ABC introduced the reality series Wife Swap to, among other things, portray the different standards of living in American households. Two wives from vastly differing backgrounds would swap families for ten days and have their experiences recorded by reality TV cameras. In one episode, the affluent Jodi Spolansky left her city life to live with the Bradley family for ten days.
The Bradley family matriarch, Lynn Bradley, abandoned her rural life to spend ten days with Steve Spolansky and his three children. Jodi and Steve offered premium entertainment as they struggled to adapt to the demands of their new partners. However, they opined that they learned valuable lessons from the experience.
Steve and Jodi retreated to their posh lives after filming ended
Jodi convinced a reluctant Steve to participate in Wife Swap. He thought that he would breeze through the ten days of filming, but he soon realized that the show required plenty from him. “I thought it would be a fun, entertaining out-of-the-ordinary thing to do,” Steve told The Washington Post.
“But we got more than we expected.” Lynn’s attitude about New York City life bothered Steve. He couldn’t get her to appreciate the wealth of opportunities in the city. Lynn also fired the nannies in Steve’s home and requested Steve to be home in time for family dinner. Steve struggled to adhere to Lynn’s demands:
“I’m in a growing business I have to attend to, and you could say it’s at the expense of my kids, but when it comes to work, I put that ahead of breaking bread with them during the week. Lynn and I had words on that, and it got a little ugly.”
Jodi arrived at the Bradley family residence carrying seven suitcases, with one dedicated solely to makeup. However, she wouldn’t enjoy much time in front of a mirror, as Bradley expected her to run the wood-splitter for six hours a day and take care of his two kids.
Spolansky was constantly in tears due to the hard labor and other times due to the constant arguing with Brad. “I’ve never been spoken to like that in my life,” a shaking Jodi said as she retreated to the porch after arguing with Brad.
However, by the end, Jodi and Steve had learned a valuable lesson about dedicating time to their children. Jodi enjoyed baking cookies with the Bradley girls and discovered that she was missing out by refusing to spend time with her kids.
The Spolanskys resumed their everyday lives after the cameras left. They maintained a bond with the Bradley family: Their kids camped in the Bradley family back yard, and Bradley’s kids visited Manhattan alongside Lynn.
Steve didn’t like how he was portrayed in the series
Like Brad, Steve thought he would have little to do when the cameras rolled into his home. “Initially, it took time to get adjusted but by the third day, they were part of the wall,” he told The Washington Post.
Steve rejoiced when he saw the backs of the camera crew as they left his Manhattan home. “It opened my eyes to TV and being in front of a camera, but I wouldn’t do it again,” he said. Steve’s resolve not to appear on reality TV again strengthened after watching the edited version of Wife Swap. He hilariously explained:
“They have a lot to work with and they can portray you as a nice guy or an SOB and they chose the SOB in me. I am not the least bit condescending, but in this I don’t come across that way. So my biggest fear is walking down the street after it airs. Am I moving to another country? I don’t know if Iraq will take me.”
Brad shares Steve’s disproval of the show, but his disdain for Wife Swap stems from how much he missed his wife. “It was the worst 10 days of my life,” Brad said. “I was absolutely miserable. It made me fall in love with my wife all over again.”