Monday, 22 February 2010

Old MontyDonald Had a Farm Ee Ay Ee Ay Oh! Verse 3

The Sock watched so you don't have to..

The Sock finally got round to watching the next few episodes of His Organic Jerkin's Dream Farm series. They exerted a curious fascination  - the sort of alternate reality you might enter if you joined the Scientologists or entered America's Next Top Model show.  In fact, Tyra Banks and Monty Don would seem to have a lot in common....

And on that farm they had some chickens - with a henhouse here and a duckhouse there

This week's no-hopers, Rob and Sue plus young children, want to play at  living off the land with their chickens and veg.  The Lord of Cord decides they need to 'engage with the land' and to do this they must have pigs. In reality Rob is finishing a house he is building and has no time for the farm. Monty comes over all paternalistic and admonishes them amidst much gnashing of teeth and weeping and wailing, refusing to return if they won't play nicely.   Everyone admits that he is right (especially Monty) and there is a group hug.  The  pigs turn up and suddenly everyone becomes deliriously happy.  At this point the Sock thought she had woken up in the middle of Deal or no Deal as she heard Noel Edmonds say " we can feel the energy.  When you feel the energy.. then your dreams can fly." But it wasn't Noel it was Monty. There was so much energy around by this time that Rob started building designer chicken houses at £700 a throw and selling them to MPs on expenses.

And on that farm they had some pigs - Nice pigs, shame about the mange

The next week we have two efficient entrepreneurs for His Organic Jerkin to patronize.  They don't actually need Monty to help them set up their proposed business growing and selling veg and running a farm shop with cafe.  Monty decides that they need to 'engage with the public' and 'communicate with the community' to sell their concept and suggests they need some pigs. Lots of small children turn up to see said pigs and Monty explains how "pigs are so intelligent, so friendly, and so tasty in a bacon sarnie".  Some of the pigs get the mange but luckily this doesn't transfer to small children, apparently.  At the end The Jerkin sums up with "they undoubtedly have entrepreneurial energy  but it will be interesting to see if there is a deep core of passion that will sustain them."  The Sock woke up wondering if she was watching ANTM where Tyra Banks expels from the show any contestant who doesn't feel "a deep core of passion for modelling".

So two episodes down and the Sock is wondering if she can actually go on with this tedium when Fat Rascal emails her from her mountain top in France and suggests 'MontyBollox'.  For every meaningless and hackneyed phrase Monty utters you score a point and take a gulp of wine!  For totalbollox you drink a full glass.

Armed with a couple of bottles of Rioja the Sock curled up to watch the next episode..

And on that farm she had some alpacas - nice alpacas shame about the lack of planning permission

This week's nitwit is a woman who has bought some land and built a kit house from 'Cheap and nasty-looking-Chalets-R-us' without planning permission on greenbelt land.  His Organic Jerkin mentions this but fails to fully condemn it. In fact he says "I'd like to help her free herself from this tangle she's got into." Whereas the Sock would like to see the eyesore violating planning permission bulldozed down and the woman heavily fined. The nitwit has bought herself some pretty alpacas saying "lots of people thought I was crazy but you don't have to eat them which I love and they're not dirty and smelly." This doesn't bode well for Monty suggesting pigs again so he goes for the sheep concept instead.  By this time the Sock is already two glasses down and the program hardly started.  Points were scored and wine flowed for the following

engaged with the land (or people) x 15
connect with the land x 3
charm offensive x 2
you are not an island   [total bollox]
new energy about the land
bond with the land
comfort zone x 3
"where is the hunger to get this going, without the hunger it will not work" [total bollox]

the Sock believes the following was actually said TWICE in the Monty-scripted program but make allowances for the fact that by this time she was nearing the end of the second bottle and was definitely seeing double so could have been hearing it too

"you're talking the talk but you're not walking the walk - my advice to you is to start walking!".

One horrible hangover later and the Sock isn't up to watching the next episode but has received email from a correspondent in Paris who watched it so the Sock doesn't have to.....

