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Tracy
08-30-2007, 06:15 PM
My family and I have recently been given the opportunity to appear on the TV programme Wife Swap.

I'd have to live with the other family for 8 days. I'd be chaperoned, day and night, and the other husband would undergo psychological testing to make sure he wasn't a looney tune first.

The other wife would, ergo, live with my DH and son for 8 days.

They'd be a family opposite us in beliefs, lifestyle etc, natch. But the producer assures me that they're going much more upmarket than they have been, that it'll be much less sensational and much more educational for the viewers than it has been up to now. (I've never seen it, although I get the idea).

We'd be paid 2,000 - appx €3000 and (I think) near enough to $4000.

Plus the publicity for me as a novelist.

Hmmm ....

What would you do?

(We've already said no, but I'm curious about what you all think.)

maestrowork
08-30-2007, 06:19 PM
DO IT!

You'll kick yourself later -- the WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN agony. At worst, you'll make a fool of yourselves but soon everyone will forgive and forget. At best, you get your money, you get some publicity, and you have that 15 minutes.

seun
08-30-2007, 06:22 PM
As much as I hate reality TV, I'm in a good mood today so I say go for it. Just make sure you tell us when it's on TV.

RumpleTumbler
08-30-2007, 06:23 PM
Easy money.

MidnightMuse
08-30-2007, 06:24 PM
I'm not married, so I can't really say for sure what I would do. My gut is saying No Way, but my head suggests you shouldn't pass up experiences like that in life. :Shrug:

reigningcatsndogs
08-30-2007, 06:38 PM
Easy money.
Have you SEEN that show???? OMG -- definitely not easy money!! I've watched it like, twice, and last week the one mom moved into the other home, gor infested with fleas, moved into a motel for a night, had to pay the overdue utilities bills (about $420) so they would have power and water because they were getting cut off that day,.... Wow, if you got the guts to go and do it, good on you! Admittedly when the show is over, the people involved seem to actually take something away from it that is valuable, and it would give you lots of exposure, but it would not be easy money!!! If you change your mind, let us know so we can watch and cheer you on!!!

Siddow
08-30-2007, 06:46 PM
It depends. The opposites they usually use are clean/dirty, and sane/crazy. I'd do it if I knew for sure that I was the sane/clean one. :D

aadams73
08-30-2007, 06:57 PM
No. Hell no. But that's just me. It might be the perfect thing for you to do.

RumpleTumbler
08-30-2007, 06:59 PM
Have you SEEN that show???? OMG -- definitely not easy money!!

I'm poor. Someone could abuse me heavily for $4000 for 8 days and I'd be grateful. :)

seun
08-30-2007, 07:09 PM
No. Hell no. But that's just me. It might be the perfect thing for you to do.

I wouldn't do it either, but I think Trace should :D

maestrowork
08-30-2007, 07:11 PM
Life's too short to take everything too seriously. $4000, 8 days living someone else's life, and on TV. That's what I call an adventure.

Katol
08-30-2007, 07:28 PM
We've got that show here in Germany - don't do it!! The women put notes all 'round the house "stay out of this cupboard" "clean kitchen 14 times a day" and such. The surrogate husbands have a wail of a time making the new mum clean the loo with a toothbrush (my wife ALWAYS does it that way) and cook four course meals every night. The women usually spend the whole time bitching about the other one "I'd NEVER let my kids do that" "What kind of a woman is she?" blah, blah.

They all come over brain dead and at the end the two couples get to meet and tear each others hair out!! Eight days is nothing - the Germans do it for 14!!

Great entertainment though!

Cath

The_Grand_Duchess
08-30-2007, 07:31 PM
I'd do it. $4000?? Are you kidding me? I'd do it!

robeiae
08-30-2007, 07:32 PM
Run away. And never look back.

BenPanced
08-30-2007, 07:35 PM
They go out of their way on the US version to make things as horrid as possible. It's a wonder people haven't had Child Protection called on them more often.

