Clarkson's Farm 3 is Jeremy's most brutal and gut-wrenching peek at farming life yet - these 3 reasons are why: Review

Clarkson's Farm 3 is Jeremy's most brutal and gut-wrenching peek at farming life yet - these 3 reasons are why: Review

WATCH HERE: Jeremy Clarkson and Kaleb Cooper feature in the Clarkson's Farm season 3 trailer

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 03/05/2024

- 01:00

If anyone is questioning the legitimacy of Clarkson's farming venture, this new series flawlessly and brutishly erases any doubt, says GB News' Entertainment Editor

It's been a little over a year since Amazon viewers were allowed behind the doors - and gates - of Diddly Squat to see the latest hijinx Jeremy Clarkson and his team have gotten into.

In the first half of season three, we join Jeremy and his dysfunctional Diddly Squat family in the autumn of 2022 with soaring costs and adverse weather threatening to wreak havoc once again.

These old enemies haven't changed in season three - and the council also still looms - but there is a new crop of tenants who've arrived at Clarkson's Chipping Norton farm to call it their new home.

He tried his hand as a sheep and cow farmer across seasons one and two and now, Clarkson and partner Lisa Hogan welcome pigs to the farm.

You'd be forgiven for thinking from the outset that the format for season three feels familiar; a clueless Clarkson has a new idea - "pigs!" -, Charlie Ireland rolls his eyes as he solves the logistics, Kaleb Cooper does any actual farming, rain pours, councils criticise and Lisa Hogan illegally stocks Chinese merchandise in the Chadlington shop.

But what Clarkson's Farm manages to do this time around is veer away from any suggestion the show is manufactured for light-hearted television consumption - ahem, Johnny Vegas - and instead dive into the harrowing trials and tribulations that life - not just farming - throws at you.

Clarkson's Farm season 3: Jeremy Clarkson and Kaleb Cooper

Clarkson's Farm season 3: Jeremy Clarkson and Kaleb Cooper are back


WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Clarkson's Farm season 3, episodes 1-4

By the end of episode one, Clarkson's Farm viewers learn that the much-loved Chadlington local Gerald Cooper has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Everyone's reaction is devastatingly real. Kaleb and Clarkson are both clearly worried by the news as they mull over how best to support the farm's 'Head of Security' and the Amazon cameras do a brilliant job of avoiding any sort of sensationalised or invasive sequences other shows may relish.

Jeremy provides an update on Gerald's reaction, revealing his friend is "terrified" and "scared to death" by the diagnosis - although Clarkson says his odds of overcoming the illness look good.

Gerald remains an absentee throughout the first half of season four but Clarkson's Farm is able to show just how much his diagnosis affects his colleagues and close friends without ever feeling like it's being hammed up for the cameras.

Clarkson's Farm season 3:  Lisa Hogan

Clarkson's Farm season 3: Lisa Hogan has an emotional time of things in episodes 1-4


Melancholy continues throughout the first half of season three as Lisa and Jeremy quickly - and tragically - realise pig farming is a lot more perilous than cows or sheep.

The sows prove to be terrible mothers and as the first four episodes progress, the impact of the loss of piglets takes its toll on everyone - Hogan, in particular.

Clarkson's other half becomes inconsolable to discover several of the adorable, bright-eyed, pink-nosed piglets keep getting crushed by their none-the-wiser mothers.

Again, this is where Clarkson's Farm as a show manages to excel: There's no gratuitous filming of the deceased piglets for any longer than there needed and no Ludovico Einaudi soundtrack to emphasise the sadness.

Instead, Hogan and Clarkson's raw emotion is allowed to hammer home just how devastating farming life can be.

Stood in a rainy field with no one to help as they pull dead piglet after dead piglet out of the pens is enough to make even the most ardent pork-scratching eater shed a tear.

Matters are made even more catastrophic when one of the sows is taken ill - Hogan and even Clarkson at this point struggle to keep any form of composure and tears soon merge into the Chipping Norton rainfall.

In truly gut-wrenching scenes, they have to decide to stop her suffering and with that, a vet enters the pen and issues a two-word statement that hits home harder than I could ever have expected: "Time's up."

Away from the grief and anguish, it also appears Clarkson's Farm bosses have learned a key lesson from the first two seasons - Kaleb and Jeremy together are gold.

Clarkson's Farm season 3:  The Diddly Squat team

Clarkson's Farm season 3: The Diddly Squat team face new challenges in the new series


While their quick-witted back-and-forths made Kaleb a household name, the third season shines a light on the other side of their relationship.

Of course, Kaleb getting frustrated with his novice farmer boss is no rarity but in season three, the cameras capture one bust-up that encapsulates all the anger, irritation, frustration, and pent-up angst farming causes.

The pair lock horns in a war of words which results in Charlie Ireland having to come and collar them both - and the brilliant thing is, once again, the show doesn't need to over-exaggerate.

The impact farming is having on all three men is evident and Amazon, Clarkson and co should be applauded for putting it on-screen and providing an insight into real farming which is non-existent in something like the BBC's Countryfile.

It's this rawness that makes the show one that's held so close to fans' hearts - although, of course, a few Jeremy-isms still manage to creep into the edit; at one point he buys a hoverboard and goads Kaleb into using it to spray fertiliser on one of the fields.

Clarkson's Farm season 3: Jeremy Clarkson

Clarkson's Farm season 3: Jeremy Clarkson attempts to be a pig farmer


And then there's the competition with Kaleb that Jeremy conjures up to see who can make the most money: Clarkson from the unfarmed land and Cooper from the other.

All of that feels slightly 'for the cameras' but any semblance of interference merely becomes a footnote in a truly one-of-kind true-to-life series.

Clarkson's Farm still proves it has it all - the charm of countryside life, the red tape of running a business, the unpredictability of farming, the belly laughs from true friendship, the cuteness of young farm animals, and the irritant of a 60-something telly host who still thinks he's in his twenties.

It's a five-star return to form for Clarkson's Farm and if anyone is still questioning the legitimacy of Jeremy's farming venture, they'll be well and truly converted by Amazon's latest offering.

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