'Celebrity Wife Swap' With Gary Busey & Ted Haggard Was a Creepy Snorefest

I was holed up in front of my laptop last night finishing some work after we put the kids to bed, and when I finally emerged into the living room, I saw my husband planted in front of what appeared to be a reality show of some kind. "Are you in here watching total garbage?" I asked. "Of course not!" he replied indignantly. "This is ... uh, Celebrity Wife Swap."

That, friends, is my excuse for how I came to watch nearly the entire premiere episode of ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap, starring scandal-plagued pastor Ted Haggard and all-around crazy person Gary Busey.

My overall opinion on this show? 1) There were way too many teeth. Way, WAY too many. And 2) OH MY GOD THIS IS WHAT'S BEING AIRED WHILE COMMUNITY IS ON FORCED HIATUS.


(Also, still bitter about Arrested Development. And Firefly. And Deadwood.)

I remember when I first read about this Wife Swap episode and became convinced it was going to be the hottest television mess since Snooki dry-humped a potted plant. Instead, it was just kind of ... boring. And awkwardly staged. And about as far from "reality" as it's possible for a reality show to get.

Gary Busey's inherent nuttiness can only be tamed so much, so he at least appeared to be his genuine, freaky self, but everyone else—yeesh. Whether it was the editing or the stilted dialogue everyone clearly rehearsed ahead of time, the whole thing came off like a badly scripted family drama.

Plus, Haggard just gives me the willies. I was particularly creeped out by the scene between Haggard and his daughter, as she requested more family time with him and he became increasingly defensive, while never once letting that robotic, oddly-greased smile slip from his face. Then her brother joined forces with Dad, and all three of them had the world's most detached, shrink-speak argument ever, while Busey's girlfriend looked on with a perfectly blank expression.

Meanwhile, Haggard's wife Gayle was stuck with Busey, who did typical Gary Busey things like ramble incoherently and make a series of facial expressions that ranged from "comical" to "downright terrifying."

At the end, both couples reunited and hugged like they'd been separated for months on end, or, you know, like the producers told them to hug, and they had a boring conversation under a tree that involved Haggard dishing out some spiritual blather while Busey reacted with orgasmic pleasure before randomly blurting that he liked the Easter story of resurrection but he sure didn't understand where the chocolate and eggs came from.

All in all, the supposedly heartfelt stuff was just lame, and any controversy the network was hoping for was completely absent. With the possible exception of Haggard's revelation that while he welcomes gays to his church, he opposes same-sex marriage. I guess it's okay to cheat on your wife with a same-sex prostitute ... as long as you don't marry the guy.

Did you watch Celebrity Wife Swap last night? What did you think?

Image via ABC.com

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