels so hurt right now.

    Take care,

    Misty

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  13. Oh Net
    Your words spoke how I feel.
    I loved the characters and story lines
    and looked forward to every episode every week .
    I did cry during many episodes
    but I always had hope!
    I am aging myself but I used to watch Lassie shows and boy did I sob.
    However it was heart warming in the end
    ( and yes there were many Lassies over the years)
    I know some people do not like replacements and the new person would have had to be UNBELIEVABLY
    great to win over hearts, but I think people would have come around--they could have explained the situation and asked in survey
    ( I agree with one reader--they knew this was happening between the two seasons)
    I also read the books, and even though there was anguish and sadness, Jack( Jarrick ) and Elizabeth kept their love strong.
    I will watch next season ( I say that as I have not been able to even watch the finale (yet) but I read the episode guide so I could be prepared
    Thank you again for your compassion and thoughtful words
    Ps I still have hope
    PSS I bet the baby's name will be Jack (or Jacqueline)

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  14. I am finished with the series--for good--and I have watched faithfully from the beginning. It is not that I could not have tolerated losing the male lead and half the main couple on the show--but the manipulative and phony manner in which this was done. You alluded to this as well. It feels trite--it feels cheap--and the ultimate stupidity and cliche was having her turn up pregnant. I mean--REALLY? I predicted this a week ago, hoping I was wrong. It is poor writing and taking the easy and obvious way out of the dilemma of the actor wanting to leave. I will not be watching next season and I believe I will have a large number of other people who will be joining me. Hallmark has pulled things before, but never anything this disrespectful and cruel to the fans. I am D O N E.

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    1. I completely agree. This was completely morbid and I hope the show sinks. I really don't like Lori's influence in having she and Gowan almost seem interested in each other. Ugh!

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  15. I'm also upset I invested money into purchasing the videos of each season just to end it this way. Why re-watch again to end up this way. As in the Love Comes Softly series, they did replace actors and moved forward, but they were shorter to begin with. The actors of WCTH spent a lot of time off screen promoting it and the fans kept it popular to have 5 seasons in the first place. They should have worked to please the fans, not their own pocket books. I stay away from the drama and sad movies of Lifetime. Hallmark movies have been the fairy tale ending shows/movies in general. Why change it now over one actor wanting to leave? Having WCTH leaving you feel sad and now not family friendly is sad and disappointing. I've also felt let down that the church aspect of the show has just kind of been eliminated. Even Jack's service except singing Amazing Grace didn't have much of a message. Just like most of the Christmas movies leaving the Christ part out of the movie. The producers are there to make as much money out their programming as possible. I guess we shouldn't be surprised when this happens.

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  16. I have to disagree. I have been a fan since day 1 and will continue to be. As others have said, life isn’t always happy and seeing the characters deal with Jack’s death was sad yes, but also hopeful. Death isn’t something you should be shielded from and ultimately what happens to us all. Not being a fan anymore is like saying you won’t support you favorite sports team because they are losing. True fans stick by no matter what.

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    1. Thank you for expressing my thoughts.
      Camilla

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  17. It was most definitely a bummer of an episode. I figured Daniel Lissing was leaving the show with his limited appearances this season, but I never thought he would die. I figured they would send him away on long Mounty missions and he could pop back up for a visit or two. At the end of Episode 9 I knew for certain they killed the character off and Elizabeth would definitely be pregnant. It’s a television drama after all. They definitely wanted to give fans the wedding before the actor left. I can see why the choose this route, however hard it is for fans. Doesn’t this give in Canada like a TV movie, meaning they combine the two episodes? They might explain the abrupt episode 9 ending. I would of been fine if they replaced the actor, but I can see some fans never excepting it or watching the show again. It’s fans decision whether they tune back in. I’ve stayed with shows that have killed my favs before, but I’ve also stopped watching shows that have killed off my faves. That said, When Calls the Heart is still very much a family show, you can still watch this show with your kids even if a character they love dies. It’s a parents decision whether or not to let their kids still watch. Most importantly it’s a tv show, it’s not real life. It’s totally okay to love these characters and mourn them.

