May 2020 – Becoming a fan of the Hallmark Channel Network has helped me discover so many good movies, and so many talented actors. In a couple of years since I started constantly watching Hallmark Channel, I’ve been impressed with all the talent that have joined the network. These actors become favorites easily, as they manage to get into their characters making them seem so real. Of course, many of them come from other shows or networks. They get introduced to the Hallmark fans, and we love seeing them become part of the family.
The Hallmark/Crown Media company has been producing and promoting movies since 1951, when they were approached by the NBC TV station (National Broadcasting Company) to sponsor movies. Then in 1991, they founded the Crown Media Holdings, Inc., to manage their own movie production. In 2001, they launched the Hallmark Channel as a TV station and started introducing their movies and series that have become favorites of so many.
As always, I like to remind all readers that, even though I love the movies, I’m only a fan. I have no rights or access to any production or merchandise. None. But if you’re interested, you may visit their website https://www.hallmarkchannel.com. I check the Hallmark Channel page every day. I do. I like to check the schedule and what new movies are coming soon. All images/posters used for this post are from Hallmark Channel/Crown Media Holdings.
Of all the series produced by the Hallmark network, I recently discovered one that has become a favorite of mine, and I know has many fans: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered“. This Hallmark series is a mix of drama, mystery, comedy, and, the one thing I like: romance. It also has a message of faith, hope and loyalty, as the characters deal with difficult situations working together to resolve them.
The creator is Martha Williamson, writer and executive producer of the very popular series “Touched by an Angel” that aired on CBS station for 9 seasons. She’s a native of Colorado, so she gave the series the location of Denver. For more information, visit her official page here https://marthawilliamson.com/signed-sealed-delivered/.
This series introduces four dedicated employees of the U.S. Postal System who become a team of detectives identifying lost mail as it gets to their office. The office they work at is actually called the “Dead Letter Office”. They manage to investigate the undeliverable letters, which takes them into a journey where letters and packages save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves, and change the future by arriving late, but always miraculously on time. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel web page).
The first movie aired in October of 2013. It was originally called Dead Letters Mystery, with the subtitle “Second Chances”. It was successfully watched by 1.715 million viewers (according to the article, http://www.thefutoncritic.com/ratings/2013/10/15/saturdays-cable-ratings-and-broadcast-finals-alcs-nascar-and-college-football-top-charts-133411/cable_20131012/). The network announced the start of a series of one-hour episodes that ran weekly from April to June 2014 (total of 10 episodes). Then programming switched to a 2-hour movie format, with 11 movies that premiered from 2014 to 2018. It has been announced by Hallmark executives and the actors, that a new movie is starting production, premiere to be disclosed at a later date.
Let me tell you about the principal actors and their characters.
- Oliver O’Toole – The team is led by the charming and handsome Oliver (Eric Mabius). Oliver is an old fashioned guy who still believes in commitment and lives with his faith and conviction as his life guides. He leads the team and manages to combine their unique talents to work together and come up with a solution to resolve the case at hand.
- Eric Mabius was born in Pennsylvania, and grew up in rural Massachusetts. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He is best known for his role as Daniel Meade in the series Ugly Betty. (Information retrieved from Hallmark Movies and Mysteries web page). Besides starring in this series, Eric has also starred in the Hallmark Channel Original Movies How to Fall in Love (2012), Reading, Writing & Romance (2013), Welcome to Christmas (2018), and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2019).
- Shane McInerney – a beautiful, no-nonsense expert in technology named Shane (Kristin Booth) is mistakenly transferred to the Dead Letter Office. It takes her some time, but she’s able to blend her talents with the team to become an essential part of it. She notices all the quirks and unique talents of each of them and soon becomes involved in helping them solve cases, introducing her witty and knowledge to complement the team.
- Kristin was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and graduated from Ryerson University in Ontario. She has spent most of her acting career in Canada, where she has won a Gemini Award (2005), a Genie Award (2008), and a ACTRA Award (2019, presented by the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists). She has also been nominated for a second Gemini Award (2008) and a second ACTRA Award (2010). Kristin has not starred in any Hallmark Original Movies, other than this series. She had a small cameo appearance in Winter’s Dream (2018).
- Rita Haywith – free-spirited Rita (Crystal Lowe) has a fantastic photographic memory, one that Oliver counts on when they work into investigating “dead” letters. She has an affinity for anything with owls, as she considers that owls “are a reminder that someone is there’s always somebody out there flying around that thinks you’re special” (her words from the movie). She is in love with non other than (spoiler!) Norman. She even wrote a novel, inadvertently basing her main character on Norman.
- Crystal was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and had the opportunity to live in Hong Kong. Her first role was at age 15, and she continued her career as guest star in many movies. Crystal has co-starred in a few Hallmark movies: The Gourmet Detective: A Healthy Place to Die (2015), Hearts of Christmas (2016), Marry Me at Christmas (2017), Christmas at Holly Lodge (2017), Flip that Romance (2019), and Christmas at Dollywood (2019).
- Norman Dorman – Norman (Geoff Gustafson) is an expert in postal history. He is a bit shy, but with Oliver’s trust and approval, he steps up to do his part when trying to figure out what to do. He is unconventional, in the sense that he has a unique way of seeing things. Later on the series, it’s revealed that Norman grew up in foster care. All the connections and friends he made, he relates as “his family” and recurs to them when in need of information to solve cases.
- Geoff was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He studied theater at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia. He has co-starred in a few Hallmark movies: It’s Christmas, Carol! (2012), Finding Mrs. Claus (2012), Darrow and Darrow 2 (2018), Emma Fielding: More Bitter Than Death (2019), A Summer Romance (2019), and Write Before Christmas (2019).
Now, let me tell you about the first movie:
Second Chances (pilot) – The daily routine of the “dead letter” office changes when a lady named Shane gets mistakenly transferred in. Shane inspires the team, Oliver, Rita and Norman, to change the way they usually work with a lost letter, and they all go to find out what happened. They started calling themselves the “POstables”.
The letter in case had been mailed a year before, and the team realizes that Kelli (the sender) intended to meet Charlie (the addressee) a year after. They go on following a few clues, until they find Charlie (Ben Hollingsworth).
This is the start of their adventures and, as the movies continue, so does their stories and the relationships that develop between them. Of course, they continue working together in resolving cases and reuniting people. This group becomes a family, helping and supporting each other.
The movies (and the actors) are so loved, that there are many bloggers that dedicate posts to the series. One that I discovered as soon as I became a fan of the POstables is the Alameda Downing blog, by blogger Chandel. For more information (a lot of info!), visit https://alamedadowningblog.weebly.com/about.html.
Another one of my favorite posts about the series is from my blogger friend Ruth Mayer Hill. To get to know these characters a little bit more, read Ruth’s review from 2015 (still a very good one!) https://mydevotionalthoughts.net/2015/06/signed-sealed-delivered-season-1-review.html.
There is still so much more to tell you about this amazing series. As we wait for the next premiere, I’ll be writing some more. I will tell you more about the movies that followed this one. I love writing, and I love Hallmark movies. It’s time for my tacita de café. Salud!