40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2008
Swingtown is only the title....but this show is much more.
What initially drew me to this show was my love of the 70's (I was 13 in '76) and Grant Show.
Well, what I thought? was going to be nothing more than Summer fluff, turned into a much more complex, clever, original series. As a married woman, I can relate to the angst of these couples....as a 13 year old back then, I can also relate to the storylines of the teenagers.
CBS took a huge risk putting this show on and they had a hard time finding sponsors. That is a shame because the show had literally no more provocative scenes than you see everyday on your daytime soaps.
By the last episode we were completely gripped by this story and emotionally invested in these characters. It was soooo well written, acted, directed and spot-on as far as the styles, music and the whole depiction of the time.
I was saddened to see it end....however, I am holding out hope that (my favorite show) will be either picked up by CBS or another channel....so we can continue to see how these characters lives unfold.
I am definitely purchasing this when it comes out and would highly recommend it to anyone who didn't get a chance to see the series.
It would be nice to see some Golden Globe or SAG nominations for this cast, they are ALL good!
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2008
I have really enjoyed watching Swingtown this summer and its a shame that it didnt find a larger audience. I grew up in the 70's and can really relate to the characters and it really took me back. Watching Swingtown makes me realise how Lucky I was to grow up in that era! This show isnt the raunchfest that many conservative groups made it out to be(would have helped if they actually watched the show). The writers did a really great job of making the characters grow as the series went along. I remember that in the first show, I didnt care for Janet, too prissy and stuck up but as the show moved along her character really began to explore her feelings and aspirations and she began to loosen up and now she is my FAVORITE character on the show. The show to me strikes an emotional chord with alot of people who are approaching middle age and ask "What's It All About" and it helps to watch these characters that you grow to love go through it and you are rooting for them to find whatever it is they are looking for. I feel it may have been a mistake for CBS to promote the sex so much when the show first started, yes there are some scenes that are risque(though not nearly as risque as what you see on cable), this show is so much more than that, it is about real people and the real problems that they go through in relationships, work and family! I am THRILLED that the series will be released in DVD because Tonight is the VERY LAST EPISODE!! It looks like that the show will not be renewed because who watches tv in the summer anyway, BUT if enough people buy this dvd set, who knows, maybe it will get a second life. that what happended to King Of The Hill, the show was cancelled but the response to the dvd was so huge that the show was renewed and now it thrives! So Come on you SWINGERS order this DVD put on your Bell Bottoms, turn on the Lava Lamp, Rub that Pet Rock and Get Ready to HAVE SOME FUN!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2008
Summer shows are meant to reflect the time of the year: light, fun, and happy. And... as with most with the changing of the leaves and coolness of autumn air, they quickly disappear from memory. I frankly wasn't expecting much from the show as it seemed to be atypical CBS's preferred line-up. My curiousity to watch the series was both my familarity with Grant Snow (Melrose Place), Jack Davenport (Coupling), and Josh Hopkins (Jack & Jill, Pepper Dennis, & Brothers & Sisters) and my fond memories of 1976. The first episode started out the gate giving a glimspe of a series that was going to produce thought, conversation, and refection besides just skin and nostalgia. Unfortunately, as with CBS's penchant with a quality series, i.e., "WKRP" and "Jericho," the network quietly jumped the show in its schedule making it harder to gain an audience, especially moving it to the "graveyard" Friday nights.
A very true reflection of culture, morals, mores of 1976 America! Just when I thought the show couldn't get better in quality, character development, or more entertaining, the next week's episode would prove me wrong. It is obvious that Mike Kelly took great pains to reproduce Chicago (or anytown) 1976 to an authenticity not equalled in many period shows. The actors don't play one-dimensional characters, but multi-layered people with a spectrum of feelings, opinions that crossed the morals, mores, economic-class, feelings, opinions (religious and otherwise), and casualness of the time and attitudes of both adults and kids of the '70's. My one apprecation of the show was that the teenagers actually looked like teenagers because they were teenagers and not 20 & 30-somethings playing those parts!
A very much under-rated and under-appreciated series! If you were lucky enough to lived through the '70's, catch this gem on this lucky chance that allows "Swingtown" to live again. Kudos, to the actors, producers, etc. that obvious went to great pains and broke the mold with a summer series that gives more than "light and fluff." They succeeded in more ways than they know. It is apparent the memories and appreciation of this show from its ardent fans about the summer of 1976 is going to last well beyond the summer of 2008. Here's hoping the "Swingtown" fan base increases thousands-fold! Spread the word! "Swingtown"!
