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