Episode 1

Woohoo, woohoo, let’s all go to the farm, woohoo! Welcome to my first weekly recap of the Fabulous Beekman Boys, where I summarize Josh and Brent’s farmlife adventures and decide whether what I’ve seen makes it more or less likely that I leave New York for a simpler life. I’ll be ranking eevents in the episode using a scale of five goats, with one goat being the worst, and meaning there’s no way I’m following their example and leaving  the city, and five goats meaning I’m calling a real estate agent to start looking for a house. I add up all the goats and whatever the average indicates where I am in my own decision making process at the end of every episode.

Snappy opening sequence. Nice theme music. Clearly Planet Green has taken great cares about and has spent some money on the show. If I were ever to have a reality show, I’d hope to have the same. Because I don’t want to be on one, the ranking is mitigated.  Three goats.

We immediately get a brief history of our heroes, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, an advertising creative director and former drag queen, and Brent Ridge, a physician and former VP at Martha Stewart Omnimedia. They bought a farm, which is called Beekman Farm, and has a huge gorgeous Mansion on its grounds, in a small town in Upstate New York. Both were tired of city life, and wanted a place to escape. While there, they decide to try to make a living off the farm, in part because they need the money to keep the place,  and in part because they’ve been inspired by Martha, who built an empire around her lifestyle. The farm is gorgeous, and empires are cool: five goats.

We meet Farmer John, a gay farmer who seems very sweet. He has a hundred goats, which are very cute, and seems to do much of the actual work on the farm. He also cries quite a bit, especially when talking about the goats. Farmer John, the goats and him doing all the work: five goats. Farmer John crying: one goat.

Josh and Brent acquire two piglets, who they say they plan on eating later in the season, though I can’t imagine any of them killing and butchering them. While trying to lead the piglets into their new pen, which looks like some kind of concrete WWII bunker, the piglets escape, and Josh and Brent look like exactly you would think two gay men from NYC would look like chasing piglets around a farm they have no idea how to run. They look ridiculous, and it’s pretty funny. Eventually they catch the piglets and put them in a bunker, where they roll around in some mud and make some snorting noises. Piglets and the bacon when they’re older: five goats. Chasing piglets around a farm: one goat.

Brent does an overall review of the farm. He wants the tractors parked in a specific way. Josh and Farmer John are required to park them exactly four feet apart, and raise their loaders to exactly the same level. Brent seems pretty anal, sort of exactly like a doctor who worked for Martha Stewart. Josh and Farmer John both snicker at him. I like tractors, and the idea of driving one around: four goats. Brent making me park to his specifications: one goat.

Josh gives us a tour of the vegetable garden, where he is trying to grow some of the food he and Brent will eat at the farm. It’s a cool garden with all sorts of big plants that would produce the type of vegetables that would make Whole Foods shoppers drool. Problem is, Brent forgot to weed the garden and water the vegetables, so the garden is kind of a wreck. A beautiful yummy garden: five goats. A beautiful yummy garden with dead plants: one goat.

Josh and Brent stroll around the farm in designer duds. Josh has a great coat and Brent wears an expensive argyle sweater. Both have tall rubber boats on. They talk about their farming skills, which they have learned from either Farmer John or the internet. Not into the duds at all. Farmers should wear overalls and carry guns, and I’m not into designer duds: one goat. Having Farmer John as a teacher: three goats. The internet: five goats.

We meet Pokey the llama. Not sure why Josh and Brent have pokey. She’s moody and mean. Brent seems to love her, and her him. She does not like Josh, and pretends she’s sick every time he comes near her. It’s really funny watching her fuck with poor Josh, who thinks they should get her a vet. As much as she made me laugh, I’m not sure I could deal with her: one goat.

Josh has a reading in New York. Along with being an adman, a former drag queen, and a farmer, Josh is also a NY Times bestselling author (pretty fancy being a Renaissance man). He is reading from his new book, which is about the farm. He really wants Brent to come to the reading, but Brent says he can’t, that someone needs to stay and run the farm. While it may have been creative editing, what Brent actually ends up doing is having tea with their closest friends, another gay couple who own a local hotel. Josh gives a reading to a packed house at one of my favorite bookstores, McNally Jackson, in Soho, NYC. Josh as a writer: five goats. Josh reading at a great bookstore: five goats. Brent having tea while he’s supposed to be working: one goat.

