Last Night’s TV – Farmer Wants a Wife

by Lynn Connolly

farmer wants a wife

As I sat down to watch this new Five show, I didn’t expect to like it at all. I thought it was going to be full of vapid, shallow women and a leering, sex starved farmer. And it was, which made it compulsive viewing.

I’d thought all those elements would put me off, but they were in fact what made it worth looking at. It was the TV equivalent of junk food and one of those ‘guilty pleasures’ shows. The ones you’d never admit to watching but would secretly record if you couldn’t watch it alone.

Of course dating shows are nothing new; there’ve been dozens of them, but this one is sort of a new concept in that it’s picked one profession – farming – and sifted through the applicants to find suitably eligible bachelor farmers with whom literally hundreds of women would like to get their hands, and other bits, dirty.

Louise Redknapp oversaw and presented the whole shebang which, as it was nearing the end, was looking rather alarmingly – but very enjoyably – like it was about to turn into a ménage à trois. Derek, the lucky farmer who was searching for his ‘soulmate’ – and failing that, a woman who’d have regular nookie with him, though he didn’t outright say so – whittled down the aforementioned hundreds of applicants for the post of farmer’s wife to just two; Sarah and Karla.

Sarah was ideally suited to a life in farming and arguably, would’ve made Derek the ideal wife; she loved animals, loved the outdoors and had a hint of disarming naivety in that she pronounced, straight faced, “Derek can only fancy one of us.” She was of course referring to the fact that Derek had to choose between her and Karla, but in what parallel universe do men only fancy one woman at a time? Wherever it is, I’ve never met a man from there.

Canadian Karla was under no such illusions about the monogamous nature of a male’s roving eye and, despite many suggesting the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, she appealed to an organ somewhat south of that. Practically her every sentence was heavily laden with innuendo; this included something about tools, the fact that Derek could fit into her pants – right along with her – and that she knew many “tricks” which would keep Derek amused.

So it was without much shock that in the end, Derek chose Karla whose initial introduction promised that she was, “Masterchef in the kitchen, maid in the house and complete whore in the bedroom.” When he heard that line, my husband sniggered and said, “She’s gonna win”, and predictably, he was right. Which physically pains me to admit….

But there was a twist; with Sarah dumped and Derek looking forward to a life full of cordon bleu, maid service and whore-like behaviour, it turned out Karla had accepted a job in Australia for three months. Evidently, Derek – who’d earlier proclaimed that he was a true romantic – didn’t feel he could extend that romance to twelve whole weeks without Karla’s promised skills so he got on the blower to Sarah who, delightedly accepted his offer of being the runner up chosen for another shot.

The fact that there were only two in the running rather more pointed to the fact that, unless Derek chose to start all over again, she was the only option left after Karla, didn’t seem to faze her at all.

I think the true appeal of this show was threefold; there was the obvious element of I’ll Do Anything To Get On Telly – and it’s almost always amusing to see people sacrificing their souls at the altar of reality TV – as well as the utterly shallow, No Need To Think entertainment value and finally, confirmation that men are the same everywhere. Doesn’t matter what their profession or social status, they’ll always, but always, let the head that isn’t on their shoulders to their thinking. Bless ‘em.

And Louise, one of the first wave of WAGs, did a fine job of creating a new acronym, FAGs – farmers and girlfriends. Actually, maybe that won’t catch on, but it’d be fun if it did…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.