Sunday, January 21, 2007

How "Wife Swap" solicits godawful families.

In the show WIFE SWAP, the moms of two families - cartoonishly different families - trade places and get to, uh, "manage" each other's spouses and kids for a week.

I saw it just once - there was a "hillbilly" family, or at least so it was presented by the producers, and then there was a "rich idle" family. Much shrewish yelling, misunderstanding, and door slamming ensued. Everybody was resentful and sullen. Some were sobbing. That's reality tv, I guess.

Did you ever wonder how shows like this and like "Bridezilla" get folks to make fools of themselves on tv -- to let themselves be seen as such selfish harpies?

Well, here's a casting call the local Yale Club forwarded to members. Note how Ms. Teta seeks twisted, arrogant, bossy, snobbish people - but tries rather transparently to make them feel flattered by the solicitation! Heh heh.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm a Casting Producer with ABC Television and we're looking for moms and dads who value structure and education for one of our hit documentary-style family shows.

We're looking for those great Ivy League educated parents who work in high profile, demanding careers... parents who encourage their children to follow in mom and dad's footsteps. We're looking for those high achieving families who strive for excellence in all that they do, whether it be inside or outside the office.

We want the structured and disciplined families who could be great role models to our viewers. Do you feel your Ivy League experience has shaped you into who you are today? Do you know of anyone who fits this profile?

We're currently casting these great families for ABC's hit family show, Wife Swap! ... [it] allows families the chance to show others what values and philosophies are most important in their lives.

For the first half of the week each mom gets to experience how another family lives to see what she can learn from their lifestyle. For the second half of the week each mom gets the opportunity to introduce her own rules and philosophies into the new home.

The goal is for everyone to walk away from the experience having learned something positive. In this case we're looking for those education minded families who give their kids every opportunity to succeed in life.

All featured families will receive a $20,000 financial honorarium as a thank you for their ten day filming commitment.

Heather Teta

Melina wrote when I sent her this: "I love Wife Swap. It shows a tremendous amount about how women shape household culture. It's incredibly American. If I were burying a 1000 year time capsule one of the things I would include would be an episode of Wife Swap.

They are probably setting the Yale parents up to be the bad couple on Wife Swap, the compulsive, stressed, achieving ones. If those parents are really so smart they will not accept this offer."

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At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay..I'm in !!!!..not Here in the country where I live, we call that a truckload of ****. I miss shows that had a beginning , a middle, and an end. Oh ...right....that's why I now watch Mexican telenovelas. I have enough reality around me each and every day , thanks. ~~~~Susanlynn


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