SWINGTOWN Premiere: Let Freedom Swing - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SWINGTOWN Premiere: Let Freedom Swing

June 6, 2008 by  

The cast of SWINGTOWN

Did anyone else feel like they needed to take a shower after watching last night’s premiere of SWINGTOWN?  While I was intrigued by the sexy and provocative new drama from CBS I can’t say I felt necessary good about watching it.  There was a bit of grit and grime that made me happy that I don’t remember the four year that I was alive in the 70’s.

SWINGTOWN brings us back to the 70’s, a complex decade that was the bridge between the free spirited, openess of the 60’s and the more conservative 1980’s.  It was a time when the lines of social and moral ethics were often blurred – which clearly led to a hell of a good time.

The Miller Family – husband Bruce, wife Susan, their teenaged daughter Laurie and then pre-teen son B.J. have just moved to a new neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago. A bigger house by the lake, they are the envy of all their friends.  Especially their former next door neighbors, The Thompsons. But after just one night in their new home the Millers realize that although they may be just a few blocks away from their old house, they may soon be a lot further away than that from their old lives. And they have their new neighbors, The Deckers, to thank, or perhaps blame, for that.

Tom and Trina Decker clearly enjoy the life they lead.  Tom, a porn ‘stache wielding pilot, certainly has a way with the women. And he has his way with many women. But his wife Trina doesn’t seem to mind as she enjoys Tom’s conquests almost as much as he does.  The two have an open marriage and make no apologies for their swinging lifestyle.  So when they spy new neighbors, Susan and Bruce Miller, moving in next door, the Deckers hide in the low grass while waiting to pounce.   But will their new, seemingly wholesome neighbors be open to trying something new or will they need a little convincing?

A 4th of July party hosted by the Decker’s give the Miller’s their first glimpse into their new lives, if they want their new lives to include rampant drug abuse and orgies.  And it seems that a new life is exactly what the Miller’s want…or at least think they want.  The Decker’s barely introduce themselves to the Miller’s when they split the couple apart and individually start extolling the virtues on an open marriage.  Trina tells Susan that having an open marriage made her marriage with Tom that much stronger…and of course there’s all the incredible sex with people that aren’t her husband.  There’s a twinkle in the eye of the seemingly straight laced Susan, and once we see her pop that Quaalude we know she’s opening herself to the possibilities of it all.

Trina and Susan joins their husbands Tom and Bruce back at the party and it’s not long before the four take off to a more private location to really get to know each other.

Yes, this is all in the first episode, and yes…this is all on CBS.

Call me a prude, but I was a bit turned off with the predatory nature of the Decker’s.  I didn’t take issue with their lifestyle as much as I did that it seemed that their sexual nature defined who they were.  The didn’t even know the first names of their new neighbors and they were already conspiring how to drag them into their swinging ways. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but it came across as seedy and dirty.

The writers have a story to tell, but I don’t think I would have been disappointed to see a little more subtly and maybe even hesitation leading up Bruce and Susan’s decision to have an open marriage.  It seemed a little forced and rushed to me, and it took me out of the story just a bit.

Although the focus will clearly be on the older generation, I was interested in the smaller stories being constructed by the younger generation.  Laurie Miller, the seemingly intellectual yet free spirited teen who fancies her uber hot high school teacher, lives a contradictory life that will undoubtedly lead her on an interesting path.  And then there’s B.J., the quiet Miller son who’s only friend is former neighbor, Rick Thompson, that is until he meets a mysterious stranger who had been living in his room when his house was empty. While watching I was interested to see who captured B.J. attention more…the cute blonde or his best friend.

And there’s a lot more to Rick and Janet Thompson, the former neighbors of the Miller’s, than what we saw last night.  Janet is prissy and judgemental but something deeper is fueling her deep jealousy of Susan Miller.  Is it the money? Her new life?  Or perhaps Janet can see what the rest of us are seeing…her husband’s obvious lust for Susan.

While I can’t say that I was hooked after this first episode, I will say that I’m intrigued enough to watch it again to see how these stories play out.  Despite its overt fascination with sex, I think SWINGTOWN will come to be more about the social climate of that time and how the different generations followed learn about themselves through their sexual encounters.

Did you watch?  What did YOU think of the first episode of SWINGTOWN? 

Filed under Swingtown


8 Responses to “SWINGTOWN Premiere: Let Freedom Swing”

  1. Todd on June 6th, 2008 12:33 pm

    I found it to be one of those TV problems that I always seem to have, that is, when a TV relationship is moving to slow I want it to go faster and Vice versa. But this was just crazy. I feel like they took 6 episodes and mashed them all into one show. They could have spent maybe 1 or 2 more shows developing the characters, but like you I only had a few years in the 70’s so who am I to say how the welcoming committees for new neighborhoods worked. Overall I liked the show, I really liked Lana Parrilla (Trina Tucker) when she was on Windfall, however I don’t know the age Trina is supposed to be but it’s really disturbing that the actress is 4 months younger than me and she had the line that was something like ” Lets keep it in our age group for awhile”.

    When did I get OLD ???

  2. Col S. on June 6th, 2008 3:30 pm

    I too felt like I could use a nice shower after watching this one. Totally agree Kath, it wasn’t so much the “party room” that made me feel dirty as it the predatory nature/lack of humanity of the Tuckers. For every character that I thought I liked, there was one that was just creepy – it was kind of like sheehy’s 10 year reunion last weekend. I am going to give it another shot too tough.

  3. annewa on June 6th, 2008 4:04 pm

    I agree with the shower…..I’m intrigued but there was something about it that didn’t sit right with me. I am hoping they were setting up storylines for the future and the pilot was just superficial and big picture. I didn’t like that the only adult character who wasn’t immediately into drugs and orgies was portrayed so angry and repressed. But I think there is something more in that marriage, I think that will be a more interesting story. The way Susan looked at him made me think they may have already had a fling?

  4. StarLink on June 8th, 2008 8:01 am

    Awkward start. Looks list they are trying to do a mature “That 70’s Show”. I’ll give it time..

  5. Aaron on June 8th, 2008 3:31 pm

    Crush from AMERICAN GLADIATORS may be the hottest chick on TV right now…what do you guys think?


    Watch her on AMERICAN GLADIATORS on Mondays at 8/7c on NBC

  6. Deirdre on June 9th, 2008 2:03 am

    I just watched Swingtown. Strange show. But I think it had promise, even with the different subject matter. Definitly not a kids show. And it won’t appeal to many.
    I like that the last line was about taking a shower, because yes, I suppose many would have to after watching it.
    I will watch it again.

  7. Patty on June 9th, 2008 10:42 am

    I finally watched this last night with my best friend. She loved the soundtrack but wasn’t alive in the 70’s so she had lots of questions. (BTW, we had that green rotery phone that was hanging on the wall in the Miller’s old house) We kinda liked it? I will probably watch it for a couple of weeks to see if it gets better. I was a teen in the 70’s and this show kind of rings trie for me. Not the swinger part (because I wasn’t aware of that so much) but the kind of “dirty” feel of the 70’s. The music and the clothes and the hairiness. I do remember talking about sex alot and porn being everywhere. Drugs to. I can say drugs were EVERYWHERE when I was a teen and so easy to get. I don’t think I ever actually bought any but someone was always “carrying”. So the drug parts of the show didn’t suprise me at all. It was more of a suprise how much of the drug culture they are actually showing.

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