A Review: ‘Heartland’ TV Series starring Amber Marshall, Shaun Johnston, and Michelle Morgan

March 2, 2022

“Heartland” TV Series reviewed by Jennifer Anne F. Messing

Heartland (2007–2021, PG) is an inviting and cozy, multi-generational family drama set in Alberta, Canada following the lives of 16-year-old, skilled horse trainer, Amy Fleming (played

by Amber Marshall) and her family, after the tragic death of Amy’s mother. This popular TV drama, now in its 15th season, is based on the novel series by Lauren Brooke, and is produced and directed by Murray Shostack. It’s currently available on Netflix and UPtv.

Traumatized and deeply saddened by her mother’s death, her life hero and role model who taught her everything she knows about nurturing and treating abused horses, Amy feels lost. She looks to her grandfather, widower Jack Bartlett (Shaun Johnston) and her older sister, Samantha Fleming (Michelle Morgan) for emotional support as she searches to regain her life’s meaning and purpose.

Amy and Samantha have grown up all of their lives on their grandfather’s ranch, Heartland. Grandpa Jack raised them after their parents separated when they were young. Following their mother’s death, ambitious Samantha, who has spent several years pursuing a career in New York City, decides to come home to Heartland. She wants to help the family run the ranch, do some soul-searching, and consider a new career path.

At this time Amy’s and Samantha’s father, Tim Fleming (Chris Potter), whom they’ve hardly been in contact with while growing up because he lived far away, takes a job as a foreman at a ranch near Heartland. He wants to get to know his two grown-up daughters and hopes to become the dad he’s never been…but soon finds out it’s not going to be that easy to win their hearts after his years of absence.

Their busy grandpa, Jack Bartlett, hires Ty Borden (Graham Wardle) to do all-around help at Heartland. Ty is a young man with a good heart but with a mysterious, dark past that at times clouds his judgment and decisions. Amy is drawn to kind-hearted and ruggedly handsome Ty, and over the course of time, they become close friends. Many times Amy wonders…will their friendship turn to true love? Can Ty breakaway from his sad past and accept the grace and newfound family Heartland offers him?

Heartland is enjoyable in many ways. The acting performances of all the major and minor characters is refreshing and realistic. They draw one immediately into Heartland’s depiction of contemporary, everyday country life. Its compelling plot with many twists and turns is set against the backdrop of the Canadian countryside that’s picturesque and beautiful.

Watching Heartland is like sitting down for a sweet, heart-to-heart chat with your best friend. Amy and Lou, Grandpa Jack, their dad Tim, and faithful Ty, encounter challenges, heartbreaks, and triumphs in career and in love we can all relate to. Sometimes they’ll frustrate you when they make rash and foolish choices or when they’re annoyingly stubborn. Yet how they rally around one another during tough times demonstrates the priceless treasure of having caring, supportive family and friends. This engaging TV series speaks on the themes of family loyalty, finding where we truly belong, and the value of hard work and of developing one’s skills and talents. It reminds us to pursue our dreams no matter what age we are, and to recognize and cling to once-in-a-lifetime love when it knocks on our door.

Curl up on the couch with your favorite beverage or snack and treat yourself and your family to a fun adventure in Heartland. Enjoy!


Trailer, Season 1: “Heartland" TV series starring Amber Marshall,

Shaun Johnston, and Michelle Morgan

Drama/Family/Romance. TV-PG for minor violence, alcohol. Recommended for family viewing, with kids ages 8 and up. Photo credits: Bell Broadcast and Seven24 Films.

Available on Netflix and UPtv. Check your favorite online streaming service, movie rental source, or the public library for added availability. If you enjoy reading about classic movies and family-friendly movies and want to be notified when a new review is posted by this author, please select the SUBSCRIBE button at the right of this page.



Jennifer Anne F. Messing's third book, Love's Faithful Promise: Heart-stirring Short Stories and Poems of Romance and Faith (print/e-book) was named winner of the 2020 American Fiction Awards “Christian Inspirational“ category. She is a Cascade Writing Contest winner and five-time finalist (“Published Short Story” in 2018, 2019, and 2021), a multi-published author, poet, and worship leader with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, she has authored three books and more than 250 articles, short stories, and poems published in 60 magazines, including: The Storyteller, Flurries of Words, LIVE, Evangel, FellowScript, and The Proverbs 31 Woman.

Originally from the Philippines, Jennifer Anne has been married to Michael Messing for 31 years. They are the parents of three adult children and a son-in-law, grandparents of three young boys and reside in Oregon, USA. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. Get information about her other books, Morning's Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence and Everlasting Love: Romantic Vignettes for a Woman’s Heart on this website, on Amazon, and Barnes&Noble online.

Copyrighted © by Jennifer Anne Fabregas Messing. All rights reserved. Contact the author for reprint information. Email: JenniferAnneMessing@comcast.net.

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