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Looking for love, and orcas ... a rom-com review: Today So Far

  • Washington's 3rd Congressional District has been watched closely as the primaries heated up, and it has more eyes on it than ever.
  • Move over "Sleepless in Seattle." Sorry "Twilight." There's a new rom-com in the Northwest thanks to the formulaic stylings of Hallmark.

This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for August 9, 2022.

Washington's 3rd Congressional District has been watched closely as the primaries heated up, and it has more eyes on it than ever.

Votes for Joe Kent have now overtaken incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler by 960 votes, as of yesterday's count. Kent now has 23% of the vote, and Herrera Beutler has 22%. Washington's primary system sends the top two vote-getters to the main election in November, which means that if the results hold, Kent and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez will be on the November ballot. Gluesenkamp Perez currently has 31%.

The 3rd Congressional District covers southwestern Washington; basically north of Portland along the Columbia River and includes a range of rural and urban communities. Despite being far away from other parts of Washington, the 3rd has been watched closely because Herrera Beutler was one Republican member of Congress who voted to impeach former President Trump. Kent, on the other hand, is backed by Trump and has favored election conspiracy theories (which have no real evidence). Read more here.

The Herrera Beutler / Kent race is one to watch, which is why I bring it up here. But that's not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about love.

Move over "Sleepless in Seattle." Sorry "Twilight." There's a new rom-com in the Northwest thanks to the formulaic stylings of Hallmark — "Splash of Love."

And yes, I consider "Twilight" a romantic comedy. I certainly laughed a lot watching it.

"Splash of Love" tells the story of PhD student Chloe Turner touring the Pacific Northwest waters to study orcas (they will probably say Seattle a few times, but it's likely filmed in Vancouver, BC). But she finds more than data ... she finds a hunk, and in turn, finds love, which I'm sure you saw coming. I haven't seen this film, yet (Nina is a Hallmark fan so I am sure I will be watching it soon enough), but I'm confident that the couple doesn't like each other at first, however through a series of life lessons about good old-fashioned values, they get close and she ditches her current loser boyfriend, or decides not to take a far-away job, yada yada yada.

Because this is the first rom-com to incorporate our Northwest orcas, KUOW's Soundside decided to have a watch party with some local orca experts. Sure, we might assume how a Hallmark story holds up, but what about the orcas? Dr. Erin Ashe and Dr. Rob Williams with Ocean Initiative weighed in.

"Just amazing that a prof in Miami would have a permit to allow her student to do this and get this close to whales — just has a permit already. That's cool," Dr. Williams said.

"Our first accommodations were in tents, which on some level we were lucky because we got to camp next to the whales, but it looks like Chloe has a very fancy place to stay," Dr. Ashe observed.

Other observations include how Chloe, a PhD student, doesn't seem to be prepared for science; cupcakes and laptops are how research gets done; and Native American artifacts and whale bones are just lying around, everywhere.

"Special permits are needed to keep any parts of marine mammals, even if you found them washed up on the beach," said Casey McLean, executive director for Sealife Response, Rehab, and Research.

Listen to the full expert watch party here on Soundside. There's quite a gap between reality and Hallmark ... no surprise there. So "Splash of Love" won't go down as the best Northwest rom-com in history. Personally, my top five PNW rom-coms are: "Singles;" "Benny & Joon;" "Safety Not Guaranteed;" "Roxanne" (technically, it was filmed in BC); and "Life Or Something Like It."

But there are a lot more romantic comedies filmed, or set, in our region. I'd like to hear what TSF readers have to say about it. What are your top PNW rom-coms? You can email me at dyer@kuow.org.

AS SEEN ON KUOW

caption: The first free-standing tsunami refuge in North America is now open in Tokeland in Pacific County, Washington.
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The first free-standing tsunami refuge in North America is now open in Tokeland in Pacific County, Washington.
Credit: Northwest News Network

The first free-standing tsunami refuge in North America is now open in Tokeland in Pacific County, Washington. It is hoped that it will be an example for more to come along the West Coast. (Northwest News Network)

DID YOU KNOW?

A lot of movies are filmed or set in the Pacific Northwest, but some just use the area for the scenery. Two films come to mind in that regard.

The final scene of the iconic film "Point Break" is set off the coast of Australia, but was actually filmed near Cannon Beach, Ore. So when Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) lets Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) go, that's the Oregon coast in the background.

Not far away, around Astoria, Ore., "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III" was filmed. In this case, Oregon stands in for 17th century Japan. And, OK, it's not the most popular film to note, but does anybody really remember "Benji the Hunted" (also filmed outside of Astoria)?

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'We have nowhere to go': Many face eviction during a crisis in affordable housing

A majority of Black and Latino households say they don't have enough savings to cover one month of expenses, according to a survey by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The poll finds a majority of Americans across racial and ethnic groups say affordable housing is a serious problem where they live, and eviction rates are basically back to pre-pandemic levels, with 3% of Black renters and 2% of Latino, Asian and white renters saying they've been evicted in the past year.

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