shark, shark -- and squid

Wifeswap has really jumped the shark. Late last night we watched Monday's episode that we'd taped -- I think the shark appeared early on in this second season, but we have kept on watching because, as I've suggested before, I found this show really interesting in its representation of domestic labor. Plus, it helped my partner and I make some changes in how we divide up that labor. So we have felt a bit loyal to the show, even though in its second season it has become more and more predictably exploitive, more like all the rest of the so-called reality shows. Recent episodes have been all about ideology (pairing the hunter with the PETA activist, the pastor's wife with the atheist) rather than the running of households. Sure, ideology is part of that -- but now they're just looking for the most extreme loons they can find. So the vegan animal rights activist wasn't just that -- she believed that staring at the sun would provide all her nourishment. Etc. Anyway, this week really was a lame episode and we are probably in the process of weaning ourselves off this show. But, if the first season is ever on DVD, it has some really great moments.

We went to see Prime, and were about 1 or 2 minutes late. So the shark must have been right on the opening screen or something. I just could not get involved in this movie -- and I have a much higher tolerance for cliched romantic dramas than does my partner. Maybe I'll watch it if I'm home sick with the flu. But there just seemed to be lots of talent not going anywhere. We lasted about 40 minutes and then surfed over to Derailed, which was very well done for what it is. Sort of an old-fashioned twisty suspense film, really -- predictable if you know the genre, but it made me jump a couple of times...

Belatedly -- we saw Squid and the Whale a couple of weeks ago -- it's probably no longer in your local theatre, but should be at the top of your rental queue. Great performances all around and full of the pain of real life. I didn't like any of the characters -- which was really the point -- your sympathy and attention are carefully distributed to the whole awfulness of family life. Really really well done.