Friday, December 22, 2006


Thanks a million to Lord Boyzici who alerted me to this fabulous clip from Trading Spouses (it aired a couple of years ago). Trading Spouses is one of those wife-swap programmes, where the mothers have $50,000 to allocate to their host families at the end of the week. But I don't think the producers could even begin to suspect the dramatic meltdown of fundamentalist Christian Marguerite Perrin when she returned home, after a particularly stressful and strange week with a family of "New Age" hippies who were into tarot and astrology. Marguerite has an interesting physical presence, I suspect she'd be well-suited to appear in a John Waters film. Or on second thoughts - a Stephen King film. I never thought I'd say this, but she makes the crazed performance of Piper Laurie's Momma in Carrie look rationale and under-stated.

Within seconds of stepping through the door, Marguerite freaks out in a spectaculor fashion. Ignoring the "welcome home" posters and balloon-animals that her long-suffering family have prepared in celebration, Marguerite instead embarks on a terrifying/hilarious rant, which makes you fear for her mental health and her family's safety.

There are so many great lines in this, and a whole host of new words and phrases for you to learn.

  • She's TAMPERED in DARK-SIDED stuff
  • I am a GOD WARRIOR!
  • This is TAINTED, I don't want it, whatever it is!
  • Gargoyles!!! Psylkicks!!!
  • They only believe in the MOON and the GODS and the THIS and the THAT!
  • Every dark sided person get out of my HOUSE, if you believe in Jesus you can stay here
  • I don't want to see a BOOK OF WITCHES! I don't want to see any STARS!
  • I was thrown in the PIT! Thrown in the PIT!

After seeing the clip I had to download the whole episode and watch it. I think it's my favourite piece of tv ever. I became a bit obsessed with Marguerite, and I'm not the only one. There are a number of video parodies of her homecoming on youtube. This is my favourite. But this is scarily accurate. And I love the authentic props used in this one.

I also found the official Marguerite website which has also made much of parody (Margaret is on a rap record), suggesting that the crazy lady isn't so crazy as to realise a money-making opportunity when it comes her way. Indeed, what I find most compelling about the original clip, isn't Marguerite's spiralling out of control, but the cynically angelic uplifting music at the end and the subtitling which indicates that after giving it some thought, she decided to take the $50,000 after all. This is played over a shot of a full moon. The (dark-sided) symbolism was not lost. And there's something horribly final about that last low piano chord - as if the devil had his way after all.


matty said...

Oh my God! I couldn't decide if I should run, hide under the blanket or laugh my ass off. ...think I shall do both!

You all get the best shows in the UK! Color me so jealous!

Lubin said...

That was an American show!!

matty said...

LOL! Someone just phoned and told me this! Oh well. I don't see TV. ...unless it is on DVD. A friend just notified me that she got me the Series 3 of Peep Show DVD!, I get to see it like that. I had not heard of this program. What an odd concept!

I found a clip of her vomiting from the sheer horror of seeing a gargoyle! ...too much.

digital_jay said...

I finally got the chance to look at this posting, watching that clip I realised that her family were totally scared of her. The daughter's in particular went for trying to appease by agreeing with her, to being fearful of her in a short space of time.

The fact that she didn't make sense as well as her poor use of vocabulary at the same time worried me as well as amused me. It was as if she could not string a sentence together without involving god, praying or being the god warrior. This dark sided stuff to us is normal, we've seen much darker things in every day life.

I liked the touching bit at the end of it though, it showed you the differences and the bigotry of Marguerite Perrin. While I don't think the producers were aware of the effect the experience would have, they must have had some kind of idea of just how far she could go, why else keep the camera rolling?

How much of that was for the camera and how much was real?

matins said...

She'll be back on the show in the new year which means the highlight of the year will be over by January.

Fin De Fichier said...

Oh Lubin...nothing manages to fly under your radar. I saw this clip a few months ago, it IS a classic. Thanks for the links to the parodies, I hadn't thought to look for those.