Clarkson's Farm

Clarkson's Farm - Season 3

Yeah, this season is pretty brilliant too.

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Last year, well over a year ago, I reviewed the second season of Clarkson's Farm, and I gave that season, that series actually, 10/10. That's a pretty wild review for such an eclectic programme that asks you to watch as what can only be described as a semi-intelligent, sentient gorilla lumbers around his farm, frantically trying to make money in what appears to be a profession in serious transformation. In other words, it's a recipe that really shouldn't work, but here for the third time, Clarkson himself, the fun characters he rather randomly has around him, and the mildly talented production team from Amazon, prove that magic can happen in the strangest places. And Clarkson's Farm is truly magical television because everything in you screams that this shouldn't be so entertaining, so emotional and so resonant - but it just is. It totally, just is.

Make no mistake though; Clarkson's Farm in 2024 is pretty much more of the same that started back in 2021. Jeremy Clarkson himself is commenting and participating quite directly in an industry that is experiencing rising costs and falling revenue, while the effects of what appears to be global warming wreak havoc, and in the midst of it all comes the good idea and hope for a future where Diddly Squat Farm can actually generate a profit. This time it's mushrooms, pigs and goats, last time it was something else, and next time it'll be something else again. The recipe is the same, and likewise the result is so infinitely sweet.

Clarkson's Farm
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Back to the eclectic; it's quite hard to put your finger on exactly why Clarkson's Farm is so good. Sure, Jeremy Clarkson is, at the end of the day, an entertaining host regardless of his otherwise views, and man-in-deep-water television didn't originate here, of course not. But there is an authenticity here, a nerve that arises from the fact that unlike Top Gear in recent years, and The Grand Tour in particular, Clarkson's Farm is pretty much a slice of life. It's real, the worries are real, the victories are real and so is the journey from one to the other. Watching piglets die despite the best efforts of both the clumsy Clarkson and the hard-working girlfriend Lisa is really hard, because the people behind it have failed to set up these scenarios artificially. But when the mushrooms in the new mushroom cellar turn a huge profit, or the local council withdraws part of their unfair judgement of Clarkson's work, it feels like a real victory. These highs and lows of farm life are delivered in a fairly relatable way, and apart from a few times when they do stumble, it's glowingly authentic throughout.

For the first time, Clarkson's Farm dances with death though, as Clarkson and Caleb do a sketch of sorts in one of the episodes parodying construction workers. It's more rehearsed than the rest, and feels extremely alien compared to the rest of the package, which proudly shows the daily grind. Hopefully this doesn't signal a change, because it sent a chill down my spine and reminded me of the first season of The Grand Tour, which was full of artificial, contrived and fake fun and games.

Clarkson's Farm

Thankfully, this third season is still a stroke of genius, even if it's more of the same. You don't necessarily have to like Clarkson, but if you can overlook his blinkered worldview and believe that his interest in the many, many challenges farmers face going forward, even if they want to treat land and animals properly for more sustainable production in the future, then Clarkson's Farm is a unique victory that can be recommended to all. It's simply brilliant, and while it's extremely difficult to pinpoint why, you must and should give it a shot.

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09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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