Stream It Or Skip It
In Farmer Wants A Wife, four single men who own their own farms and ranches (all of them are more of the cattle and horse farm type of properties) will have five single women, most from various cities, come to their farm to experience the men’s way of life.
Opening Shot: Pastoral aerial scenes of various farms over John Denver singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
The Gist: Country music star Jennifer Nettles is the host of Farmer Wants A Wife, and she explains how we get to the five women. Women look at online profiles of the four farmers — Ryan, Hunter, Landon and Allen — and they choose the farmer that they connect with the most. That group is whittled down to the eight women who come to meet their farmer in person.
During that day, each farmer has a 10-minute speed date with the eight women in their group. Of the four, Ryan was the most personable and Allen… well, Allen had some issues opening up. The most promising women that they meet are shown in extended sequences, including Ashley R from Orlando, Cassidy Jo from Scottsdale, Kylie from Orlando and Sydney from Nashville.
After the speed dates, the farmers then have to ask five of the women in the group to come back to his farm with him. The farms are spread out — Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. If the woman says yes (not a guarantee), they move in with the farmer for six weeks. But not before he has to pick one of the women to be with solo for 24 hours.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? The updated version of Joe Millionaire, which had two bachelors, but with more horses and cows.
Our Take: There’s nothing inherently wrong with Farmer Wants A Wife, outside of the usual issues we generally have with these Bachelor/Bachelorette-style shows. Even in the first episode, producers have hyped things up for the single women so much that they are emotional over a ten-minute speed date.
We have two big issues with this show in particular, though: 1) Three of the four groups of single women were overwhelmingly white, and 2) Except for one of the cowboys — and, let’s face facts, they’re more cowboys than farmers — charm and game were in short supply.
Let’s address the diversity issue first. Ryan, the only one of the four farmers that isn’t white, seems to have a much more diverse group of women to choose from than the other three. Is this just the luck of the draw, where the only women who liked Hunter Landon and Allen were white? It is very, very conspicuous seeing the group that came out to meet Ryan versus the groups that came out to meet the other three guys, and it’s a bit distressing to see.
But more important to the actual dating aspect of the series is that we’re not sure why these women are so excited to meet these guys. Ryan definitely looks like he’s had some dating experience outside the limited social circle that these guys claimed to have formed for themselves due to their dedication to their work. But the other three fellas? They’re all polite, and…?
Let’s face it: It’s always tough to gauge why the women who come on these shows want to throw themselves at the show’s designated bachelor, but it’s even tougher in Farmer Wants A Wife. Are they really willing to leave their city lives to live and work on a ranch in the middle of nowhere? For these guys? It just boggles the mind, and perhaps some of that will come out as the series goes along.
Sex and Skin: None. Some of the women wore dresses that were absolutely to short/slitted/etc. to sit on hay bales and some of the other things that were used for the speed dates. But we guess that’s part of the fun.
Parting Shot: The woman who is on the solo date with Allen learns that “an ex” painted the cabinets in his kitchen. “I hope it’s not an ex-wife,” she says.
Sleeper Star: We celebrate the woman, who we won’t spoil here, who said no when one of the bachelor farmers asked her to come back to his farm with him. She wasn’t feeling it, so she decided not to go through the charade. Good for her.
Most Pilot-y Line: Landon: “I don’t want to find a girl I can make it work with. I want to find the girl that I can’t make it work without.” Did one of the show’s writers feed him that cumbersome line?
Our Call: SKIP IT. Farmer Wants A Wife suffers from being boring more than anything else. Maybe when the single city women get involved in the dirty work of being at the bachelors’ farms, things will get better, but without interesting bachelors, the whole idea of the show makes little sense.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.