McLeod’s Daughters ran for 224 episodes in Australia, lasting for 8 seasons. A show that popular for that long must have something going for it. It’s a female-centric drama. The original premise of the show was that half sisters Claire and Tess McLeod run a farm after their father’s death. The help that works the farm with them are all women. Posie Graeme-Evans developed the series.
It’s like a modern day American western with cattle, horses and sheep, hard work, adversity, personal dramas, and women.
The show was filmed in South Australia and most of the outdoor scenes are panoramic and beautiful.
I’m giving it a recommendation based on early seasons. I thought it went a bit awry in the last couple of seasons. I’m like the characters and the stories. I like to see so many women listed in the credits for writing, producing, and directing along with the female faces in front of the cameras.
The cast in season 1 is what hooked me. However, reviews and summaries of the show indicate that some seasons were more or less popular depending on the cast and storylines each season. Wikipedia has a good summary of the cast changes, awards, popularity and episodes of this long-running story.
When we first learn about Drovers Run, the farm, it’s in the hands of Claire McLeod, who is struggling to keep it afloat after her father’s death and to earn the respect of the help and the townspeople as she tries to run a farm. She’s the heart of the show and the heart of the farm, but Lisa Chappell left the show after 3 seasons. You may not want to continue watching after that. I thought I’d never watch Gray’s Anatomy again after Katherine Heigl left or after they canned Brooke Smith, but I’m still watching! I think it may be the same with McLeod’s Daughters, because I’m sold on it.
Claire’s half sister Tess shows up after their father’s death. The sisters haven’t seen each other for 20 years. Claire wants to sell all or part of the farm so she can buy a cafe. When she sees how things are on the farm and what Claire is up against, she decides to stay a while and help.
I especially like the grounded and efficiently wise character Meg, who has worked at Drovers Run for years. Her daughter Jodi gets roped into working there as well.
Jodi is young and wants to move to the city and be in the fashion industry, so you can imagine how well chasing bulls and hunting wild pigs goes over with her.
The final main female character in season 1 is Becky, who is a town girl who finds her job at the farm a safe haven.
There’s no lack of relationship issues, struggles with all sorts of adversity, and suspense to keep every episode moving along with lightning speed. There are the rich neighbors with two available sons to offer some potential romance for the McLeod sisters, as well as various blokes who offer some relationship interest to the other women.
The series is on streaming Hulu now. There are DVDs for each season.
Have you seen this series? What did you think of it?