The latest extrusion is called Clarkson’s Farm. It’s the latest from Amazon/Jeremy Clarkson. For the duration of this review, we will rename it Jeremy Buys a Tractor because that is what it amounts to.
Howard, who has been farming the 1,000 acres of Cotswolds Clarkson’s land since 2008, is featured in Jeremy Buys a tractor. Clarkson sets himself the challenge to farm Diddly Squat, which he does not own, but for some ridiculous reason. He says “I have no clue” as he stares at tree-lined boundaries, performatively ignorant master of everything he views. “But it’s going involve some tractoring!”
Jeremy is inexhaustible with the coinage and decides to purchase a tractor at a local dealer. Unignorantly, the dealer suggests a small machine that will do the job well. Jeremy orders a PS40,000 Lamborghini model of 10-ton from Germany. The European hitch does not work with British equipment, and Jeremy is unable to understand the Teutonic instructions on the screen. There is no manual.
He also discovers that it is too large to fit inside his tractor shed. Oh. It’s. Hilarity. It was just too large, and everyone, from the rep of the National Farmers’ union to Charlie the land manager to Ellen the shepherd Ellen (“I don’t know how we can say’shepherdess’ these days”), tells him.
It’s exhausting. Are you tired? Is Jeremy getting tired? Will he be a source unto death of endless wit, fascination to himself, and just enough others to make it all worthwhile? These are some things you can think about to distract from the shame of watching Howard spray fat stupidity around a farm sale. Howard then goes to furnish Diddly Squat using all the equipment he presumably brought with him.
The remainder of the episode is spent with him staring in awe at a cultivator, a seed drill, and messing up various things for theoretical entertainment and non-edification. He eventually does what he would do if contractual obligations hadn’t prevented him from doing it. He hires Kaleb Cooper (21-year-old Diddly Squat employee) to do it all.
Kaleb is This Country’s Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe the life. I stayed on the couch. If I have an urgent need, I will go to Banbury. Other than that, Chipping Norton Chadlington Heythrop. He is a testament to their comedy’s acuity, but with infinite practical intelligence that replaces the Mucklowes’ gormlessness. He treats Clarkson’s useless shtick with genuine incredulity and dismissal. He would have been allowed to also take over the farm and program in a just and good world. We are exactly where we are.
This episode has more dreadful, superficial rubbish than the others. I won’t go into detail about it. Episode five features the pandemic, which doesn’t change Diddly Squat’s life in any significant way. Restaurants close, and lamb demand drops, so it is not a major issue. As time passes, the Renewed TV Series becomes less and less. The bad faith in every aspect of Jeremy fills the Airwaves, from Clarkson’s contempt to the staged conceit, is so clearly on display that it feels like it is hollowing out from the inside. I would like to know how farmers feel about this. They would be in serious trouble if they behaved as stupidly as Clarkson.
It doesn’t matter in one way. Birds will fly, fish will swim, Clarkson gonna Clarkson, and laugh at all the “government red tape” that surrounds every farming endeavor until the cows return home. It matters a lot in another way. Clarkson is sucking up time, money, publicity, and resources. But there are better, brighter, more entertaining, and more valuable things that are not being made. The best interpretation of Jeremy Buys a tractor is that Clarkson is subtly repositioning his self as a buffoon, and not the self-indulgent petrolhead he wants to be, by being so clearly idiotic (and incompetent, impractical) He still has a long career to go.