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  18. I always "forgive" (for lack of a better word) the change when an actor chooses to leave. As a creative person, in a VERY small way, I understand that desire or want to do something new. I haven't watched S5 yet (just because I'm watching so many other things), but will someday. And chances are VERY high I'll also then watch S6. It's a sweet, wholesome show, and so far, news suggests that won't chance in S6. :) The show either had to end (because Daniel's left) or continue on without him. I wouldn't mind the role recast, but at the same time, I respect the writer's, producer's and Daniel's decision.

    Sorry you and your family are so saddened by the episode and conclusion, Net. Hope their next film or TV show makes you smile again. :)

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  19. Oh Net, you spoke right to my heart. I almost don't know what to say. It's maddening, doesn't make sense at all. I didn't let my girls watch ep 9 or 10 and I'm so glad. They would not have taken it well. I'm not taking it well. I'm not sad, exactly, but just upset the writers would do this, on Hallmark of all places. I don't want to rewatch any of the previous seasons now. With the preacher gone and now Jack, I'm finding less hope in Hope Valley. Not sure if my heart wants to return for more of this.

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  20. I predict a lot of WCTH going up on eBay!

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    1. Yes!! I'm thinking about deleting all the epuepiso from my Amazon account.

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  21. I kept watching thinking, really? Are they really going to do this? In my mind and my wife's the show will never be the same, the love and hope we once felt in Hope Valley is gone. Plus, Gowan left in charge of the kids, the universe really is upside down.

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  22. Well, I watched the Facebook live chat, and I don't feel any better. Daniel left for personal reasons and Lori said how could we replace this face? Lori also said she felt burdened by their secret, but felt better now that we all know. Isn't that nice, now we can all feel that same burden. She also said she'd knew we'd be upset. She's right, we are. At least, I am. This was no way to end the season. Horrible. My kids couldn't even watch with me this week. Next year they will be asking where's Jack. Thanks Hallmark. Life is cruel enough without having to explain a simple Hallmark show to your children. S.T.

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    1. Yea, I just watched the FB Live chat too and thought I would feel better after hearing their explanation, but not really.

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  23. I'm from Brazil and I agree with absolutely everything you wrote. I felt deeply deceived. WCTH made us love every second, every little story involving Jack and Elizabeth. We made cheerleading for the engagement and marriage, we dream about the children, the plans and Hallmark decides to transport us in an evil way to the universe of Shonda Rhimes. I will not be coming back to watch the show. I felt disrespected and betrayed not only by Hallmark, but by the whole cast in a silent plot. If Danieel wanted to leave, okay. Put another actor, but turning WCTH into a horrible, awful Shonda movie was the worst possible solution.

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  24. A show that's supposed to be about faith and hope has left me feeling void of both.

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  25. I've decided to stop watching-- "for personal reasons." WCTH is ruined now.

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    1. hysterical and true. if they had to kill jack off the show, then do it. don't insult us with the FB live and follow up show. why didn't brian read some of the posts on air?

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  26. Season 4 I did not watch --boring. This season 5 I tried to watch. I really wanted to like but this show was becoming like Grey's Anatomy (disaster after disaster--not happiness which is what Hallmark is known for.
    I do not think I will invest my time in watching next season.

    I do like most of the shows and movies that Hallmark has put on but this turned dark. As was stated it is real life but not Hallmark.

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  27. I haven’t watched the info on the Facebook page...yet. And while I’m not happy they killed off Jack, life is not always pretty. Had they shown Jack coming to his end would have been worse. I still want to see where this show is going. I’ve never read the books, so I have no preconceptions on the show. On the other hand I was not happy with Cedar Cove. I did read those books. The first couple of episodes followed the books, but then they dispersed from the stories. And that’s why the show failed. I’ve never read Chesapeake Shores so again no preconceptions. While I am not happy where they took WCTH, I understand why they killed Jack. And there was nothing in the show that I felt a child shouldn’t have seen. Death is a part of life. I hated when Richard Thomas left The Walton’s, but I still watched it. I disliked it immensely when the replaced Cindy in the Brady Bunch movies...I’d rather the character be written out by leaving, not death, rather than have the character die, but sometimes it’s better for death than replace. If you compare this to real life you don’t replace a loved one when they die, you hurt for a while...sometimes a long while. But you don’t teach your children to replace a loved one. A loved one can’t be replaced. And I’d be more upset to have found out that Daniel Lissing was really sick and going to die and not just moving on.

