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5 Shows like McLeod’s Daughters: Dullness-free Life

Nadia Ghazali itcherTV shows like ‘McLeod’s Daughters’, ‘Home and Away’, and ‘Mara Clara’ are anything but dull. For many, these shows provide a form of escapism from our daily life; after all, how many of us can actually say that our half-sister is trying to sell the family land? ~ Nadia Ghazali

Pioneering Spirit of Women

That man sowed enough wild oats to make porridge.

Although the final season of ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ was broadcasted in 2008, the interest of the show’s fans has not waned. The drama follows the journey of the McLeod sisters, Claire and Tess, who inherit Drover’s Run after the death of their father. After firing their condescending male-dominant staff, the sisters attempt to run the farm with the help of three other local women.

The drama series is a tribute to the tireless spirit and strength of women who have been working on the harsh Australian outback over the decades. As a girl who was born and bred in a big city, I can never imagine how life would be like living so far out from the cities, but if it’s as interesting as what’s portrayed on the show, you can definitely sign me up.

Here is a round-up of shows like ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ that I think would provide the same amount of distraction from your daily life.


Shows Similar to ‘McLeod’s Daughters’…

‘Home and Away’ (John Holmes & Julie McGauran, 1988 – Current)

I couldn’t bear to spend my last days surrounded by boiled cabbage and incompetence pads.

Despite its quaintness, the fictional, small Australian seaside town of Summer Bay is full of drama. The show narrates the milestones of its residents – their achievements, loves, happiness and heartbreaks.

The show has been on the air for more than 20 years and is the second-longest running Australian TV show.

Some of Australia’s biggest stars such as Heath Ledger, Isla Fisher, and Naomi Watts have even made appearances on the show!

Similarity Match: 80%
Both shows command a strong following with its plot and character development, both in Australia and overseas – however, ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ has been praised by viewers for its relatability factor because it doesn’t go overboard with the drama.

‘Mara Clara’ (Emil Cruz, Jr. & Jerry Lopez Sineneng, 1992-1997)

You have no heart.

For Mara and Clara, life has never been short of twists and turns. Both girls were switched at birth, causing Mara to live with Clara’s poor parents and Clara enjoying Mara’s silver spoon privileges. Not knowing that Mara is their daughter, Mara’s biological parents hire her as a house helper in exchange for an education.

Jealous of the attention given to Mara, Clara makes Mara’s life difficult in every way.

As a fan of many Southeast Asian shows, I find the tenacity portrayed by both characters one of the most endearing portrayals of the country’s locals.

Similarity Match: 70%
Sibling rivalry is universal and it is evident in both shows, even more so in ‘Mara Clara’, though both main characters are not biologically related in any way.

‘Cinta Fitri’ (Haji Encep Masduki, 2007-2010)

Our journey is still long and I want you to always be with me.

No one has it as bad as the main character of ‘Cinta Fitri’. Country girl Fitri makes her way to Jakarta for her wedding day. Upon her arrival at her would-be in-laws, she is greeted by news of her fiancé’s death.

Determined not to let this misfortune hold her down, Fitri decides to stay in Jakarta, but her ‘unluckiness’ causes her to go through various dramatic turns every time things seems to be looking up for her.

Similarity Match: 60%
These two shows demonstrate how in hardships, determination will get you far and help is only a question away – however, do take note that true to Indonesian sinetron, everything is exaggerated.


If You Like ‘McLeod’s Daughters’, You Will Like…

Amidst the drama, ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ is all about family ties and values that are progressively strengthened as the estranged half-sisters try to survive and reconnect with each other. If you like the show because of this, here are some TV shows that put forth the importance of relationships between family members.

‘Brothers & Sisters’ (Jon Robin Baitz, 2006–2011)

The last thing I need is another sibling.

In the wake of her husband’s death, Nora Walker needs to make peace with his infidelities while making sure her children do not rip each other apart for a stake in their late father’s lucrative business. Despite the animosity between the siblings, they soon realise that they need to make amends with each other in order to protect their father’s legacy.

I like that ‘Brothers & Sisters’ gives viewers an insider’s view of a picture-perfect family. With a powerhouse actors like Sally Field, Calista Flockhart ad Balthazar Getty front-lining the show, you can bet that it is worthwhile to watch.

Both shows address the relationship challenges that arises in a family with adult children – and while their foundation is the same, there are different family dynamics portrayed because of their size and social class.

‘Bunheads’ (Amy Sherman-Palladino & John Ziffren, 2013)

You live with your mother? Like a serial killer?

Michelle Simms is an exasperated former ballerina who winds up being a Las Vegas showgirl. After a failed audition, she impulsively accepts a proposal from a man from the small town of Paradise and moves into his home. Sadly, he is killed shortly after.

A now widowed Michelle decides to stay in the small town and adjust herself to its sleepy pace while addressing the challenges of helping her mother-in-law run the town’s ballet school. It’s a really good show and it’s a shame that the studio decided to pull the plug after one season.

Even though the main characters of ‘Bunheads’ are not related by blood, they have developed a familial bond with each other as strong as the one portrayed by the McLeods.


Strong, Independent Women

While drama and stereotypical representations of how women should handle themselves are almost always present in TV shows, it is great to see that there are now more sensible female characters on TV like the ones in series like ‘McLeod’s Daughters’.

Do you have any more shows that you would like to add to the list? Feel free to leave them in the comment section!

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