Proving when you're in fourth place you'll try even harder to screw up our culture, ABC has announced there have a new reality show in their fall lineup called Wife Swap.
It?s based on a British show also called Wife Swap, which won high ratings as well as what had previously been prestigious awards... that is, until they gave one to Wife Swap.
The premise of the show is simple- two wives swap places and "domestic chores" for 10 days. The network claims the show is about how these two housewives will relate to their new surroundings. Am I too cynical when I suggest Americans are not going to tune in to see how family A responds to housewife B's meatloaf? Oh, Americans will tune in, but only to see if after 6 kids and 18 years of scintillating monogamy, the husbands and their newly swapped wives are going to, as the British would say, "Do a bit of the old slap and tickle," not how they respond to the meatloaf.
Conservative Christian groups, and even some sane groups, are concerned Wife Swap will legitimize or even champion infidelity. They have a point. TV changes behavior. On NBC's Fear Factor people recently transported maggots in their mouth in a who can carry the most maggots in their mouth contest, and I have to assume they did it only because they're on TV. Why else would anybody do that? Because there was nothing good on TV that night?
Personally, I believe that watching Wife Swap may actually keep people from real life infidelity. When millions tune in and see a toddler crying because there's a new Mommy in the hot tub the viewers are going to look at their stable monogamous lives... without much sex, but none-the-less stable, and be happy... as much as you can without frequent slap and tickle.
So maybe Wife Swap won't be the ruin of us all. But if you ever see a reality show called Mormon Wife Swap, where two guys in Utah send a busload of their wives to each other's farm, then that hard, rusty thing you feel your feet scraping against probably is the bottom of the cultural barrel. Try to kick off and swim for the top like the depraved madman that television has made you.