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2008
There have been but a handful of television programs about the Seventies exploring a decade that is still not completely understood by the vast majority to this day even while it has become a permanent part of our collective cultural experience - and with good reason. These would include "The Wonder Years", "That 70's Show", the NBC miniseries "The Seventies", "Swingtown", and soon, an American adaptation of the BBC's early Seventies time-traveling detective show, "Life On Mars". As for movies, two of the more.....seminal films are "Dazed And Confused" and "Boogie Nights". While the Sixties are held in a certain, somewhat justifiable reverence, the decade following them still doesn't receive all the respect it equally deserves for being a similar witness to profound changes in how many of us view our lives and roles in Western society. The two decades cannot be viewed separately without a loss of understanding as to why they unfolded in the ways that they did. It may be oversimplifying to say that, if the Sixties were the cause, then the Seventies were largely the effect, but there is some truth to that perception; much of the preoccupation with physical, less deep concerns that overflowed well into the Eighties was as a direct result of Vietnam's increasingly unacceptable level of carnage, underscored by Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Harry Reasoner's sonorous deliveries on a nightly basis - despite exponentially larger losses of life in the Civil War, as well as both world wars, the spread of television helped death really get up in our faces - and the fundamentally unsatisfying manner in which that conflict ended.
When searching for a word that describes what fueled the late Sixties and Seventies, one frequently referenced is 'exploration' - all that had transpired, from the riots to the assassinations and dehumanizing effect of police actions in Southeast Asia, provoked much soul-searching and a truly ravenous desire to play, lustily reconnect with life after being thoroughly immersed in death for almost a decade. But paradoxically, such indulgences as wife-swapping were really expressions of adult desires to be innocent again. With this exploration inevitably came insight as to the nature of relationships and the aforementioned changes to them. A lot of the soundtrack to this process illuminates it well, but also lays bare the superficial quality accompanying those times. While so much of the music produced in the late Sixties and Seventies was genuinely innovative and diverse, by the mid-Eighties an undeniable ennui and soullessness had crept into it sonically, art imitating life - the new visual medium pushed the societal envelope far more than the sounds being made and MTV thrived for that reason alone. To the ears of many baby boomers - this reviewer's included - the Eighties simply cannot compare to either decade preceding them.
"Swingtown", more than any other television show focusing upon the Seventies, reveals the underlying forces that altered some long-accepted perceptions about relationships; as has been noted by others, any hedonistic forays in this show act only as a vessel for the characters' journeys to discover intimacy again, as illustrated by how Tom and Trina Decker, swinging throughout, bond in the first-season finale with the prospect of becoming unintentional parents while the marriages of Susan, Bruce, Roger and Janet all seemingly hang in the balance - the underlying message speaking to the value of honesty, about who the Deckers are as people and what they feel free to enjoy; they have never been anything less than communicative. True, there is a distinct danger of portraying their experiences too broadly and glossing over the emotional consequences in particular of these explorations, but such honesty will be what helps all concerned to navigate the very new terrain awaiting them and a nation still young at 200 years.
The cast of "Swingtown" features the unsinkable Molly Parker as Susan Miller, Jack Davenport as her husband Bruce struggling to be an effective father and faithful partner, Miriam Shor as earnest, loyal and forthright Janet Thompson - the eventual breakout character whose career path, much to our surprise, fully exposes a strong element of independence and who could potentially become a retroactive icon for women's liberation should the series be given renewed life. Her slightly chauvinistic husband Roger, whose moral bearings have been lost with his job and blurred familial role, is deftly portrayed by Josh Hopkins as, at first feeling less than useful to his family, he inexorably gravitates toward the somewhat emotionally neglected Susan, although she has not effectively communicated the depth of her frustration to Bruce before their relationship degenerates at the Decker's annual end-of-summer beach party on the shores of Lake Michigan. The teenagers in "Swingtown" are also on their own, comparatively modest, journeys of exploration - with the possible exception of Laurie Miller, who is growing up much too fast for Bruce to reconcile, further straining his family's bond with him. That this series takes place around Chicago is not entirely surprising; the social aftershocks in question did take a while longer to reach the heartland.....CBS and producer Mike Kelley have a well-written, thought-provoking show (the latter does need to be more diligent about some anachronisms that have snuck into the dialogue and settings; for example, 'no-brainer' first arose in the Nineties and the men's suit lapels should be wider, but those are minor quibbles) that wholly deserves to be renewed for a full second season; in just 13 episodes, the character development has been outstanding and thousands of viewers have been vociferous in their online support of "Swingtown" - one petition has garnered almost 6,000 signatures in less than a month. Here's hoping that the Tiffany Network rewards that support.....
