The show opens, as usual, with Mindy Paige Davis Page explaining the premise of the show. In case you're wondering about the name, her real name is Mindy Paige Davis, and her husband's name is Patrick Page. Obviously, she's dropped the Mindy professionally and isn't taking her husband's last name, but it's still fun to think about what her name would be if she hadn't done both those things. At least to me. Anyway, if you're reading this, I'm sure you all know the premise of the show, but just in case: two sets of neighbors exchange homes for two days, and with a budget of $1000, work with a designer to redo one room in their neighbors' house. This week, the action takes place in the south Los Angeles neighborhood of View Park. Paige points out the "beautiful homes and stunning views!" Behind her, you can see the city of Los Angeles, and it does look pretty nice. ["Nice and smoggy." -- Wing Chun]
Our first shot of the homeowners reveals that they are doing yoga in the yard. Paige voice-overs that this episode "promises a cosmic California vibe and all-women teams." That's okay. With all women, there's a greater probability that someone will cry. The first pair is a mother and daughter: Marcia, and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Jade. Marcia does some stretches and Jade just stares at her with that typical teenage scorn, then starts laughing at her mom. Marcia asks if Jade is laughing at her or with her, and Jade lies, "With you." Jade and Marcia do a tandem stretch, and MPDP voice-overs that they are "using yoga to prepare mind, body, and spirit for the Trading Spaces challenge."
The other pair is Cheryl and her "best pal" Judy. I don't know what the deal is with these two; they're probably just friends, but after the last episode where the lesbian couple wasn't allowed to say the word "lesbian" during taping, who knows? It doesn't help matters that they are shown giving each other massages and posing in semi-compromising positions. But who cares about their sexuality? Not me.
Now it's time to meet this week's designers and carpenter. Vern and Laurie sit poolside while Ty hops in and gives his adoring (some of them, anyway) fans a glimpse of his semi-naked body. Vern tries to throw a life preserver around Ty's neck when you know that he would really like to wring it, because Vern hates Ty. Another homeowner yoga shot transitions us to the next segment.
Cheryl says that her den needs personality, because right now it's just a catchall. We pan around a fairly bare, white-walled room. Cheryl explains that she exercises in there, and we see an exercise bike, and she also has a television in there for "light entertaining." The camera pans across a sad-looking futon with a black cushion. Judy interjects that she doesn't even want to go into that room, and that it needs a more human touch. It is pretty sterile. Cheryl says that the worst thing that she could imagine would be coming into her den and finding "shocking colors" like bright reds. Judy suggests chartreuse or bright green as other undesirable colors. At this point, I was sure that Vern would be designing her room, given his penchant for red, and the show's penchant for matching homeowners up with the designer who will do something they hate.