There is an extreme close-up of Lizzie Bardsley, which I feel is part of the representation construction of the North, making her look almost ‘villain like’, as it is very invasive. I think that Vladimir Propp’s theory of characters having a narrative function and providing a structure for the text can be applied to this episode of ‘wife swap’ because, it seems that Emma Spry is like a princess, Collin is like her hero, Lizzie is the villain and Mark Bardsley is perhaps the false hero as he deceives the audience of his role in the family to begin with. I also feel that Todorov’s theory of equilibrium can be identified in ‘wife swap’. At first, everything is fine and they appear to be struggling okay, but then it al crashes and Lizzie demands the show to come to an end (causing disequilibrium).
However at the end, when both couples from the North and South talk, the problems are resolved and there is restoration of a new equilibrium.I believe the South is represented as a nice, peaceful pleasant environment, which is a huge contrast to the representation of the North at the Bardsleys household. They have eight children and there is lots of fast shots and edits to perhaps connote a very busy, chaotic lifestyle. This is also portrayed by the editor’s clever use of a shot of “uncouth road” which seems to be deliberately connoting a representation of the North as quite ‘rough’. It is a great example of mediation. This shot I feel was put in to make us as an audience feel a certain way toward the North. This is also very ironic.
We are shown a shot of the Bardsleys back garden too, with lots of toys and this alone gives us an idea of a crazy lifestyle and an idea of chaos. This is an example of key iconography within the text.I feel there are quite a few significant ideologies depicted through the episode, such as caring for your children and to work hard -whether that is working in employment circumstances or working to help your family. I think there is quite a fair representation shown of the North and South of England overall, although they are both very different in many respects. I believe the representations have kept mainly to the typical stereotypes and I feel this may be because it is what an audience like and expect, they don’t really like to have their stereotypes challenged. However, ‘wife swap’ uses Lizzie Barnsley to represents the North in, arguably, a bad light as she swears, smokes and doesn’t come across as a very good mother.
I believe this view of the North is not likely to be very stereotypical as she doesn’t stick to the feminine, traditional lady that people would expect her to be like. Whereas, the south is represented through Emma as being very independent, quite feminine, and more modern, perhaps fitting with that stereotype of the South better. Therefore I conclude with the opinion that in this particular episode of ‘wife swap’, the North and South are represented very stereotypically, overall.