Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Monday, November 08, 2004
I came home from class tonight and my wife was watching one of the reality shows wherein two families switch wives/mothers for a period of time and, when the cultures clash and the hackles are raised, hilarity doth inevitably ensue. At first, I was appalled. I was appalled for a number of reasons, one being that the patriarch of one family was a mullet-sporting, terbaccer-chawin' Fan of Foxworthy and I feel that we already have far too many of these on television as is. Another issue I had with this program is that I truly don't give a Pope-fart how upset lil' Johnny is that his "new mommy" makes him eat tofu.
But then I got to thinking of all the ways that this program could be interesting. So I've come up with a whole bunch of variations on the genre, at least three of which I'm fairly certain will be picked up by UPN, 'cause I've looked and they ain't got shit on right now.
In this version, groups of prostitutes exchange pimps for a week. The hookers have to get used to a whole new style of beating, they have to get hooked on new drugs and, inevitably each week, the pimp feels that his new whores are disrespecting him.
Trophy Wife Swap
We throw in a fun twist with this one. Both wives are jettisoned for two weeks, to be replaced by young, nubile twenty-somethings, with whom the husbands are required to have sex. Most of the family conflict comes when the fathers change their wills to redistribute their estate in the trophy wives favor. There's much fun to be had in watching how miserable the fathers are when they have to go back to how things were.
Future Wife Swap
This one has some interesting sci-fi elements to it. A present-day house wife is swapped for one from 1000 years in the future. The first episode gets particularly wacky when the wife from the future mistakes her new children for cyborgs and executes them all.
Golden Retriever owners trade canines with German Shepard owners in this Animal Planet edition. The dramatic tension builds as each owner has to adjust to picking up a whole different kind of poo. In the pilot episode, a chihuahua owner can't get used to a basset hound's incessant barking.
For two weeks, America gets to swap leaders with another country. The series highlights both the good (Jacques Chirac gets all Americans universal health coverage) and the bad (Bush uses the Icelandic Army to invade North Korea).
Real Wife Swap
Two pairs of swingers swap wives for sexual thrills. All four participants are as grotesque as most swingers usually turn out to be, so the sex is less titillating and more erection-killing.
America's Funniest Hidden Wife Swaps
This version is essentially the same as the one running currently on ABC, with a few key differences: The show is shot entirely with hidden cameras, which allows the producers to do the whole thing without letting the family's children know what's going on. Instead, they're told that Mommy died in a hunting accident and Daddy has remarried. The emotional stakes are ratcheted way, way up.
David Caruso is sent to the Vegas one, Gary Sinise is moved to Miami and the tubbo with the dyed beard is switched to New York. It makes no difference whatsoever.
Two people spend a week using each others kidneys, lungs or spleens.
Two convenience mart managers trade stores for two weeks. Each comes to appreciate how lucky they are that they get along with their Slurpee machine repairmen.
For one week, two holy men change religions. The audience gets the thrill of learning the differences between two theological philosophies, plus the fun of seeing a baptist minister trying to pronounce anything in Hindi.
We've exchanged Bob's regular coffee with new Folger's Crystals. Let's see if he notices.
All of these are gems. And a few of them, I think, will be winging their way to your city during next summer's burn-off season.