That would seem to be the motto for Swingtown. It is all about relationships. On the marriage front, Tom and Trina's open marriage, which has been the model for marital bliss till now, has hit the rocks. Okay, maybe not the rocks, but there have been some rough waters.
As we are in the midst of a long July 4th weekend, I thought it would be a good time to talk about a cartoon that combined an animated singing group with a bit of American history. I speak about The U.S. of Archie. Premiering during the 1974-75 season, this Saturday morning cartoon not only continued the long-running Archie franchise on television, but it also grabbed onto the coattails of the upcoming American Bicentennial.
U.S. of Archie featured Archie Andrews, Reggie, Jughead, Betty Veronica, and the rest of the kids from Riverdale High as they re-enacted many famous events from American history. Some of the topics covered during the series were the Underground Railroad, the Gold Rush, the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, and the invention of the telephone, Plenty of historical figures were featured, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Teddy Roosevelt.
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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