Run Time: 30 min
Review Based On: First Two Episodes
When you think of soap operas, you may not think of great acting, but you do think about drama. People slapping each other in the face, drinks being thrown at one another, and serious questions about who the father is every time someone gets pregnant. While none of those things are Christian forms of behavior, I was still hoping to see something exciting in Pure Flix’s Christian soap opera Hilton Head Island. What I found, instead, was boredom.
Hilton Head Island follows the wealthy Trisk family, owners of ISLE Television Network, as they deal with the aftermath of anchorman and father Daniel Trisk’s serious illness. A battle for control of the network emerges leaving the family to rely on faith and prayer. Hilton Head Island stars Donna Mills (Knots Landing, General Hospital), Michael Swan (As the World Turns, The Bold and the Beautiful), Antonio Sabato Jr. (General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful), Carey Scott (God’s Not Dead 2, Mad Men), Crystal Hunt (One Life to Live, Sydney White), Christina Collard (The Detour, The Girl’s Guide to Depravity), Anna Zielinski (Marriage Retreat, Hitting the Breaks), Michelle Thomson (Dance Baby Dance, All In), Palma Lawrence Reed (The Soloist, Cordially Invited ), and Reign Morton (General Hospital, Reunion).
Now being called a “Hope Opera”, Hilton Head Island understandably rejects inappropriate language, physical displays of violence, and sex. I don’t have a problem with that. I think that’s wonderful. But if you’re going to do that, you need to find drama in other ways, which they were not able to do successfully. We were left watching endless amounts of conversations that were painful given the actor’s lack of ability. If I could drill one single point into the heads of the writers it would be this, “Christian television does not have to be boring!” Say it with me everybody, “CHRISTIAN…TELEVISION…DOES…NOT…HAVE…TO…BE…BORING!” Thank you. I feel better now.
Both a blessing and a curse in the film industry is the green screen. In this case, it was an absolute disaster. It shouldn’t be that difficult to film in someone’s backyard, yet they chose to green screen it. It shouldn’t be that difficult to film inside an office, even if the blinds have to be closed, yet they chose to green screen scenery through the windows. Unless you have the budget and talent to pull off incredible CGI work, it’s much better to simply film on location and/or make smart choices with your set.
Speaking of the set, something about the rooms seemed familiar to me. Probably because the room they used as the hospital waiting room was the exact same one they used for Dan’s office on Malibu Dan the Family Man. They didn’t even bother to change out all the props. I have sympathy towards budget problems, but this is simply laziness and a lack of attention to detail.
As for the acting, there really isn’t much to say here. It was terrible, but most soap operas have terrible acting. In fact, many of the Hilton Head Island cast have been in actual soap operas. Therefore, I’m not sure how to really judge this. I guess I’ll just leave you with this: If you are a person who likes to watch realistic acting, than this show isn’t for you. However, if you are a soap opera fan who really doesn’t care about acting quality, than it shouldn’t bother you too much. I do, however, have to give a big “thank you” to Reign Morton for providing the only palatable performance.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
This is a show geared towards adults. While there isn’t sex, violence, or foul language; it still isn’t a show that children or teens would find appealing.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
I wouldn’t recommend showing this at church. There aren’t enough solid messages to use in a sermon. Also, the show isn’t the best example of exceptional Christian entertainment.