The Canadian TV show is stealing hearts from all around the world. But do you know why it was made?
‘Heartland’ is an underrated family drama set on a ranch in Canada. An absolute success with fans in its home country, the show premiered in 2007 on CBC, bringing in good steady ratings. Quite different from your run-of-the-mill binge-able TV shows that hit hard, ‘Heartland‘ rides on its “warm and sentimental tone”. It has been doing so well, that it was recently given the thumbs-up for season 14.
- Why ‘Heartland’ shines out
- Ironically, the original ‘Heartland’ is set in the US
The show is about two sisters Amy and Lou Fleming who move to live with their grandfather on a special ranch for troubled and neglected horses called Heartland, located in Alberta, Canada. Their mother dies after a fatal accident, whose uncanny powers of understanding the needs of horses Amy inherits. The show follows their lives and those around them.
Why ‘Heartland’ shines out
‘Heartland’ has become a classic, especially with its fans in North America for its sentimentality and heart. Based on a series of books of the same name by Lauren Brooke, the show emphasises family values, bonding, and legacies.
Michael Weinberg, a producer of the show, who was bit by the producing bug as a complete novice, wanted badly to make a family show. By chance, he was introduced to Brooke’s book series, and while he liked the story, he wanted the chance to add characters and plotlines. Making a TV show out of the books seemed more feasible than a movie.
Says Kirstine Stewart, general manager of programming at the CBC, “It was important to bring back a show that would remind people of the great family shows like ‘Anne of Green Gables’, and ‘Heartland’ did that, but with a modern-day story”. This is one reason why Stewart and Weinberg had the idea of a TV series based on novels.
Ironically, the original ‘Heartland’ is set in the US
As die-hard fans of the books would know, the original ‘Heartland’ is set in Virginia, USA. That is the only major difference between the books and the show. All the rest of it is quite faithful to its original source.
The reason for the change? Weinberg was not happy with the setting.
“Virginia is a very flat kind of ground, it’s sort of boring visually”, he says. As a result, the producer moved the location of the series to Alberta, on the foothills of the Rockies.
We have an inkling that, in a sense, the producer may have also wanted to show off the beautiful land of his country, Canada. Talking about the location, Weinberg continues, “So we’re showing Canada and people around the world say, hey, look how nice it looks”.
One look at ‘Heartland’, and nobody can disagree with him!
You can stream all 13 seasons of ‘Heartland’ on Netflix. Let us know what you thought of the show in the comments below!