JoNightshade
08-30-2007, 07:36 PM
It's trashy and shallow. If that's the kind of publicity you want as an author... ;) (I'm glad you said no.)

clockwork
08-30-2007, 07:48 PM
But the producer assures me that they're going much more upmarket than they have been, that it'll be much less sensational and much more educational for the viewers than it has been up to now.

Ingest with a snow shovel full of salt.

jennifer75
08-30-2007, 08:00 PM
My family and I have recently been given the opportunity to appear on the TV programme Wife Swap.



OH MY GAWD DO IT!!!!!!!

III
08-30-2007, 08:10 PM
Life's too short to take everything too seriously. $4000, 8 days living someone else's life, and on TV. That's what I call an adventure.

Sign up for the show. Have Ray dress like you and go to the other family for a week of wacky adventure and split the cash. Everyone's happy, and now I'm interested in watching the show.

jennifer75
08-30-2007, 08:11 PM
$4000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Summonere
08-30-2007, 08:14 PM
Except for having already said no, you could have done the show and then written about the experience later, unless contractually prohibited from doing so.

Curious about this, though:


...the other husband would undergo psychological testing to make sure he wasn't a looney tune first.


Does this mean they psych test only the husbands and not the wives?

This also seems curious:



the producer assures me that they're going much more upmarket than they have been, that it'll be much less sensational and much more educational for the viewers than it has been up to now.
I have the sneaky feeling that this is probably what they tell everyone.

RLB
08-30-2007, 08:20 PM
My dad's cousin and his wife were on one of the very first "Wife Swaps." I won't go into details, but she was not the sane one. She was even on the Oprah show that promoted the "Wife Swap" series premier. It was a low point for our entire family. (I'm sure you would've come off as a lot more normal and sane though)

jennifer75
08-30-2007, 08:27 PM
My family and I have recently been given the opportunity to appear on the TV programme Wife Swap.


How do they find you? I mean, if you said NO, you didn't "apply" for it. Do people recommend you or something???

StoryG27
08-30-2007, 08:31 PM
I wouldn't do it, but that doesn't mean I don't think you should. Go with your gut, talk it over with your family, and decide that way. Don't let us decide for you.

Tracy
08-30-2007, 08:42 PM
Interesting feedback.

Like Ray says, it'd be an adventure, and we're well up for adventure. Indeed, we already appeared on a reality TV programme here in Ireland for financial makeovers, and that was a terrific experience.

But this is different, somehow - for all the reasons the no-sayers have indicated, and many others. It would be exposing all the particulars of our life to two nations (it's a British programme, but it's broadcast in Ireland too, and seeing as I'm Irish there'd be a lot of interest in it here). Not that we have anything to hide, as such. There are no skeletons in our closets.

But to be frank, there are probably too many cobwebs in those same closets! Being a writer AND a home-schooling mother AND a part time therapist means that, while the house is far from a dump, it's far from a show-house either. And I would just DIE at some house-proud woman sneering at it and showing the viewers of two countries the dust. Oh God the shame.

Plus, it's very intrusive. One of the questions we had to answer was "What would you change about your marriage if you could?" Er, nobody's business actually. Good, bad or indifferent, I'm not about to parade the details of my marriage for the entertainment of the masses.

Re their statement that they're going to go upmarket (I haven't figured out how to do quotes within quotes yet!):
Ingest with a snow shovel full of salt.. I say: quite.

It's all in the editing, and their agenda is - has to be - compulsive viewing. Somebody else told me that one of the women always comes across as this totally loony harridan - and it could well be me. They wanted me because of our reasonably alternative lifestyle: i.e. the homeschooling, vegetarian, ecological. So I'm sure they could make me out to be this totally head-case hippie (which I'm not, honestly!).

