One beautiful thing about the streaming service Stan is that it has all these shit-hot old Aussie TV shows. Like, long-running TV shows you haven’t thought of in ten years. Like… McLeod’s Daughters.
I was a hard-core McLeod’s fan back in the day. My tween self frothed the battles between Killarney and Drover’s Run like a true farm woman who knew how devastating fly strike could be on one’s sheep population.
But, obviously, the true hook was the relationships. Hoo boy, did this show provide my sexual awakening? Maybe. What I definitely know is that I used to write “Tess <3 Nick” in the shower condensation far too often for it to be healthy behaviour.
I’m sure loads of you had similar experiences (minus the shower condensation, wtf was wrong with me) because at 10/13/whatever, it’s highly likely you too were living vicariously through the romantic entanglements of the McLeod’s folk.
Here are the rel’s that REALLY got me fantasising.
1. Nick & Tess
Yes, I value Nick and Tess over Claire and Alex. Come on! City girl who returns to her roots falls for emotionally broken forgotten son of farming tycoon? It writes itself. Well, it doesn’t (praise you, Posie Graeme-Evans) but god was it written good.
Basically, Nick was the shit son in the Ryan family, and the chip on his shoulder meant an extremely hot/cold relationship with Tess, the free-spirited newbie in town with commitment phobia.
Tess has a fling with Alex, then ends up engaged to Dave the vet (more on him later) before eventually getting her shit together at the same time Nick does, leading to them of course getting married (der). After this, they moved to Argentina (what the fuck) for some job Nick gets, then Tess comes back alone (??) saying she’s pregnant, Nick goes missing, he’s found alive, then they piss off back to Argentina forever.
Disappointing ending to their love, but man was it good when it was GOOD.
2. Claire & Alex
Okay, fine – Claire and Alex got me like the rest of you. Growing up on neighbouring farms as kinda-mates, finding love together as adults – you love to see it.
At first, Claire gets preggo to Peter Johnson, the weediest character to walk Drover’s Run’s grasses. But eventually she ends up with Alex… right before dying in THAT car crash that I will never forgive the writers for, ever.
Oh, and Alex was gonna propose to her the day of the crash. FUCK YOU, MCLEOD’S.
3. Dave & Kate
I have no idea why I was so invested in these two – no one else seems to care about them. But god, I loved them. Dave was, as I mentioned, originally engaged to Tess. But he hangs around even after getting his heart broken, striking up a buddy-buddy friendship with innocent Kate, the dorky farm worker at Drover’s.
He ends up in a relationship with Regan, who absolutely no one could care less about, and it breaks Kate’s heart. Eventually she admits her feelings to him or something, but he’s leaving for Africa, and she decides to go with him – off they go in love.
Insanely disappointing ending to that plotline, because we barely get to see them loved up. AND Kate returns later in the show WITHOUT HIM. The worst!
4. Stevie & Alex
Look. When it comes to McLeod’s Daughters… I was never a big Stevie fan. I know!!! A travesty! I’m aware she’s a firm fave for a lot of people, but she just used to annoy me for some reason.
Anyway, I WAS invested in her long-time friendship with Alex that, like Claire before her, blossomed into love. It was a great ride – Stevie had a fling with that super hot farm guy, forgot his name, plenty of jealousy flying around before FINALLY they got it together.
They got married, Stevie fell pregonte, and then Alex was killed by a tree as she was having the baby. Because of course he was.
5. Jodi & Rob/Matt
Jodi was another character who annoyed the shit out of me, so I was barely invested in her relationship with Rob/Matt/whoever. I just didn’t care!
But for you guys, for the mems – Rob started working at Killarney, and he/Jodie hit it off. But! It turned out Rob was under cover!!! In witness protection!!! A hitman finds him!! He leaves, Jodi almost gets together with some guy, but then he returns as Matt – his true identity.
Alas! The hitmen are back! Jodi and Matt seem to die in a car accident, but it turns out they faked their deaths to throw the hitmen off the scent. They fuck off until the series finale, when Jodi returns pregnant and married to Matt. Apparently the hitmen went to jail, so they got to live their life at Drover’s again. Aww.
6. Meg & Terry
You cannot NOT care about these guys, even though as a kid they were the “old people” and therefore of no interest to me. But rewatching the series, god I love them. Even if I can’t stop thinking about Mick Doyle, as in WOLF CREEK GUY, whenever John Jarratt is on screen.
McLeod’s Daughters is currently streaming on Stan.