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October 9, 2015

Swingtown: Love Will Find A Way

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 13th 2008 8:06AM
swingtown logo(S01E02) So, now things are starting to get interesting with Bruce and Susan and Tom and Trina and Janet and Roger. Oh, and there were also Brad and Sylvia who look great doing the hustle, and Paul and Martha who will never be invited back to the Thompsons after that awful dinner.

All in all, I'm getting hooked on Swingtown. It's a soap, no doubt about that. Being in 1976 is a time and a place and a specific social setting, but ultimately this show is about these characters and their intertwined lives. It's a serialized drama and rather addictive. More about the show after the jump, including all the happenings from tonight's show.

Bruce and Susan's fling with Tom and Trina at the pool party has left Susan unsure and Bruce intrigued. Still, when she voices her feelings, "We're not swingers," he agrees that it was a one-time only thing. Meanwhile, Trina's concerned that her open marriage with Tom may be too open. When he winds up getting promoted to the new Pan Am Tokyo route, he says they'll work it out, but Trina's not sure she'll be able to keep her mustachioed Captain under control when he's so far away for so many days at a time.

Back in the old neighborhood, Janet is having trouble processing what happened at the Deckers. She sublimates by baking an abnormally large apple pie. To the tune of "Hooked on A Feeling," Janet fantasizes that she and Roger are seduced -- in the kitchen -- by a naked Tom and Trina. Naturally, in reality, Janet's a complete uptight prig. She cancels plans with the Millers to play bridge and is icy cold when she runs into Susan at the grocery store.

With Trina cozying up to Susan, and Janet giving poor Susan the cold shoulder, is it any wonder Susan's drawn back into the Decker's seductive web? When Bruce leaves a message by phone that he's having drinks after work at the Playboy Club, Tom and Trina come up with the idea to bring Susan there and they can all have dinner out. That's where Brad and his wife, women's libber legal eagle and former Bunny Sylvia, join the foursome and they all dance and drink and have a great time. Susan's feeling all gooey about Trina, marveling at how Trina handles an open marriage. Of course, Trina's confidence is all a facade and Susan's trust in Bruce takes a hit when she sees Sylvia kissing him and later finds her business card in his pants pocket with the message, "Let's get together."

Roger is the sweetest of all the characters. He's such a stand up guy, turning down an invitation from Susan for a ride in the car, chasing the hideous neighbors out of the house by faking a bloody injury with son Rick, and encouraging Janet to make up with Susan. He deserves a better spouse. Janet is just such a pill.

While the parents are swinging, the kids are making friends. Laurie ogles her philosophy teacher, Mr. Stevens, even enduring a contrived feminist interpretation of Waiting for Godot to impress him. The dolt with dimples, Logan, tags along and makes a fool of himself before Laurie discovers that Mr. Stevens has a girlfriend. She's black, has a killer 'fro and hoop earrings and makes Laurie feel like a high school kid, which is what she is.

BJ, Laurie's brother, scores points with Samantha, the troubled kid next door. With his Philip McKeon look -- he was Tommy on Alice, remember -- BJ is a sensitive kid with a good heart. Like his mother. Samantha needs a friend and he reaches out to her.

Swingtown is proving to be intriguing. It may hope to be Mad Men -- it's not -- but I'm curious enough to tune in for more.

Other Notes of Interest

-- Tom is called on the carpet by Pan Am for taking a "stew" home for a three-way with his wife, an ex-stew. Instead of firing him for sexual harassment of an employment, they take Tom off the Miami route and promote him to the Tokyo route! Hey, it was 1976!

-- Trina's melon joke at the grocery -- obvious. Buy one get one free.

-- BJ gives Samantha a walkie-talkie, reminding me of Wonder Years. Samantha returns to her room; her mother continues romping with guys downstairs.

-- Logan brings Laurie a make up gift, the new Aerosmith album Rocks.

-- Captain Tom has a key to the Playboy Club - no surprise.

-- The apple pie is symbolism galore. American tradition, wholesome way of life. Everything Janet believes in. She brings it to the Millers only to find the Deckers and Millers returning -- in Tom's Porsche -- from dinner. and find Roger and Janet on the doorstep. Janet turns chilly again. Susan feels bad. "Love Will Find A Way" plays, underscoring the theme of the episode.

-- At the Playboy Club, they all do the hustle to "You Should Be Dancing" just like Saturday Night Fever. Then they slow dance to "Dancing in the Moonlight" and "Rock Me Baby." The music is really an asset to Swingtown.

-- The cinematography in this episode is filled wth dissolves and swipes.

-- Was that commercial with Peter Fonda selling Flower Power a Time-Life 8-CD set a national ad? Talk about retro!

What should Susan do about the card in Bruce's pocket?
Forget about it14 (10.5%)
Confront him50 (37.6%)
Give it to him and act nonchalant57 (42.9%)
Call Sylvia and ask her why she gave it to him12 (9.0%)

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I LOVE this show. It's absolutely delicious, and every week I find myself wishing it was 2 hours instead of just one.

June 23 2008 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I held off on this show for a week, and watched the first episode the day before this one aired. I wasn't sure I even wanted to get invested in another show, (I watch too many now!) but this one has me completely HOOKED!! The storylines are good, and I am loving all the little things that bring back so many memories for me, like that International Scout Logan was driving, the Dr. Scholl's sandals, that game the Thompson kid was playing with the balls, and mostly the music. I was in eighth grade in 1976, so this really is pretty cool. I don't think I even knew what a swinger was back then. I hope this show doesn't go down the toilet like some of my other favorites, like Traveler did last summer.

June 13 2008 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
King Harvest

Thanks for using our music. Check us out at http://www.myspace.com/kingharvest

June 13 2008 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was great seeing Erin Daniels (L Word) on television again! Hope she returns in future episodes. She played the lawyer chick, to those who don't know who she is.

June 13 2008 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Howard

Did it look like Trina gave Laurie a really odd look when they met? It seemed that way to me.

June 13 2008 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OK, My wife and I are also hooked. We had serious reservations about this show being on network Tv, but the outstanding cast seems to override our worries. Now, if only CBS will find it in their hearts to not cancel it until the storylines are played out.......

June 13 2008 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Pepto Pimp

The card is about Bruce trying to get his wife into Law School...

June 13 2008 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Got DH to watch it w/ me last night. Gotta admit...it wasn't as good as the first episode, but thats how they suck you in. Afterall, I will continue to watch!

June 13 2008 at 8:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Swingtown is awesome. I love how the music enhances the storylines. It will become my summer fix.

June 13 2008 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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