Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Heartland & Terra Nova

I'm not a fan of television. There was a time in my life where I didn't allow it in the house at all (that was short-lived). When I have had it, I've always wanted it banned to some nether-room of the house where I can't hear it. On school nights it has never been allowed unless we are all watching something together--which, in the past, was very rare: Modern Family, The Middle and football games were about it. (As an aside here, last spring I did get one installed in my kitchen so that I can listen to Sirius radio.)

This year I had a couple of epiphanies:

One, the computer has replaced the television as the time-sucker of choice.  Where I might feel like I've done a real service turning off the television, it seems to have been replaced with a family with their noses in their laptops and smart phones. Is that healthy?

And two, a lot of families watch shows together and then have something to talk about. Have you ever been in a room of people talking about Dancing with the Stars? Survivor? Big Brother. If you don't watch the shows, too, it sounds like this:

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Nod head.

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.


(Is this what people hear when I'm talking about my horses?  Please say, no.) 

You kinda feel left out.

I'm still against watching too much television (and being on the computer too much), but I decided to incorporate some recurring television shows into our family activities, and I found a new one on Fox, Terra Nova, and another on DVD, Heartland.

My kids and husband were slow to follow the new trend, so I found myself sitting alone on the first few Monday nights of Terra Nova, but thanks to DVR, they were soon caught up and eagerly awaiting Monday nights at 8:00 with me.

We love this show. It has dinosaurs, science, action, romance, heroism, family secrets...everything that keeps you tuning in. Unfortuantely, though, I don't think they advertised it very well and it doesn't have the following it deserves. It may not be renewed for a second season, which would be sad.

There just aren't enough solid family shows out there where you can suspend your disbelief for an hour and be entertained. Everything today has to be "reality"...so much so that they keep looking for the more and more ridiculous realties to keep everyone's attention. Personally, I have enough "reality" of my own.

Heartland is a Candian show, so we don't get it here in the U.S. (that I know of). I had to order the first season. Let me tell you, if you're a horse lover, it's a GREAT one. It's all about horses, horse training, horse rescue, drama between horse people...horses, horses, horses.  I was crying in the first ten minutes of the first episode when the main character and her mom were trying to rescue a horse during a storm.  Sad. If you haven't seen it, you might want to check it out on You Tube. I believe they have many of the episodes uploaded there. Here's a link to the first episode--the part that made me cry.  The music is gorgeous. I became an istant, insane fan of Jenn Grant. Click here for a sample of her music. (Check out the song, Paradise Mountain.) I bought all three of her cds.

In retrospect, some of my best memories of growing up were watching television with my family--Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Gilligan's Island, The Six Million Dollar Man...I could go on. 

Do you have any favorites you watch with your family?  How do you feel about watching television?


  1. ...The Six Million Dollar Man! I forgot about that one... Thanks for this post. I will check out Heartland. My weekly show is Glee. I used to watch Men of a Certain Age... but I think it is on DVR... but NOT a children's show, that's for sure! (Really, neither is Glee... but we all watch it together... Not quite the innocent show Happy Days was.) I don't watch TV either... I read a lot. :)

  2. Back in the day, I watched tv more than I do now. But the past few years, I seem to get further and further away from it. Really, I tune in semi-regularly to maybe one series a season. And I like to stop by HGTV and see what's going on with the homes there.

    And really, how many of today's shows leave an instant song in your head for the rest of the day the way the oldies do at the mere mention of them. "Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip ..."

  3. Heartland is filmed in Alberta, southwest of Calgary, right where I used to live. I know some folks who have worked on the sets; last year they had to truck snow up to Gorge Creek and dump it over the bank to simulate an area where a herd of horses was trapped by a snowslide.
    Ted and I like a lot of reality shows; who needs make believe when there is so much going on! Swamp people, because it touches on Ted's heritage; his family comes from the part of Nova Scotia called Acadia, which is where the Cajun people of Louisiana originated from when they were forced out of their homes due to politics. The word Cajun is a slang for Acadian.
    I like The Mentalist and Criminal Minds.
    As a kid, we used to watch Hockey night in Canada , HeeHaw, and the old westerns- Bonanza etc.

  4. Margaret, after writing that post I looked up other television shows and Glee was at the top of the list. I watched a little of it to see what it was all about--looks funny. :)

  5. Joanne, that's a good point...I can't think of any television tunes today as memorable as the old ones.

  6. Shirley--that's pretty cool that you know people who work on the Heartland set. Do you watch it? Very interesting about Acadians and Cajuns, too. I never knew that. That's funny that you watched Heehaw up there...we did, too...and Bonanza. As kids we acted out Bonanza all the time. Little Joe? Ahhhhh....such a cutie.

  7. Margaret, after writing that post I looked up other television shows and Glee was at the top of the list. I watched a little of it to see what it was all about--looks funny. :)

  8. I've seen a few episodes of Heartland. It's on cable tv but I don't remember the channel. It's inspirational tv or something along those lines. Dr. Quinn (I love that show) reruns are on the same channel. Terra Nova sounds good, I'll have to check that one out. :)


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