WHEN A CAREFREE MAGICIAN'S WIFE SWAPS LIVES WITH A SUPERPERFECTIONIST CATERER/EVENT PLANNER MOM, THEIR OLD LIVES DO A DISAPPEARING ACT,
ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
This week in "Galvan/Martin-Portala" a laid-back magician's wife who loathes domestic duties swaps lives with a demanding mom who's an obsessive clean freak and micromanages her husband's and children's lives, on "Wife Swap," WEDNESDAY, JULY 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Rebroadcast. OAD 1/23/08)
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.
Melissa Martin-Portala, (44) husband Andrew (45) and two children, Eli (10) and Emma (8), of Ohio are a family of magicians. Andrew has been perfecting his magic act for 25 years, and Melissa quit her job to manage his career. A kid at heart, Andrew still hopes for his big break and practices magic all day, stopping only for a casual takeout dinner. The kids are also in on the act: Eli began performing magic when he was just 18 months old, and little Emma often participates as her brother's assistant. The Martin-Portalas don't worry about non-magical things like cleaning, sports or education. The children are allowed to play outside and perform magic tricks on passersby on the street. With everyone focusing on magic rather than housework, the Martin-Portala household is "organized chaos," with piles of clothes and toys everywhere.
Melissa travels to the California home of the Galvan family, where highly driven Jennifer (30) works as a caterer/event planner, creating flawless weddings and parties. But Jennifer doesn't just micromanage at her job; she also plans and schedules every aspect of her family's perfect life. She prides herself on keeping her house spotless for husband Richard Jr. (30), who works out six days a week to preserve his superior physique. The kids, Richard III (12) and Elena (8), must complete their many chores to perfection, strive for excellence in sports and earn straight A's at school. The kids have timers on their toothbrushes so Jennifer knows that they've brushed for two minutes. She cleans the shower as soon as people are finished taking a bath. The children are not allowed out of their mother's sight -- which means they can't even play outside in front of the house without supervision. The kids wish their parents would spend more time with them relaxing and playing rather than cleaning.
In the first week of the swap, Melissa has to perform the ultimate magic trick by becoming a hard-driving career woman and taskmaster. Meanwhile, Jennifer is horrified by the Martin-Portalas' disorganized home and Andrew's shaky magic career, not to mention their fun-comes-first mentality.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Melissa works her magic on the over-structured Galvan family, encouraging them to care less about mess so they can spend more quality time together. Elena becomes the center of attention when Melissa instructs her to perform a magic show, with her father and Richard III assisting her. Meanwhile, Jennifer attempts to plant the Martin-Portalas' feet on the ground by arranging Andrew's first job interview in 25 years, making the kids do chores and banning everything magic in the house. The swap comes to a crashing halt when Jennifer installs a fence in the front yard and, in a rage, Andrew smashes into it with his car, leading Jennifer to storm out of the swap.
At the end of the swap, when the families are reunited, will Melissa make the magic tricks disappear and bring some structure to her household? Will Jennifer see the joy of magic and spend more time with her family rather than cleaning?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Wendy Roth and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Stephanie Schwam Adams, Mike Gamson, Cristin Cricco and Mitchell Rosenbaum 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.