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  28. It seems to me some people need to be remind, real life.... It is a t.v. show I also love the show as so many, but bad things happen to the best of us and that includes Elizabeth life goes on.....

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  29. Oh Net, I share the same sentiment and could've written this word by word. I know it's just a tv show but since the episode last week, it's like someone I personally know has died. They got married episode 5 and by episode 9 he's dead. Why?! It was so abrupt and it hurts in the most painful way.

    I really don't know if I will still be watching. You can call me not being a true fan, whatever. What I love about the show is how uplifting it is. Hallmark, after such disappointment, you can't just assume the viewers will trust the story development from here. You have a really high mountain to climb. So sad to say that WCTH is no longer a show I treasure and love. I can't even bring myself to watch past episodes in Netflix, after knowing that Jack will died in the coming season. Yes, the wound is still so fresh and maybe I will feel better as time goes by, but really WCTH will never be the same.

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  30. I don't think people are going to like my opinion, but here it is. I have not watched the episode yet and to be honest there is a part of me that doesn't want to. I am a 43 year old woman who has been surrounded by death. My mother died at 65 and my sister died at 43. As a result even though I don't like characters being killed off on shows, I understand it is a part of life and can help a person deal with a death that has happened in their life. It also shows that just because someone dies it doesn't mean life ends. There is still hope you can find in the midst of pain, and that is what this show is all about.

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  31. What a great post, Net. I felt that even though it was a sad episode, it was very well made. What disappointed me about this episode was Tom Thornton’s absence, especially during the funeral scene. Not only was Tom’s dad a fallen Mountie, but now he loses his brother almost the same way, which I’m pretty sure would traumatize Tom to a certain extent. Also, the creative team behind When Calls the Heart went through all that trouble to incorporate the character of Tom Thornton into the wedding episode, but somehow couldn’t find a way to feature him in, at least, the funeral scene. Also, is it just me, or did anyone else notice how the words “brother” and “son” were omitted from Jack’s headstone?

    I’m only speaking for myself when I say I’m going to continue watching When Calls the Heart, as well as the Christmas movie, despite Jack passing away. Like other Hearties, I’ve watched this show since the very beginning and I’m curious to see where the story goes from now on. However, because Tom was absent in this episode, I do hope he makes an appearance in the Christmas movie with a significant story arc.

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    1. I agree with you on where was Tom, Julie, Elizabeth's family? I wondered why they couldn't have Julie come and be with her sister, but I guess that was probably contract issues as well.

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  32. The true happy "finale" ending to WCTH was your WCTH birthday party Net. That was wonderful and happy and fun. That's the "finale" of WCTH I prefer to remember.

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    1. You nailed it, Jim!! That's what I want to remember, too!!

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    2. Beautifully said Jim...Net your birthday brought such joy when we all needed it the most!

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    3. Bless you, Jim... you don't know how much those words mean to me!

      When I had my WCTH party, I, of course, had no idea what was to come. As I look back, the joy of my birthday is what I will try to remember, too. Thank you so much, Jim, for sharing that. And, to Linda and Anonymous for your sweet replies!

      Blessings to you all, Net

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  33. I forgot to add that anyone looking for a series, to check out Road to Avonlea which ran from 1990 to 1996. That series is still a fav Canadian series I watched on the Disney Channel.

    Misty

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    1. Road to Avonlea is one of my favorite shows! I initially watched on Disney channel too, and I have some of the seasons on DVD.

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    2. After watching the finale of WCTH yesterday, I was feeling rather distraught. I put on an episode of Road to Avonlea...Olivia and Jaspar's wedding...and it put me in my happy place again. Also, I appreciate how much more authentic the costumes and hairstyles are to the era.
      Becky F.

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  34. I am sure Hallmark was aware that this ending would touch some nerves, but I wonder if they knew how deeply. They will certainly have learned their lesson if the ratings for Season 6 drop off precipitously. I wish Hallmark would just stick with what they do best, feel-good family movies, instead of venturing into new territory.

