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30 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Poignant, realistic, wonderful

Author: Loraine from USA
13 November 2001

If you're looking for 'Dawson's Creek,' this is not it. If you want mushy characters who fall apart when their clothes don't match, this is not it. If you want a show that is realistic, dramatic, thoughtful, and well-acted, look no further. 'Higher Ground' is it.

Located 25 miles from the nearest town, Mount Horizon High School is a school for teens who were struggling with their lives. The show focuses on one group of these teens, the Cliffhangers, the director of the school, and a few counselors. One teen is a vandal, one had an eating disorder, several were on drugs, and a couple were sexually abused. As their individual stories unfold, we can see deeper into their hearts, as well as our own.

Joe Lando (who plays Peter Scarbrow, the director of the school) makes an outstanding return to TV drama, and other standout performances include those of Hayden Christensen (playing Scott Barringer), A.J. Cook (playing Shelby Merrick), and Jewel Staite (playing Daisy Lipenowski).

It is utterly believable, thoughtful, poignant, and wonderful. You will cry with these teens, and you will love and want to understand each of them.

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27 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

One of the BEST shows ever!

Author: buffbabe23 ( from Michigan, USA
13 June 2001

"Higher Ground" was an amazing show. Sadly, it only lasted for one season. I believe this was due to the fact that it wasn't publicized enough and I personally feel that it was on at the wrong time slot. Many teens aren't even at home watching television on Friday nights at 8 PM, and if they are there are too many shows to compete with. The show had excellent storylines and such a great cast. Everyone was wonderful. It was also a great family show- everyone could watch. I used to watch it with my mom. I just really wish that they had tried a different time slot. Although they did have a "marathon" which consisted of two episodes every night for a week (which really isn't even a marathon). It definitely wasn't enough. I heard that NBC was thinking of picking it up at the end of the season, but of course they didn't. That would have just been false hope anyways, NBC always cancels their good shows left and right... I really wish that I could at least see re-runs of this wonderful show again.

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

What a Show!

Author: Shari ( from United States
27 December 2004

I adore(d) this show! I remember when it came out around the time I was in high school, and I just fell in love with the storyline and drama. It was such a great idea that didn't come to fruition. That was super disappointing, but I still watch it on WAM!, the channel. I wish they hadn't canceled it, but ratings matter I suppose, even for the Fox Family Channel. Shows like this are so rare, and it's sad to see that it didn't make it. The cast had a great chemistry and the development of the characters could really go places. I guess it would have been tough after awhile, as the kids would have to get better and leave. Then where would it go? But, I still thought they should have gave it a chance. I checked everyone's profile to see what they're up to now, and I can't believe that I didn't catch A.J. Cook in Final Destination 2. She looked the same, yet different enough that I didn't even know it was her. The acting was really top notch. Some of the kids could have used the practice, like Meghan Ory, but I'm sure as the show went on, she would've found her niche. I loved being able to discover what everyone's problems were with each coming episode. It's really a telling tale of life and how it can easily be disrupted with irresponsible parenting. I just had a thought: If the kids eventually had to leave, then they could keep introducing new characters to the scene, but I guess even that would become tiring. The problems would become commonplace and less shocking to the audience. I just can't get over it. I really liked this show. It only had like 21 or 22 episodes, but they really packed a lot of drama and excellent television into those few episodes. I was introduced and reunited with some Canadian talent. I watched "Are You Afriad of the Dark", so I was familiar with many of the actors already, but the few I didn't know, they were really special. I'll stop babbling now, but I would highly recommend anyone to catch this show whenever they possibly could.

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Just The best Show made.

Author: baon_08
29 August 2000

Higher ground is just fantastic!. The scence, the acting, just perfect. I don't know why people think dawson's creek or felicity is better (probably they are at a better station.) They both pretty much suck! I love higher ground and the cast. Hayden is just so talented and hot! Higher ground is a truthful, realistic show. I don't know why people want to cancel it for it second season. I recommend this show to everyone because higher ground is just the best. It should really win an award for it.

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Great show that will be missed!

Author: uwec95 ( from USA
10 June 2002

First off, I would like to preface this by saying that I am a male that is probably twice the age of the average person that watched this show. That being said, I absolutely love(d) this show. My niece bought the shows off of e-bay and told me to watch the tapes, being that I am a high school teacher she thought I might like it. She was right. I thought the acting was outstanding and the stories very touching. I often see kids with many of the same attitudes/feelings and I can relate to some of the kids based on feelings that I had and currently have, although not quite to the extent of the characters on the show.

This show helps make me want to be a better teacher to all my kids, especially the ones that seem troubled. I have never seen a show that has made an impact like that on my career, and for that I am thankful. It's really too bad that with all the crap on television now days that a show that is inspirational in a positive way falls through the cracks.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A emotional roller coaster of a show

Author: coverme6 from Allentown, PA
5 July 2000

Current TV shows reflecting the lives of teenagers are getting

pretty dismal and irritating because they all centralize on the

same themes of dead-end relationships and sex. "Dawson's Creek"

is a nauseous example. However, with the new hit TV drama

"Higher Ground," the genre of the teen drama is getting a new

image and personality. Hayden Christianson and Joe Lando head

this rugged show about emotional troubled teens who are sent to

a boot camp called Horizon. Their primary objectives in that one

camp is definitely not to fish, eat toasted marshmellows or to

sing songs around the campfire. Oh no. These adolescents are

sent there to encounter their inner troubles and to find a

better well being. In other words, those kids are being trained

to "straighten up and fly right."

