When Calls a Man’s Heart

I’ll just come right out and say it. I’m an everyday man who likes When Calls The Heart.
Unlike other romantic dramas (Hart of Dixie, Gilmore Girls, The OC) which completely lost my male interest (though teenage me was socially obliged to stick with The OC to meet social expectations), When Calls The Heart holds a point of difference. Granted, my watching was initially out of necessity rather than choice, however, what I uncovered from the show for the male audience is drama, intrigue, and the occasional shock /awe.

There is a smattering of shootouts and wrestling with criminal types which are clearly intended to pique our interest (and I won’t lead you astray: action scenes are usually brief) but not even that is what keeps me hooked to the show. The truth is that the writing is exceptional. Gilmore Girls has similar quick witty banter, but where it falls down in maintaining my interest is the content of the (over-rehearsed) speedy conversations being basically worthless. It’s like watching teenagers squabble. For When Calls The Heart though, the dialogue is quite quick, to the point, and there are quips and laughs thrown in at every opportunity. It seems the humour is perfectly suited to Australia, as the townsfolk regularly take swipes at their friends’ egos. Lovingly, of course.

Whilst the action that occurs is is relatively predictable (particularly for those of you who’ve watched enough television to recognise common story arcs), the journey to these moments is always surprisingly entertaining. While Coal Valley (later renamed Hope Valley) is still a developing town there is a large amount of one-upmanship going on as individuals and businesses scrounge for every advantage they can.

What I also loved in the earlier seasons is that there is a resident bad guy who seems untouchable in his quest to self-advancement. The scoundrel Gowen is on the surface just a mean guy, but under inspection, is a product of the environment. The spanners he throws into everyone’s works, sometimes for seemingly no particular reason, are incredible curve balls that create conflict and plot turns.

The cinematography is excellent and it might as well be a tentpole blockbuster for the way that it looks. Complicated lighting setups make indoor scenes atmospheric, and they use the camera and character movement to effortlessly flow from one story to the next without cuts.

If you are in a marital relationship you’ll love the subtle (and sometimes very un-subtle) innuendos scattered throughout the majority of Elizabeth and Jack’s interactions. In these earlier seasons, the two are regularly making their physical intentions obnoxiously clear. It’s their emotions that take some time to catch up (five seasons it seems).

It’s a bit disheartening to compare these early episodes to Season 5 when the town has developed into self-sufficiency and the entrepreneurs have bowed to furthering the ‘good of the town’. By this point, much of the tension is lost and the show seems to be buying time for the wedding and cliffhanger finale. My hope is that season six introduces some new points of conflict that extend beyond finding resolution within two episodes. And with our main love story in tatters, I expect that it won’t disappoint in introducing new story elements to keep me hooked.

8 thoughts on “When Calls a Man’s Heart

  1. I liked Jack’s character because he represented a dying breed that we simply don’t see too often these days. I think it’s a real shame that they killed off his character especially so soon after the wedding after making the fans wait five years to see Jack and Elizabeth, the primary characters, get married. Their love story is what drew me in. I don’t feel the same about the show now. They could still save it by bringing him back in a mistaken identity story line, and if you ask me, they almost left it open to do so. Their ratings would soar if they brought back Dan Lissing as Jack. In the meantime:
    #missinglissing
    #notwithoutjack

    1. Hello Genny,
      It was a terrible shame that we lost Jack. Jack and Elizabeth’s love story was a true joy for all of us. We do hope to see him appear on the show in the future. But the introduction of Chris McNally (Supernatural) and Kevin McGarry (Heartland) will bring something new to the show that we are all interested in. Although it will never be Jack and Elizabeth, hopefully, one of these two can bring a new love to Elizabeth’s life.

  2. My husband started watching because I was a totally devoted fan to WCTH. The draw for me was what the books are written about . The beautiful love story of Mountie Jack Thornton and teacher Elizabeth Thacher. It was a story that went from young girls to older men and women. The fought obstacles every step along the way. But their dedication to each other is what is so rare these days. What a shame it is gone after fans invested 5 years. I will not be watching anymore . He chemistry between Erin Krakow and Daniel Lissing was rare and pure magic. What a goldmine Hallmark let get away.

    1. Hello Julie,
      It is such a shame that Jack is gone. Chris McNally (Supernatural) and Kevin McGarry (Heartland) will be introduced to Hope Valley in season 6. With these characters and Elizabeth and Jacks baby on the way leaves much in store. We will have to see where the series goes from here.

      1. To Beau- Marketing Dept., Do you not understand?!
        The whole show was Jack and Elizabeth! Jack is DEAD, you killed him and so I and many others are hurt and angry that you destroyed a stupid, happy, don’t think about real life show. Looks, it’s months on since that horrible day (I did not watch the last show at ALL) and I’m still mad, angry and sad that you took that from me. No more re-watching old shows just for fun, no more hope to see the little family, no more Mountie Jack.
        Many of us go to sites just to vent because we have no other recourse. All the actors want is for people to adore, them. Just so angry that there is even a next season. I can’t even look at a picture from this show, so horrible the way er fans were treated. And I’m not talking about fans or the actors, I’m talking about the fans of the true story.

        So, go ahead, turn Elizabeth into a whore like you did Abigail, falling for and kissing every man that comes into town. But that is NOT the show I was watching. It will not be what I’m remembering, it will ALWAYS be Jack and Elizabeth and the show ended at the beautiful wedding, fanfiction will pick it up from there.

        Just sick and disgusted with how this show turned out.

  3. I started watching from day 1 the beautiful love story between a mountie and a young school teacher. To watch this beautiful love story unfold is what drew me in. It was pure and intriguing in the mist of daily struggles to know on Sunday night I would see this. I enjoyed some of the other story lines however that isn’t what kept me from coming back each week. When Jack’s character was killed off after we eagerly awaited for their wedding and thought for their life to truly begin I was literally in shock for an entire week. I still can’t believe he is gone or that the powers to be would not have done everything in their powers to find a way to keep him. I will no longer be watching for personal reasons however I will follow and support Erin’s and Dan’s career paths.

  4. Jack Thornton, the epitome of a man’s man and a fit companion for any woman. A man of integrity, honour, grit and determination; fearless yet unafraid to show his affection for his lady, Elizabeth and gentleness to the vulnerable.
    Too good to be true? Not for the thousands of fans mourning the loss of Jack and who welcomed a return to a time of honour in daily transactions and fidelity in relationships.
    A fatherless child and two handsome faces are hardly consolations for the hasty and cruel despatch of a most beloved character. WCTH

  5. This the first forum I’ve ever written on about a TV show, but I found this series When Calls the Heart purely by chance on Netflix and was absolutely drawn into it by the pure magic of Dan Lissing and Erin Krakow. I haven’t finished watching all of Series 4 yet but I have found out what happens in the following season 5. I’m not ready to say goodbye and while I love the rest of the characters the development of Jack and Elizabeth was one of the best storylines I have ever had the joy to watch. They light up the screen every single time, without missing a beat. Please, if there is any chance, any chance at all please bring him back. Jack and Elizabeth’s story isn’t and shouldn’t be over – in Jack’s words “he still has too much do”.

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