“Long/Stephens-Fowler” A mid-western family whose lives revolve around the “American Way” of fast food, 4X4s and paintball, swaps lives with a big city family focused on education, the environment and keeping their bodies healthy and trim, on “Wife Swap,” TONIGHT (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC .
The Longs from Missouri are a patriotic, all-American family who live for paint ball. Wife Gayla (37) is just one of the boys on the paint ball field, but at home she is happy to take care of all the household chores, which husband Alan has deemed “skirt work.” When Alan (38) is not wreaking havoc with his four wild and crazy boys — Cody (15), Coltan (10), Clayton (8) and Cameron (4) — he serves as the mayor of their 55-person town. The Longs are proud of their Midwestern roots and consider their lifestyle the “American way.” Corn dogs and fast food are staples in their home, and their exercise comes from riding ATVs. Alan and Gayla want their kids to have fun; education and the environment can take a backseat.
Meanwhile, the Stephens-Fowler family from Northern California consider themselves “citizens of the world.” They strive for excellence in both mind and body. Life coach and certified weight-loss hypnotherapist Rene (43) and British-born environmental entrepreneur Stephen (49) raise their children, Juliette (11) and James (8), to be both health and environmentally conscious. With a diet of strictly organic food and weekends spent doing “family fitness activities,” the kids admit they can’t remember the last time they had a French fry. Domestics are taken care of by a housekeeper, as that is regarded as a necessity in the Stephens-Fowler set. In order to ensure acceptance to an Ivy League school, they push their kids to excel in highbrow activities such as music, fencing and speaking foreign languages. Both children attend a bilingual school and have already visited over 12 countries.
In the first week, Gayla Long leaves the heartland behind for life in the city. As a mom who works nights to spend her days with her boys, she is surprised Rene would spend her time on the treadmill while Stephen gets the kids off to school. With so much focus on education and hours of homework every night, she questions whether Juliette and James have any time for fun. Meanwhile, in the Long home, Rene attempts to use the washing machine, but fails to live up to Alan’s expectations of “skirt work.” She grows worried that the family’s lack of exercise, combined with their “meat and potatoes” diet, are having a negative effect on the family’s health.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Gayla attempts to bring some family-friendly excitement into the Stephens-Fowler home by introducing them to paintball and go-karts. Gayla’s rule changes lead to a dramatic standoff between her and Stephen. In the meantime, Rene strives to teach the Longs about cutting down on fossil fuels and calories. She locks up the ATVs and exposes the family to hiking and healthier food options. After two weeks in another home, can Gayla Long convince the Stephens-Fowlers that there is more to life than school and work and help them bond as a family? And can Rene Stephens-Fowler show the Longs the importance of taking care of their bodies and expanding their horizons?
Since this was posted, Stephen Fowler has threatened to sue Reality Roll Call. Click here to read what he wrote: