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My April Watchlist

My April Watchlist

Written by Rachel Blanchard

Rachel Blanchard is a teacher, wife, and mother of two young children. She is an aspiring novelist and devotional writer, passionate about sharing lessons learned, and the message that we can trust in God’s goodness!

April 10, 2021

In the precious hour I have before bedtime after silencing Power Rangers and puppies from my television screen, what do I find worth watching? I am always one to scan different streaming services for familiar stories, but recently, I have been branching out to some originals and new releases as well!

All the shows and movies listed below are rated PG except for WandaVision (TV-14), but be sure and check out Plugged In’s more detailed reviews if you are watching with the family to make sure it’s a good fit! Read on to get the scoop on a faith-based teen musical, a sitcom, a superhero spinoff, an inspiring true story, a long-running drama, and a rags-to-riches tale.

 

A Week Away

Church Camp

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

 

Streaming on Netflix

 

I was so excited when I heard that Netflix was making a musical based on reimagining Christian songs! I grew up playing capture the flag and watching High School Musical, so this church camp movie is right up my alley. It does not have the most complex of storylines, but I commend Netflix for branching out into family-friendly originals. Themes of faith, self-confidence, hope, friendship, and forgiveness are a welcome addition to the traditional teen romance tropes. The most poignant part of the film is a bonfire mash-up of “Awesome God” and “God Only Knows,” where the two main characters cry out their personal pleas in harmony with the crowd’s song. And my family can attest to the fact that I have been dancing around the house chanting “Come…and go with me…. to my Father’s house” from one of the ensemble numbers all week. I haven’t stopped yet. I am sorry in advance if the chorus of this ’90s classic is in your head now.

 

Country Comfort

 

Boots and Guitar

Photo by Russ Photographer on Unsplash

 

Streaming on Netflix

 

Another new release from Netflix, this T.V. show stars the beautiful and talented Katharine McPhee of American Idol fame. Bailey is a lovable mess who stumbles into a Nashville family’s home during a thunderstorm. It turns out that, after suffering from the loss of their mother, the children need Bailey’s heart as much as she needs their shelter. There are several similarities here to one of my favorite sitcoms, Reba, from the country music numbers to the dad’s ditzy blond girlfriend. One episode also brings up the topic of faith which was a welcome surprise, and another features a cameo from LeAnn Rimes. There were a couple of off-color jokes, but overall, I enjoyed this show which is all about being there for one another, and I’m looking forward to the next season.

 

WandaVision

 

1950s Car

Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash

 

Streaming on Disney Plus

 

This time-warp action series is a good watch-together for couples. The concept is interesting enough in the first few episodes, as each new episode is themed after a different decade of sitcom (the Bewitched era, The Brady Bunch, etc.). However, once the plot twists start coming and the mysteries are revealed, watching the last few episodes feels more like a feature-film showing. If you haven’t watched WandaVision yet, be glad that you can now access all the episodes at once because, believe me, you will want to binge-watch!

 

Soul Surfer

 

Photo by Matthew Hume on Unsplash

 

Streaming on Netflix

 

Yes, I know that I am ten years behind the wave, as this was my first time watching Soul Surfer. But, though it was the first time, it was the perfect time for me! I was slightly reluctant to hear tones of sunny optimism about being glad for your troubles, seeing as, that day, I was experiencing a headache so bad that I could barely move. But knowing that the main character Bethany Hamilton was a real-life survivor of a shark attack who then became a champion surfer–seeing how she was able to reach so many with her determination and faith after such a horrible circumstance–was not only entertaining; it was deeply moving. Bring out the tissues for this one!

 

What a Girl Wants

 

British Flags

Photo by A Perry on Unsplash

 

Streaming on Netflix

 

I have been watching this film since the early 2000s when it first released, and it never fails to put a smile on my face! Amanda Bynes plays an American teenager who goes to England to meet her father for the first time (Colin Firth), and their burgeoning relationship is the highlight of the movie for me. The supporting cast (Kelly Preston, Oliver James, Jonathan Pryce, Eileen Atkins, and Anna Chancellor) are also excellent, as is the nostalgia that I feel when I remember what used to be considered high-fashion–questions arise such as, where did I put that blue eyeliner pencil, and how did we ever get anywhere wearing those chunky platform shoes? Daphne (Bynes) feels the pressure to trade her hoop earrings in for pearl necklaces to try and fit in with the nobility, but the movie’s theme is summed up in one, swoon-worthy quote: “Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out?” Enter Oliver James’s brooding stare across the pond to the soundtrack of “Half Life.” This movie is perfect for fans of happily-ever-afters.

 

Heartland

 

Heartland Ranch

“Heartland Ranch” by RPatts is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Streaming on Netflix

 

I am not a horse person, and didn’t know if I could stay engaged if that was the main premise of a T.V. show, but Heartland kept popping up in my suggestions. Now I know what all the buzz is about. After watching 13 seasons and three generations of ranchers, I saw the show’s subject matter transform from Amy Fleming’s teenage drama-fest to her experiences in marriage, parenting, and even foster parenting. I fell in love with the personalities of the main characters and really rooted for them through all of the changes in their lives. “Miracle Girl” Amy heals a different horse (or, in some cases, owner) in every episode, but the conflicts never grow stale as you dive into the diverse worlds of show jumping, barrel racing, cattle driving, and more! Plus Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables) guest-stars and directs, so what more do you need? Get invested in Heartland, and then we can pretend to be experts on horses and Canadian lingo together.

 

If you enjoyed this article, check out some of my previous reviews, and let me know what shows and movies you have been loving recently in the comments below!

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