There is no doubt that we are experiencing unprecedented and, frankly, unwelcome times.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of your favorite Hallmark stars are finding it difficult to forge on with excitement over their programming when so many are in a world of hurt.
But they also realize that what people need more than ever is comfort, and with new programming limited, together, we're trying to share an appreciation for feel-good television.
Of course, Hallmark is the leader in feel-good programming, and the stars of the Matchmaker Mysteries film series on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries are proud of their work and hope you'll find some joy, no matter how brief, with their latest endeavor.
Starring Danica McKellar as Angie Dove, a brilliant matchmaker whose sense of people gives her a leg up solving mysteries. Victor Webster plays the handsome detective, Kyle Cooper, who is learning to appreciate Angie's insight into his cases, and Bruce Boxleitner plays Angie's dad, Nick, a former detective now navigating retirement.
We had a chance to catch up with all three of them to chat about our precarious times and build some excitement about MatchMaker Mysteries: A Fatal Romance, which debuts on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and Hallmark concurrently on Saturday, April 25 at 9/8c.
Our interview with Danica will run at 1 p.m. ET, so be sure to visit TV Fanatic throughout the day for more exciting Hallmark fun. For now, sit back and get to know Victor and Bruce a little bit better.
And let me tell you, the two men could not be more charming. They're invested in the interview while it's happening and fully engaged. Can you imagine what a pleasure it must be to work on Matchmaker Mysteries?
Victor was the first to praise the Hallmark family, admitting that he began working with them because, while usually playing what he called "sword and sandal" movies in which he was shooting guns and getting in fights, he wanted something he could share with family members and that friends could watch with their children."
"So originally, I started because it was good, wholesome family entertainment. It's always a happy ending. You leave feeling great and it's good entertainment.
"Plus now, it's still one of the reasons that I do it, but the company and the people that I get to work with are fantastic. They treat everybody really, really well. They have such a great outlook. Everybody's always positive.
"Everything always works super, super smoothly. I love the people I get to work with, my co-stars, the directors, the writers, the executives. This is such a good group of people. They've just become a family at this point."
Bruce, who joked that he took his car out for a drive just to make sure it was still running and saying of the present circumstances, "I know we'll come out of it. It's just so confusing and difficult," agreed with Victor's sentiments.
"That's why we do Hallmark movies, to keep everybody entertained with lighthearted stuff that's fun."
Bruce refers to Hallmark as "old-time television, much like regular network television of the past, which made it easy to understand the good guys versus the bad guys. "When I grew up, we had happy endings," he said.
"We had AN ending," he asserted, and you weren't required to tune into every episode of beloved programming to see the end of a story in which you became invested. "You know, what I'm saying is that the shows I used to do had a beginning, a middle, and an end and ended that episode."
"I think a lot of what Hallmark does is reminiscent of that. They're good stories, good characters, but without a lot of sexual content and no violence."
Bruce says it's not old fashioned, but just reminiscent of what seemed to be a simpler time in entertainment. Now, Bruce laughed, he's everybody's dad, a reference to not only Matchmaker but another HMM film series, Gourmet Detective, in which he plays Dylan Neal's father.
Victor's character, Kyle, is a police officer, and that really appeals to the actor. "I always liked playing cops, and I always liked investigating things. My dad was a police officer, so it's always fun to pretend that I went into the family business, so to speak. I like solving problems."
Victor also enjoys the relationship Kyle shares with Angie, something that begins to take on a different shade when her ex-boyfriend (a suspect in the latest mystery, no less), enters the picture.
Victor notes that Kyle is beginning to recognize that while Angie uses different tactics than he would employ, she's getting the job done, and Kyle admires that.
"At first, it was annoying, and I felt like she was getting in my way," Victor said, "and it was just I didn't want to have to worry about her getting hurt or getting in trouble at the same time I'm trying to solve a murder, but she can hold her own and she's good at what she does.
"And I'm starting to have a newfound respect for that, even more so in this movie."
We get to see some different sides to both Kyle and Nick on Matchmaker Mysteries: A Fatal Romance. Kyle's family is referenced, and Nick picks up some new hobbies.
Victor is excited about what's unfolding and pleased with the reveals. "I think it's nice to let things slowly trickle out as we get to know who these characters are, and you see them unfold before our eyes. Learn a little bit more. I think that brings you in more than just throwing a bunch of information at you and you're like, 'Oh, I can't retain all this.'
"Just like you do in real life, you don't sit down with somebody and ask them a thousand questions. You get to know a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more.
