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Same plot, different cast…

October 24, 2006


I’m sure that, when they first dreamed up the concept, the makers of Wife Swap (Mondays Channel 4, 9pm) thought they were on to a winner. And, for a time, they were. Take two totally different families and mix them up, making each follow the other’s rules for a week. Then film the mayhem that ensues. But they failed to notice that, actually, said mayhem has a sell by date, and that there will come a time when it all gets a tad predictable.

Watching last night’s episode (after a long break from watching it, except the celeb versions) made me realise that nothing with this format has been developed, leaving the viewer with the same plot over and over again, just with an ever shifting set of cast members (and even these are the same each week). There’s the posh smug family, who swap with the poor-but-into-the-kids family; there’s the uber clean family who have to endure the living-in-pig-shit family’s mother for a week; there’s the *insert minority group here* family who must live with bigots… And that’s about it…

It’s a shame because it means the format has gone so stale there’s nothing really left to rescue. I suppose it demonstrates what would have happened had shows like Big Brother and Shipwrecked stayed static for that length of time… The celeb versions are hilarious, giving a real insight into how they live, but I think we’ve all had enough of watching the same thing over and over again. But kudos to them for getting away with it for so long…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Madge permalink
    October 25, 2006 10:52 am

    In addition to the above blog, I’d also like to add that I wish one family would get Supernanny’s rules right. She’d go off for a week and the parents don’t cock up and go back to their old ways, thus seriously messing with their kids’ heads. Just once, I’d like Supernanny to come back after her break to perfect familial bliss:
    Supernanny: Any problems?
    Mum: Nope. All good.
    Supernanny: What, even with the naughty step/corner/reflection room/let’s get this kid the fuck away from us area?
    Mum: Yup, it was all really easy. And actually, surprisingly common sense…
    Supernanny: (look uneasily past the camera) Right then. Umm… What shall we do for the last ten minutes, then, Bob? Bob?

    Brilliant.

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