Review of "Wife Swap" and "Trading Spouses" From The TV MegaSite
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Primetime Show Reviews

"Wife Swap vs. Trading Spouses" Review by Boo 5/22/05

Wife Swap and Trading Spouses photos from abc.com and fox.com

ABC and FOX went at it again, but unlike the Nanny shows, there were definite differences in these two shows.

FOX beat ABC to the gate with Trading Spouses. On this show, they have two very different couples exchange a spouse for a week. Each couple is paid 50,000.00 to participate. The new spouse would enter the home of their new family and live by their rules for 3 days. On the fourth day, the new spouse would go through their rules, and the new family would have to live by the rules of the new spouse for the remaining 3 days. At the end of the week, the twist was revealed. The "new" spouse was expected to spend the 50,000.00 for their new family. The couples were not allowed to spend the money on their own.

ABC's Wife Swap is much more extreme. They went for the emotional value of the shows, more than the entertainment value, in my opinion. Their rules are basically the same as FOX, with only a couple of differences. First, there is no money involved at all. These couples do it for the "experience" only. Second, Wife Swap was much more extreme in the differences in the couples. Wife Swap went for completely opposite couples instead of just "different" couples.

The results on both shows were pretty much the same, though. Again, they had people signing up to be on TV, just to be on TV, and not really looking at what they were signing up for. On both shows, we see rebellion from the spouse that didn't trade places (especially the men). When the "new" wives tried to put the new rules in place, the men would get their ego feathers on the back of the necks riled up and refuse to participate. As a viewer, I'm thinking: "Why the hell did you sign up to do this if you weren't going to follow the rules?" Because your wife talked you into it? Does that mean that only on camera you run the show and behind the scenes you let your wife talk you into it?

Both shows had a lot of cruelty involved, also, like when a lower class spouse switched with a higher class. The friends of both couples would turn into junior high school kids again and make fun of the "new" person. I think for that reason alone, I only watched a few episodes of each.

I think the bottom line is, no matter how much money we make, we marry someone that sees life the same way we do. To try to force another couple's point of view on anyone is useless. Both shows did accomplish showing some couples that there are other ways to approach life; but for the main part, nothing major changed.

Again, I see these two series lasting maybe one more season..they are only for the die-hard reality show fans.


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Updated 7/5/05  

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