Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Morals of Swapping Wives...

So Wife Swap returned to Channel 4 last night.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept it usually sees a Chav female swap homes and lives for 10 days with a middle-upper class female.

Typical features of an average show are the Upper Wife commenting on the scrounging, living-off-benefits-lifestyle of the Chav Wife. Chav Wife normally retaliates by commenting on how lazy Upper Wife is, how sheltered they are etc.

Last nights show seemed different. It did have the polar opposites present with Chav (Lucy) V Upper (Pat) but somehow it wasn’t quite what I expected. Normally the programme is edited so the Chav ends up being the one you frown upon. Last night I warmed to her.

She had a great bubbly personality. I did disagree with her attitude to swearing and smoking but it was the Upper wife who repulsed me. She had a strict punishment regime for her children (there was no talk of a reward scheme) and had a daily schedule which had to be strictly adhered to. What shocked me even more is that she tried to enforce her attitude on religion on her temporary home by having them pray every night. I’m all for the social experiment of swapping house rules but you should never, ever enforce your religious views on other people.

Chav wife pointed out that the kids didn’t have fun in the upper home. Where was the laughter? I also felt incredibly sorry for Chav wife. She admitted she wouldn’t know how to live without her husband. She has never caught a train and wouldn’t know how to. Part of the experiment showed her getting a job at a local gym - the transformation was unbelievable, she became a happy smiley enthusiastic person.

Of course you don’t know what the hidden agenda of the shows producers were. There could be hours of footage of the Upper wife being a fantastic fun loving mother and the Chav wife being an evil demon. Just once though I was glad to see a ‘wife’ whose rule in life was to have fun, no matter what her background.

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