Course notes on representation – Wife Swap

Textual Analysis of Wife Swap

Production Film Language Sound
Camera Work Mise en scene Music
Lighting Diagetic and non
Editing / time – seamless place Dialogue: what / how / volume / register / accent / audibility
Sound fx

Bonny and Derenda’s families

Derenda’s husband wearing the FCUK T shirt – later seen drinking lager
Much more time spent by the camera focusing on all their kids
In various stages of boredom

Bonny always seen in mid close up but Derrenda in close up as if she is more under the microscope
Jump cuts – juxtaposition of two women and two families
Ambient / natural lighting – outside
Women seen entering new house from rear Bonny in long shot, Derenda in close up on her rear!!

What kinds of messages do these women encode?

* theme tune housewives choice for Bonny

‘mindful’ wife

Upbeat voice over

These two women represent binary oppositions

* raunchy aggressive rock music for Derenda

‘I wear t’pants’

shouts and swears -lots of f***s

‘d’ja know what I mean?’ and chews gum

Set up to reinforce dominant views – the common sense view – and they both transform towards each other’s positions towards ‘normalisation’.

Set up as extremes, as stereotypes but they are made to appear to come closer together, probably by laying heavier emphasis on certain behaviour patterns in the first instance.

Virgin-Whore dichotomy

Engells ‘marriage is prostitution’

Wife Swap purports to be real life but it constructs the situations heavily!

Adverts in between:
Credit cards
Alpen (and sponsored by)
Learn direct


Did you find this information helpful?