I think I’ve seen wife swap once. I’ve seen the trading spouses versions a couple of times, but the acutal wife swap show only once. The concept is pretty straightforward– for a given period of time two wives move into the other’s house. Part of the time the wife has to abide by the house’s rules, the other part the house has to go by her rules. Then you mix people of different backgrounds and add in people who think that they’ll actually make a change in the other’s life by spending a week with them, and then a dash of money and you have a show.
Well, this time, the Israeli version of this show went a step too far:
They exchanged the meat-eater with the vegetarian, the religious with the secular. Yet only when the Israeli producers of Wife Swap pushed the boundaries and exchanged an Arab for a Jew did the wheels come off.
The question was whether or not a Jew and a Muslim could co-exist on a personal level and not just as political enemies. The Muslim woman packed halfway through and left. The Jewish woman was able to fit in. The answer, therefore, was mixed. This is the usual case, though, for this show from what I’ve seen. One group is always more adaptable than others.
What can this teach us, though? People are people, and there’s a reason we choose to have relationships with those we want to spend time with. We can also learn that people will do anything to get people to watch their show on TV.