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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will Swingtown Boogie On?


I hope CBS's 1970s soap opera, Swingtown, continues to shake its groove thing beyond its 13-episode summer run. According to an August 22nd Broadcasting & Cable article, the rookie drama is being shopped around to potential cable networks in hopes that one of them will pick up the show for a second season. So there's still a glimmer of hope, Swingtown fans, that the series may end up somewhere else--possibly even Showtime or DirecTV (which has partnered with NBC this fall to present the third season of the critically-acclaimed but ratings-challenged Friday Night Lights).

For those of you who have been missing out on Swingtown this summer, it's about a group of suburban neighbors in the 1970s--reminds me of director Ang Lee's wonderful 1997 film, The Ice Storm, starring Kevin Kline, Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver (gosh, has it really been 11 years since that movie was released?). My only complaint early on was that every scene was accompanied by a hit song from 1976--and I LOVE that era's music. It was just too much of a good thing for me, and I've noticed in recent episodes that there isn't as much music. Like my other favorite TV show of the summer, Mad Men, Swingtown does a fabulous job in recreating the mid-70s with its spot-on fashion choices and often hideous decor.



But the main reason I've fallen for the show is the performances by the very talented cast: Grant Show (Melrose Place), whose mustache I find extremely sexy (and I'm not one for facial hair); Molly Parker, whom I've loved ever since Twitch City (a 1998-2000 Canadian sitcom); Jack Davenport, a British actor (Coupling, This Life) who is quite believable as a Midwestern '70s husband/father; Josh Hopkins, who played Calista Flockhart's love interest on Brothers & Sisters before Rob Lowe showed up; and Erin Daniels (the dearly departed Dana on The L Word), who I was happy to see as a recurring Swingtown character. But my three favorite characters are played by TV newcomers (at least to me): Lana Parilla as the sassy, hip and gorgeous Trina; Miriam Shor as Janet, the Bree Van de Kamp Hodge of Swingtown; and the handsome Michael Rady as Doug, whom I wish I had as a teacher back in high school. With a group of terrific actors like these, it would be a shame for the series not to continue.

Also, with each new episode, the dramatic storylines have become increasingly captivating. The most recent episode ended with Roger (Mr. Hopkins) passionately kissing his wife's best friend, Susan (Ms. Parker), after spending the entire series pining after her--and his feelings are mutual as Susan is unsatisfied in her own marriage. And what's up with Roger and Janet's young son, Rick? I'm getting a strong gay vibe from him--he's very jealous of his best friend's relationship with a girl, and his own recent love connection with a girl did not go well. Maybe my radar is way off-kilter, but there's just something about the kid that screams, "I'm a friend of Dorothy." I can't wait to find out what happens next, but sadly there are only two episodes left to be aired. I'm hoping that Swingtown will boogie on for a second season--and if you are, too, check out the Save Swingtown blog and sign the Save Swingtown petition.

2 comments:

Bill Konigsberg said...

I completely love Swingtown, and am glad to hear it still has a shot. I am in 100% agreement - early on the music was too much. My only additional complaint is Jack Davenport. That American accent doesn't work for me at all. Hope Showtime picks it up!

Anonymous said...

I love the show too. Let's hope Showtime picks it up so they can get more explicit. I love all the actors but Davenport's American accent wavers from time to time:)