When Creativity is Squandered: The Wasted Potential on Hallmark’s Good Witch

If you’ve read my list of the Top 10 Worst Hallmark Movies of All Time, you would know that Good Witch: Spellbound is in the Top 3. I disliked this movie so much, that I chose to stop watching the Good Witch television show. But something caused me to tune in to the most recent episode. What was this, you ask? Well, it was the inclusion of a royal character. This was the first time when a royal character has ever been featured on any of Hallmark’s television shows, so I was curious to see who would portray this character and what kind of subplot they would be given. However, I was hesitant about getting my hopes up. The third season of Good Witch and Good Witch: Spellbound left a bad taste in my mouth, due to the screen-writing that, in my opinion, was terrible. Still, I gave this episode a fair chance and hoped that the creative team behind this show would do something special with this particular “first” in Hallmark history. There were even factors leading up to this episode that led me to believe that this aspect of the episode would be handled with special attention. As you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why I would talk about this, despite the fact that I no longer watch Good Witch. I feel that my experience is one that can be relatable among my readers and followers. We’ve all felt disappointed, at least once in our lives, about “wasted potential” within a creative project. This post is about just that; me being disappointed about the creative decisions found in this episode of Good Witch. Because this is not an episode re-cap, I will only talk about the subplot involving the royal character, which will include spoilers. I will also document the factors that made me believe that this specific story would be handled better than it was. Now, let’s discuss this episode and the royal disappointment it was.

Screenshot_20190621-173612_IMDb[1]
In this screenshot that I took on my cellphone, there were only four cast members listed on the official cast list for Good Witch’s episode “The Prince”. The cast list was featured on IMDB. This screenshot was taken on June 21st, two days prior to the episode’s release date. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Recently, when I was visiting Hallmark Channel’s website, I saw an advertisement for the latest episode of Good Witch on their main page. My level of excitement came to fruition when I saw that this episode was called “The Prince”. As I’ve already stated, this was the first time a royal character had ever been featured in any television show from Hallmark. So, I was looking forward to watching Hallmark Channel history in the making. In the commercial for this episode, the actor who was to portray the prince was nowhere to be found. I figured this was because of one of two reasons: a.) because the story would be an afterthought compared to the other stories within the episode or b.) the actor portraying the prince was such a big deal, that the creative team behind Good Witch wanted to keep his identity a secret in an attempt to surprise their audience and fans with their choice of casting. I chalked this decision up to the latter, especially considering the factors that I’m about to share. Leading up to the episode, the actor portraying Henry, who is the titular prince, was not listed on Good Witch’s IMDB cast list. This actor’s name was also not mentioned in the episode’s official synopsis that was featured on Crown Media Family Networks’ website. Speaking of the synopsis, whenever Henry was mentioned in the episode description, the statement was always brief. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

 

From the official Good Witch episode guide on Hallmark Channel’s website: “Cassie plays host to Henry, a dashing stranger…”

 

From the Crown Media Family Networks’ website: “Cassie hosts a guest with a surprising secret”

 

“When shocking news emerges about the visiting royal, though, he risks hurting someone he’s grown to care for”

 

Based on everything I’ve just said, I predicted that Henry’s “secret” was that he was Cassie or Abigail’s long-lost brother. That way, the show could have introduced a male family member to the Merriwick family and Grace could have had a new uncle become a part of her life. If this was where the story went, it, possibly, would have encouraged me to give Good Witch a second chance. But, if you remember what I said in the introduction, I was disappointed by the “wasted potential” that was actually featured in this episode.

20190623_2200281.jpg
In this screenshot that I took with my cellphone, the official synopsis that is featured on Crown Media Family Networks’ website discusses the various subplots within this episode. As you can see, the actor portraying the prince was not mentioned in this synopsis. Meanwhile, other actors featured in this episode have their names listed next to their character names. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Because of the screen-writing associated with Good Witch’s third season and Good Witch: Spellbound, I had a feeling that the screen-writing in “The Prince” would probably be less-than-stellar. I also predicted what would likely happen on the episode. However, I was hoping that the creative team behind this show would prove me wrong. I watched this entire episode with an open mind and I gave it the fairest of chances. When Henry and his story were introduced on-screen, however, I was, unfortunately, proven right. Everything about this story was a blatant rehash of every single royal themed movie that Hallmark has ever made up until this point. You had the same generic British guy from the same generic, fictional European country that has a name ending with the letter “a”. You also had the same generic, romantic relationship between generic British guy and small-town, American woman. As for Henry’s “secret”, it was the same kind of secret that has been included in almost every Hallmark royal themed film: he’s a prince who didn’t want to be treated differently because of his royal title. There was even a part of the subplot about Henry wanting to go against tradition because he fell in love with a woman that’s not from a royal family. As disappointed as I was by this lack of creativity, I honestly can’t say that I’m surprised. This story felt lazily crafted, like the creative team behind Good Witch didn’t even try to apply any amount of creativity or imagination to this story. The entire execution of this concept was very poor, especially considering that this was a “first” in Hallmark television history.

20190623_215955[1]
In this screenshot from my cellphone, the official episode synopsis is featured on Good Witch‘s official page on Crown Media Family Networks’ website. From the first line, it’s clear that this sentence about the prince’s subplot is very brief. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
I love Hallmark, hence the reason why I talk about it on 18 Cinema Lane. I want their movies and shows to be the best that they can be. However, when a Hallmark project doesn’t reach its full potential, I will be honest about my feelings and opinions related to that project. This was my intention for bringing up my experience of watching this episode of Good Witch. Henry and his story could have been really good, with the potential for this story to be revisited in future episodes. Unfortunately, all of the potential this particular story had was wasted on a script that was poorly written. It also doesn’t help that it was also competing with about five other subplots. This example of “wasted potential” represents a pattern that has been common among Hallmark’s various projects. It’s understandable that Hallmark has an image that they’d like to uphold. But it feels like Hallmark puts so much focus on upholding this image, that they’re afraid of taking creative risks and thinking outside the box. I’m hoping that the disappointing results of this subplot from “The Prince” encourages the various creative teams at Hallmark to go out of their way to go against the grain and move out of their comfort zone. This doesn’t have to be frequently done, but enough to keep stories on Hallmark interesting and engaging.

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

5 thoughts on “When Creativity is Squandered: The Wasted Potential on Hallmark’s Good Witch

  1. Dear Sally,

    This is a really good article! It’s a shame when shows or movies disappoint, but your predictions about the episode show that you really know this subject. I appreciate your insightful thoughts on the creativity which should be used by writers.

    By the way, I published my Breening Thursday article earlier today. I took your second suggestion, “The Trouble with Angels.” It turned out to be a great topic for me! Here is the link: https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/breening-thursday-32-the-trouble-with-angels-from-1966/. I hope you like the article. Thank you so much for this great suggestion and for participating in my series. By the way, I’d like to invite you to join the blogathon I’m hosting next weekend: https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/announcing-the-favorite-code-film-blogathon/. We would love to have your talent included!

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and you’re welcome! I just read your Breening Thursday article and it was really good! I will accept your invitation for the upcoming blogathon by talking about Boys Town and Men of Boys Town. Looking forward to Clean Movie Month in July!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Sally,

        I’m glad that you liked my article! Thank you so much for joining the blogathon. I’m so glad to have you! Just to make it clear, the blogathon topic is your favorite Code film, so you have to limit it to one. Could you please choose either “Boys Town” or “Men of Boys Town”? They both are great, so I know it’s hard to choose. You can write about the other as just part of #CleanMovieMonth85.

        Yours Hopefully,

        Tiffany Brannan

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s