Celebrity Wife Swap is back and is providing us with that good ol’ fish-out-of-water entertainment that we all seem to love so very much. This time, Melissa Rivers gives up her Hollywood comfort for ice-fishing with Willow Palin in Alaska and Bristol Palin gives up her Alaskan down coats (kind of) for feeling awkward with Joan Rivers in Hollywood. The show pretty much goes how every episode of Wife Swap has ever gone and, if history is any indication (hint: it is), how every future episode will go: opposite women trade lives, hate it before deciding to make the best of it by making some random rules and then have a heart-to-heart at the end. So, like my mom used to say, you get what you get and you don’t get upset. But, if I’m being honest, Joan Rivers totally steals the show away with her surprising kindness. ‘Twas a pleasant surprise that makes me feel like less of a bad person for enjoying Fashion Police so much.
Everyone knows Joan as the comedian who once made out with Louis C.K. on his show, Louie. Or maybe that’s just me, and everyone knows her for Fashion Police or her reality show with Melissa that I don’t think anyone watches on purpose. Whatever, no need to point out the fact that I spend too much time watching full seasons of old shows on Netflix! Anyway, Joan’s got a “reputation” around these parts for being a not-so-nice person (see: the Grinch who stole Christmas). I guess she’s cool with that because it gets enough laughs that she’s able to employ her daughter, Melissa, who owns a mansion that is roughly the size of Kansas. And while Joan doesn’t officially live there, she spends about half of every week there. And, like, I know that doesn’t sound ideal for anyone involved but she does it because she really wants to be “an anchor” in her grandson, Cooper‘s, life. He doesn’t seem to have much of a father figure so I’m sure it means a ton to him to have his grandmother make such an effort to be there for him. All together, now: awww.
Also, when Bristol gets to said mega-mansion (for our viewing pleasure), she doesn’t even call her a “little whore down the block who had to go to Reno to have her illegitimate child” to her face! How’s that for a shocker? No, but really, beside that one thing, Joan makes sure that Bristol feels welcome and tries her very hardest not to attack Bristol’s mom, Sarah‘s, politics at every chance she gets. She throws a huge dinner party to welcome her and even wears (gasp!) jeans to go (gasp! gasp!) fishing before (gasp!!!) painting her own nails with Bristol. I know some of those things made you feel quite like a peasant, so you get an A for effort, Joanie.
And then Sweet Granny Joan cries at the end of the episode, which was the real icing on the cake for me. She doesn’t even make one joke about the fact that she’s surprised she didn’t lose her tear ducts in a facelift long ago, even though I know that she knows that everyone was thinking it. I’m pretty much always touched when someone cries (yes, even when it’s because they are chopping onions), but I’m even more touched when someone like Joan, who seems pretty no-nonsense, cries in actual public where actual people will see. It shows that it doesn’t matter how many of your current body parts are artificial because all that matters is that you have a heart. It’s the classic story of the Tin Man in The Wizard Of Oz that made us all weepy and emotional: sure he *seems* cold, but he’s actually just a lover with an odd nose.
So, there you have it: Joan Rivers touched me, you guys! Wait, no, Detective Benson, I meant in the other way; please, put away your handcuffs.