By Kate Ward
January 03, 2012 at 05:44 PM EST
Dave Bentley/ABC

It’s amazing the television you’ll put up with when you’re sick. Sidelined by salmonella over the past four days (turns out my eighth-grade home-economics teacher was right: Never eat the batter, no matter how good it looks), I’ve spent my nauseated time watching approximately 11 episodes of Law & Order: SVU, the premiere of the so-depressing-it’s-good The Bachelor, and the premiere of the so-depressing-it’s-depressing Celebrity Wife Swap. In a healthy state, I would have made myself a nice dessert, gone for a brisk walk outside, or even read another chapter of my book, but, thanks to my immobility, I got sucked into a whole hour watching Carnie Wilson and Tracey Gold trade households. But why?!

I never understood why any sane person would participate in Wife Swap in the first place. Not only do you open yourself and your household up to criticism — and, likely, a slot on The Soup‘s hall of shame — but you also air more than the dirty laundry sitting unwashed in your living room. Most participants end up appearing unhappy, deranged, or just outright insane. But fame is one helluva drug — give a man a reality TV camera, and he’ll make sure he ruins his reputation right in front of it. So it’s even more depressing when two people who have already achieved fame — like Carnie Wilson and Tracey Gold — decide to open the doors to their house as if it’s this week’s tabloid. And last night’s premiere of Celebrity Wife Swap, starring the Wilson Phillips singer and Growing Pains actress, perhaps gave us too much of an inside look into one of the subjects’ lives.

If you watched the episode, you’ll know what I mean. As much as Gold’s type-A, obsessively family-focused lifestyle was admirable, Wilson’s distant, disparate life was just sad. Now, it’s entirely possible Gold was keeping up appearances for the cameras — she and her husband Roby Marshall cook breakfast for their children and drive them to school every day — but Wilson’s family couldn’t seem to be bothered. Wilson and husband Rob Bonfiglio part ways in the morning (so Bonfiglio can sleep in until 11) and ask the help to take care of their children. In fact, Wilson’s aunt and housekeeper are so responsible for the couple’s children, the singer’s daughter cried at family dinner with Gold and Bonfiglio for her aunt. When forced to actually care for Gold’s children during the swap, Wilson returned from the experience feeling like a “whip was slapped across my a–.”

Now, during the process, Bonfiglio did claim he realized that family time was important. And I’m cynical enough in this post-Kardashian era to realize that celebrities might manufacture drama purely to gain press attention like this. But trash TV like Celebrity Wife Swap simply becomes sad TV in episodes like last night’s, especially when you consider the very public struggles Wilson has endured over her many years of fame. That being said, I’m still dying to tune in to the coming weeks to see what Gary Busey is like as a husband. Does that make me a sick individual?

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

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

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