I watched Dream Farm with Monty Bad Trousers and was horrified.  It should have been titled "Let's all have a larf at this bloke with mental health ishoos making a mess of his farm".  The bloke was bipolar.  His Trousership kept saying "What happens if you have another attack?" and to the wife "What will happen if he gets sick again?" on on the voiceover "Will it break the dream?"
They were a dream couple for the dream farm series as she was black and he was ginger so they'd got their PC minority quotas dealt with in one episode.  The bloke resisted acquiring animals all the way through (all he really wanted was to build a barn out of rubble he had collected but the Great Man wouldn't let him).  He was persuaded to rent out some sheep grazing so The Organic Jerkin said "Perhaps the sheep indicate that X is in a more positive frame of mind."  Near the end, Bad Trousers said that at last X was achieving his dream of having animals on this land.  X looked very shifty - you could tell the cows would be straight back where they came from as soon as the Jerkin had exited the premises. All the way through BT kept up his sanctimonious "understanding" voiceover but totally failed to establish any connection with the poor bloke. Frankly it was larfable! The bloke only looked really happy when he brought back and ancient old caravan that he had got for nothing during a manic phase!
So there we have it. The Sock feels that the only way this series could be improved is to have the kind of crossover that we are currently experiencing with the CSI Trilogy. By  mixing Dream Farm with The Archers we have a storyline where...

Mad Dairy Queen Helen Archer is desperate for a baby and Monty turns up and gives her one!

Red wine and turkey-basters all round!


Plant Mad Nige said...

Amazing review! I'm so glad you've been watching it because I was wondering whether I should or not, and now I don't have to. Having been a farmer, this sort of programme clearly isn't quite my thing.

There's far too much of this sort of broadcasting, these days: people's diseased rude bits being flopped about on screen; inept hosts trying to provide nasty dinners for poisonously discriminating guests; other people's babies popping out with all the constraint and decorum of a cannon blasting grape shot. I ask you! Thank heavens for DVDs, say I!!

Besides, it's impossible to get near our telly, at present, because the PG has monopolised it for the Winter Olympics. I've re-named her 'Whistler's Mother!'

I love your noo blog, by the way.

The Black Fingernail said...

I think you miseed the "Utter and Total Bollox" category.

i.e; Manky Dung saying "I have been involved with farming for forty years"

Almost up there with Carol Klein's "I've been growing veg for 30 years - Once in 1977 and once in 2007"


Arabella Sock said...

You are so kind Nigel.. in fact you are my new favouritest person now that James is so last year. I totally agree that there is just only so much 'reality' you can take although I might have to just have a quick peek at Michael Winner's new dining program this week just to see how totally dreadful it is.

Black Fingernail, I think in the "Complete and Utter Total Bollox" category we must place the comment of Monty's that these people shouldn't just be hobby farmers!! I nearly coughed up my wine. What does he think he is with his second home farm in Wales. I can't see that he gets much farming in between Dream Farm, Rural Crafts, the Italian Gardens program later this year and all the writing and other stuff he does!!

HappyMouffetard said...

Arabella, you beat me to it - I was going to suggest Michael Winner's new programme to you. I would be overcome with apoplexy if I watched it. Perhaps down a tequila slammer each time he is obnoxious? Perhaps not - wouldn't want to lose you too unconsciousness within the first 5 mins.

Dawn said...

Now why didn't they just publish this review in the Radio Times and save all of us a lot of time, effort and TV based torture?

Yan said...

I can read Michael Winner, but I don't think I could watch him. I really like your new Watching Service - I'll contribute bottles of wine if you can keep fending off the the direst programmes. Though I don't think you will be able to keep it up, Ghastly Programme Overload could be a nasty affliction.

I have seen one and a bit of the Mastercraft series. Yet another ridiculous competiton with false deadlines. Sigh.

Love the new Blog - I look at it just to appreciate the first picture!

We had a magnificent Plateau de Fruits de Mer some years ago and my M-i-L, who can be a bit squeamish, said, 'Oh. Look. I'm sure that one is moving, is it still alive?' Visions of an impending scene twirled before my eyes, but quick as a flash my husband said, 'Oh, that's just rigor mortis, nothing to worry about'. She kept on eating and the danger passed!

Helen/patientgardener said...

Thank you for saving me the pain of watching this. At first I suspected that himself had a pig fetish but it seems it is a livestock fetish.
Parents have watched his other series which is on the other side - something about learning old skills. They say it isnt too bad as he isnt in it much.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

That Dream Farm series, it's not on the Beeb is it? If it is I missed it. Pity as your review would make watching of it so worthwile. Saw that crafts thingy last week : blech!

Black Fingernail: Manky Dung, hadn't heard that one (I lead very sheltered life) so thanks.

Arabella keep up the good work, you are saving millions from disbelief and utter boredom.

Rothschild Orchid said...

The Sock at her best, fantastic!

Mark D said...

truly marvellous, thank you

Unknown said...

