I came to Black Harbour long after it went off the air and that was only because of one of its stars, Geraint Wyn Davies, is my favorite actor (thank goodness for tape trees). Black Harbour never aired where I live although it was sold to Europe by CBC.
I liked the show from the very first episode because it was decidedly different from the regular stuff that swaps across the ocean to us. We're used to all the US shows that deal with crime, violence, money, you name it. I like those shows too but they try very hard to surpass each other in how spectacular they are and in consequence lose their individuality.
Along comes Black Harbour, and it wasn't spectacular at all. It dealt with small-town problems in Nova Scotia. It had regular people, believable characters. People that could be your neighbors, your family --- that could be you. It was unspectacular in the best sense of the word. It was refreshing to have a show that concentrated on a story, on characters, and it was cast with actors who clearly know their craft.
Sadly the show went down the road a lot of shows take after a while: they try to 'spice up' their stories. It started in season 2 when Tasha began an affair with a boy who turns out to be entangled in a family feud that has deadly consequences. The old Romeo-and-Juliet setting – nothing wrong there if it stays within a certain limit. It worked out for season 2, but the writers clearly went over the top in season 3 when they squeezed two rather unbelievable plot-lines into the 13 short episodes of the season. First Kathy finds out she is the product of an illicit affair and her mother wasn't her real mother at all. So she sets out to find out about her real mother and digs up a long-lost brother in the process who turns out to be the crook with the heart of gold who ends up in prison. In the meantime Len, who unwisely messed around with the local crime boss, goes off on a trip to find himself in a monastery after he had a vision of some medieval knight. It seemed that towards the end the writers tried to cram material that might have been meant for a fourth season into the remaining episodes ending with a sweet but rather sudden reunion of Nick and Kathy.
Still, Black Harbour is and will remain one of my personal favorites because the superb acting made up for a lot.