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November 28, 2014

Boogie Nights

Swingtown -- An early look

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 3rd 2008 1:02PM
swingtownHow swinging is CBS's new summer series Swingtown? It's not swinging in the Sinatra-Rat Pack-ring-a-ding-ding way. No, this Swingtown is set in an era ten years later, specifically July 4, 1976, the bicentennial. But Swingtown, which premieres on Thursday at 10 PM ET, is not a nostalgic, optimistic wallow. However, It does evoke a time when America was undergoing a lot of change as the college kids from the late sixties were moving into the seven-year-itch of marriage, raising children, exploring boundaries.

Swingtown reminded me of Knots Landing meets Boogie Nights with a dollop of The Stepford Wives thrown in there, too (maybe it was those scenes in the supermarket). Superficially, there are elements of Swingtown, in particular the attention to detail in the production design and music, that are as spot on for 1976 as Mad Men was for 1960. When you see that pop-top can of Tab, you can't help but go back in time.
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TV 101: The Day the Music Died (or, how the second season of The Real World ruined everything)

by Jay Black, posted Feb 18th 2008 12:02PM
This is the true story... Chuck Klosterman, in his very excellent Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, wrote an essay about The Real World: San Francisco. He said that the third season of The Real World was the moment the series stopped reflecting youth culture and started creating youth culture.

I'm not going to argue with Mr. Klosterman. I admire him so much that for a short while, I thought he was my own Tyler Durden (all the ways I wish I could be -- that's Chuck). If we are, however, to take Klosterman's argument as truth -- that Puck and Pedro realizing the cameras were on them was the TV equivalent of Skynet becoming self-aware and destroying humanity -- we must then look to the second season of the show as the moment when Miles Dyson started working for Cyberdyne. That is, the seeds for television's unraveling were sown not during the third season of The Real World, but during the second. As 2008 is the 15th anniversary of The Real World: Los Angeles, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look back at how it managed to ruin everything...

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