Swingtown - The First Season

I live in the suburbs, no doubt about it.  It only takes about 25 minutes to get the real downtown where people get shot and the major league teams play.  The whole city I live in is built around a huge mall and semi casual chain restaurants spring up like dandelions on a retiree’s lawn.  I live in a big apartment building and thought it was a pretty nice part of town – no crime, no mugging, walking distance of everything.  Only once I started biking, I realized that I was living in the more destitute part of town (certainly commensurate with my income) and every other part was really, really rich.  Those rich subdivisions are the parts of my neighborhood I think of whenever I watch this show now ready for your home screen.

Starting this December 9th, now available as a four disc boxed set from CBS DVD and Paramount Studios Home Entertainment comes the story of when the sexual revolution of the sixties finally hit the suburbs in the mid-seventies.  Swingtown – The First Season is ready to spring out of your television screen and roll around on the living room floor with all the exciting adventures you most likely never took part in.  Bring home this interesting cultural look at our recent past.

This show takes place in the Chicago suburbs in the mid seventies.  Susan and Bruce Miller have just moved into a more upscale neighborhood where the sexual revolution has finally hit.  With all the freedom of expression and women’s liberation going around, it feels like a whole new world even though it’s only a couple of blocks away from their old house.  Now the Millers need to balance their new life, which involves swingers and occasional partners to the Millers, Tom and Trina Decker, with their old life and prudish friends, Roger and Janet Thomson.  Throw in kids, careers and the rest of life and this show gets interesting fast.  This show stars, among many others, Josh Hopkins, Miriam Shor, Grant Show, Lana Parrilla, Jack Davenport and Molly Parker.

The special features included in this four disc boxed set are a featurette about the making of this film and just how they managed to get that mid-seventies feel, a featurette about sexuality and morality in America during the 1970’s, a gag reel, optional audio commentaries and a selection of deleted scenes.

Ever since I heard about the furor surrounding this show and how it was eventually cancelled on CBS, I have wanted to see it.  Something can’t create that much of an uproar without being an important cultural moment.  I did end up being a little disappointed as a whole with this show, but I also enjoyed it a great deal.  It seemed a lot like a toned down, more realistic Boogie Nights, one of my favorite movies of all time.  The characters in this movie are fantastic, with the prudes and the real swingers and the main characters right in the middle, playing us in some way.  I thought this was a fascinating show and I am a little sad that it was cancelled.  What people do with their sex lives is nothing I should comment on and any show that would help Americans to better understand that is a pretty good thing in my view.

Get ready to get down with Swingtown!

This DVD boxed set is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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