EA dairy cow breeder in Normandy, Patrice, 39, has never hugged a woman. In the portrait dedicated to him during the first episode of “Love is in the meadow” (season 18), Karine Le Marchand, “nature painting” popess of lonely hearts on the farm, wishes him, in voice-over, “lift the veil on this great mystery that is love”. A mystery which also lies in the undeniable success of this “Turnez merège!” » in rural areas broadcast on M6; 4 million viewers gathered Monday, November 13 during the first “couples assessment” (i.e. an update on the “suitors” who finally fled tractor rides and manure collection, leaving the groggy farmer facing his sheep).
Cynics could see in this success the inglorious appetite of our contemporaries to make fun of said peasants, but also of their suitors. The archetype of the old boy with questionable hygiene, incapable of cooking an egg (since mom lives nearby), versus the flirtatious urban girl in stilettos, who can’t be bothered to feed a calf. But that was before. The profiles of candidates for tough love have expanded over the years, from the rural hipster BG (sometimes homosexual), to the “woman of character” close to nature. In short, we are witnessing the glorification of“a form of rural, even pastoral love – close to the classic literary figure of the idyll –, harmoniously mixing pleasure of the countryside and the pleasure of the feeling of love”as analyzed by researchers Anne-Sophie Béliard and Nelly Quemener in the journal Media Timesin 2012.
If we can recognize the merit of the program for having highlighted the problem of celibacy in an agricultural environment, we can be concerned about the harmful consequences of the media coverage (and the staging) on the candidates. So back to Patrice. Suffering from hemiplegia since childhood, which handicaps his movements and makes his speech difficult, the self-effacing breeder, always alone, collects miniature tractors and seeks “a happy woman”. Justine, “sweet Alsatian, 34 years old”according to the voiceover, arrives alongside the shy Véro in the Normandy countryside.
A story of apples
The “ménage à trois” must live together for five days before the desired farmer makes his choice. Awkward silences, sideways glances, unsaid, the sequences behind closed doors in the living room are most uncomfortable. Fortunately, the essential step in the supermarket (or how incompatibilities are revealed in the light of the delicatessen section) will serve as a trigger. The “sweet” Justine, adjutant of the shopping list, seriously annoys her competitor. The discord between the two rivals erupts over a story of apples (golden or gala?). All this under the ingenuous gaze of Patoche: “I’m happy, they get along well. »
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