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    1. Totally agree with you Mark!

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  35. Recasting doesn't seem to be much of a thing that's done any more on television. Maybe they assume audiences these days are too sophisticated for it? As for Hallmark, they did this with The Good Witch, as the husband was killed off between the last movie and the TV show because the actor couldn't do the show.

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    1. Yes, Jake died, and they introduced Sam, and they took 3 season for Cassie and Sam to fall in love. When I go back and watch the movies, I miss Jake so much, but then I watch the show and love Sam. They did the best with what they had, Jake was a very beloved character. But the actor wasn't available so they went a different route, same thing here.

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    2. Well remembered. With Sam the show became more dynamic and interesting. I hope WCTH can do the same. But I will not be there to see ...

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  36. Oh Jim you are so right. Net, your birthday post brought me and many others such joy and hope this past week. It was the finale in my heart as well. Thank you for sharing when we all needed it the most!

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  37. I believe that if they really finish the story killing Jack, they are doing the same mistake they did with CEDAR COVE in which they changed so much the plot that it was unrecognizable for hose like me who have read the books.
    I hope they come up with a better plan , otherwise they will lose millions of fans.

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    1. And I feel you on this, have you ever read the Aurora Teagarden books? The movies are so different to the point that I treated the last movie as not even based on a book. Poppy was John Queensland's daughter in law, not roe's friend. I wont tell you about some other stuff as it is critical, but the first few movies I was so mad and always telling my husband the differences then I just decided to just treat them as movies and keep reading the books separate. The next movie, Sleeps like a baby, the book is Roe's baby. I am certain it wont be in the movie as Roe isn't even dating anyone.

      They always say based on the book, I have listed to the 1st when calls the heart and the the second series 1st and 2nd book that has the show's Elizabeth, and they are quite different.

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    2. None of Hallmark’s movie adaptions from novels match the actual books. I agree completely about the Aurora Teagarden movies, they are nothing like the books. The Murder She Baked series was different, At Home In Mitford must of really angered book fans, even the Love Comes Softly series of films. If I’ve read the book then watch the film, I just enjoy them as separate entities. Same with WCTH. Shows that have been on this long, actors come and go. I never expect Hallmark to adapt faithfully, but the spirit of the books and characters are usually there. At Home in Mitford still has me scratching my head though.

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  38. The Facebook live was sure a waste of time. Lori Loughlin sure put on a show. She was right Jack would never leave Elizabeth, but she was wrong, Daniel's face is replaceable. I'm have watched all 5 seasons, and to be done this way for ratings and being blind sided when they have known so long is wrong. We as viewers have been robbed. Yes, it would have been akward with someone else, but I don't think there would have been so much grief from us the viewers. It also would have been better for the younger viewers. Yes, death is a part of life and even the young have to deal with it, but for 1 hour each week, families should be able to escape from that. I believe their judgement on this as wrong and they have killed the show for many, including myself.

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    1. But don't you really deep inside wonder why Jack was only on a few episodes last season and this season? I am honestly not trying to be mean, I just want us Hearties to be strong and see the show is not just 1 person. I honestly knew last season Dan was probably leaving, my husband doesn't even watch the show but knows about it from me, and said "that guy is leaving". So deep in our Heartie hearts we knew Dan was limited. Of course Lori and the team didn't want to come out last season and say "Dan is leaving us but keep watching, you will see how". I think I would have liked that a lot less. But in my heart I knew he was not going to be around much longer. Maybe that is why deep inside I wasn't as invested in the Elizabeth & Jack story, maybe that is it for me.

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  39. I had read A couple comments, well many from Brian Bird that seem rude and selfish, but not surprising. He stated on Twitter that the audience would laugh at a new Jack, well laughter would be better then tears. And he said he liked change and to stir the pot, well in my family if you stir the pot it stinks...well this finale STUNK! I am done with Hallmark & WCTH!

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    1. I for one do not like recasts of popular characters. I don't even like it when it is a minor character, like Frankie's dad changing in Summer in the Vineyard. They never say anything and I feel the writers or casting is insulting my intelligence. Like how they just up and changed the house in All of my heart 2, I would rather them say something like "its unfortunate what happened to the inn, it burned down and we rebuilt this or something, or a wind storm blew it apart or something. There really is no way to recast Jack that people wouldn't be like "what?"

