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Case Number 27599: Small Claims Court

Buy Cedar Cove: Season One at Amazon

Cedar Cove: Season One

Cinedigm // 2013 // 588 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 5th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson visited Cedar Cove last summer and barely escaped with his life.

The Charge

Small town. Big heart.

The Case

From the Hallmark Channel, an original TV series detailing the melodrama and heartwarming heart warmth of the picturesque American town of Cedar Cove, a village that hugs the ocean and has a main street ripped out of Yankee magazine. Cedar Cove's most popular resident is Olivia Lockhart (Andie MacDowell, Groundhog Day), the town judge who's incredibly beloved. She's so highly regarded, she has a shot at the federal circuit. While this career move represents everything she's aimed for as a professional, her heart is pulled, inexorably, back to Cedar Cove.

The magnetism is being generated, mainly, by Jack Griffith (Dylan Neal), the dashing newspaper reporter. The two immediately hit it off, making Olivia's decision all the more perplexing. But if she does choose to stay (SPOILER: she stays) she will have plenty to keep her busy, including guiding her daughter through romantic turbulence and repelling the encroaching menace of a sleazy land developer. It's all in day's work at Cedar Cove.

Here's the easiest way to sum up Cedar Cove: It's the Hallmarkiest thing you'll ever see. As someone who's probably reviewed more of the channel's productions than anyone else on the site I am confident in saying I'm the resident expert on all things Hallmark (so I've got that going for me). And Cedar Cove checks all the boxes in a big way. You've got the fuzzy, oversaturated color palette, the syrupy score, the hard-hitting plotlines (there's a nasty developer wants to bulldoze the lighthouse) and an unending stream of up-and-down romantic relationships. There's even a regular presence by radio's Delilah.

All that's not to be meant as a criticism, by the way. Hallmark knows its audience hand has fashioned the perfect television organism to appeal to them. It's innocuous, saccharine and, I'll admit it, charming. Maybe my affection is rooted primarily in my evergreen infatuation with Andie MacDowell, but it's tough to hate on Cedar Cove. If you like your television hardcore and gritty, of course you're going to want look elsewhere for your entertainment; want some comfort food where the main bad guy is a corny land developer and the edgiest material involves a restaurant burning down (immediately followed up by the community turning out to rebuild, on Christmas no less), go ahead and settle in for all 13 episodes with a biscotti and enjoy.

The DVD set: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Cinedigm
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 588 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Drama
• Romance
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurette


• IMDb
• Official Site

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