September 18, 2005 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon
In "Collins/Matlock," a disciplinarian mom from a baseball-fanatic family trades lives with a punk rock hairdresser mom who believes her kids should have all kinds of freedom, on "Wife Swap" — the critically acclaimed unscripted reality show that takes us into the intimate heart of the American family home to reveal the extraordinarily different ways families live their lives – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Update: This show has been delayed for one week and will now air on Monday, September 26.
Each week, from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part. In a two-week-long challenge, the wives from these two families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover what it’s like to live another mother’s very different life. It’s a mind-blowing experiment that oftentimes ends up changing their lives forever.
Shannon Collins (32) and her husband, David (40), live a heavily scheduled life in Texas with their two sons, Spencer (11) and Tucker (4). Practically everything they do revolves around baseball; the family even calls itself "team Collins." David is the coach of Spencer’s team. As the "team Mom," Shannon makes snacks and noisemakers for games, as well as rooting loudly from the bleachers. The Collins expect the best of Spencer. Winning is a must for this family, and the parents insist that Spencer and his younger brother, Tucker, give 110 percent to everything they do. Their household chores must be done to Shannon’s scrupulously high standards, and she also controls how the boys dress, what they say, the music they listen to and what television programs they watch.
Shannon travels to the chaotic Michigan home of Angela Matlock (41), a hairdresser with a taste for punk rock fashion and music. Angela and her husband, Jeff (40), are lax with their children, nine-year-old Carson and eleven-year-old Calla, who are allowed to eat, watch, say and do whatever they please. Father and son sport matching, five-inch Mohawk hair-dos and both parents have an assortment of tattoos and body piercings. The Matlocks encourage their kids to disregard convention and express themselves in any way they like – as long as it’s legal. Angela does all the housework and is the family’s main breadwinner, since husband Jeff refuses to be a slave of "the corporate machine."
In the first week of the swap, Shannon is horrified to find herself in an unkempt punk rock house with no rules, no teamwork and no structure. For her part, Angela has to become a baseball mom and discovers that her new husband is a demanding coach whose kids are expected to play by the rules.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Angela takes the Collins family to a punk rock concert and David and Spencer defy her and sneak out to a ball game. Meanwhile, Carson and Calla Matllock compete against each other over who has the cleanest room – over their father’s loud objections. At the end of the swap, when the couples are reunited, will the Collins and the Matlocks find common ground, or are their differences too great to overcome?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF Media production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Lambert, Jenny Crowther, Wendy Roth of RDF Media ("Faking It" and "Junkyard Wars") and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Stef Wagstaffe is the co-executive producer.