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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

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Bruce Boxleitner and Barbara Niven star in "Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove" on Saturday nights on the Hallmark Channel.
Bruce Boxleitner and Barbara Niven star in "Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove" on Saturday nights on the Hallmark Channel.

Spend some time with the characters of "Cedar Cove"

If you know to head to Moon’s for coffee, fish tacos and sandwiches, then you are familiar with a special little place called "Cedar Cove."

If you are not familiar with it, then you are missing out on one of the best, light hearted, romantic and character-driven shows on television. Based on the writings of Debbie Macomber, "Cedar Cove" is the first original primetime series produced by the Hallmark Channel.

I wrote about the series premiere starring Andie MacDowell and Dylan Neal.

The producers behind the drama gave me the opportunity to screen the first four episodes of the show as well. It’s third regular episode, fourth when you count the pilot, airs Saturday night at 7 p.m.

If you catch the airing and keep Twitter up on a second screen, you can participate in a live chat with actor Neal when he takes over the Hallmark Channel’s handle. To track and participate in the conversation follow these: @HallmarkChannel, @CedarCoveTV, #CedarCoveTV, @AndieMacDowell3, @DylanNealStudio, @TerylRothery, @SarahSmyth24, @AtleastLevesque.

If you just want to watch a show that deals with real-life issues, where parents and their children learn to live through evolving relationships, then this is it.

And that – at its core – is the most important.

Sure, you’ll be entertained with a stranger’s death at the local bed and breakfast, an art walk, and a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business along the way.

But the scenery is beautiful, the community is relatable, right down to the people listening to syndicated radio host Delilah. Macomber is a master storyteller and creates the characters that the cast of Bruce Boxleitner, Barbara Niven, Teryl Rothery, Sarah Smyth, Paula Shaw, Andrew Airlie, Elyse Levesque and Tom Stevens bring to life.

Writer and show runner Carl Binder has done a great job of reintroducing elements to award those who have watched multiple episodes without taking away from the core stories presented in each installment.

Brennan Elliott has the toughest job, personifying a person people hate. Elliott shows off his acting chops and wins the best compliment in my household as my wife says she doesn’t like him very much. Job well done, indeed.

I find myself connecting with different characters at different times as the stories run their course, but as the old copy editor and writer who has covered cops and courts, Neal’s character of journalist Jack Griffith is the one I identify with the most.  I think you too can find people to identify with and feel comfortable dropping in on "Cedar Cove" each week.

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