: : crazybrave has moved to <a href="http://crazybrave.net">http://crazybrave.net/</a>: Died and gone to television heaven

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Died and gone to television heaven

We are moderately immoderate here in terms of our television watching. We have binges, or particular fads. The rest of the time we don't turn the telly on and do other stuff. Like blogging, or eating and drinking, or playing our new game Carcasonne (which is completely tops and you should buy it for someone close for Christmas so you get to play too).

Sage has been going to bed late (eg 8:07 pm), and waking up early (eg 4:23 am) which is a bit hard if you've stayed up 'til half past eleven drinking wine and playing Carcasonne with Steev and Pammy.

So vegging in front of the telly tonight I was delighted to find the American version of "Wife Swap". (Dinner was .anthony soup. O had a salt urge and thought miso would have been better; I thought I should have used all stock (frozen yummy homemade) instead of half stock and half water. Can't be at all mean with a soup like that.)

In my late teens and early twenties, I had a bit of a thing for Americana, even going so far as to marry a boy from Oklahoma. Given that the US is for the immediate future run by a cabal of neocon tragic-history-surmounting disciples of the saviour of the non-terrorist world, I think it's important to remember some of the very fine things about that country. Wife Swap, of course, does not fit into that category, but I must make a point of doing that in future.

In the English version of Wife Swap, class was a major factor in the adaptation of the families (who, for those who forsake reality TV, exchange mothers/wives for 10 days; existing house rules the first five days, new mom's rules the next.)

Judging from the first episode of the American series, it's neurosis + energy vs eccentricity + sloth. The biggest difference between the two series (only so far, obviously) is the happy ending. The uptight uncommunicative family loosened up a little and actually spent some time together having fun. The chaotic 3 kids and 25 pets* family sat down and ate together occasionally, and the kids realised what a good lurk they were on. It was uplifting, even if in an Oprah kind of way. The English families just seemed relieved to have normality return.

I was happy to see that my favourite sub-type wife from the English series had an American counterpart. These are the houseproud women with very particular standards and structured routines about domestic organisation and relationships. At some point, these women ask their exchange husbands if they think they are being ripped off by having a slattern for a wife. (They often agree.) I like to think of them as the Angela Shanahans.

* Including, bizarrely, a kangaroo. Is there a law against that?