I watched these shows tonight, and it got me thinking: are there Platonic standards of Order, Discipline, Respect, and Kindness that we’ve lost touch with? Because these shows are very much about getting average people to see how they’ve strayed from The Good. Super
Nazi Nanny and The Wife I Don’t Want Swap seem to spend a good chunk of time berating the participants. I suppose it’s to make us (i.e., the viewer) feel superior, but it’s also about getting extremes (as represented by the families) to find some kind of tolerable middle. At bottom, tough, these shows are about standards that someone (a TV producer?) thinks we should live by.
As Dwight Schrute from The Office would say: “Question: Do you think these shows are helpful in addressing problems in your own family?”