But the clincher was that my son and I would be separated - for no good reason that we could see - for 8 days. One of the things about us that they found interesting was the very family-oriented lifestyle, and that's probably the core reason we wouldn't do it. Don't get me wrong, we haven't got a dysfunctional co-dependent relationship - he barely waves over his shoulder as he heads off to spend a few days with friends or at camp. But this would be different.

As for the money, it's not as good as it sounds. For a start my husband would be there during the day, they told me (to reassure me when I didn't like the idea of my son alone with some strange woman). But that means he has to take a week of his precious annual leave, or else take unpaid leave (assuming he could even organise that). So we'd be down a week's wages there.
Plus if I got the head down and worked that many hours, either at my therapy, or doing a bit of freelance writing - I could earn a good amount of money too. (I don't usually earn that much - what with the home-schooling, and the writing hobby that passes for a career! - but if I put that many hours in, I could).

In fact, I worked it out. Say 16 hours a day, times 8 days - that means I'd 'work' 128 hours. Factor in the same for my husband. That's a total of 256 hours. Divide the $4000 by 256 and you come up with an hourly rate of just over $15.

And that's without including the embarassment factor, the away from your family factor, the possible humiliation factor. Any other ways of earning $15ph wouldn't involve any of those.

So I've very a few regrets about saying no - as a writer I think it's good to open yourself up to all sorts of experiences. And my DH and son didn't have to think very hard about it at all. They both absolutely LOATHED the suggestion.

So, that's my situation.

Seun - please let me know why you wouldn't do it but you think I should??? I'm intrigued!!

Tracy
08-30-2007, 08:44 PM
Does this mean they psych test only the husbands and not the wives?

They didn't say - but I imagine they test both. You'd have to, wouldn't you? Especially since by definition there'd be children involved.

Tracy
08-30-2007, 08:47 PM
How do they find you? I mean, if you said NO, you didn't "apply" for it. Do people recommend you or something???

I'm involved with Ireland's first eco-village, and they contacted the eco-village looking for, quote, "people to take part in a documentary about living sustainably".

The guys in the eco-village mailed us all asking if anybody'd like to do it, as it'd be good publicity for us.

Because we're up for adventure, and would like to help promote the eco-village, and have been on telly before, and wouldn't mind the publicity for me as an author, we contacted them.

The woman I spoke to was really excited when I told her a bit about us, the home-schooling etc, and was saying we'd be exactly what they're looking for. Then she said, "Let me tell you a little bit about the programme." It was only then that we found out that far from being "a documentary about living sustainably", that it was Wife Swap.

Joe270
08-30-2007, 08:53 PM
I wouldn't do it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. I don't like the way I look on camera, and would rather be behind one than in front of one.

In the U.S. two similar shows do the same trick, "Trading Spouses" and "Wife Swap", and I have seen both. I won't bother with "Trading Spouses" again, because they seek only drama and trouble between the families.

"Wife Swap", on the other hand, seems to try to put people together who may benefit from a different perspective. If the UK version is similar, you might get a fresh view of your own lifestyle. It all depends on how you approach your 'foster' home's lifestyle.

You can take a hard look at your own family and consider what the producers think is one-sided about it. Then looked to the extreme opposite of your idiosyncrasy and you can bet that's the lifestyle you'll visit for 8 days.

I'm sure you already discussed all this with your family, but I'd give the kids veto power and ensure they are on board because they want to be, not to please their mom and dad.

Keep us posted, please. I'd love to hear the inside scoop.

melaniehoo
08-30-2007, 09:08 PM
Awful, awful, awful. I'm glad you chose against this show. I watch my share of reality shows but I have a problem with those that impact children. The kids may think it's a great idea at the time, but if they are portrayed as the 'not so sane' family, you're asking for trouble.

Quick money tends to have it's consequences.

jennifer75
08-30-2007, 09:34 PM
I'm involved with Ireland's first eco-village, and they contacted the eco-village looking for, quote, "people to take part in a documentary about living sustainably".

The guys in the eco-village mailed us all asking if anybody'd like to do it, as it'd be good publicity for us.

