‘Chesapeake Shores’ (Season 1): Welcome Home

Chesapeake Shores

Last week the newest Hallmark Channel drama Chesapeake Shores, based on the novel of the same name by best-selling author Sherryl Woods, debuted on the network. The series focuses on the multi-generational O’Brien family from the beautiful seaside community of Chesapeake Shores located near Baltimore, Maryland.

Just because the locale is beautiful doesn’t mean that the O’Brien family has led a beautiful life – far from it, in fact, given that their mother Megan (Barbara Niven from Cedar Cove) left the family when the oldest of their five children were in their teens. While they had their grandmother Nell (veteran actress Diane Ladd) as their support system, they were left in the care of their workaholic and uncompromising dad Mick (Treat Williams of Everwood fame).

Obviously, over the years a great deal of animosity has built up between the five kids and their dad, who still seems somewhat oblivious to the fact that he wasn’t quite as great a dad as he perceived. Sure, he provided for his children; they didn’t lack for the necessities, but he wasn’t there for special moments in their lives and each of them resent him for different reasons.

When oldest daughter Abby (Meghan Ory from Once Upon a Time), a high-powered career woman in New York City, is pulled back to Chesapeake Shores to help out youngest daughter Jess (Laci J. Mailey from Falling Skies) [who needed help – yet again – getting out a financial crunch: this time for a bed and breakfast that she hoped to open in their hometown], some unexpected situations occurred:

• Abby came to realize that she has turned into her father: becoming a workaholic, missing out of the lives of her young fraternal twin daughters;
• Their estranged mother was invited to town by their father; and,
• Her three other siblings – brothers Kevin [Brendan Penny from Motive] (a solider about to deploy for the fourth time to Afghanistan) and Connor [Andrew Francis from the made for TV movie Ms. Matched] (an apprehensive law student about to take the bar exam) and sister Bree [Emilie Ullerup from Sanctuary] (a gifted playwright who has been suffering from beginner’s luck for too long) – all returned home for the Fourth of July weekend as part of an impromptu family reunion as well as concerns of the health of their grandmother.

Welcome home, everybody!

For Abby, the complications don’t stop there, as she soon learned that her former high school sweetheart Trace Riley (Jesse Metcalfe from Dallas and Desperate Housewives) has returned to their hometown after finding success as a singer in Nashville. While they have not rekindled their long-ago romance, they did share a kiss that will more than likely lead to much more than friendship. And, she also is dealing with her ex-husband Wes Winters (Michael Karl Richards from the made for TV movie Autumn Dreams), who wants full custody of their twin girls. The latter, of course, does not sit well with Abby and will obviously play a big part in future episodes.

What are your thoughts on the new Hallmark Channel series? Do you like the dynamics within the family? Are you curious as to how things will work out with Wes and Abby where the twins are concerned? What have you liked best and least about the show so far? Please share your comments below.

The next new episode of debut season of ‘Chesapeake Shores’ will air on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, August 28 at 9/8c