"I think that keeps people coming back and interested as well as the great stories that we're telling and the ancillary characters that we're bringing in. So I think it's important to let it unfold slowly, and I think we're getting to know a lot of stuff about Kyle. What am I looking forward to?
"There's some more stuff about my past, growing up, more about my family. I hope they bring my dog back because any day on set with a dog is a good day," said Victor, who owns two cats and a rescued dog.
Nick, too, is taking on some new challenges, including painting. He's hoping to win back his wife, Angie's mother, whom we have yet to meet.
In regards to the potential casting of that role, Bruce said, "I hope it's somebody terrific, somebody really feisty. I refer to her in the first movie, and Nick asked Angie, 'Has she found herself yet?' So these are two really crazy characters."
And his daughter, it seems, has a type. as Ethan, portrayed by Dan Payne, bears a shocking resemblance to Kyle.
"Oh, I think Kyle definitely recognizes the similarities," Victor laughed. "It's funny because there's a line that's like, 'You're not even my type,' and I'm thinking in my head as the character, 'I've seen your ex-boyfriend. He's the same height, same size, same hair color. We could, on paper, we're exactly the same.'
"And I love Dan Payne that plays her ex-boyfriend; he's fantastic. Great sense of humor, great actor. We laughed about it on set 100%. It's this crazy love triangle.
"But there hasn't been anything between us spoken other than me. There's one line at the end of this movie, there's a little bit of flirting, there's a little bit of closeness, but we're letting that unfold as well and see where that goes between Angie and myself."
Bruce took a little time to rave about their co-star, "Danica is amazing. She's such a bright woman," Bruce said about the star of Matchmakers, and he's entirely impressed with the charming woman's ability to do so much, including writing her children's books teaching mathematics.
And Victor had some raving to do, too, with a surprising guest star that sparked a bit of a Continuum reunion.
"Oh, I love me some Stephen Lobo. He's just such a good person and just a great actor. He's so easy to be around. He's extremely talented," Victor said, also enjoying the fact that, once again, he was playing a cop and Lobo, as a guest star, fell into that unknown category of good guy or bad guy, a line Lobo straddles so well.
"It's just fun," Victor said. "In these movies, we have so many characters that come in that we don't know if they're good guys or bad guys."
And while Victor is definitely in the market for more Hallmark entertainment, he'd also be on board for a Continuum revival and to revisit Mutant X if anyone was so inclined.
"Oh, 100%," Victor said enthusiastically. "I'd love to reboot one of them or do a spin-off or anything like that. Especially if some of the same people are involved. I feel very fortunate in my career, and I have to knock on wood that that continues.
"I love so many of the people that I've worked with and I've been fortunate to work with very talented, very good people. Anybody from Mutant X, I would love to work with again. Anybody from Continuum, I would love to work with again."
And Bruce is certainly busy, all things considered, as well. In addition to starring on two concurrent HMM film series, he's also involved with The Orville's upcoming season -- as an alien!
He said he's "rekindling his old Babylon 5 days," and is thrilled to work with Seth McFarlane, who admitted that he never missed an episode of Scarecrow and Mrs. King when it originally aired.
On his part, working on The Orville has forced Bruce to recognize that industry has some tough hurdles to overcome before things return to any semblance of normal. He spent three hours in makeup to transform into his Orville character, and that kind of close contact seems shocking now when it was second nature even as recently as February.
"What's this going to look like? What's going on set going to look like? We can't wear masks. We can't stand six feet apart from each other, or more," he said.
With everyone concerned for their future and how the entertainment industry will rebound, Victor, too, is blessed to be a part of multiple creative outlets.
Workin' Moms Season 4 premieres on Netflix at the beginning of May after just finishing its run on CBC in Canada.
Following a big cliffhanger on Workin' Moms Season 3, Victor was tight-lipped about the full season, but he did share some goodies.
"I can't tell you how many people write me on social media about that show and how much they love it. I mean, they do such a great job here. Catherine [Reitman]. I mean, she writes, produces, direct stars in, and she has two kids, and her husband also acts, writes, produces, directs.
"It's insane the amount of work they've given themselves and how funny and how great it turned out, and everybody in that show really delivers. My character went from this charming, suave character in the third season to now, in the fourth season, he goes off the rails a little bit.
"You'll find out a lot more about him that he's been hiding, and yeah, let's just say that he's not the same Mike as last season."
Will you be tuning into Matchmaker Mysteries: A Fatal Romance tonight at 9/8c concurrently on both Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and the Hallmark Channel?
Be sure to come back at 1 p.m. ET for our interview with Danica McKellar, too. She shares some insight on making the most of these difficult times and how she's hoping to cheer up fans who live-tweet the show with her tonight!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.