Spunky* teenager Amy is reeling from the sudden death of her mother when she and her grandfather are threatened with the loss of their horse ranch.
* Perhaps it’s because I have all the maturity of a thirteen-year-old boy, but I can’t abide describing anything as “spunky.” It just makes me grimace, like the word “moist.”
Amy is a fifteen-year-old girl with a gift for discovering what troubles horses. (DON’T CALL IT HORSE WHISPERING, though, at least not in the first season or two. Apparently that is Highly Offensive Tomfoolery.) When her mom dies in a tragic accident, Amy’s big sister Lou comes back home to Heartland Ranch to take care of her, the business, and their grandfather.
The show focuses on Amy’s role at Heartland, which is located in a small Alberta town. Her relationships with her family (gruff Grandpa Jack, absent father Tim, big sister Lou, young loudmouthed boarder Mallory, and mysterious bad boy boarder Ty), the townspeople, and the horses are a neverending source of storylines.
Tatiana Maslany as Kit
Send in the clones! (I’ll show myself out.)
Frankly, I don’t recognize anyone else from this show.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium
The show (I’m in the third season of five available on Netflix) ranges from sweet to hokey to predictable, but there’s definitely a compelling quality to it. It has all the hallmarks of a teen drama – parents who just don’t understand! Mysterious loner dudes! An obsession which takes over one’s life! High school drama even though the characters never seem to be in class! – and the horse ranch setting makes it unique.
It’s one of those warm and fuzzy shows where you can have it on in the background, miss an episode, and still know what’s going on. So while I wouldn’t say it’s Must See TV, you could definitely share an episode with your BFF.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Drinking Game!
I like this show, but being a teen drama, it is rife with opportunities for a drinking game. (This would drastically up the couch-sharing capability!) To get you started, here are a few rules.
The Official FYA Heartland Drinking Game
Take 1 sip whenever:
- Amy says “Easy, easy” or “You’re a good boy/girl.”
- An inoffensive indie/folk song plays.
- Grandpa Jack says something lovingly gruff.
- Anyone rides in a car without their seatbelt.
- An outsider doubts Amy’s talents.
- Anyone utters the phrase “dude ranch.”
- Mallory says something awkwardly blunt but insightful.
Take 2 sips whenever:
- Lou freaks out about things not going according to plan.
- Tim and Grandpa Jack butt heads.
- Ty looks troubled.
- There’s an idyllic sunset.
- Amy shows a man that she can ride/rope/etc just as well as they can.
Take a shot whenever:
- Anyone refers to Caleb as “Odell-licious.”
- A problem could easily be resolved by people just talking to each other.
- A city slicker realizes the pristine beauty of the Alberta countryside has transformed them into a calmer person.
Apologies to your liver.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good
Need something comforting to watch? This is your jam. Bonus: the captions are sometimes hilariously bad, to the point where I wasn’t sure whether Tatiana Maslany’s character was named “Kit” or “Kip” until I looked it up on IMDB. If you watch it all, there are two more seasons available, with an eighth in the works!