When you of the old west, of what do you think? Does a world of desperadoes and gun-slingers fill your mind? Or is frontier world center around a small town with uplifting family principles? These five frontier dramas often combined the best of both of these, centered on small town life with the occasional introduction of a gunslinger or two.
This Hallmark show is currently in between its fourth and fifth seasons. It follows wealthy Elizabeth Thatcher as she leaves her mansion in the city to move to small Coal Valley as a teacher. She finds the town in the middle of heartbreak, intrigue and in possession of the of the best looking Mounties ever. Jack, the Mountie, develop feelings for each other…then they argue…then they make up…then they argue… we’ll see if they will ever just get married!
This family friendly show is nine seasons long and hails from the seventies. It centers around young Laura Ingalls and over the years we get to watch her and her siblings grow up, get married and have children of their own. Set in the settlement of Walnut Grove, that is full of small town drama, this show is perfect if you love a frontier drama with heart.
3. Dr Quinn Medicine Woman
This 1990s TV show follows Dr Michaela Quinn as she leaves her privileged life back east to open her practice in Colorado Springs. After inheriting children and finding a long haired beau, she must fight inequality around her.
Okay! Okay! I know this is set on Prince Edward Island which is in no way “out west.” However, the western ideas of small town life, homesteading and life in a single room schoolhouse is developed in this story, which I think makes it qualify as a frontier drama. It follows Anne Shirley, an imaginative orphan who comes to live with an elderly brother and sister. Her struggles to fit in and her many daydreams make life a little bit rocky but adventurous.
The one season of this show from 2014 follows the adventures of Kate Warne and Will Pinkerton as they work as private investigators solving murders and crimes out in the wild west. The lighthearted show draws a high-spirited portrait of one of the earliest female detectives in history. This frontier drama has plenty of action in it too.