Will you also be replacing Jonathan Ross on Film 2010? I do hope so.

This programme seems to have completely eluded me and I can honestly say that from reading your post I couldn't care less!

However the drinking game seems great. Maybe we should do this for other programmes too?


Fat Rascal said...

Phew! I waited before commenting to see how this blog was received but it is a brilliant counterbalance to the ego massaging HOJ is getting elsewhere!

I think we have found ourselves a new job -we can watch trash TV for other people!(there's not much else to do up my mountain in winter -winters are harsh, Monty told me!)

I have a suspicion that HOJ must have watched a few reality shows himself, being so fluent in the bollox.

We'll have to listen out for:
"you've really nailed the yoghurt weaving"
"you really own that pigsty"
"you've really made selling overpriced craft objects to a gullible public your own"

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Brilliant Arabella - as I may of mentioned before I cannot watch the lord of cord because of his extreme resemblance to my ex ... including utterances like:-
"where is the hunger to get this going, without the hunger it will not work"
(i'm cringing as i type)
I am so thankful that you went through this so I don't have too. I must say Alpacas look cute, I wonder if I can pursuade my neighbour to get some


Arabella Sock said...

Fat Rascal - It was with some trepidation I blogged this one and have to say that although you and I and the 'Paris correspondent' were 'singing from the same hymn sheet' with this one, it wasn't clear that others would be 'on message'. LOL!

Karen there is a second series of Dream Farm planned so plenty more opportunities to avoid it!

Arabella Sock said...

PS. In the alpaca one there was an intelligent and interesting woman who had given up city life for sheep farming featured. How much more interesting it would have been to have a documentary style program following her successful integration into the farming community.

ss said...

Excellent review Ms.Sock. I look forward to the forensic appraisal of more jewels from the Beeb/C4/C5/ITV etc etc spring schedule

I caught a bit of what I presume was the first episode - sheep being turned into overpriced duvets - & that was more than enough.

Aside from the comments from the anti Monty fan club(can you have an anti fan club?) one wonders what, in the name of all that is holy, were the producers thinking of (target audience etc) and also, who, in their right mind (it would seem that some were patently not), would agree to take part.

What next for MD, well Jeremy Clarkson is getting a little samey - so I propose Monty as the next presenter of Top Gear. Do you have any influence at the BEEB to get this moving ?

ss said...

p.s. re PS. "an intelligent and interesting woman who had given up city life for sheep farming"

New prog idea. To follow the exploits of

"a brainless and jejune (but oddly alluring) woman who had given up sheep farming for city life"

When it appears I want my cut!!

The Constant Gardener said...

am i the only person here who wants to keep pigs?

(and sheep)

Nice to see there's another Archers fan crawling out from under the bushes though :D

Arabella Sock said...

Yan - I always give oysters a little poke round the frill of their skirts to ensure they are still alive before chucking them down my gullet!

SS - now that sounds like a great program. Unfortunately I'm unsuited to the main role otherwise we could have called it 'Sock's in the City' *groan*

Constant - I'm not sure whether you are the only person here who wants to keep sheep and pigs (although personally I fancied the alpacas) but it wasn't clear that any of the Dream farmers did as they seemed more involved with cafes and crafts. I think there are a lot of us Archer's fans around. The Bedsock has never forgiven David for killing the badger.

the cycling gardener said...

I’m sharing the office with my husband today and trying to look all industrious and professional but the effort of trying to snort silently into my coffee is ruining the whole look!

ediblegardener said...

Marvellous work! Couldn't agree more.

The Constant Gardener said...

oh! oh! I'd forgotten the badger... **sniff**

I do fancy Pip's bit of fluff at the moment though. He even has one of my all-time favourite pretentious names.

never wanted to keep alpacas though, mainly because you can't eat them. Or at least not without getting the alpaca fan society beating down your door.

Perhaps I should invite the Lord of Cord to my new house when I have sheep + pig installed and become the one redeeming feature of the show.

オテモヤン said...
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Nick said...

You can't help feeling sorry for poor old Monty tho' can you? As an idea it might have worked, and it was probably whilst he was still thinking this that he took the job; then the researchers/producers stitched him up with the dopiest bunch of dreamers, wastrels and loonies they could find, and that expression about silk purses and sows ears comes to mind....

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I too want to keep pigs so you are not alone Constant! I quite liked Monty on GW but the dream farm programme is totally half arsed. Not sure whose fault that is. The drinking game is inspired. The challenge is to find something with enough bollox in that I can actually bear to watch.