When I first opened up the screener for the season 4 premiere of Heartland (also it’s 50th episode!), I hesitated. I worried that this CBC drama, set on an Alberta horse ranch backdrop might bore me some, since I know nothing about horses. BUT HOO BOY WAS I PROVEN WRONG. See, here’s the thing. A backdrop is just a backdrop. The show had everything I needed to keep me entertained, keep me laughing, keep me rooting for the good guys. It was like Little House on the Prairie meets The Young and the Restless – in the very best way possible, because those are two of my most favorite shows to ever hit the airwaves.
Thanks to Canada’s Culture Days and CBC, I had the pleasure of meeting with Amber Marshall, who plays horse-whisperery Amy and Graham Wardle, who plays her ridiculously adorable boyfriend Ty, who rode out of town in the finale of season 3. They were really sweet and didn’t laugh (too much) as I walked into the Hard Rock Cafe carrying every single thing I own on my shoulders. It gave them a chance to admire my new iphone 4 and to discuss the story behind how difficult it was to procure. And then, of course, we tested out the camera.
I know. I have the best job in the world.
We talked a little bit about how Heartland is moving south of the border and will be airing, for the first time, on American televisions. This conversation, of course, led to the whole accent conversation. Amber talked about how the US people were so nervous about the show being set in Canada. They constantly asked questions like, “It’s just small town Canada, right? It could be Anywhere, Canada…not a specific town, right?” which we all agreed was funny…because the setting only adds to the story and the beauty that is the show.
And it really is. Heartland Ranch is such a lovely remote place. It’s remote, but, it seems, not remote enough. They both told me stories of moms driving their kids on quests to find the ranch. The cast actually found this to be more sweet than stalker-esque, which really feels like a testament to a Canadian cast.
Heartland seems like the perfect role for Amber Marshall. The 22-year-old London, Ontario native not only plays a horse lover on tv, she grew up as a lover of horses too. It seems only fitting that she does all her own riding on the show, save for times when it’s dangerous or she’s falling off.
Obviously, as a blogger, I had to bring up Graham Wardle’s blog. We talked about how in addition to twitter (@graham714) (You can follow Amber too – – @Amber_Marshall), it’s a great way for him to connect with the fans, and give them a little insight into who the man behind the Ty actually is and it allows him to go a little outside of that “what you ate for lunch” box. And you know, let the fans know that he’s not just a dude with a motorcycle…even though he, um, is a dude with a motorcycle.
And now I’m off to go and download seasons 1-3.
You can watch Heartland on Sunday nights at 7pm EST on CBC.