Anne (ajva) wrote,

I don't usually watch much TV...

... but last night I watched Wife Swap, which I found to be much more entertaining than it had any right to be. The idea is this - two domestic units made up of one man and one woman in a relationship, and in this case two children each. Swap the women over for two weeks. In the first week, she has to follow the general rules of the household she's just moved into; in the second she gets to introduce her own rules.

Hilarity ensued.

Basically, the producers gave each person their worst nightmare as far as possible. Here we have two completely different families, towit,

* One family of fat white slobs. The parents have been togather for 18 years and are about the fattest couple you've ever seen. The man is completely henpecked and the woman is utterly stupid and sits around doing nothing all day apart from shouting a lot while her husband says "yes dear" a lot and does the hoovering. She is the classic empty vessel. There are two children, a quiet one and a mouthy one who is one of the rudest, most ill-behaved little bitches you've ever seen in your life. The mother is a racist.

* One family of fit black professionals. There are two well-behaved children and one stepfather (attached to the kids' mother for 5 months), who firmly believes that a woman's place is in the home and hates all fat people. The black woman is called Sonja. She is the only person whose name really stuck with me because she is lovely, strong, intelligent and comes out of the whole thing smelling of roses.

Classic moments:

1) The bit where the two women look at the guides they have written for each other: Sonja discovers that she will be expected to sit around all day doing bugger all, except shoving a ready meal in the oven now and again, and the white woman whose name I forget but whom for simplicity's sake I shall call Waynetta starts panicking because she realises she will be expected to do all the housework and cook. From raw ingredients. She comments that she hasn't done such a thing for years.

2) The juxtaposition between Waynetta commenting to camera that her husband "Wayne" will be having a terrible time of it: she's known him for 20 years and she knows him inside out and he'll hate having a black woman in the house and will be miserable, poor mite. Cut to "Wayne" and Sonja having a right old laugh and getting on famously, of course.

3) Waynetta trying to introduce a "no weed" rule in her adopted household and Lance (the black bloke - just managed to remember his name) refusing to abide by her rule and accusing her of believing "crap".

4) The look of horror on "Wayne"'s face when one of Sonja's rules for week two turns out to be that she'd like them all to come to the gym with her "just to feel what it's like".

But most touching, I thought, was the relationship that developped between "Wayne" and Sonja, and specifically the way she got him to stand up to his children. She started off by pointing out that "they obviously love you very much but they have no respect for you" - blatantly true, and one of her rules for Week 2 was that whatever she said, "Wayne" had to back her up. This led to a huge success when the mouthy little bitch was being stunningly rude and for the first time in ages, obviously, "Wayne" gave her a decent talking to.

Both families seemed to benefit from the experience, bizarrely. Lance started appreciating Sonja more (Lance [of Waynetta]: "I didn't know they made women that useless"); Wayne started getting more respect from the kids and Waynetta seemed to realise she had been spoiling Ms. Mouthy.

I'll probably watch this show again, but I doubt it'll be as good as last night's. :o)
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