Wow. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ. My brain melts at this show. So, in case you missed it, the premise of this particular bit of reality television is that 16 "average" women are given major and radical plastic surgery to become beauty queens. Every episode, two get made over. One gets to advance to the beauty pageant, and eventually get deemed "The Swan."
This week, we have Kelly and Rachel. Kelly has a boyfriend of three years. She appears to give him sex about three times a year. This is because she feels like she is so unattractive that she cannot possibly be sexual. Never mind that her boyfriend wants sex. She feels hopelessly unsexy, and that's that. Some people – we'll call them "sane people" – would recommend therapy and Prozac for this situation. However, here we are in Fox land. And in Fox land, the proper thing to do in this situation is to undergo major plastic surgery on TV.
Rachel is something less of a basket case, but not by much. She can best be described by her conversation with her husband, in which, after he answered about three non-starters of questions (How are you, what did you do today, how was work) with relatively short answers, she fucking laid into him. Rachel's father, it seems, told all of her teachers "not to expect too much from her." Again, this seems like the sort of thing that one usually cures with therapy. So, plastic surgery and the creation of a "new self" it is.
The show is completely predictable. You can figure out in about the first ten minutes who's going to win it. (Clue. It's the one who doesn't break down neurotically every 30 seconds.) You can guess exactly how they're going to react to the big "reveal." And you can cheerily marvel over the fact that when you put the women in sleek satin bras and nice clothes, they look better than they do in sweat pants and a sports bra. SHOCKING, I TELL YOU, SHOCKING.
The only remotely interesting thing about this show is its sheer cruelty. "Average" women are abject failures, and the only solution to their misery is radical cosmetic surgery. One can only be one's true self when one is a gorgeous bombshell. And if something is wrong with your life, the answer isn't therapy – it's television. It's terrible. It's horrifying. Everyone involved with this show should kill themselves for the good of humanity.
And yet, somehow, mysteriously, it's pretty good TV.
The Swan airs Mondays on Fox at 9/8c.
I will bellow like the thunder drum, invoke the storm of war
A twisting pillar spun of dust and blood up from the prairie floor
I will sweep the foe before me like a gale out on the snow
And the wind will long recount the story, reverence and glory, when I go