Monday, June 8, 2015

Movie/Series Review- Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The "POstables", our heroes of the Dead Letter Office.
I adore this saga, written by Martha Williamson (Touched By an Angel). Signed, Sealed, Delivered is the story of four extraordinary individuals who work in the DLO (Dead Letter Office) of the United States Postal Service. Their job? To deliver, no matter what the obstacle!

I watched the pilot movie back in 2013 and was immediately hooked. The chemistry between these characters was obvious and stunning, I instantly knew upon watching the pilot that an incredible saga was going to be unfolded.

Oliver O'Toole (Eric Mabius) as the leader of this determined team was just amazing. His presence is so strong and steady, his strength is obvious, and his knowledge of words adds a richness and depth to these stories that is beautiful. His struggles to reconcile with his desire to do right by both God and others is amazingly played out.  Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth) is positively adorable. Her quick mind, adorable smile, sarcastic wit, and tender heart are utterly charming. She also has an incredibly vulnerable side that shows itself on a regular basis. She and Oliver compliment each other so beautifully;  and at times they are so different, but at their core, they were made for each other. I have greatly enjoyed their story. Shane, abandoned at a young age by her father, falls in love with Oliver, a man who still has a wife somewhere in the world, who is also falling in love with the beautiful woman he works with.The Christmas movie, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: For Christmas was really when we got to witness Shane at her very rawest. I was utterly swept up in the moments,  and the message of that movie. If it tells you anything about the quality, my dad went out and bought the DVD the very next day. The latest movie, Signed, Sealed, Deliver: From Paris With Love, which premiered on the  Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel June 6th of this year, dealt head on with Oliver and his wayward wife. It was incredibly emotional for Oliver, and Shane, but all I can say is this, you will NOT be disappointed by the ending.

 Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson) and Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) complete this team of postal miracle workers. I mention them together because they come as a matched set. They are both the cutest things in the entire world, one of a kind, and yet, made for each other. Rita is simply lovely, awkward, and has the hugest crush on Norman. She has spent her life feeling ostracized for being who she is, but with Norman, she feels at home. Norman, oh honey, if Olaf (from Frozen) were a human being, he would be Norman, with the exception that Norman does not express himself as openly as Olaf does. Norman was abandoned as a child and then bounced around the foster system until he was adopted. But he still has large, gaping holes in his heart, Rita is the only person he has instantly felt safe with. He also loves her with all of his heart, but has the hardest time coming out and saying it. They find the most random ways to say "I love you", but take heart, at some time the truth with come forth in plain English.

The series ran in the early spring of 2014. Each week the team found a different letter and then spent the episode, well, delivering. The thing about these particular folks however, is that they do more than deliver, they put lives back together. After a single season, Hallmark Channel announced that the SSD stories were instead be going to be made feature length movies that would air on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. This was a good move, since these stories are so complex that they really need at least two hours to fully develop and fill out the plot.

Martha Williamson is a fantastic writer. I can tell, from the way that she writes her stories that she has studied both people, and life. She notices the details that make us all unique individuals, which in my mind, is what makes or breaks a writer's characters. She puts broken people in her stories, recognizing that everyone has a story, and everyone has heartache. She puts her characters in positions where they are able to speak into other's lives, while still discovering truths about their own. She writes romances brilliantly. I feel that many writers take the easy way out when it comes to writing romance. Flirtation, chocolate, flowers, and a kiss in the moonlight about covers it. It's a one-size-fits-all way of putting romance in a movie. But in real life, with real people, every romance is different, because people are different. Martha has discovered the secret of creating unique, individuals who communicate based on their uniqueness. I have learned ways to say "I love you" in this show without ever saying those exact words.

I applaud everyone involved with making this fantastic story, and I await eagerly the next installment of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

The movies and the series can be purchased online at Amazon or Walmart.