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    2. Recasting would have been preferable over killing Jack Thornton. The creators could have been upfront and honest about it, letting us transition into the idea that someone else would be portraying Jack. It would have been different, but better than this.

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  40. Thank you Net, your words are exactly how I feel. I just can't believe it! They have destroyed a family show. Who wants to watch it now...old or new.

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  41. The whole situation was handled horribly. Hallmark, the producers and writers should be ashamed - to know for so long and handle it this way. When Mr. Lissing decided to leave it should have been made public, instead of this big secret. It gives the public time to get used to him leaving. It also gave them time to find a replacement. They underestimated and treated their fans terribly.

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  42. Never thought there would have to be a warning for children when it came to watching WCTH. Very sad they did this.

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  43. Just watched H&F, which I rarely do since they changed everyone. Well, nothing they said resolved what they did to us the viewers of WCTH. They have known for quite sometime of Daniel's departure and they chose this path...badly done in my opinion. They can't undo such a bad decision and nothing in the future can remove the stain they left on the series!

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  44. I am done...the Facebook live was a joke (what I could stand of it) and Home & Family was more of the same. As a lead actor you don't do this to the fans. The 3 of them during the live post kept saying that Hearties fans are so devoted, never seen anything like it, well then it would have been nice to see that same devotion in Daniel, as well. Lori was trying to be convincing and Erin said very little. It did not answer anything! I hope Hallmark and WCTH can live with themselves with what they have done too many, especially the children who are crying and asking questions that is not needed! Thank you Net for letting us vent. It has been a comfort to read some of the other comments.

    T.D.

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    1. I agree, TD. I also commented on the nonsense from Lori. She 's a producer and has a financial stake in the series. They should have replaced Dan's character with another good looking dark haired actor and moved on. Hope they are happy with their decision

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  45. People are upset, hurting, and they are talking about their performances being Emmy worthy. Come on! Children can't sleep at night, but I hope you get an award.

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  46. Net,Thank you so much for opening your heart and
    letting people share their feelings
    First I have not watched the last episode of WCTH but I read the episode guide and cried.
    I need to watch early in the day so my dreams at night are not nightmares
    Second I realize people need change --it helps us grow . I have no issue with Daniel leaving and branching out his career
    However I also wish the finale was not so heart wrenching
    I started watching the Hallmark Channel when I was feeling sad about many things--I always went to bed on Sunday night feeling better.
    I may have cried during Chesapeake Shores or Signed Sealed Delivered but I always had good dreams and HOPE.
    I loved When Calls the Heart-- the characters and story line. I also grew to respect the actors and enjoyed their other endeavors ( movies)
    The show made me feel cozy and comfy-- I liked the family feeling
    The 9th episode really caught me off guard and just seemed not real. I read your blog and I felt like you did ( as well as many other readers)
    I know Daniel is gone ( I cannot say Jack as I am still hoping something might happen next season)
    I thought about Hallmark's alternatives--
    I remember how viewers ripped Jan Karon's Mitford movie and it was only showed one on the channel.
    So here is my idea--the powers to be need to bring in a Hallmark favorite like Andrew Walker or one of the other actors either as Jack or a new character for Elizabeth( I believe Andrew could have replaced Daniel in a minute)
    I do wish to thank you again for the bday party ideas--what a great way to celebrate
    As a sidebar I would love for Hallmark to do a show based on another Debbie Macomber series-- Rose Harbor as one idea (a new guest each week who is helped by family friends and faith)

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  47. After watching Facebook Live, I was confused for Dan's reasons for leaving. I figured it was to take on a different role or delve more into something else, such as writing and directing. Understandable; however he left it as very secretive and "very personal." The only thing I could think is he needed to spend more time in Australia? No idea. I wish he could have been more open so the fans that are hurting would be able to be more at peace with his choice.

    Anyway, I understand death is a part of life and everyone goes through difficult times. I'm going through some challenges myself and turn to Hallmark to escape. Yes, it's a fantasy world, but if I wanted to watch depressing TV, I would have not watched WCTH. I hated it to be honest!

