I have a confession to make, although anyone who might be a regular reader of this blog could already know. I kinda like reality television. I watch Australian Big Brother and have done so since it started in 2001 – see I even know which year it began. Although it’s easy to remember because that’s the year JJ was born. In fact I was in hospital having him when it was on.
While it’s summer here we are subjected to the American reality tv to tide us over till our rating’s season starts in February. Therefore I am now watching Wife Swap. Obviously I don’t mind, otherwise I wouldn’t watch it. It is very formulaic each week in that they carefully match the new wife/mom with a family who has completely different values. For example, putting a black woman with a family who calls black people by the ‘N’ word.
The episode I watched this week, the Hodge/Kolpin family, had a woman from a hunting family – ‘kill it and grill it’ matched with the vegan family. Mind you the vegan family was so because the mother wanted it that way. The husband used to eat meat and obviously found it hard to say no.
The vegan mum getting matched with the hunting family was quite entertaining, particularly with the little snippets from the oldest boy Cody. He said about his new mom, ‘My new mom eats the sun. Creepy.’ Jackie, the vegan had a theory that each morning she would go and soak up some sun as she was sure it helped suppress her appetite so eventually she would never have to eat. She maintained this would help with world hunger one day. This theory did not hold up against questioning from her new family. Really, any person in their right mind would know that humans need food to survive. Cody summed it up, ‘She’s calm but crazy. She’s calm.’
Meanwhile over at the vegan household, the kill it and grill it mom brought in a stove to cook food (vegan mom thought cooked food was unhealthy), and other numerous changes, like furniture and a tv. Vegan mom had complete control over her husband. He went out to work 15 hours a day then when he came home he also got to make his own dinner as he was home too late to eat with the others and he also got to do housework. He obviously loved his wife to put up with all of this.
And that’s the good thing about Wife Swap. The families that enter into it are obviously unhappy with some aspect of their lives so after they swap with a family who has completely opposite values, they realise their life wasn’t so bad after all. In the interim the new mom has wrought changes that are usually for the good. These changes usually mean that families spend more time together as families and enjoy each other’s company and that has to be good.