March 12, 2008 08:40 PM by Jennifer_Brown
Guten Abend, reality TV fans! It’s a lederhosen-filled episode of Wife Swap as the Oktoberfestive Grafs swap places with The Medicis.
Alex and Bob Graf are all about the Deutschland as proud owners of a German-themedBed & Breakfast. They’re also proud owners of three kids: Meagan, Bubba, and Daphny, who they believe need structure and hard work to be happy. The kids work hard every day, serving in the restaurant, cleaning the B & B, and keeping up with chores at home. “I’ve never seen a kid harmed from doing work,” Alex’s husband Bob proclaims.
Alex’s life couldn’t be any more different than her Wife Swapping partner, Lisa Medici, who works tirelessly as a stay-at-home mom to please her two kids, Giuseppe and Nick. The Medici family is all about supporting Nick’s dream of becoming a world champion bodybuilder, spending $10,000 a year to help him pursue the dream. Meanwhile, surly 12-year old Giuseppe spends his days doing whatever he darn well pleases, which includes cussing at his parents, laying in bed, and drawing graffiti art. The Medicis believe that too many boundaries are asking for trouble, and don’t see any reason for setting limits for their self-absorbed kids.
The wives swap and right away Lisa hones in on how much the kids work, saying they “work like slaves.” She notices that Alex and Bob have let their kids in on their financial troubles a little too often and the kids worry about their family’s security constantly. After having a heart-to-heart with the kids about their chores, Lisa confronts Bob about it, pushing him to sell the inn. “It is the parents’ job to support the childrens’ dreams, not the childrens’ job to support the parents’ dream,” she says.
Meanwhile, over at Buff McStud Central, Alex has to help paint on a Speedo-clad Nick’s tan (insert awkward moment here). She gets pushed around by Giuseppe, who won’t get out of bed for school and cusses her out for suggesting it. “The woman’s gotta get a grip on this!” Alex says of Lisa. Alex then confronts Nick about treating his mom poorly. Nick disagrees and thinks that just offering his mom the opportunity to have his attention is reward enough for all her hard work. After the family goes to a bodybuilding competition and Giuseppe definitely has difficulty watching his brother compete, Alex confronts John. John blows up,calling Alex a few choice names, and retreats inside the house. “I think he’s afraid of his own shadow,” Alex says.
At the Graf Rule Change Ceremony, Lisa banishes all German costumes. She also declares it a holiday for the kids, who get to check inat their own inn and be treated as guests on vacation. She also reveals her plan to sell the place, much to Bob’s chagrin.
Alex calls Nick self-obsessed during her Rule Change and rips up a pair of his…er…bodybuilding trunks. She also decrees that Nick will get a job, both boys will get chores, and Giuseppe will get a private art lesson from a professional art teacher.
After the change, Lisa battles Bob over selling the inn. She brings in a realtor, but Bob refuses to show the realtor around. She resorts to putting a For Sale by Owner sign in the front yard and Bob pulls it out of the ground and rips it up. Later, she forces Bob to get in some quality time with Bubba, but it doesn’t go well. Bubba breaks down over it, saying he knows his dad loves him, but wishes Bob would show some emotions. Finally, Lisa gathers the kids and Bob together and has the kids make a necklace out of worry beads, each one dropping a stone onto the string and listing what they’re worried about. She finally breaks through to Bob, who realizes he’s pushed too many of his adult worries onto his kids.
At the Medici house, things get physical between Alex and Giuseppe as she tries to force her way into his bedroom to get him up for school. But she manages to break through to John about the family’s obsession with bodybuilding. John tells Nick that he’ll have to leave bodybuilding in the gym from now on and spend more time with his little brother. Giuseppe gets his art lesson, which he thinks is pretty cool, but it does little to break down the wall he’s built around himself. Nick reluctantly takes a job handing out fliers while wearing a giant pizza costume, but he ends up liking the idea that he can contribute to society in a way other than bodybuilding.
After two weeks, the wives are reunited with their husbands and they get to meet each other for the first time. Alex can’t get a sentence out without John interrupting her, calling her a liar and a phony. Bob shows Alex the worry beads and says it was a valuable lesson for him.
Lisa tells Alex that the Graf kids looked at her like she “was a Martian” if she so much as offered to get them something. “Your kids probably changed their own damn freakin’ diapers,” she shouts.
Since the Swap, Lisa has gotten tougher on Giuseppe’s behavior and is considering a military school for him. Nick has taken a job as a personal trainer and is enjoying earning his own pay. John appreciates Lisa more, even chipping in on the housework.
The Grafs are keeping their adult worries to themselves now, and treat the kids to a weekly dinner out. “It’s going to be an awesome future for us all!” Bob proclaims.
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Photo Courtesy: ABC