June 6, 2008
The swing of things
When “Desperate Housewives” aired its season finale last month, I thought my “guilty pleasure” television-watching days would have to be put on hiatus. I am a fan of “Big Brother,” which comes back on the air later this summer for three days a week, but there is only so much “stupid” one person can take.
The CBS drama, being touted as “That ‘70s Sex Show,” is the perfect summertime addition to my DVR “record me” list. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m., meaning after the kiddies have gone to sleep. Considering this was a show originally optioned to HBO, it is no surprise that CBS would slot it in “adult viewing” time.
I asked my husband if he wanted to watch “Swingtown” with me. He told me he’d skip it, so I watched it in our room while he worked in the living room. He came in at 10:54 and proceeded to ask me who everyone was – I explained as best I could, but with nine main characters, I’m afraid I didn’t do that great a job. When the closing credits came up, he looked at me with his face in a scowl and said: ‘I hate you,” which in our world is code for “I hate that I started watching this because now I have to watch next week.”
The show takes place during the summer of 1976 in Winnetka, Ill., a town 15 minutes from where I grew up in the north shore of Chicago. The three couples – the “swingers” (they have an open marriage); “the squares” (the wife is a prude with a capital “P”) and the “in-betweens” (she’s looking for something more, but he seems to be missing it) – are all played phenomenally.
From a newlywed perspective, the show is a study in marriage (at least the marriages of the 1970s). What category do you fall into? I My guess would be that most people fall into the middle one, not necessarily that they want to swing, but that they are sometimes looking to shake things up a bit.
Some have asked if this is the kind of show we should have on the networks. Personally, I feel that if they can show shoot-‘em-up cop shows and “ewww that was gross” medical dramas, having a show where sex is talked about but never shown is totally fine.
After all, aren’t things supposed to get hotter in the summer?