How do you get a whole nation to watch a program about country life? Simple. You add some romance and drama. Exactly that is given to us by the popular show Farmer Wants a Wife (or Boer Zoekt Vrouw for my Dutch readers). Isn’t it just amazing how rural life suddenly gets ten million Dutch viewers per episode? And a bit funny too!
Dating for Farmers
In short, the show is about a couple of farmers looking for love. The program introduces them briefly, after which viewers can write a letter to the farmer of their choice. The farmers then get to choose ten letter writers they want to meet in person. From that point on, every now and then the farmer has to choose which women he wants to get to know better, and which ones will not be the one for him. Eventually the final three women will come to stay at the farm for a week to really experience the rural life. And in the end, it is the intention that every farmer ends up with a lovely partner.
Drama and Awkwardness
Needless to say, all of this comes with a lot of drama and awkward moments. Most of the farmers are not the most socially capable beings, so having to face a group of giddy women is no easy task. It is very amusing to see how some farmers cope with the situation very well, while others don’t have a clue how to handle things. Painful silences during meals or farmers disappearing to their animals to shed some tears are therefore no uncommon things. Much to the entertainment of the entire country.
Rural Life for Urban People
Another thing that I find quite amusing to see, is how the “chosen women” cope with the country life. A lot of the letter writers come from the city themselves. They often don’t have any idea what to expect, or have in mind some idyllic farm scene that is far from realistic. How they adapt to this different lifestyle is quite fun to see, and tells a lot about their characters. Some can’t find their place after all, while others seem to settle really well.
Looking for Extremes
Of course, to make things a bit more fun, the farmers often come up with all kinds of extra activities to do during the farm-visiting week. Sometimes that can be a bit much, if I’m honest. Sure, it is no fun for the women to be working at the farm all day, every day. But much as I love country life, I wouldn’t be so happy to be quad-racing through the mud or get a bucket of water over my head either.
Some Attention for the Country
Despite all the drama and romantics the show focuses on, I think the program unnoticed also creates some more awareness of the value of farmers and, hopefully, rural areas in general. In a country as crowded and urbanised as the Netherlands, I think that is a hugely important thing. And I hope the show will continue for quite a few seasons more, letting us see the countryside in all it’s glory and mud.
If you happen to be Dutch, the current season of Boer Zoekt Vrouw is still running, every Sunday at 20:30.
I can hardly wait for the next episode!
Images from www.boerzoektvrouw.nl