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Farmer Wants a Wife
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, on the surface, this farm-themed reality dating show seems like a safe family pick. But the farmer's old-fashioned "country" values are quickly eclipsed by sexually charged shenanigans that are too steamy for kids. Over the course of the series, for example, women soap up the shirtless farmer in an outdoor shower and refer to it as being "like a porno." There's also plenty of skin, as well as some kissing between the farmer and his dates -- and some typical reality show cattiness between the contestants.
What's the story?
In FARMER WANTS A WIFE, a 29-year-old single farmer named Matt is in the market for marital bliss. Finding the dating pool in his small Missouri town hopelessly small, he invites a pool of 10 attractive city-dwellers to his turf to compete for his affections in an elimination-style reality dating contest that finds them rounding up chickens with their bare hands, playing Bingo with the locals, and driving tractors, among other physically demanding tasks. The last girl standing wins the chance to share a quiet life with Matt as a genuine farmer's wife.
Is it any good?
Taking its cues from a popular British show by the same name, Farmer Wants a Wife fails to blaze any trails in the realm of reality television. Although the general concept is somewhat original -- at least on this side of the pond -- you're left with the overall impression that you've seen all of this somewhere before. There are the same fame-craving contestants, the same ridiculous challenges, and the same embarrassingly awkward "dates" that occur in front of a camera crew.
Bottom line? Imagine that The Simple Life merged in a Frankenstein's monster kind of way with The Bachelor. Subtract the debatable entertainment value of an out-of-her-element Paris Hilton. Now change the channel ... because there's not much left.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the realities of farm life are accurately portrayed on the show and what, if anything, the producers might have done to play up commonly held stereotypes. In terms of the farmhouse, the women are living in, do you think it's been staged for television by a crew of professional decorators? Why or why not? In terms of Matt, the farmer seeking a wife, do you think his intentions are 100 percent genuine? Do you think the prospect of finding true love was his only motivation, or would the chance to be on television equally appealing?