    I do have to say that what I loved about the show most was not just the Jack/Elizabeth story line, but the entire ensemble of characters. When Jack was away, we did get to follow the others more and I enjoyed that. That said, I'm not sure if I'm going to watch the next season as I feel like they may blindside me again.

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    1. Yes! I agree with this comment so much.
      I also have experienced devastating death of a loved one personally and I fully understand death is part of life. However as this comment mentioned, I turn to TV and watch WCTH to be uplifted not to be depressed. I would have chosen to watch something else! This whole situation is so badly handled.

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  48. This is the biggest mistake they could have ever done. No words or actions from them could change it. What were you thinking?

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  49. Joyce in CarolinaTuesday, April 24, 2018

    I have so many mixed emotions about this...hard to put into words. Sad...angry...disappointed! I don't think I will ever feel the same about Lori again or Hallmark. They knew this for about 18 months and yet the ads would say "the biggest season ever"! Well, they got that right! Someone made the comment on FB that the show was not only about Jack & Elizabeth...true. But Hallmark took it and ran with it...look at all the pictures they put on covers of dvds, ads, ect. They always have Jack & Elizabeth in the forefront! I would have welcomed another Jack myself. I agree that the FB thing yesterday was a joke. It was just damage control. Felt bad for Erin...I think she is the one really hurting & Lori needs to stick with acting, not producing. I could say more but it's not going to change anything. Thanks for letting us vent Net! Your words were very elegant and gracious!

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    1. I feel the same as you do Joyce. I feel Monday on H&F and Facebook they were trying to dig themselves out of a very bad decision. Fans are angry and rightly so! They broke their trust with us the viewers. This is not a family show anymore...as a parent I just can't assume each episode will be family friendly now...so much for watching it all together on Sunday nights. We have been robbed, and we have the right to have our voices heard. No, it might not change the outcome, but it can show Hallmark and Lori the repercussions when you blindside your viewers. I don't have the same trust or interest in Hallmark anymore!

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  50. I agree with the hearties that were confused by DL's explanation on FB live video yesterday. He decided not to renew his contract, but led us to believe it was a personal, deeply personal matter. Which is it? More money or a personal issue? If its the former, he should have said they couldn't come to terms or couldn't agree. Being the cynical New Yorker that I am, I can only believe that the producers / writers 'stuck it to Daniel' by killing his character. He was the MAIN character of the show and his departure left the show in jeopardy of losing viewers. This is exactly why LL was pleading with the audience with " we love you . it's not the Hallmark channel's fault".
    Will the next season feature the Hope Valley swinging singles, since Lee and Rosemary are the only 2 married? Prob. not going to watch again, esp. since its only 10 episodes and they make us wait nearly a year for the next season. DP

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  51. Here’s the deal. This is America and you can certainly declare your right to never watch this show again. But while you intend to teach “WCTH” writers and Hallmark Channel a lesson, all you’ll be doing in reality by eventually getting it canceled is finding one less morally decent show to watch on television.

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  52. Regarding the reference to “Road to Avonlea”. We must have been watching a completely different show. The characters I saw dealt with real-world tragedies, including death, several times per season. The show was still family friendly and uplifting. Why is When Calls the Heart being judged so harshly? According to all of you, children should be shielded from such wonderful childhood classics as Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Charlotte’s Web, or viewing Disney’s Bambi. These were all happy, joyous books/movies and yet there were some slices of tragic drama mixed in.

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    1. I agree with you all and am heartbroken over the finale this season. I am also very disappointed how Lori and some of the other Hallmark people have handled this. Putting the guilt on viewers to shame them into viewing so others can keep their jobs is totally unacceptable. How about redirecting that guilt to Daniel Lissing since he is the one who CHOSE to leave! He has not been on the show basically for the past 2 years, which shot up a red flag for me. And then he has really given no explanation for why. I truly hope it is not for greener pastures but that is usually why an actor leaves a show. WCTH is what made him semi famous and if that is his reason it doesn't usually work out for them. I believe he was already cast in a show on ABC in 2012 that was cancelled after one season. There is enough sadness in real life and that is why I loved this show. I watched every Sunday night for the joy and escape from everyday reality. That is why I love Hallmark for the fairy tale endings! Once again a very disappointing end of the show for the season and all together for me.

