And there are quite a lot of these…
More often than not, Hallmark productions are niche. They are simple to the point of being corny, somewhat naive, and rather soapy. For this reason, it is remarkable when a Hallmark show garners wide recognition and starts streaming on other platforms such as Netflix. That is the story of the network's hit show When Calls the Heart.
Premiering in 2014, WCTH quickly gained popularity with audiences and has since spanned ten seasons, the latest of which was released in July. Set at the dawn of the 20th century, the show follows Elizabeth Thatcher, a young Canadian woman from a wealthy background who one day decides to teach children in a small town school on the Western Frontier. Naturally, it has a warm historical ambience and numerous old-time features. However, there are also a plethora of inconsistencies.
Here are just five of these that serious history buffs can really go to town geeking out on:
5. Modern Language
Based on the book series of the same name by Janette Oke, When Calls the Heart is written and filmed in our times – as most historical shows are. As a result, the characters' language reflects this. Hence, the show is replete with modern expressions like 'This is so unfair' and the like.
4. Characters' Height
It is a well-known fact that people have grown taller in recent decades. Therefore, the average height of a 19-20th century male should be around 5 '6 ft (1.71 m). Meanwhile, WCTH's men are mostly 6-foot giants.
3. Inaccurate Photographs
Although photography was already well-established then, it was still very different from what it is today. For instance, people didn't smile in photos back then, contrary to what WCTH's background pictures of deceased relatives depict.
2. Lack of Racism
While Canada is at the forefront of racial equality campaigns these days, it had its problems at the start of the 20th century. Especially on the frontier where the show is set, people of colour faced significant discrimination, unlike what is portrayed on WCTH.
1. Excessive Hygiene
Arguably, most old-time romanticisation stems from a lack of understanding of how dirty and unhygienic it was back then. Commoners didn't have time to take baths, let alone afford shampoos and makeup that WCTH's clean and tidy characters use.
It has to be said, though, that these historical inaccuracies are extremely minor indeed and shouldn't detract from the enjoyment of an otherwise great show, which has just been renewed for an eleventh season that we can't wait to see.