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2008
I didn't know what to expect when "Swingtown" premiered, but I knew before the first episode aired that many conservatives would be up in arms about the show, causing it to (most likely) be short-lived. I liked the first episode quite a bit, but as the show progressed through the season, I came to realize this is the best series on television. The characters are so diverse and well-developed that you will grow to care about each one of them very quickly. Sure, there is some swinging going on, but it's not gratuitous, and it's barely even there. The most compelling parts of the show are the interactions between all of the characters--within an immediate family, between best friends, between young friends, etc.
I can relate to this show on so many levels, and I really hope that the show will either be renewed by CBS or picked up by a cable network soon. I was only 7 years old in 1976, but I do recognize that the show gets so many elements just right for the era. The songs, clothes, magazines, props, world events, and cultural references all bring back so many memories. Also, as a 7 years married woman, I can relate to many of the situations the characters find themselves in, and these situations are handled in such a classy way that I find it hard to believe anyone could be offended or put off by the show. I can relate to moving into a new area, a new job, and having to make all new friends, as a couple. I can relate to having my best friend move away because her husband had to move for his job. I can relate to loving my husband with all of my heart, but also finding other men attractive - though I'd never act on that impulse. It's nice to have such a relatable show on TV that features characters you actually can care about; a show that doesn't condescend or preach to the viewers. I also think that the writing and acting on "Swingtown" are superb, and if the show is given a chance, I think that it could have several Emmy nominations in the future.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2008
In this day and age, it is quite refreshing to view a series that we baby boomers can actually relate to. It was a much simpler time in our lives and the key word was having FUN not turmoil! I don't know about you other fans, but on Friday nights, I feel like I am spending an hour with characters that I personally know! Keep it going CBS!
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2008
I found SWINGTOWN to be one of the best shows of 2008 - Well acted, well written, well produced. The controversy that surrounded it when it began I think was unwarrented. While yes, there are some scenes of 'swinging', they are not exploitive or tasteles. There is certainly nothing more 'provacative' then you usually see in a daytime soap opera. I think the show focuses primarily on the lives of the main characters who are caught up in a time of change and discovery. While not a perfect show, it is certainly better than most of the garbage that passes as entertainment today. It is original and creative and that alone makes it surpass most of the rehashed series on network TV and certainly any of the endless reality crap that we are subjected to. I hope the DVD set does the show justice and that there will be a Season 2 to follow next year.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2008
I absolutely love this show. I never saw it before, but today I was home with my infant son and BRAVO is playing an all day marathon of Swingtown. I am hooked, the funny thing is, I hate soap operas. But, this show and the characters are wonderfully different, but real.
I can definitely see becoming a life-ling fan of this show and I hope to let all of my family and friends know about it.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I realize CBS took a great risk putting this show on the air, and I thank you for it. I hope there are many more great seasons to come. Please keep this show alive. The show is so refreshing at a time when a show about swingers seems be so taboo in the wake of the terrible conservative climate we are currently living in this country - hopefully when Obama becomes President the country will be able to relax a little.
This show has great scripts, great acting, great sets, and attention to detail the producers have is amazing, down to the products the characters use that don't even exist anymore. But, if you were alive in the day they jump out as if it was yesterday.
The show really started getting interesting in the last few episodes, and the characters really started facing some difficult situations. I can't wait for the second season to start.
Oh, and one more thing, the music in this series (set in the 70's) is vitally important, I HOPE that the DVD rights were cleared for the SAME music before the show even aired. If there are any changes, I will NOT be buying the DVD's.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2008
There is something about this show that draws in both those who grew up in the 70s and those who didn't. Those who watched this show from the beginning seemed to quickly become addicted to the storylines, characters, and amazingly-recreated retro sets. I can saw that I never missed an episode - something that no other show has been able to get me to do in years.
This show is premised on the open marriage swing of the 70s, when the free love of the hippies hit Suburbia. But it's more than that - it's about friendship and love and marriage and a changing time. It was a show that somehow captured the attention of everyone who watched it.
I heard rumors that CBS might not bring the show back, or that it is cable-network shopping. My only hope is that this show, and all of the original characters and actors, find a home and return for a second season. Rarely has a show on for 13 episodes, especially in the summer, garnered such widespread fan appreciation. I hope CBS recognizes that!