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    2. I agree, we can’t shield kids from death, even fictional. My kid is very sensitive to people dying on screen, but we talk about it and he’s okay afterwards. I point out it wasn’t real, that’s it’s always okay to cry and express sadness, but life isn’t forever. We just talk about it and then he’s okay. I completely understand why parents are concerned about Jack’s death. It’s tough but WCTH is still 100% a family show. This is a tv show and a business at the end of the day, actors come and go. Like I don’t see Frank coming back next season, he’s off helping kids. I mean Frank isn’t Jack, but that character probably won’t be back since he was only in two eps this season. It’s not the same situation, I know, but actors book other gigs, they want to move on. I knew with how little Jack had been on that he was leaving. As for how the show handled it, it’s a business, they did what they thought was best. Just cause DL wanted to leave doesn’t mean they automatically decide to end the show. There are plenary of actors who work on the show, plus the crew who work behind the scenes, and what the network decides. It sucks for fans, I feel truly sad over it, but nothing we can do. Just decide wether to watch or not, I’ll probably watch season 6.

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  53. I feel like that with WCTH team having know for at least a year and a half about Daniel's leaving they could have presented the issue to the hearties and have allowed them to at least have a say in the decision. To have been included in the decision making process would have given some measure of control in the situation which may have lessoned the impact somewhat. Also, I wonder if Daniel's leaving was more because he was either bored with the creative process of the show or if in contract negotiations he asked for more money and they turned him down.
    The latter may explain why the movie he was going to do with Rachel Boston was never followed through with after being postponed several times. On his last fb post he hinted to the fact he basically didn't have any future work plans in the works as yet, so he didn't leave for a bigger job offer.

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  54. So disappointing!!!

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  55. I am heartsick just like everyone involved in watching the last 5 years of this show! However I think it is unacceptable for Lori and the other Hallmark folks to try and make the viewers feel guilty if they choose not to watch anymore. I believe that guilt of the people who would loose their jobs if the show doesn't make it now, should be placed on Daniel Lissing since he CHOSE to leave! He did not want to give his reasons because I believe he thinks he can do greater projects than what is offered by Hallmark. These actors sometimes forget who made them famous or in his case semi- famous. I believe he was cast in a very short lived series back in 2012 on ABC. While I understand the response by some that this is real life, I enjoyed the show because he gives you joy and takes you away from the troubles of every day lol fevgor at least an hour. Very wholesome and personally I love fairy tale endings!!! I also loved the Love Comes Softly movies that went on for years while replacing the characters with other people! I still watch all of those! Bad decision by Hallmark... no one is irreplaceable...and I believe this group of viewers would have liked that much better! Plus Lissing could have come back if he went missing instead of dead sometime!

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    1. Agreed. Shame on Hallmark and Lori for trying to guilt the viewers for not choosing to watch by saying they are “not a true Hearties...” “Hearties must joined together and support in times like this.” :(

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  56. I don't understand why everyone is surprised that they killed off Jack. Maybe in real life the actor was ready to move on to other things, but if you are a fan of Jannette Oka you see a pattern in her novel. Its very common in her novels and other TV adapted movies that 'usually' the first husband dies and them the rest of the movie or book is about the lead female character finding love again. I know change is hard, and we invest more time in TV series and grow to love characters and story lines but you could see this coming for a long if you are an Oka fan.

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    1. No you are incorrect. The books this show was based on NEVER had the Mountie die. That is what is so horrible about what this show did to those of us who followed this show. We knew the outcome, Jack and Elizabeth would move to the Northern Territories and leave hope valley. All this show had to do was fill in the blanks. They should have ended the show at the wedding. But no, they were cruel and I for one will never forgive Hallmark or any actor or person associated with this show. Month's on and I'm still mad.

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  57. We are all sad to see Jack gone from the show, but if you ever watched any of the "Love Comes Softly" series, they showed spouses, family members, etc. dying or being killed and we continued to enjoy the series, not the deaths. So I will continue to Watch WCTH and am looking forward to next season and I like to remember they did not show Jack being killed or dead.

