Wife Swap (TV Series 2003–2017) Poster

(2003–2017)

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I'm not a fan of reality shows but this one is consistently interesting, is great for gossip and is also a bit of a 'car crash' classic
bob the moo10 July 2004
Two couples are selected each week and the partners separated without contact for a week. The wives exchange places and, for the first half of the week try to live by the rules and habits of their new family. Having lived this time and seen things they like/dislike in their new set up, the wives then get to set the rule for the next week in order to 'improve' the things that they don't like. After the wives are reunited with their real spouse, the two couples get together to talk over what they have learnt or what they think of one another – things rarely go smoothly but sometimes people can see the error of their ways.

I dislike many reality shows even though I have given many of the bigger ones a chance – I have watched Big Brother and found it addictive but pretty poor television, but I have never bothered to get involved in fly-on-the-wall stuff like Airport etc. However I have dipped into Wife Swap and, while I have not been taken by it to the same degree as some of my friends (who will curse you if you call them while it is on) I must admit that I have found much to like about it. On the whole it succeeds because often it is interesting – the two couples have good stuff and bad stuff and I find myself agreeing with a bit of each and hoping that they can pick up on these things and better themselves. The show does this well and it is part of the reason that I like it…however lets not pretend that the series is all about helping people – it isn't, this still manages to be car crash TV as well!

The couples could just be normal people but most of the time they are not – quite often they will throw in someone totally off the wall, usually white trash who would even drive Jesus to despair if they lived with him! For example the first show in the newest series saw a strict mother with well behaved children be swapped with total white trash who allows her children to 'express themselves' (ie swear, eat junk and stay up late) – I watched open mouthed and I look forward to being robbed by her children in years to come! Even when 'normal' reasonable people are mixed together, generally they are very different people and sparks are guaranteed. However at several points the couples became national news; for example the trash who sit on the dole claiming a fortune in benefits and seemed to revel in their laziness and ignorance. In a way the show makes me despair that trashiness is something these people seem to look on as being good (as they scoff those who try and work or get educated) but, like a car crash, sometimes I just cannot look away. The reason I suspect it has been so popular in England is down to the English obsession with the class system (whether politicians believe it exists or not). English are into class in the same way that us Northern Irish obsess over religion, or Scots absurdly try to be their own country or the Welsh hilariously try to keep a dead language alive! For this reason, many of the couples come from different classes and the show loves to show up the white trash (or chavs as they are called) and have us all laughing at how thick they are and gaze amazed at their trashy, awful lives. Heck, even the celebrity version mixed snobs (Major Charles Ingram) with dumb chavs (Jade from Big Brother)!

The celebrity versions cheapen the formula a little bit and show that the show is not really much different from any other reality shows but I still enjoy it. It is hard to describe its appeal but it is effective on many levels. More than anything it is great conversation material and it is hard not to learn from it yourself – I'm sure not everyone does this but I have seen myself in many people in this show and have caught myself pointing out their failings only to realize that I am just the same. Overall, reality shows are generally not the sort of thing I like and, if the world was cleared of them I would not mourn their loss but this is one of the better ones. Sure it trades on the same 'OMG – look at them' ticket as the other shows do but it is also actually interesting and the people involved in it occasionally do learn from it and get more from the experience than just 15 minutes of fame and some tabloid headlines. If you have to watch a reality show then this should be the one you try.
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The Best Reality TV Show
Theo Robertson20 April 2004
Nice to see this reality TV show was recognised at the BAFTA awards at the weekend since it`s probably the most watchable programme of its kind

The premise is very simple: Get two totally ill matched couples and swap one of the spouses round for a week , light the blue torch paper and hope no one gets murdered by the last day

I almost felt sorry for some of the people featured , in fact I would have if someone had stuck a gun to their heads but no one did and all the people featured volunteered to go on the show . One of the couples were a childless black couple with the female swapping with a white woman whose teenage children were racist . How do I know they were racist ? The fact that they kept calling their guest " A f***ing black b*tch " made me jump to that conclusion . An edition featuring a hard working middle class woman swapping places with a woman with seven kids who had never worked a day in her life led to a national debate about weather people on long term benefits should be allowed to have kids while there was a couple of more light hearted editions where a wife who doesn`t drink swapped with a woman who runs a pub meaning the husband was allowed a certain drinking allocation and who wasn`t allowed to watch television while having his dinner , with another episode featuring a regular kind of family man swapping with a spaced out Welsh hippy whose girlfriend was into astral plains and who didn`t believe her dogs benefited from housework ( ! )

