This week: Part One
Realitytvkids.com will be organizing an official summer "book club" screening of The Farmer's Wife. Watch Part 1 this week, Part 2 the week of August 12, and Part 3 (link to come) the week of August 19 and discuss it as you go with all the interesting folks here.
The Farmer's Wife first aired on PBS in 1998, a three part documentary, which was in essence a reality show, following three years in the life of Nebraska farmer Darrel Buschkoetter, and his strong but tender-hearted wife Juanita, along with their three sweet young girls.
The Farmer's Wife is one of the few great reality shows to ever grace our small screens. The Farmer's Wife had it all: tough, sincere characters, and a compelling story of hard work and perseverance in small-town America. Heartbreak, struggle, a marriage on the rocks, and the hope to keep a vanishing tradition alive drives this story.
Filmaker David Sutherland originally intended to profile several farming families in Nebraska. However as the project progressed, he became captivated with Juanita's story, and revamped the entire project to focus on her. Said Sutherland: "She spoke from her heart, and her love for her husband Darrel's dream touched me deeply."
Juanita's soft-spoken candor, and love and dedication to her family and to the farm, was a beautiful character study.
Most reality television out there has been better suited for the dust bin. Most stories need not and often should not be shared. Reality T.V. should just go away, especially shows that feature unprotected children. But once in a great while, a story comes along that should be told. Juanita's story does just that, capturing a moment in time in the late 1990's where a way of life in middle America was fading away, never to be the same again. Sutherland's series is both heartbreakingly tragic and inexplicably beautiful. Enjoy.