Clarkson’s Farm Does It Agains With An Emotional Roller Coaster Sparking Rage, Tears, & Joy

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It's hard to imagine a show like Clarkson's Farm becoming one of the top-rated shows on Prime Video. In February of 2023, it broke viewing records in the UK, and the 2024 season has already snatched the top spot from Baby Reindeer, with only four episodes released.

What makes Clarkson's Farm so compelling, however, is the imbecilic, blundering buffoon that headlines the series, Jeremy Clarkson, along with his deadpan sidekick, Kaleb Cooper.

The thing is, Clarkson isn't a fool. He's simply in over his head, diving headlong into an immensely complicated livelihood, far more than anything he has ever encountered. Clarkson's journey from Top Gear to the difficulties of full-time farming is relatable.

The Primary Faces of Clarkson's Farm

Apart from establishing an intimate link between the audience and the show, it makes for some hilarious moments throughout the series. Authenticity is the name of the game here, and it's the beating heart behind the colorful characters that inhabit Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

Slapstick and self-deprecating humor abounds, juxtaposed against gently rolling hills, seemingly infinite stretches of vibrant green farmland, limestone outcrops, and deep valleys, ground the humor in the spiritual, awe-inspiring feeling that only natural beauty can forge. 

Jeremy and Kaleb Discussing Business - Clarkson's Farm

The point of this entire writing rests on this bedrock. Clarkson's Farm is all over the place, rich with laughter, heartache, and the kindled cinders of anger. Yet, it works. 

Prime's foray into Jeremy Clarkson's farming endeavors is marketed as a sort of comedic venture, covered in the splendor of the modern docuseries formula. That's precisely what you get at first. 

The intimacy of close friends, loved ones, co-workers, and other farmers quickly transforms into the substratum of family.

Clarkson is not alone, and the characters sharing his personal journey could be the Enterprise or the Goonies crew.

Despite their human flaws, they mesh together, providing the audience with a comfortable, humorous, and often breathtaking journey. The laughter draws you in, while the sense of belonging and relatability keeps you hooked. 

Oxford Shandy and Black Pigs - Clarkson's Farm

Unfortunately, that also means becoming attached to the animals on Clarkson's Farm (not always the best thing on a farm) and feeling personally attacked as his battles against the Chipping Norton Town Council persist.

One of Clarkson's mind bombs, in the most recent series, was to purchase and breed pigs against the more level-headed advice of the farm's Land Agent, Charlie Ireland. In typical Jeremy fashion, such advice was antithetical to what Clarkson wants.

Not just any pigs, either.

Clarkson being Clarkson, these pigs had to be Oxford Shandy and Blacks, an "at-risk/endangered" species of domesticated pig. Once the results of the breeding process bore fruit, the result was inevitable.

If you want to tie gigantic strings to the audience's hearts, showcase piglets. This is exactly what happened: cute little black-spotted, sandy brown piglets began rolling out.

Kaleb Watching the Pigs - Clarkson's Farm

The impact of farm life, for the uninitiated, is often cold and cruel, with the fate of the piglets becoming the talk of the internet for days afterward. Farming is tough, and even the cutest of animals can die a slow death for a variety of reasons.

While the farm plays the role of the antagonist for much of the series, the local council also fills the role from time to time.

This is where rage factors in. Now, we're obviously viewing Clarkson's battles with the Chipping Norton Town Council from behind a biased lens.

After all, as happy and satisfied consumers of the show, it's natural to defend the protagonist. While this isn't a deep dive into the ethics and motivations of the council versus Clarkson, it is about how the show manufactures deep and meaningful emotions within the audience's hearts.

It's easy to become infuriated, especially after watching all the effort that went into putting together the Diddly Squat restaurant, only to see the local council shut it down for seemingly silly purposes.

Jeremy and Charlie the Land Agent - Clarkson's Farm

More recently, it's been a battle of wills over trees.

Clarkson wants to plant trees, while the local council wants to place limitations on the tree-planting program. Without digging into the details, the show's ability to rile up the audience is a testament to its emotional draw and power.

Who would have thought that a series about farming, in some location that most people have never seen nor heard of, would become such a fascinating and popular draw for Amazon? After all, they don't renew the second and third seasons because of a lack of viewership.

While Clarkson's Farm continues to surprise, with laugh-out-loud scenarios, heartbreaking endings, and frustrating local politics, the series is ostensibly about farming. Nothing about it is simple, even with a Lamborghini tractor and some of the best farming equipment on the market.

Early in Season 3, Kaleb Cooper, a veteran by any measure, decides to gamble against the current dry spell and plant rapeseed, one of the driving crops for their business. Needless to say, the crop failed, leaving Kaleb in tears.

Kaleb and the New Shandy and Black Pigs - Clarkson's Farm

This is common on the show, as shifting and unpredictable weather wreak havoc on the crops and Clarkson's bottom line.

For entertainment purposes, the viewer probably misses out on other instances like this, along with the duller aspects of farming life. What we don't see only exacerbates the realization of farming difficulties and where the food comes from that we uncaringly relish.

A lot is happening in this small slice of sublime countryside. The show's ability to convey the emotional and laborious turmoil, encapsulated in a jolly, if sometimes foolish, old man, is the driving force behind its success.

While no one wants to see another piglet pass on, the emotional and surprisingly educational ride that Clarkson's Farm brings to the table should be acknowledged and embraced.

Discussion on Regenerative Farming - Clarkson's Farm

On a basic level, humans need three things to survive: food, water, and oxygen. Farming takes care of that 1/3 portion.

Clarkson's Farm brings heart and soul to an industry often hidden behind plastic packaging and BOGO deals at the local grocery.

Farming, as it turns out, is just like anything else, although a difficult occupation. It's full of character, emotion, risks, turmoil, and heartache.

In short, it is life.

Thomas Godwin is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X

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