AN UPTIGHT MOTHER WHO RUNS HER FAMILY BASED ON THE BIBLE
SWAPS WITH A HEAVILY TATTOOED BUSINESSWOMAN WHO LETS
HER CHILDREN BE INDIVIDUALS, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
This week in "Lawrence/Caddel," a career-focused mom with an alternative lifestyle swaps with a religious fundamentalist mom who places religion and family before everything else, on "Wife Swap," airing MONDAY, JUNE 25 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Rebroadcast. OAD 1/8/07)
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 Karen "Big Mama" Lawrence (41), her husband, Derryl (45), and their three children, Jessica (14), Amber (9) and Derryl, Jr. (8) of North Carolina, life revolves around their Christian beliefs and the word of the Gospel. Although Big Mama works full-time as a bank teller, she always makes sure to get home in time to cook dinner for the family and take care of all the household chores. Derryl and Derryl, Jr. refuse to do housework on the grounds of the "Man Law," which states that chores are for women, while men should lie back and relax. The Lawrence kids live their lives under the watchful eyes of their parents. Only thirty minutes of pre-approved television per day can be watched, and surfing the web and watching music videos is forbidden. Big Mama and Derryl have even told their kids that, if they watch music videos, demons will come out of the television to corrupt them -- and the kids do what they're told because their parents and the Bible tell them so.
Karen heads to California, where Marlo "Jinxi" Caddel (35) and her husband, Steve (34), live as proud atheists with alternative values, yet Jinxi is compulsive about her career. Jinxi is constantly on her computer, selling items online for her home business. Steve gave up a career in law to assist Jinxi in her business and to wait on her hand and foot. However the Caddels are not your typical business people; they are both covered up to their necks and above in tattoos and hang out with a unique crowd they describe as "lesbians, strippers and freaks." They are encouraging their three children � Taylor "Brynn" (11), Aidan (9) and Shea (9) -- to find their individuality, and do not shelter them from adult themes like nude artwork and even a stripper pole � both of which are prominent in their living room.
In the first week of the swap, Big Mama is asked to put her bible away and put on a pair of tattoo sleeves to participate in a party complete with drinking and stripper pole dancing. Horrified by Steve and Jinxi's hands-off style, Big Mama confronts Steve on the inappropriateness of his lax parenting and insists on spreading the word of the Gospel, even though she knows it will offend their atheist beliefs. Meanwhile, Jinxi attends a Christian fellowship meeting and believes that the Lawrence kids live under a reign of control where they are not allowed to ask questions or have opinions of their own.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, the Lawrences are forced to take down their religious iconography, causing a flood of tears from the girls, who don't understand why Jinxi is taking God away from them. "Man's Law" is replaced by "Woman's Law" and the two Derryls get to work while the girls relax. Meanwhile, the Caddel kids put their musical talents to good use by forming a Christian rock band, and Steve gets pushed to the limit by Big Mama's preaching and tosses the beloved Book in the trash.
At the end of the swap, when the couples are reunited, will the Lawrences learn to let their children think and make decisions for themselves? Will the Caddel family learn that there is something to be said for traditional values?
"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.
"Wife Swap" is broadcast with Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. This program carries a TV-PG,L parental guideline.