Thursday, February 10, 2005


OK.  I broke down and watched Wife Swap last night.  They'd promo'd it during Lost and I thought, "what the hell."

Premise:  Two wives switch families.  For the first week, they follow the rules of their "new family"; for the second, they change them all.

This week:  A liberal lesbian swaps with an anti-gay, Christian, Republican who believes in "excellence" in cookie baking and table-setting.

Yeah.  There were a few sparks.  It got ugly.  Tears flowed.  So did words like "depraved."  The whole thing was kinda mean and made you wonder why both of these families signed up to have their dirty laundry aired on TV.  At least the wife-swapping show on some other network (Fox?) ends with each family getting $50,000.  This just ends with each family getting reunited and picking up the pieces.

But what really hit me last night was how genuinely mean each of the wives were when they got to set the rules in their new families.  The lesbian woman took her "new" conservative husband for a dance lesson at a gay bar.  Her rationale for this was "You said you were open-minded..."  But it wasn't like dancing at a gay bar was going to loosen this guy up, or make him more open to the gay community -- it was just that it was kinda ... FUN watching him be all horribly awkward trying to dance with another guy.  OTOH, the uptight conservative woman made her "new" lesbian partner plant a Republican sign in her front yard.  And, again, you've gotta ask the purpose.  It certainly wasn't designed to engender any love or understanding between the lesbian woman and the Republican party.  Nah, it was nothing but something hurtful, desgined to make her feel uncomfortable.

Depressing to see how, after a week in each other's shoes, each woman couldn't pass up the opportunity to be petty.


andreakingme said...

This is why I won't watch the reality TV shows (well, excluding shows like Trading Spaces, etc.). Either they're of the fake reality variety, or they go this route to see how mean people can be and what reactions arise from that.

I'd rather eat a can of lima beans with nothing to drink.

mavarin said...

Yecch.  That sounds ever so much worse than it seemed from a TV Guide description.  Glad I missed it. Do we really need more divisiveness manufactured for tv, when there's already so much of it in public discourse?- Karen