For the past 12 years and over 200 episodes, Heartland has charmed audiences through its lovable characters and tender atmosphere. Based on the Heartland book series by Lauren Brooke, the show is centred around the lives and loves of the Fleming family, a steady clan of horse ranchers in Vancouver, Canada and has built its legacy upon the importance of family and caring for one another. Starring Amber Marshall, Graham Wardle and Michelle Morgan, the series has kept its core cast together over the years. As a result, similar to shows such as Little House on the Prarie and The Waltons, its audience has had the opportunity to grow with the characters as their lives change over time.
As Season 12 prepares to ramp up, change is in the wind for the Fleming family. With distance continuing to make parenting difficult, Amy (Marshall) and Ty (Wardle) consider a new venture together in order to close their relationship gap. Also, having survived her cyber-bullying and found new success on the riding circuit, Georgie (Alisha Newton) is invited to step into the spotlight in ways that she finds uncomfortable. Lastly, having survived his cancer scare (or has he?), Tim (Chris Potter) finds himself re-examining all his priorities and considering some major life changes.
Interestingly though, while other network series over the years have attempted to keep viewership by pushing boundaries and controversy, Heartland has remained true to its ‘family first’ ethos. In essence, there remains a simple purity that exists at the core of this series that is appealing to viewers of all ages. Despite the fact that the show refuses to shy away from such everyday issues such as cyber-bullying, alcohol abuse and more, Heartland continues to shroud its characters with such love from their family that no issue is insurmountable. As such, the Flemings consistently provide an element of family stability that most other series don’t exhibit. Stars Marshall and Wardle have grown from ‘will they/won’t they’ teens in love to loving and committed married parents, Michelle Morgan has grown into a loving mother and strong independent woman and Shaun Johnston provides the necessary gravitas as the family patriarch Jack Bartlett. In doing so, Heartland has created a space for its audience to feel safe and welcome, even in the midst of heartbreaks and family drama.
Having already been renewed for a remarkable 13thSeason, Heartland will continue to endure. Through its emphasis on family and support, the series has remained endearing over the years and, with an eye on current events, also proves that it still has new stories to tell.
Heartland begins its 12th season on July 25th, 2019 on UP Faith & Family.