Back in 2004 Fox was creatively bankrupt – at least more so than usual – and would frequently copy hit reality shows from other networks. Thus was born The Swan, a soulless copy of Extreme Makeover only more skeezy and sad. The show revolved around “ugly ducklings” that were whisked away and given plastic surgeries and makeovers to turn them into beautiful swans and, despite the shows… uh… good intentions, watching it mad you feel sorry for the poor contestants. Even the before and after pictures are a little sad as most of it is only simple hair and makeup.
What was worse was that these women, who all admitted to having low self-esteem from a life of thinking of themselves as ugly, were put into a pageant at the end of the season and were forced to compete with each other because women with low self esteem can handle that kind of thing.
Thankfully, after two seasons, the Swan was yanked off the air and rarely talked about today.