Fresh from the farm, eager to be charmed
OSTENSIBLY, this is the journey of six of the best men from the bush as they search for the right woman. And it is based on an indisputable fact about rural life in our wide brown land: there aren’t enough women in the bush. Finding six horny, hetero farmers would presumably have been the easy part. And the girls? Well, the producers say they were swamped with applications.
I can’t help wondering what might have happened if the producers had just rustled up 20 or 30 gorgeous, farmer- crazy women, put on a keg in a barn somewhere and let nature take its course.
But that would be far harder to control and steer into a television show. And it would hardly be in the refined spirit of reality TV, which demands eliminations, humiliations, and emotions running hot and cold for the cameras.
It goes like this: six farmers meet the potential farmers’ wives en masse and spend five minutes with each of 10 women. Afterwards, like all good farmers, they need to cull. So half the hopefuls, 30 women in all, who have been groomed, prepared and flown about the place, get the chop after exactly five minutes with their man.
The show whizzes past this as if it’s the most natural form of selection since Darwin. But let’s consider it.
Put your hand up if you’ve ever been wrong about someone you thought you didn’t like, especially after five minutes.
Add having your reactions filmed, and having a stack of such appointments in a row to sort through, and you can see that the capacity to judge character and compatibility could fly out the door as easily as the 30 rejected women.
Next up? Group dates with each of the farmers and his five successful candidate wives. At least in this phase the men have time to elevate their judgments beyond mere appearances. After all, the show is called The Farmer Wants a Wife, not The Farmer Wants a Root.
Of each set of five, two women are chosen by a farmer to compete for his affections during a gruelling 10- day course. Will these pretty city babes be up to the rigours of rural life? Will any of the six farmers find a wife?
Well, perhaps to prove it’s not all a monumental ( albeit good- looking) waste of time, this series kicks off with the wedding of a couple who met in the previous series.
To its credit the program offers no cash or other incentives, because love is its own reward, though a lot of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals can be heard.
A show about handsome, lovelorn country men and an endless parade of eager women? It’s McLeod’s Daughters for real.
Dates with potential mates: The six farmers in the second season of The Farmer Wants a Wife