Everyone has seen it. Netflix puts its popular new shows right on the opening screen, and smack dab in the middle is “When Calls the Heart.” The buttoned-up "Little House on the Prairie"-esque TV show has, undoubtedly, been scrolled past by thousands of teens in the past few months.
Well, after my roommate became obsessed with the show, I decided that I should give it a try. This was all done in secret of course, after all, she had been telling me to watch the show for months, I could not just roll over and admit to loving it from even the first episode. I was, quickly, becoming just as obsessed as Abby had been, and fully enjoying watching Elizabeth and Jack fall in love and go through ups and downs. Throughout the show, we see their relationship blossom, grow and flourish. This, however, leads undoubtedly to a place of alone time for the two characters. Elizabeth and Jack go on romantic strolls, have candlelit dinners and are even trapped in a coal mine together. While watching these moments happen, I found myself thinking over and over, “This is it, they are finally going to sleep together.”
Now, a part of me always knew that Jack and Elizabeth would not sleep together before marriage just because of the time period the show is set in. Part of me chalked up the couple's chastity to the “perfect gentleman” image of Mountie Jack. I even considered that Elizabeth’s portrayal of a strong, independent woman was to blame for their lack of on screen steamy action. They, however, never did have sex. Now, I finally hit a time, just before finishing the seasons of the show on Netflix, when I realized that I wasn’t disappointed because I could not figure out why the couple was chaste; I was disappointed that I was disappointed that they were chaste. I know, I know, that is a messy sentence. I finally realized that I expected the hit couple to be having hot, steamy sex. I expected that as the way they “sealed” their love and made their commitment to each other real.
Everyone has that thing that they wish would happen to their favorite couple. I wish Ross and Rachel wouldn’t have taken a break, I wish Aria and Ezra would just get married already, I wish Gabby and Josh would admit their love, and more than anything, I wanted Elizabeth Thatcher and Jack Thornton to sleep together. I finally realized, however, after wishing this for two seasons, that society had taken its toll on me.
I was sitting there wishing and willing uncommitted and unmarried people to have casual sex in a coal mine. Now, I am not saying that having sex before marriage is bad, but it is clear to me that society and what I watch on TV have desensitized me. Sex has, in my mind, always been something spiritual, sacred and special. It is a single act between two people that link those people forever and in a deeper way than possible through anything else. I have an unashamedly romantic view of sex, and yet I was willing these characters who obviously were not ready to just do it already. What I watch on TV and hear about in the real world has made me forget the true meaning of sleeping together and everything that comes with it. Sex is so much more than just an action, so why was I wanting that for Jack and Elizabeth? Because, what is a TV show without casual sex? Can a show be entertaining without someone taking their clothes off every two seconds? Would anyone even watch it?Over the course of the two seasons of "When Calls the Heart" that I have seen, I have realized just how much society has skewed my views of chastity and of sex. I was at a point where I felt that sex is how you make a relationship real, when, in reality I don’t think that at all. Sex is something so special and emotional, and I now realize that maybe Jack and Elizabeth have it right by waiting.