I can`t really do the show justice by talking about it here . If you get the chance too see WIFE SWAP watch it , even if you hate the whole reality TV fad
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Worlds Apart without leaving the country
JessPumpkQueen19 March 2009
Remember that show on National Geographic Worlds Apart, where an American family went to live with another family, usually of a "tribal" culture, and then suddenly realized "holy cow, our lives are different!"? A little overdone, but it was actually a pretty good show. I wish they were still making it.

Wife Swap is very similar in format, except, of course, that they stay in the country. And, instead of moving the whole family to live with another whole family, they just switch the wives.

It's a decent show that would be a better show if it showed more versatility, but as it is, there are pretty much three kinds of episodes: the politically conservative, usually military, family and the politically liberal family; the stay at home mom who home-schools and smothers the kids and the working mom who doesn't spend enough time with the kids; and the very strict family who expects too much from their kids and the family that has no rules. There are variations, but they tend to be minor and they still end up fitting into one of these categories.

This wouldn't be as big a deal if they didn't due 9 seasons of this. And it does get a little annoying when every other episode claims that the table meeting is "the most shocking table session yet", meanwhile, 90% of the time, the arguing is minor and they often end it with some level of tact.

However, that is the normal reality crap. Those of us who watch reality TV know that it is contrived, faked, and the commercials are over-hyped. Yes, that's right, contrary to popular belief, most of us know this. I'm not sure it works in the context of this show, which is really more of a straightforward drama than train-wreck reality schlock.

Despite this, the idea is still interesting. The idea of having to live someone else's life for two weeks is interesting to even the most content person. In that sense, this show is very good.
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1/10
Horribly Overrated Show
KaileyLady1 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I've been a Lifetime fan for years but recently more and more bad films get added to the list. Now, they've added a horrible TV show entitled "WifeSwap." It's always on during the day. It has to be the most boring and pointless show created. It tries so hard to be emotional and then fails miserably at having a point. It displays horrible families who aren't close with one another and then adds another family which is the polar opposite. Then, miraculously they're both changed after a week and there are tears for reasons I don't understand. If they wanted to create a show about changing families, it shouldn't involve forcing them to be with another family for a week. What it really shows is just how ignorant people in America really are. Please remove this terrible series!
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9/10
Wife Swap
jboothmillard8 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If you like reality shows, this is like one, except more documentary based. It is basically the ultimate test to see family behaviour around a new member. Every episode they take two families and swap the wives to join the other family. They always pick families that are completely opposite, e.g. one likes sport and is active, the other isn't. In the first week the wife has to obey the rules of the family that they are staying with, however different they may seem. This will obviously cause a bit of stress for the wife. Then, in the second week, the wives can change the rules for the family to obey, this will suit the wives to what they are used to. This will cause stress for the family. If you like family shows, this would be interesting to you. It won the BAFTA for Best Features, and it won the National Television Award for Most Popular Factual Programme. It was number 2 on The 100 Greatest TV Treats 2003. Very good!
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1/10
Not 'Wife' Swap, it's 'Mother' Swap
ChrisTreborn30 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I am not from America and I know what 'Wife Swap' is. When a show came out of that name I was thrilled to see some cool glamorized sexual moments from the program. But what I got was a real sucking stupidity. I was misjudged by its title name, it has no adult contents, no nudity, not even vulgar dialogues (broad casted threw Hallmark channel and I think they edited/mute out such contents to make it neat).

A show which gives a picture of current American/western family state, overweight chubby peoples, polluted teenagers, and their sucking family goings. In each episode two wives/two mothers (more correctly) were chosen to live in each others home and re-changes each others family routine with their new own rule. Sometimes its turns out to be good or more evenly bad. On the ending section each mothers are brought back with their husband and try to conclude what they did to each families past days. It's the sucking portion of the program were each contenders fights for their rights. I was sucked to see all of these instead of seeing some cool adult sex stuff. I mean who make this program, more than that who gave the name "Wife Swap"; its better to be called as "Mother Swap". All in all it corrupts all the great things the real Wife Swap stands for!

Wife Swap = Average Sucking Reality Show.
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