With great dramatical performances by the cast, "Higher Ground"

is not a typical kid soap opera. This show is

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of my very favorites!

Author: Blizzy ( from Seattle, WA, USA
5 July 2000

I love "Higher Ground" so much. I have been watching since the start and it is SO cool! The characters are so true and they deliver the messages so well. One would think that this would be another show like "7th Heaven" or something, where a new problem arises in every episode (unless the run out and just have it happen to someone else). No, this show carefully weaves in the dilemmas and concentrates on them in many episodes. Very real. Problems just don't go away like some shows make it seem. All the actors are great (Jewel Staite and Hayden Christensen...MY FAVS) and help make this show count!

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Troubled "at-risk" teens are sent to kind of a like a boot camp called Horizon.

Author: Laura ( from Austin, Texas
29 January 2000

I really like this TV show. I think the plots are really good. There's one actor, Hayden Christensen (plays Scott), who really shines in this show. He's really talented, he's already given me a great look at his acting capabilities. I think he's really gonna make it... I hope he does! He's got the good looks to pull it off! He makes the show extra good. But the rest are all great also, including the counselor (Joe Lando) who you may know from "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Women". But yes, the show keeps you glued to the set... but it's hard to say what you think about it, because it's so new! I think it has a bright future! I recommend it for all you TV surfers! Of course I'm a teen, so I'll always watch it for that hottie, Hayden! He really is a good actor, though... trust me! (not just drop dead gorgeous)

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful and honest

Author: lanteus ( from British Columbia, Canada
20 March 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, some airdate background: The TV series *Higher Ground* appeared on the local Vancouver-based station BCTV and ran right through the 2000-2001 TV season without any repeats, a rarity on television. It aired on Saturdays, usually at 8 PM.

When I began to watch *Higher Ground*, from the few ads I'd seen beforehand, I expected another bland *Neon Rider*, or worse, a shallow *Popular* or soapish *Dawson's Creek*. Instead what I got was like few series I'd ever seen. If you'd ever seen *My So-Called Life*, you might get some idea of the kind of quality of the show I'm talking about, and this is even better.

The show itself is about a school for troubled teens located in the deep wilderness (Mt. Horizon High School), where kids who've had drug problems or other serious problems at home find a sanctuary at this privately-funded boarding school run by some dedicated teachers who are trained to help them overcome their demons and face their fears. Unlike other entertainment shows, *Higher Ground* doesn't gloss over the tough issues touched on in the show but faces them squarely, head on, very honest and real about it. Meanwhile, I've seen all the episodes of the first season now and not one of them is boring or sappy, and certainly not depressing either. Instead, each episode finds a way to uplift you by the end in a way that is far from corny. The acting is top-notch and powerful all the way, with special note to the teen stars, all of whom are to be highly commended for their work, especially Hayden Christensen and A.J. Cook (who plays Shelby), as well as Jewel Staite (who plays Daisy). Special congratulations to the writers and producers as well. Now, about the show itself.

Run by a dedicated teacher named Peter Scarbrow (played by Joe Lando) who is himself a long-recovering drug-addict, he and his other teacher-mentors put the kids through their paces, not only giving them the normal high school education you'd expect but also taking them out on a series of outings like long hikes and canoe trips into the surrounding wilderness, and even some climbing, showing them the simple facts of how to exist and survive in a place where only nature provides the rules of survival, not parents or street-gangs. Along the way, faced with this "naturalized" simplicity and the fact that the kids must work together to survive here, the kids learn about their own self-worth and respect for each other, as well as their teachers. The kids on the show include at least a few who are recovering addicts, including the series' teen star, Hayden Christensen, who plays the troubled Scott, and another kid, a girl, who used to run away from home and live on the streets who is named Shelby. All of our kids have had troubled home lives of one sort or another, and as you go through the series, we slowly find out just what kind of lives they were and how they end up dealing with them. Occasionally the kids return home to do this, other times trouble finds them, but Peter Scarbrow, Sophie Becker (played by Anne Marie Loder) and the other teachers are always their to guide them through their personal hells. Now, the show isn't only about the kids' troubles either. There are plenty of other things going on, a growing romance between some of our teens, for one thing, and another one between Peter and Sophie. All of our characters, not just the kids, have their own scars and personal demons, the teachers included. For instance, Sophie has her own problems, which she hopes working with Peter at the school will solve, a place to call home. By the end of the season, many of them will face their fears and some others will struggle on without apparent success. But the fact that they're struggling at all means something, that they're trying.

Okay, I've tried to give an idea of the show without giving away any spoilers. If the show ever appears at your local station or on a cable channel in the future, I highly recommend it. You'll be hooked from the first episode, and as you watch the romance between young Scott Barringer and Shelby develop (a bit of a spoiler here!), you'll quickly find yourself eagerly watching one of the best examples of unsappy, satisfying romance ever seen on teen television.

Now some distressing news. According to BCTV, the show may already be canceled even as I write this. I certainly hope not. According to the credits, this show is jointly produced by Fox and Paramount International, among two other companies. Let's hope they realize what they've got here and see that it gets a good shot, at least.

This review written by: Brian C Frate, Pender Island, BC Canada

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Nice Work

Author: Cyprus386 from USA
25 February 2000

Out of all the things that make "Higher Ground" different from all shows, the best is using mostly new actors. The counselor is somewhat familiar. Even though Jewel Staite is a known actress, she brings a certain flair to the show as Daisy Lipenowski. This show is definitely not to be missed.

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