Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Wife Swap (2012-2015)

It has been said that we can never truly know another until we walk a mile in their shoes.

The reality show Celebrity Wife Swap (2012-2015) is an offshoot of another reality television program, Wife Swap. The narrative is the same as its predecessor, the only difference is that the participants are famous. For two weeks, the wives switch families. During the first week, they play by the rules. In the second week, they control how their hosts live. As expected, there is drama and disagreements. After two weeks, the wives return to their homes and reflect on their experiences.

It’s an interesting series. I think what I took from it is that in spite of the money and fame, their lives are for the most part no different than anyone else’s. That being said, it is still within the reality genre and forces the audience to ask what is “real” and what has been added to up the dramatic ante.

Do I recommend it? Yes.


Home Sweet Home Review

The best way to learn about someone who is different from us is to spend a day in their shoes. Though the outcome is not 100% guaranteed, the hope is that we see that person behind the stereotypes and the labels.

NBC‘s new reality show, Home Sweet Home premiered last Friday. Created by writer/producer Ava Duvernay, it is a sort of gentler version of Wife Swap. Each episode follows two families who switch lives and homes for four days. While in the other’s house, they live as that family does and meet their loved ones. At the the end of that period, they meet for a meal and get to know those who they have temporarily shared their lives with.

The participants in the first episode are a heteronormative Caucasian Greek Orthodox couple and an African-American LGBTQ couple.

Though the show could border on schmaltzy or the typical overly dramatic reality television formula, it doesn’t. It has a nice balance of tension and the predictable narrative that the audience has come to expect for the genre. What I found appealing was that it spoke to the humanity in all of us. The connection between the two families was the thing that drew me in. Despite their differences, they not only got along, but they became friends. The hook that will keep me watching was a statement by the father. He realized that it is possible to raise children that are happy and successful without forcing the traditional cis gender two parent structure down our throats.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Home Sweet Home airs on NBC on Friday night at 8PM.

Flashback Friday-Wife Swap (2004-Present)

It has been said that one cannot understand another person until you walk a mile in their shoes.

Wife Swap (2004-Present) took this concept and turned it into a reality show. The premise of the show is as follows: Two wives switch families for two weeks. The first week, the wives follow the rules of the rules of the homes where they have switched families. The second week, the new wives can rewrite the rules. After the two weeks, the wives reunite with their spouses and the couples meet to discuss their experiences. During most, not all of the episodes, there is resistance on both sides when it comes to how each family lives and the changes that they new wife makes during the second week.

I have mixed feelings about this program. On one hand, it’s just another reality show. But, on the other hand, it forces the participants to meet someone whom they might have never met before and perhaps open their mind to someone or something new.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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