By Finn Kobler
After the problematic lesbian fetishism of “Orange is the New Black” and the bisexual erasure of “The Politician,” Netflix has stepped up its game and finally created a TV show about a fun, complex, openly queer character that doesn’t force his sexuality to be the primary pillar of his identity. Sadly, however, the series is still very stupid and bad.
“Farmer In The Dell,” which was released on the streaming platform this past week, is about a widower farmer named Nick whose late husband (fallen tech mogul Richard Captcha – of “are you a robot?” fame) bequeaths him his collection of one thousand and twelve Dell computers. Nick, to honor his deceased lover, teaches his farm animals how to operate these devices and restore the Captcha family name.
According to critics, “the relationship between Nick and Richard is funny, touching, and layered like a delicious wedding cake…however, there are still multiple scenes that feature chickens learning low-level programming languages. Who thought this was a good idea?”
The show has only a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, and while this could certainly be due to society’s hatred of genderqueer identities, it’s probably because the show is a piece of garbage. For example, in episode three, a character named Mark Camel, a camel voiced by esteemed “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill, shows up to the farm and distracts the alpaca from their very important software security work for no reason.
While the B-plot of this episode, Nick trying to combat ace exclusion in the local community, is relevant and socially conscious, hearing a two-humped mammal shout “hey, ass clowns! Stop making a firewall and smoke cigarettes with my cool friend Joe and I!” overshadows any possible societal merit.
Iconic pop artist Perfume Genius was inspired by the rich characterization of its gay protagonist and offered to create a short, haunting track for the opening (free of charge!), but the producers declined in favor of their character Xavier the Rooster doing a cockadoodledoo to the tune of the Windows XP startup sound.
While “Farmer in the Dell ” likely won’t be renewed for a second season, GLAAD considers its short run to still be a win for representation. Plus, it’s gotten Emmy buzz. Frank Scherma, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently stated: “It’s so important for young queer people to be able to see themselves represented on screen. Also, Andy Serkis disappears into the role of Data Entry Specialist Edgar the Emu.”