Like their sister station, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has upped their game since the early days. Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega return to the network in the first of what I’d guess will be a series of “picture perfect” mysteries! Allie Adams is a talented photographer who settles for life as a celebration photographer rather than a gallery attraction. Her latest event is the wedding of her brother’s ex-girlfriend, which presents more than a few awkward moments. But things take a grim turn when the groom is shot during the wedding festivities.
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This brings Sam Acosta onto the scene. A young and smart detective new to the area, Sam sets about solving the murder. Something the guy who usually works alone attempts to do without his partner. When it starts to look as though Allie’s brother may be involved, she takes an interest in the evidence, all in the hope of proving his innocence.
Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead (2019) Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Review
If you didn’t know, these actors are, in real life, married. Alexa is a child star (Spy Kids) who appeared on Hallmark (Follow the Stars Home) back when she was a pre-teen, while Carlos entered movie life a bit later. But what’s fun is to now see them as co-stars in Hallmark originals (this is their third). Of those they’ve played opposite each other in, this is by far, the best.
In prior scripts, their characters do battle with a love-to-hate trope, and after seeing this, I don’t think the trope works well for them. However, in ‘Newlywed and Dead,’ their interactions, while it does have a sense of exasperation, is more of a friendship. It’s a beginning that works so well between these two, and with exception to one (a dance scene) maybe two scenes, nothing ever hints at being “romantic.”
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Don’t mistake me, I’ve zero doubt that if this earns sequel’s, something more will continue to build. But for now, if this solid base and friendship is all there is, I’m fine with it, so long as a will-they-or-won’t-they doesn’t drag it out. Beyond the characters, this is a fun series. I like the acting (again, as I said, this is one of the best for this PenaVega team-up), and the relationship between Allie and her brother could be interesting to learn more about.
The mystery isn’t too complicated, but for a first installment, the story is entertaining. Allie’s profession is also a fun study since photography and creative pursuits is a (amateur) hobby of mine. There’s lots of clues that invite us to solve the case, and like anything from the network, Picture Perfect Mysteries has the potential to be around for an extended stay.Love a good #mystery? Don't miss Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega in their signature #Hallmark series Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead Click To Tweet
Content: there’s some minor violence (nothing graphic) in the first 10-15 minutes involving the death, and some other tense situations. The film is a very appropriate TVPG rating.
Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press