Arguably one of my top ten guilty pleasures, the ABC Family television series Wildfire offers 52 episodes of horsey good fun. The show, created by Michael Pillar and Christopher Teague, ran from 2005 to 2008.
The plot is textbook horse movie. A troubled girl meets a beautiful yet misunderstood horse … chaos and magic ensue.
We’ve got Kris Furillo (juvenile delinquent), Pablo Betart (cagey trainer), Jean Ritter (down on her luck farm owner), and of course Wildfire (OTTB who just needs a chance). Like I said … textbook.
The two-part pilot is centered around Kris
stealing rescuing Wildfire from a slaughter bound auction house. Jean and Pablo see the pair evading police on a live news broadcast and think…hmmm…that’s a horse and jockey we’d like to take a chance on! Because of course they did.
Beyond that, the clothes are always stylish, the parties are always rockin’ and the lives of a bunch of teenagers are made to look both interesting and dramatic. First, Kris falls in love with Junior Davis, a rival barn owner’s son, which makes Jean nervous.
Then, Kris falls in love with Matt Ritter, Jean’s son, which makes Jean really nervous.
And then Kris falls in love with Junior again. Awww….
The riding is decent, especially for TV. Genevieve Cortese-Padalecki, the actress who plays Kris, loves horses in real life. She also loves Jared Padalecki a.k.a. Sam Winchester, which is a double win in my book.
The show features a little something for everyone with Thoroughbred racing,
Hunter/jumper, point-to-point cross country, and most of the last season is dedicated entirely to western disciplines.
But above all, the show centers around the fact that Kris loves Wildfire. Wildfire is her partner in crime, therapist, lifelong friend, and ultimately the love of her life. They protect each other, believe in each other, and pull through for each other when nobody else can. Any horse crazy girl can relate to that.
Overall, I really like this series. I mean, sure, Wildfire is portrayed by at least three horses (in the pilot alone) and at times there is more drama than a Mexican soap opera, but it is still great rainy-day-tack-cleaning entertainment.
I give Wildfire 3 Golden Horseshoes.
All on set photos © ABC FAMILY
Twitter photo available via @realGpad