Because we're up for adventure, and would like to help promote the eco-village, and have been on telly before, and wouldn't mind the publicity for me as an author, we contacted them.

The woman I spoke to was really excited when I told her a bit about us, the home-schooling etc, and was saying we'd be exactly what they're looking for. Then she said, "Let me tell you a little bit about the programme." It was only then that we found out that far from being "a documentary about living sustainably", that it was Wife Swap.


Ahhh....interesting.

jennifer75
08-30-2007, 09:35 PM
Awful, awful, awful. I'm glad you chose against this show. I watch my share of reality shows but I have a problem with those that impact children. The kids may think it's a great idea at the time, but if they are portrayed as the 'not so sane' family, you're asking for trouble.

Quick money tends to have it's consequences.

Things I never would have thought about. Very true.

Backward Masking
08-30-2007, 09:48 PM
Personally, I want nothing to do with any of this reality TV that's plaguing our airwaves. I'd give the bloke a clear, crisp "no" and maybe throw a crucifix at him/her too (curious to see what happens there).

dclary
08-30-2007, 10:03 PM
You absotutely postitronicly MUST get an AbsoluteWrite blurb on screen!

"What do you mean you don't have computers? I have to see if Tsuki and Weren finished their opossum flambe they were baking!"

Kate Thornton
08-30-2007, 10:29 PM
I am generally opposed to reality shows because I think writers should write (and get paid for) and actors should act (and get paid for) entertainment. Documentaries, animal programs and other educational materials all have writers. But reality shows shortchange us (though they have some writing, I never see a writer in the credits)

That said, some adventures in life turn out to be a lot of fun. If this isn't the type of adventure for your family, then another adventurous opportunity to do something else will come up. Interesting to be asked to participate, though. And they had to get their prospects through deception (not a good sign)

imagoodgurl4
08-30-2007, 10:30 PM
I'm not married, but I know I would never do it just because...well...I enjoy my routine and my privacy and I've got OCD and it's hard for me to readjust once I have a routine...I would definitely come across as the crazy one, lol. Plus, I've had my share of adventure, lol, I've lived in Europe and been to several different countries and experienced several different lifestyles, as well as learned to speak German...I think that going on TV to "experience" another family's lifestyle for other people's entertainment is exploitative. I don't think I could allow cameras into every aspect of my life as I try to adjust living with other people for a week, lol.

There's such a thing as too much adventure. Good for you for saying no...I don't think it would be a good idea and, coming from a broken home, the emotional trauma to kids could harm them more deeply than you think. Trust me on that, my parents divorced when I was 17 and I couldn't stand my stepmom for almost 4 years and I hated her right off the bat...this will probably be the same with your kids and the other family's kids' and you probably won't want that drama on televison.

Stew21
08-30-2007, 10:33 PM
no way in hell I would subject my kids to that.
I'd run as fast as I could away from it.
NO way.

RumpleTumbler
08-30-2007, 10:36 PM
no way in hell I would subject my kids to that.
I'd run as fast as I could away from it.
NO way.

Just to clarify I was speaking for myself alone. I wouldn't allow my daughter to be involved with anything like that but I would just because I need $.

maddythemad
08-30-2007, 11:07 PM
I would NEVER agree to be on a reality TV show. But as others have said, this is really something that's up to you. But I will just add that I don't think being on "Wife Swap" is the sort of fame that you want, nor will it help you publish/sell books.

ETA: Read your post about why you chose not to, and agree completely. I think you made a really good decision for your family.

scarletpeaches
08-30-2007, 11:23 PM
Ingest with a snow shovel full of salt.

Can't tell you how much I agree with this.

Producers will say anything to get you to appear on their shows - and I should know. I turned down the chance to appear on a show which I won't go into here, but there's no way they care about you or yours, educating people, or anyone involved retaining their dignity. They don't want to counsel or help you - they want ratings.

