Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm so hooked on "Heartland"

HorseImage by davipt via FlickrI almost feel as if I’ve struck gold struck gold.

My newly found discovery does not take on a monetary form, but rather a more important kind—one               related to my psychological well being.

I’ve been watching movies on Netflix, when not too long ago, I came across what I thought was a movie. All I knew about it was that it had to do with horses. I have discovered that little is more relaxing to me than watching one of those sappy horse movies, where the horse is the star and the hero. It usually contains human heroes too and almost always has a side plot that is just as sappy. It almost always has a happy ending. These kinds of movies are so wholesome, usually make me cry, and nearly always make feel good when it is over. They remind me of some of the television shows I watched as a child—Flicka and Fury—come to mind. It was way back before too much sex and violence took over the big screen and commercials invaded television. Ah, the good ole days!

I have always been enamored with horses, though have not had much experience with them. I have ridden only a couple of times in my life, and not for many years. I just have always had such a fondness for horses. There is nothing more beautiful to me than one or more horses grazing in a field, their long manes and tail swaying in the breeze. I love to watch them run. Their movement is so fluid.

I especially love their faces. Their eyes are so big and expressive; their nuzzles are so soft. Just everything about them is beautiful. I used to draw them when I was little. I always preferred horses in my coloring books, in puzzles, and paint-by-number pictures.

I have never really had much occasion to get to know any horses personally. I was born in the city and grew up in the suburbs. A few years ago as a reporter, I covered a few horse shows, but that is about the extent of my experience with these beautiful animals.

Heartland is set at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. The scenery is beautiful. The characters are perfectly cast. It is about a young woman, Amy, who inherited her mother's sensitivity for horses. She is called a horse whisperer, though Amy dismisses the term, simply claiming to understand her equine friends. The story line revolves around Amy and her family, including her boyfriend Ty, who started out as a misguided ranch hand.

After I watched Heartland, a closer inspection on Netflix revealed that Heartland was actually a television series; it was a product of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There were 22 episodes. I wanted more, so I was elated.

I watched a couple shows at a time. Then when I got to the final episode, I was all ready to enjoy a wrap-up of the entire season. Instead I was shocked when one of the prominent characters was shot by cattle rustlers as he tried to protect his herd. It ended abruptly, leaving me completely unsatisfied. I was not happy with the “Who shot J.R.” moment. Assuming there had to be more, I scoured Netflix, but I couldn’t find additional episodes. I was devastated, but motivated.

A little Internet sleuthing revealed that my instincts were correct. I learned that what I had seen were all of the first and a portion of the second seasons.

In Canada, the fifth season is now airing. I learned that Heartland is now being shown in the U.S. with the premier episode last September.

More information is available on the following website about show times in various markets and information about the cast, etc. There are even a couple of clips which are probably enough to get anyone hooked.

Most of the shows are available on YouTube, although they are not easy to find. Be warned that some of them are even in French, which for me was a little unnerving.

If anyone wants to watch this series on their computer, it is possible, to find all of them. One hint, search Google videos. Some of the episodes are recorded on You Tube in five parts. I haven’t found that to be a problem. But then, I’m addicted to this show. I love the characters, cast, and stories which incidentally originated in a series of books (25) by Lauren Brooks, starting in 2001. That will be a project for another day.

I’m currently enjoying my fourth season. I just love this show, so I thought I would share.
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