Wife Swap, The Bachelor 8 air reunion, recap shows tonight

Tonight, ABC bravely faces the final Monday of the winter Olympics by airing two reality shows that will feature recaps and reunions.

First up is a two-hour Wife Swap special at 8 p.m. ET; it’s officially titled, “Wife Swap Saved My Marriage.” Yeah. The show revisits some of the families to examine “the dramatic turnarounds in their lives — changes the families say are a result of their appearances on the show,” according to ABC’s description. The New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan says the special “suggests that the funny series is more than funny: it’s social work, defending the sacrament of marriage one reality-show spectacle at a time.” (Lest you think Virginia might get through a whole review without another factual error, she does screw up, saying the show debuted in the UK in 2003, when it was actually a year earlier.

Next, at 10 p.m. ET, is The Bachelor 8‘s “Women Tell All” special, where insufferable, insipid host Chris Harrison tries to get the women to fight with one another. Here’s ABC’s melodramatic, adjective-heavy description of the episode:

“A reluctant Travis faces the fury of the rejected women who spent this season of The Bachelor catfighting with one another in an effort to capture his heart. These Bachelorettes will confront each other one last time and dish the dirt on national television, as the women tell their side of the story. Emotions run to a fever pitch between these feisty women with exciting, never-before-seen moments and some outrageous out-takes.”

That alone seems to indicate that pretty much nothing will happen, because the show excels at causing Bachelor blue balls with its fake promises of upcoming drama.

Wife Swap [ABC]
The Bachelor [ABC]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.