And to ensure they get ratings, they'll hit you side-on with some revelation or manipulative move to get your reaction on camera, and they'll only show the bits that make you fit in with their image of how they want to present you.

I honestly don't understand people who appear on shows like this. If they want to improve their family life, for god's sake do it in private and retain your dignity; don't wash your dirty linen in public.

scarletpeaches
08-30-2007, 11:26 PM
I'm poor. Someone could abuse me heavily for $4000 for 8 days and I'd be grateful. :)

I'm poor too but my dignity has no price.

akiwiguy
08-30-2007, 11:30 PM
No. Wouldn't go near it. Editing will portray you however they choose to portray you. And in actual fact, useful as $4,000 might be, I think it's chicken-shit for what they're getting out of it.

seun
08-30-2007, 11:33 PM
Seun - please let me know why you wouldn't do it but you think I should??? I'm intrigued!!

Just for the crappy entertainment factor. But thinking about it seriously, I'd say it's not worth it.

dclary
08-30-2007, 11:41 PM
I'm poor too but my dignity has no price.

That's not what you told Thinker in that video I took.... um

That's not what I heard...

scarletpeaches
08-30-2007, 11:42 PM
Deek! That was just for your own profit pleasure! :D

dclary
08-30-2007, 11:45 PM
Deek! That was just for your own profit pleasure! :D
I promise I won't put it on the internet again.

Williebee
08-31-2007, 12:01 AM
"I'm poor too but my dignity has no price."

Like we didn't already know she was easy.

Understand two things about TV
1) It doesn't matter what the producers said, or how sane and normal and wonderful you are. If they want to make you look nuts, loose, dirty, or mean to kids, they can edit the footage to make that happen, and they will in the name of ratings.

2) The same thing holds true for how they will make your kids look.

So, me? Sure, I'm up for most anything. Me and my family? No way in hell.

Tracy
08-31-2007, 12:21 AM
Yeah, my son's wellbeing was a huge factor. I doubt we would have done it anyway, but that made it a no-brainer.

It might have been fun, though, to go on the programme and be so nice to the other family, agreeing with all their points (no matter how opposite to my own values), and just nod and say, "Do you know, I've never thought of it like that. I can really see where you're coming from. Thanks so much for explaining that to me."

it would drive the programme-makers mad!

zahra
08-31-2007, 12:54 AM
Does this mean they psych test only the husbands and not the wives?




Yes, because they want the womenfolk to be Mrs Looney McBasket-Weaver. Why they don't just get a trident and a net and chuck them into a pit, I really don't know. Be lot cheaper.

Never in a million years. Not for five times the money. Yuck, basically.

Ali B
08-31-2007, 01:04 AM
Yeah, my son's wellbeing was a huge factor. I doubt we would have done it anyway, but that made it a no-brainer.

It might have been fun, though, to go on the programme and be so nice to the other family, agreeing with all their points (no matter how opposite to my own values), and just nod and say, "Do you know, I've never thought of it like that. I can really see where you're coming from. Thanks so much for explaining that to me."

it would drive the programme-makers mad!

OMG! What a great idea! Now I would watch that reality TV!

maestrowork
08-31-2007, 01:07 AM
OK. I take it back. Don't do it. It's one thing to be on reality shows like Survivor, etc. when it's just you. It's another to expose your family and life in front of millions of people -- and I agree, they will edit the show to make anyone look like fools. There's something about privacy.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-31-2007, 01:16 AM
Wouldn't be caught dead, personally. ;)

imagoodgurl4
08-31-2007, 01:53 AM
Yes, Survivor would be great to be on...cause it's really all about you (I don't care if they start off in teams...one person's gonna win). I'd have fun with that, hehehe. I'd probably be the nice to your face but stabbing you in the back person...not that I'm mean, but hell, it's a million dollar prize. :)

Anyway, back on topic, good idea not to do it. The others are right, they mostly just want ratings and will say/do anything to get them. So you're better off retaining your dignity than having your dirty laundry aired in front of everyone.