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  58. Oake does do that but in the movies .. Love Comes Softly series... we either saw them in one or two shows before they died or for several movies. The marriage of Elizabeth and Jack was 2 shows .. basically.. after 4 seasons of them meeting and then falling in love. This is solely on Daniel Lissing .. which is fine ... but just wished Hallmark had handeled it differently.

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  59. I don't know how many of you also fell in love with the series Reign, about Mary Queen of Scots. Very quickly they killed of several of the main, beloved characters, and the show could not recover from the change and was eventually cancelled, after a two seasons of being un-watchable. I'm afrais WCTH is going to go down this path. The series will end with Season 6.

    On a lighter note, it has restored in me the belief that I should be writing television pilots and screenplays. I'm certainly not out of ideas for new and original stories!

    Blessed be.

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  60. Thank you Net for your passionate review. I thought as the week went on I'd feel better, but I don't. I feel like WCTH ended the night of the season 5 finale. In fact, everything I loved about the series ended in the episode before that. You are so right, this is not the type of show or ending one would ever expect on Hallmark. I'm still in shock this happened, but even more, my eyes are now opened to the arrogance of some of the WCTH creators. I won't mention names here, but I think most know who I am talking about. These characters won't ever be the same to me. I can't bear to watch the early seasons on DVD.

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    1. Right on! It has been a week and many of us are still angry, and rightly so. The creators of WCTH not only killed Jack, they killed and ruined any future for a Hope Valley. Who wants to watch old episodes, knowing the outcome. Arrogance was a polite way of putting it about the creators. The show Heartland was just renewed for another season...amazing and all original cast will be back. They are my new family show. I hope and pray that the creators see what they have done. There is no way to correct what they have but to not watch it anymore and move on. I know in the future any show that has Brian Bird's name attached to it I am not watching!

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  61. I, too, am very heartbroken that Jack was killed off, but live with hope that season 6 will be uplifting and exciting. I always look forward to each new season with anticipation.

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    1. I did until now. I have no hope for season 6...what a shame that Brian Bird and Lori Loughlin ruined a family show.

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  62. I totally agree with you! Hallmark did a horrible job handling this transition and they should have recast or else written the happy couple out of the show by having them "move" right after the wedding. At least knowing they're happy and only seeing them occasionally as guest stars would be so much better than having a new husband ripped from a young bride - after FIVE years of waiting for them to marry. I feel that the producers are very selfish and only care about ratings. They seem to forget they're dealing with real people and not just stupid, gullible "fans". :( I think I am done watching. They had strung out the release for SOOO long already! :(

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  63. This ending of the pivotal relationship on a series I’ve watched for five years is not acceptable for all of the loyal viewers....there were ups and downs and tragedies and disappointments, but you don’t kill off one of the main characters when their life together was FINALLY beginning. That’s WHY we all continued to watch..to see their life together! If Daniel wanted to leave, then Jack could have been replaced...especially since it’s months until the next season begins. There are other actors who are excellent and would have had chemistry with Erin...not just one actor exists that could fit the bill. It’s easier and more plausible and respectful of the very dedicated fans to do that than kill Jack. I can deal with that in certain movies and other smaller story situations, and we have to routinely, but when we’ve been waiting for the pivotal couple to have a life, it should never have ended in death! I won’t be watching season six or other hallmark series, as they will most likely do this again. Not a kind or respectful decision on the producer ‘s and director’s part!

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  64. Very disappointing to have watched this many seasons of When Calls The Heart, anticipating this beautiful wedding for these two wonderful characters, only to have Jack killed. I'm done. Not very thrilled about watching other Hallmark series at this point, for fear this will happen on other shows I've come to love.

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  65. Totally agree Net, Daniel Lissing should have been replaced! We have seen that done plenty of times and even Hallmark! Maybe they should replace Brian Bird and Lori Loughlin and anyone else who was involve in this horrible story line they chose. They have ruined the whole series for me and season 6. I have to admit I am not has thrilled to watch anything on Hallmark like I use to be...how sad!

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