I was brought up in the countryside (in the UK) so ‘farm life’ isn’t a foreign concept to me, but I am in in no way an animal person. And definitely not a horse person. So why, you might be asking, did I decide to watch a Tv series about a ranch and the surrounding community, where pretty much every scene features a horse? Well, I’d just finished Gilmore Girls on Netflix and wanted another show that had a lot of series on there, and it was in the ‘because you watched…’ section. So I thought I’d give it a go.
And then I got hooked! It’s the first Canadian show I’d watched, so the accents took a bit of getting used to, but I loved it. Sadly only seasons 1-6 were on Netflix in the uk, and season 7 just got released, which I binge watched within the space of 2 days. I *need* the rest to be uploaded soon! (Please!)
Amy is a teenager who loses her mum in an accident, and who also has inherited her mum’s gift with horses. She’s not a horse whisperer (she doesn’t like being called that), but she does more than just train horses. Once Amy recovers from the same accident which killed her Mum, she takes over the day-to-day business at the ranch (heartland) that her mum used to do, supported by her business-minded sister Lou and her grandfather, Jack. A ranch hand called Ty, who is on probation for petty crimes, also comes to live and work there, and the horse-crazy ‘next door neighbour’, Mallory, drops in so often she basically lives there- I love Mallory as a character! Amy and Lou’s dad becomes a permanent fixture in their lives, and a lot of screen time is devoted to happy (and some eventful) meals around the Bartlett/Fleming dinner table. Other characters come and go as the story progresses through the seasons.
So why do I like it? It’s easy watching but with enough ‘drama’ that you want to find out what’s happening. The characters are loveable- Jack appears to be a grumpy old man, but is actually anything but, and I even started to like Tim, who I hated in the beginning. The scenery is stunning- I really, really want to visit Canada now! But it was also really interesting learning about ranch-life and how to look after horses. We don’t have ranches or rodeos in the UK, so it was really enlightening to see what cowboys actually get up to, rather than their outfits just being seen at fancy dress parties like they are here. Plus I like programmes where theyre factually accurate e.g. the vet and medical stuff.
It’s the kind of show that I’d watch again from the beginning because I like the characters and the world they live in. In fact, if I can’t sleep, I put Heartland on because the familiarity of the music and voices helps me relax! I also particularly liked that the actors all can ride- some of it must be done by stunt people, but there are lots of shots where it’s clear it’s the actors riding.
The storylines might not be the most sophisticated in the world and some are pretty predictable, but actually, I quite liked that. And Heartland definitely beats Eastenders or Coronation Street anyway…! If you want to watch something heartwarming with beautiful scenery, then Heartland is a good show to watch!
Now I just have to wait for the rest to appear on Netflix 😦
Photo: Studio Image