There is a groundbreaking new reality show about two very different families who trade mothers for a short period of time but Trading Spouses isn't it.
It's called Wife Swap and it premieres on ABC in another month or so.
The premise for both shows is great (even if it is identical), but it all boils down to the execution. Had I not seen the ABC pilot, I would probably like Trading Spouses more. But you know how it is when you get one of those off-brand peanut-butter cups in your Easter basket and it kind of tastes like a Reese's, but not quite, and it makes you really wish you had the real thing...? If you're remotely interested in the Fox version, just wait till you see what ABC has in store.
But let's talk about Trading Spouses, or should we call it The Tammy Show, because it's very evident that our Botoxed Southern Belle lives at the center of her own pampered universe.
So what happened to Happy Tammy from Day 1? You know, the in-your-face, "Ah am so excited to meet y'all" Tammy. Did someone swipe her Wellbutrin? Or did a producer pull her aside and remind her to put on her über-bitch costume? Either way, the transformation was obvious and dramatic (if not a little contrived and planned). When she had 13-year-old Omar cook breakfast and then stand in the closet with his finger on the circuit breaker so she could dry her hair, I half expected to see Dave Chappelle make a cameo and crack a joke about abolition.
But the icing on the gravy was this gem: "My greatest gift I'm bringing is my positivism." Yeah, Tammy, well you might want to work on your vocabularism.
"Living with genital herpes can be a nightmare," says the voice-over in the commercial for the prescription drug Valtrex. Oh yeah. How's this for a nightmare: It's 8:30 on a Tuesday night and you're watching TV with your 6-year-old son. A commercial comes on and he turns to you and asks, "Dad, what's genital herpes?" Note to the FCC: If you're reading this, I'd much rather my kids catch a repeat of the Super Bowl half-time show, thank you very much.
Last Comic Standing
So when you have three comics competing instead of two, are they going head-to-head? Or is it head-to-head-to-head?
Poor Corey, he's much funnier than he showed. Did you notice how fast he left the stage? No two ways about it, going on first sucks, especially when Jay's warm up consists of dressing up a joke I first heard in the third grade: "What's the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when it hits the windshield?" (Hint: It rhymes with "glass pole.")
Most impressed with Alonzo. What he may lack in charm offstage, he makes up for with solid material onstage, and let's face it, that's the bottom line.
I'll admit I was rooting for John, if only because he had a bull's-eye on his back. He didn't look too sure of himself, onstage or off, but he channeled that manic energy, and pulled it off with a riff about beating your sibling senseless with a cardboard tube who hasn't done that!?
Oh, and here's a novel idea for a great reality-show twist how 'bout an episode with, get this... no twists!
Oh, how I love to watch this show push the envelope, but even I have my limits. When they started loading corpses into Audis to use as crash-test dummies, I'm thinking: "Okay, we just missed the signpost for 'plausibility' and now we're heading toward the land of 'Oh, brother'."
Not really buying into the whole post-traumatic-livin'-on-the-edge theme either. It worked better with Rosie Perez and Jeff Bridges in the film Fearless. Still, it sets the table for some great moments, like the frostbitten mountain climber who tells the docs he's not giving it up because "That ice-covered bitch took my nose, I'm gonna take her summit." And the homage to Robert Shaw's salty sea captain from Jaws was cute.
But the compelling story beneath all the silliness of ingesting potentially fatal blowfish and swimming with the sharks is Christian's metamorphosis from Mac Daddy to just plain Daddy. We should have known he was going to lose the custody battle for the child that wasn't his. Damn you producers for getting me emotionally invested in a character who refers to sexual conquests as a "slipindictomy." It was so much easier to loathe Christian when he was a slave to his libido. Now you've made him a father and then taken away his infant child shame on you for making me pity that poor bastard. I suppose he can channel his paternal instincts into his relationship with Matt, now that he knows he's actually the father of his best friend's son. Then again, maybe he'll have another chance to be a father... real soon.
P.O.V.: Last Man Standing
Okay, I'm probably only one of 17 people who tuned in to watch this documentary about a local Texas election, but life is all about balance and this is the yin to my Nip/Tuck yang, y'all.
I can't believe I fell for the rope-a-dope. I figured 24-year-old Democratic upstart Patrick Rose didn't have a chance against Bible-quoting, smooth-talking incumbent Rick Green. I mean, Green has a son named Reagan and kickstarts his campaign dinners with a videotaped personal endorsement from Charlton Heston for chrissake!
So how did Rose manage to become the only Democrat to unseat a Republican incumbent in Texas in 2000?
Maybe it was the fact that a bilingual Rose went door-to-door, appealing to both white and Hispanic voters? Or was it more likely the result of a muckraking investigation by the media of some of his opponents' questionable political favors?
I say it was his boyish good looks, as illustrated by the following exchange early in the film when Rose approached an obviously inebriated woman to ask for her support:
Rose: Are ya'll from here in Caldwell County by any chance?
Drunk Woman: Yes, sir. What do you got for us?
Rose: I'm Patrick Rose. I'm running to be State Representative...
Drunk Woman: G--damn you look nice. You're a fine-looking [expletive].
Rose: Well, I'll take you. That deserves a vote now doesn't it?
Drunk Woman: I'm sorry. Mr. Rose, I would slap a sticker on my back. [Takes a drag on her cigarette] G--damn you look good.
Rose: Well, ya'll have a wonderful day.