Wife Swap returns: Crazy moments from the premiere episode

Get the popcorn ready! (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Get the popcorn ready! (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /

After being off the air for almost 5 years, Wife Swap is finally back in all its ridiculous glory. This season starts off with a big twist on the format!

From King Curtis to the God Warrior, Wife Swap was an iconic part of our television culture for more than a decade. In 2015, Wife Swap and it’s spin-off, Celebrity Wife Swap, were off the air – seemingly for good, until now.

Finally, Paramount Network is giving the people what they want and reviving the show. The idea of Wife Swap making a return has been kicked around for a while, with rumors circulating and the network being cagey about an actual release date. I didn’t know if this reboot would ever happen but I’m glad it did!

What’s new this time around? It’s not just wives swapping! In the premiere episode a wife actually swaps places with a husband. The swap this week takes place between Virginia Benner, a perfectionist who doesn’t let her kids have fun, and Bo McMichael, a laid-back dad who feeds his sons a lot of chicken nuggets. (Curtis would have fit right in).

Bo tries to understand how to cook healthy.

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Considering Bo thinks spirulina is a curse word, you can bet cooking in the Virginia Benner way doesn’t go according to plan. To be fair, how she cooks is totally unattainable for someone living on a normal middle-class income, something she doesn’t seem to understand.

As Bo’s wife points out, she could make 3-4 meals for her kids that they would actually eat with the amount Virginia spent on 1 meal they hated. Also who makes smoothies for dinner?

Virginia hates the joy of children.

At the round table talk between the families, Virginia almost has a heart attack when she realizes her kids were allowed to play video games. The horror! To her, having “fun” is not conducive. Even her children parrot what she tells them, that having fun doesn’t get you anywhere in life. What a horrible way to live.

While the Benners are willing to try and eat healthier, the McMichael’s don’t plan to make any changes when it comes to their kids. She thinks even 1 hour of video games is too much and takes away from her “soul teaching” time. Are we sure she’s not a robot?

Bo shows the Benners how to have a little fun.

For the first time, the Benner children get to let their hair down, figuratively speaking, and goof off a little bit. They play pool, video games, and even get into a water balloon fight with homemade armor and everything. It was nice to see those mini-adults enjoy themselves for a change..

That said, the McMichaels are way too crazy for my taste. While I don’t agree with Virginia’s way of living, I can’t imagine living in a home as chaotic as the McMichael household either. Those kids are a terror.

Virginia cleans out the McMichael family pantry.

Look I don’t mean to keep ragging on Virginia here, clearly she is meant to be the “mean mom” of the week, but she was pretty awful to Christie, it’s no wonder she felt “mom-shamed”! Virginia went through their entire cabinet and essentially lectured her on the fact she’s poisoning her kids.

For her it seems there is no way but her way, it’s all or nothing. It’s not realistic for most families to live that way without the time and budget. I sympathize with Virginia’s sad story about how she almost lost her son and had to become a kidney donor, but that doesn’t mean all mothers who don’t adhere to her strict rules are bad.

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Odds & Ends

  • I had to laugh at the McMichael kids calling kombucha “rotting black tea”, yum!
  • Virginia makes her kids dig for saffron roots to make into tea?

A new episode of Wife Swap premieres April 11th at 9/8c on the Paramount Network.