One of the great features about Netflix is the “suggested” shows they come up with.  Sometimes, the suggestions don’t make any sense and sometimes they are just plain off the wall.  But, sometimes they can open up a jewel.

In early December, all three of us in the family came down with the flu/cold/sinus infection … aka the “crud.”  And we were all hit pretty hard.  Ryan stuck to his games and Lulu and I watched some TV.  One of the suggestions that popped up on our Longmire page, was a CBC drama called Heartland.  We started watching episode one of season one (of eight, so far), and were hooked immediately.

Which is no doubt kind of strange, because we’re probably not really in the show’s “target” market!!  My guess the show is aimed primarily at young folks and probably mostly female.

Well, I’m neither but I love it anyway!!

In a nutshell, the story is about a family who owns a ranch in Alberta near the Canadian Rockies.  The Mom perishes in an auto accident in the first episode leaving a Grandpa, two sisters, a neighbor girl who hangs around a lot, and some other folks to make the ranch work.  The primary focus of the ranch, named Heartland, is on horses (something I also know absolutely nothing about).  The younger sister, Amy, has apparently inherited her Mom’s knack for understanding horses and the horses play an integral role in most of the story lines.

There’s also a few romances to go around and associated other family issues.

What I have grown to love about the show is the excellent writing, strong cast, and glorious scenery contained within each episode.  (Sound familiar … like Longmire?)

I especially like the way they have treated the various generational romances.  For example, in the early seasons, Amy is supposed to be a high school student, and the Grandpa (Jack) sponsors a young man (Ty) who is on probation from the criminal justice system to work on the ranch.  Ty and Amy start out as friends, and over the course of the first several seasons, they form a deep and loving relationship.  But, along the way there are a lot of ups and downs, and the writers have done an excellent job of showing how youthful selfishness and jealousy can often derail an otherwise great relationship.  Ty and Amy eventually work things out and (spoiler alert) will get married in Season 8.

It’s a series that’s filled with positive messages from all of the generations.  Grandpa Jack is about my age and I can clearly identify with a lot of thing he says and does.

And then there’s the scenery.  Wow!!  The ranch is supposedly located just south and west of Calgary, and the various characters quite often head to the nearby Canadian Rocky Mountains.  One of my favorite locales is Jack’s “fishing cabin” which is a nice sized rustic cabin built on the side of a river in the foothills.  Several couples have spent time there, including Jack and his special lady, and even though I’m not a fisherman, seeing Jack fly fishing in the river is a spectacular sight!!

The series is currently in season eight on Sunday evenings on CBC (which we get on cable).  Seasons 1-5 are currently on Netflix and are thus easy to find.  We watched many of the shows from seasons 6 and 7 on YouTube although the quality was quite poor.

Give Heartland a try.



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