Josh comes home. Brent has chores for him. Chores. I hate chores. Especially aftr a reading. I want ice cream and a nap. But Brent is firm. Real firm. There are chores that need to be done. Chores: one goat.

All in all, the episode was funny, cute, production value was very high, the farm was gorgeous, the animals at the farm were cool. I laughed four or five times, I got mad at Brent (who is clearly the show’s villain) two or three times, I liked Josh, though I’ve known him for years, consistently throughout the episode. I’m gonna watch again next week. I’m looking forward to watching again next week.

My final rankings are:

Because I don’t want to be on a reality show: three goats.

The gorgeous farm: five goats.

Farmer John, the goats and him doing all the work: five goats.

Farmer John crying: one goat.

Piglets and the bacon when they’re older: five goats.

Chasing piglets around a farm: one goat.

The idea of driving a tractor: four goats.

Brent making me park to his specifications: one goat.

A beautiful yummy garden: five goats.

A beautiful yummy garden with dead plants: one goat.

Designer duds: one goat.

Having Farmer John as a teacher: three goats.

The internet: five goats.

Pokey the llama: one goat.

Josh as a writer: five goats.

Josh reading at a great bookstore: five goats.

Brent having tea while he’s supposed to be working: one goat.

Chores: one goat.

Total Categories: 18 Total Goats: 52

Average: 2.88

Looks I’m leaning, just barely, towards leaving New York.

See you next week!!!!

James Frey grew up  in Cleveland, resides in New York City and is the author of 3 books.  He’s pondering whether the country life is better for him.

Check out a new episode of The Fabulous Beekman Boys every Wednesday at 9:00pm EST Planet Green

by James Frey

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diane Rosenblatt

Hi Dr.Brent,

Great episode, Suds & Studs. You are pretty brave to get in the pen with the goats in heat and try to move Darkness.

We are coming up this weekend to see Clausen Ridge with a friend who lives in Sharon Springs. Hope to see you in the store again.

Reply
Diane Rosenblatt

I love the show and the book! I know the Sharon Springs area pretty well. I grew up in Utica and my family stops in Sharon Springs on the way there. We are actually so inspired by the show that we are looking at a small farm pretty close to Sharon Springs this weekend. If James Frey ends up moving upstate, I will be totally thrilled. He's awesome, great writer.

Reply
Carrie P.

Loved the show! You guys are so fun to watch. What a lovely home and charming town. I really admire what you're trying to do. Bringing attention to the small family-run farm is so important. However, nothing is more important than the relationships you have in life. Take care of each other – even during this time of sacrifice. Let Josh have a cookie when he comes home! Go out to a nice dinner once and a while! Just sit and chat – you have that fabulous wrap around porch!! Use it! I wish the best for you both – I hope your message spreads and catches on across the country. I will certainly do my part. Much success!!

Reply
Lyna

Absolutely love your show! My grandfather had a farm on Samsoe, Denmark! Just bought your book! Can't wait to read it!

Reply
Pam

I love your show because I can totally relate. I am a graphic designer who also moved from the city to a rural farm a few years ago (in the name of love). Dr. Brent you made me feel like my request for a "Martha Stewart chicken coop" wasn't as ridiculous as my husband made it out to be! I bought "the Bucolic Plague" last night and laughed hysterically through the whole first half last night. I can't wait to finish it up!

Reply
Brenda Lowther

My family and I enjoyed your show! Had the day off last Thursday so I Kindled "I Have Not Been Myself These Days" and "The Bucolic Plague" I finished both and began reading "the bucolic plague" to my husband on a long car ride this weekend. He loves it as well and was particularly happy over the part about Cherokee Purples! They are his favorite tomato! He had to hunt a little for the seeds but they are wonderful. I hope the best for you all and I see a lot of soap and seeds on my Christmas list this year.

Reply
Pam

LOVE the show!! I have been emailing all morning telling people they have to watch the next one. You guys are great.

Reply
cecdkc

LOVED the show, and can't wait to see more of you both (and Farmer John, of course). Hilarious, beautiful, and a great message. I just hope you two don't end up killing each other before the first season wraps! I'll be spreading the love…

Reply
Beekman Groupie

Dr. Brent… I am a bit OCD myself and thank you… thank you for washing those barn windows… Farmer John so could have found 10 minutes to do them but I still love him anyway. I am an attractive gay male on a WV farm so thank you for doing the show for all us gay farmers out there 🙂 You both are great!!

Reply