TV Review: 'Farmer Wants a Wife' yields a crop of cliches


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American television networks have aired many ridiculous reality shows, but The CW's "Farmer Wants a Wife" (9 tonight, WPCW) is a master class in televised inanity. A viewer stumbling upon it might mistake the series for a parody of a reality show (something like "30 Rock's" recent spoof) because it traffics in every reality-TV cliche.

First, there's "The Bachelor": Missouri farmer Matt, 29, hasn't found the woman of his dreams, so he agrees to participate in this goofy reality series in which city women are flown to his farm to compete for his affections.

As in every reality show, the women are cast for maximum drama. Only one of the women has the good sense not to wear high heels on a trip to farm country.


'Farmer Wants a Wife'
  • When: 9 tonight, WPCW.
  • Host: Matt the farmer.

Similar to the first season of "The Simple Life," the women must carry out tasks they're ill-suited for, such as chasing chickens.

In tonight's premiere, the requisite elimination ceremony is staged in a barn, and the women must pick up a chicken. If there's an egg beneath the chicken, they get to stay; if not, they're sent packing with the send-off, "She's not the farmer's wife."

Only Matt, the college-educated gentleman farmer, defies expectations, smoothly functioning as both the show's top prize and host. But he does get off to an inauspicious start, declaring that he wants "a gal who can pull her own weight -- physically, mentally -- she's gonna have to be strong."

Hmmm, is he looking for a wife or a cow? Maybe ol' Bessie will do.

The verbal gaffes among the women are far more unfortunate and entertaining.

Josie, 25, from Westwood, Calif., is the series' designated bad girl, the Omarosa of the bunch.

"I see myself as being a 10-plus. That's part of being a Republican," she says, embarrassing not only herself but an entire political party in the process. "I feel like a winner."

She wants to be a farmer's wife because she imagines a life of leisure, riding horses and attending polo matches.

"The farmer's wife doesn't work, she has people who work for her," Josie says as viewers' jaws across the country drop to the floor.

Matt describes her, graciously, as "this intelligent person" (by whose standard?) who is "full of controversy mixed with a little insanity."

Boston native Stephanie, 23, says she's never seen a chicken before.

"I'm afraid of them pecking my eyes out," she says. "Because I want to see. Like, I like seeing things. Like, I definitely need my eyes."

Some of the city women seem to be capable of fitting in on the farm, although Britney Spears lookalike Brooke, 23, allows her bizarro insta-jealousy over Matt to cloud her judgment.

For fans of mildly entertaining, mind-rotting entertainment, "Farmer Wants a Wife" is a sun-kissed, totally unreal, reality TV rendition of American Gothic.




TV editor Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1112. Ask TV questions at post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A.


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