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Farmer Takes a Wife

Some time ago, CBS had the bright idea for a new reality show where an Appalachian family would be sent to live in Beverly Hills. Yup - the Beverly Hillbillies. Thankfully, some at CBS had the good sense to stop that one.

Two new shows coming on the CW might be in the same class: “Farmer Takes a Wife” and “Crowned”.

The new reality series "Farmer Takes A Wife" is a creation of the same folks (FremantleMedia) who put out "American Idol" and "American Inventor". Seems quite a come-down, or perhaps just running out of good ideas and hoping junk will make them money in America.

The producer of Farmer is Julie Uribe who went to the University of Nebraska, and she went straight to her home state to find the farmers in question. She certainly does not wish to make idiots and buffoons of them, but I do know that reality TV thrives on and its very survival depends upon making someone look dumb or stupid or even just plain bad. That's not to say that the women will be any better off. I venture to say they are not picking Yale graduates or Doctors of Physics – but I could be wrong.

John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, tried to keep the show of the air for this very fear, that rural people would be portrayed as dumb hicks. He says the general media portrays farmers and ranchers as a cross between rednecks and 'Hee Haw'; backwards and uncouth.

I do not know exactly how this show will handle these issues, but nothing is farther from the truth than to think rural folks are naive country bumpkins. They are more in touch with reality and what is really "real" than any city slicker I know. In fact, rural families’ very lives is dependent upon the weather and other external factors out of their control. Crops may fail and all might be gone in an instant. They live with reality every moment.

Hansen himself does not watch reality TV. His take on it, is "stupid gone bad". An interesting viewpoint and one I do not completely disagree with. Some shows make as much sense as the nursery rhyme, The Farmer in the Dell:

The Farmer in the Dell
The farmer in the dell,
The farmer in the dell,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The farmer in the dell.

The farmer takes a wife,
The farmer takes a wife,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The farmer takes a wife.

The wife takes a child,
The wife takes a child,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The wife takes a child.

The child takes a nurse,
The child takes a nurse,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The child takes a nurse.

The nurse takes a dog,
The nurse takes a dog,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The nurse takes a dog.

The dog takes a cat,
The dog takes a cat,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The dog takes a cat.

The cat takes a rat,
The cat takes a rat,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The cat takes a rat.

The rat takes the cheese,
The rat takes the cheese,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The rat takes the cheese.

The cheese stands alone,
The cheese stands alone,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The cheese stands alone.

FremantleMedia also produces "American Idol" (Fox), "American Inventor" (ABC), "Distraction" (Comedy Central), "The Price is Right" (CBS), "How Clean Is Your House" (Lifetime), "Property Ladder "(TLC) and "Love on the Rocks" (Discovery Health).

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