Lee and Rosemary look shocked as they stare at the camera, Rosemary wearing a white and blue dress and Lee wearing a suit vest and white shirt. This is from "When Calls the Heart" and has the All Ages of Geek logo in the right hand corner.

Rosemary’s Unexpected Parenthood Plot in “When Calls the Heart”

| by: Regina S.

In the heartwarming world of Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart,” the storyline surrounding Rosemary LeVeaux Coulter, portrayed by Pascale Hutton, and her husband Lee Coulter, played by Kavan Smith, has always been a fan favorite. However, their venture into parenthood has sparked discussions among viewers, particularly about the implications for character development and plot consistency.

*This is merely an opinion piece. I absolutely adore “When Calls the Heart” but I wanted to bring up some concerns I’ve had with the series since watching.

Rosemary’s Parenthood Plot Change from “When Calls the Heart”

1. A Shift from Representation in “When Calls the Heart”

Initially, Rosemary represented a segment of women rarely spotlighted in mainstream media: those who cannot or choose not to have children. Her journey was a beacon for viewers who saw their own struggles reflected in her experiences. The shift towards Rosemary achieving pregnancy, seemingly against all odds in “When Calls the Heart”, somewhat diminishes this representation, leaving those viewers feeling sidelined once more.

Elizabeth comforts a pregnant Rosemary as they sit on chairs with a blue background from "When Calls the Heart".

2. Rosemary’s Reluctance Towards Parenthood

From the onset, Rosemary was not portrayed as maternal—a trait that set her apart in the quaint town of Hope Valley. Her evolution from a woman who once showed little interest in children to a doting mother might strike some fans as inauthentic. This dramatic change begs the question: Are we losing the original essence of Rosemary’s character?

Lee holds out his hand for Rosemary who is wearing a wedding dress on the church steps.

3. Symbolism in Rosemary and Lee’s Relationship in “When Calls the Heart”

Undoubtedly, Rosemary and Lee’s relationship in “When Calls the Heart” has been a symbol of overcoming life’s hurdles together. While their journey to parenthood could be seen as another hurdle they’ve overcome, it also overshadows other significant challenges that couples face. It suggests that true happiness and fulfillment are ultimately found in parenthood, overshadowing their previous accomplishments and the strength of their partnership sans children.

Rosemary comforts a sad Lee on the couch beneath a warm lighting.

4. The Narrative of Overcoming

The narrative that people must always get what they strive for to find happiness is pervasive, yet unrealistic. “When Calls the Heart” had the opportunity to explore and affirm that happiness and fulfillment can come from many different sources, not just the expected societal milestones like parenthood.

5. Conforming to a Standard Plot for Lee and Rosemary in “When Calls the Heart”

The addition of a child to Rosemary and Lee’s storyline feels like a checkbox being ticked, conforming to a standard plot where every main character ends up with children (which was never the point of “When Calls the Heart). This not only limits the diversity of stories that can be told but also pressures the narrative to fit a mold, rather than allowing the characters’ lives to unfold in more unique and varied ways.

What Could Have Been for Rosemary, Lee and “When Calls the Heart”?

Instead of focusing solely on the journey to parenthood, “When Calls the Heart” could have explored other parts of marital life and personal growth that resonate with a broader audience. Issues like career changes, personal ambitions, or even the challenges of maintaining one’s identity within a marriage are all relatable themes that could have been further explored.

The show also missed an important opportunity to represent couples who either decide not to have children or cannot have children, providing visibility and comfort to those in similar situations.

While Rosemary and Lee’s story continues to capture the hearts of many, the direction of their plotline might have missed an opportunity to offer a more varied portrayal of love and life in Hope Valley. Tune in to Hallmark Channel this Sunday at 8 PM to catch all the action and drama in “When Calls the Heart.”

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