December 04, 2006 12:01 AM by Joe Reality
This week in "Talbott/Broider," a mom who lets her three boys rule the house with slap fights and pranks swaps with a militaristic mom who has rules for everything, and even makes her sons sign out the key to the bathroom, on "Wife Swap," MONDAY, DECEMBER 4 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
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 just what it’s like to live another woman’s life. It’s a mind-blowing experiment that often ends up changing their lives forever.
For Nancy Talbott (32), her husband, Danny (33), and their three children — Darian (13), Joshua (11) and Ethan (8) — the house is more like an ultimate fighting ring than a household. Nancy is the reigning Miss Latina Texas, but at home she is anything but a queen. She spends her days lavishing attention and love on her boys, and spoils them rotten with affection. Nancy does everything for her boys, even ironing their socks and underwear, but they won’t lift a finger to help her. The boisterous boys love to fight, so bare-knuckle brawls and holes in the wall are a daily event. Their father, Danny, encourages this, as he would love for one of his sons to turn pro as an ultimate fighter. He also encourages them to prank each other and their mom, and is often the mastermind behind outrageous pranks on his wife. The boys disrespect their mother, and since they are not held accountable for their actions, they will do anything to get a rise out of her. They take their cues from their dad. Danny believes that "he who makes the gold, makes the rules," so he doesn’t have to clean or help around the house. That leaves him plenty of time to play with his sons, while Nancy cleans up after them and does all the housework.
Nancy heads across the country to New Hampshire, where former Army man Rick (33) and his wife, Melody (34), run their blended family of five boys like a boot camp. There is a rule for everything in this house, and breaking the rules has serious consequences. The boys, Jared (13), Addison (10), Zane (9), MacKenzie (9) and Zachery (8), are each able to recite the 20 rules that they must live by. They are required to do daily chores twice a day and heavier chores twice a week. There are consequences for everything in the Broider house: When oldest son Jared didn’t clean his room, it was taken away from him and he had to sleep on the floor of his brother’s room. Rick and Melody will confiscate their toys and auction them off to their brothers. There’s little time for play — aside from their chores, Melody assigns them extra homework to do daily. The Broider family motto is "work first, then play." Rick works long hours from home, but the children are not allowed in the downstairs home office. The kids earn privilege points and can use them to spend one-on-one time with Dad. Once a month there is "friend day," but the 20 house rules discourage most of the boys’ friends from coming.
In the first week of the swap, Nancy must live in Melody’s military style home, while Melody tries to survive in a house with no order whatsoever. Nancy is overcome with emotion as she sees that Rick rules the house through fear and control, and she can’t dote on the boys the way she dotes on her own kids. Melody has a hard time waiting on Danny and the boys hand and foot while they rough-house and prank her, and she can’t discipline them at all.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Nancy strips the rules away from the Broider house and Rick is given a taste of his own medicine when Nancy forces him to sleep on the floor. Nancy spoils the kids with love and makes Rick bond with his boys by pulling a group prank. Melody brings the harsh Broider boot camp rules into the Talbott house scrutinizing the kids and Danny as they do chores for the first time in their lives, and forcing Danny to step up as a parent and discipline his kids.
Will Nancy end up demanding the respect from her family that she deserves? Will Rick and Melody relax their strict rules and let their kids have some fun when the swap is over?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Wendy Roth and Stephen Lambert of RDF Media ("Faking It" and "Junkyard Wars") and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Cristin Cricco, Stephanie Schwam Adams and Mike Gamson are the co-executive producers.