Wind at My Back (1996-2001)
As seen on IMDb
Another gem from my university days working in broadcasting was Wind at My Back. The show sets in Canada during the Great Depression, but the characters did not feel Canadian. Then again, all I knew about Canada were the stereotypes perpetuated in the US.
But yes, this show is a drama about life during the Great Depression in Canada. We follow the Baileys, a local, prestigious family, and their journey through the tough times. The family operated a silver mine, but that was no protection against a collapsed economy.
Through its five seasons, Wind at My Back portrays the mundane life in New Bedford, Ontario. I'm pretty sure that is not an actual place, but whatever. The show continued throughout the 30s into the onset of World War 2 until the production ended for this series.
For most of the series, the antagonist was May Bailey, the overbearing and manipulative grandmother of the family. She directed most of her angst at her daughter-in-law, Honey, who was Catholic and a widow due to an accident. The ice eventually thawed between them, and the viewers came to see her as a matriarch with good intentions while leading the family through the hardships of the Great Depression.
As for the rest of the family dynamics, there wasn't much out of the ordinary. There were marriages/divorces, children growing up, and moral lessons sprinkled throughout the plot. For the most part, they were believable. I found each character relatable. There were small victories for the family along the way, but nothing extravagantly triumphant.
There is also a Christmas movie. It attempted to elaborate on some plots after this series' cancelation. Predictably, this took place during World War 2. The film focused on the older Bailey boy, Hub, as he tried to figure out whether or not he wanted to join the priesthood. Remember, his mother, Honey, was Catholic. The film explained loose ends, such as each family member's whereabouts. The movie highlighted the romance between Hub and Anna, a Jewish (of course) refugee trying to escape to the US, and ended on a cliffhanger where they said goodbye to each other.
Overall, this was an enjoyable series. The portrayal of the settings and events was believable. It was heart-warming to see the Bailey family push forward in the face of adversity despite their differences. The audience could see the characters develop over time (the children grew up through the series). I would recommend it for viewing with your family.
Posted using CineTV