'Swingtown' recap: Apron strings

Swingtown_lHow perfect was Grant Show as Tom last night on the Swingtown episode entitled "Get Down Tonight"? Which he did, rockin’ that Travolta-esque white polyester leisure suit at the disco, or teaching the Millers how to line dance New York-style, or simply opening his mouth to speak, as every phrase that comes out seems both innocent and a cheesy come-on (much credit, of course, to the mighty ‘stache that frames that mouth).

Ah, but it’s not all dancing and Quaaludes and foursomes in the pool with the Millers. Most of the drama last night belonged to Roger. So glad that the oft-neglected Mr. Thompson (Josh Hopkins, pictured) got a chance to unburden himself and admit (at least to himself, and to his secret shrink) that his real dilemma isn’t his unemployment or his directionlessness but that he’s in love with Susan. He suspected Susan felt the same way about him, especially when they started making Chicken Kiev together (no, that’s not a euphemism), but Janet’s sudden return home prevented him from blurting out his feelings to Susan. He finally got his chance at the very end of the episode, which saw Roger and his wife’s best friend united in a passionate kiss.

Bruce, clueless as ever, had no idea what was going on. C’mon, man,you promise your wife a few days of quality time, and you spend part ofit without her on the golf course? Or frolicking with the Deckers? (Itmay have been a bigger shock to see Bruce pop that Quaalude at the Jetnightclub than it was to see Susan do the same in the pilot episode.)At least Bruce and Laurie are mending fences; their driving lessonpredictably erupted into a you-just-don’t-understand-me argument, butBruce can always be counted on to say the right thing in the end (butonly after saying all the wrong things), and they had a nicefather-daughter moment.

Janet, too, was preoccupied. Kudos to her for getting a temp job ina steno pool, for being so efficient that she got offered a full-timeposition, and for politely but firmly telling her ass-grabbing boss tokeep his hands to himself or else. (Hey, Mister, this isn’t Mad Men.)Still, her workplace success may lead to problems at home, and not justbecause Roger can’t remember to set the oven timer in order to keepChicken Kiev from becoming Chicken Chernobyl. Rather, the gender rolereversal is causing much confusion for young Rick, whose "BizarroWorld" remark was the funniest line of the night.

After all, Rick already has enough sexual confusion in his life. Istill think Rick is gay and hasn’t figured it out yet (or is tryingvery hard to prove to others that he’s straight), though I doubted mytheory for a moment when Rick’s eyes bugged out upon meeting Samantha’sattractive cousin Lisa. At last, Rick and B.J. on a double date withtwo girls; their dads seemed awfully relieved. They’d have been less soif they’d seen the strip poker game that followed. Card-shark Lisa gotRick down to his briefs, then took him away for some alone time, but hewouldn’t close the deal, and he quickly dressed and fled withoutexplanation. (At least he didn’t get beaten up this time.) Girls ruin everything, Rick later complained to his dad.Roger told him he should take his time looking for the right girl andnot settle. Rick didn’t seem to grasp that Roger was talking abouthimself and Janet, while Roger didn’t recognize that no girl may be theright girl for his son.

Questions: Will Roger become a Mr. Mom while Janet becomes thebreadwinner? How far will Roger and Susan take their shared affection?How long before Bruce and Janet find out? Will Rick ever kiss a girl –or a guy? How bad an idea is it for the Deckers to invest in theirfriend’s disco? (Too bad the new Chicago nightspot owners can’t seejust three years into the future to this hometown riot that will drive the first nail into disco’s coffin.) And were "midlife crisis" and "win-win" common terms in 1976?

Comments (63 total) Add your comment
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  • kellie cruz


  • Carol

    I was wondering if “Bizarro World” was an expression that was used in 1976. Have my doubts about “win-win”, I think that was 80s management philosophy.
    Sad to see this TV Watch wasn’t even linked on the main page today. This show is going down in flames, isn’t it? How many episodes left??
    I’m a bit sad to see them going ahead with the Susan / Roger storyline. I would have thought a man like him would have been a bit more bound to his commitments, and probably wouldn’t have the confidence to hit on Susan during this downturn in his professional life. But loved the disco segment and enjoyed the strip poker game. Gotta make the most of this show while it lasts, I guess…

  • john

    read somewhere the season finale is aug 29 in two weeks…and last night the next episode preview said they were skipping next week’s show until aug 29..so looks as if only one more to go; read the producer or writer plans on leaving storylines up in the air instead of wrapping it all up in a bow so the viewer can fantasize about susan and roger together and tom and trina parents…loved this series – hope it makes it to dvd

  • swingtown fan

    could this show get any better? I want qualudes, I want the deckers, I want this show to go on and on and on and on and onand on…..

  • wakeforce

    Such a shame this series has gone down in flames like last year’s journeyman. you get into a good show and just because it doesn’t make the top 10 it’s gone. hope showtime or even lifetime picks it up. and to the point of rick being gay, I went gaga over girls until I discovered boys, so if rick doesn’t know his true identity at 14, it’s not so unusual!

  • dom

    If you were a comic book fan, then “bizarro world” was definately part of your vocabulary back then. It didn’t catch on with the non nerd crowd until the 90s, when Jerry Seinfeld made it hip, alas, about 20 years too late for us comic book nerds without our own TV shows.

  • Redeye

    This episode was the best yet!! Just when it is really getting wonderful, they are ending it. My friends are watching and enjoying it as well!! This is the only show I watch on CBS (except for 60 Minutes sometimes, and maybe an awards show). I wish the powers that be would give some shows more of a chance!! It happened with Freaks and Geeks, Once and Again, My So-Called Life and Reunion. I guess it is all about ratings and money. Maybe another network or cable channel can pick it up!! They brought back Jericho after protests, but it is now off again. I am looking forward to the last(?) episode on Aug 29th!!!!!! SAVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!

  • Pinky

    SOS! Save our Swingtown!
    That was a really good episode last night. Give it time to build momentum, like Seinfeld or 30 Rock, both of which started out with really meager numbers. The producers should have stuck to their guns and waited until a cable network picked it up, where it would have time to prove its worth.

  • Storm

    Hey! No one has mentioned the obvious question to ask. Is Trina super rich? Does she actually hold the purse strings and all the cards in her marriage. There were two big allusions to Trina having tons of money. One where Tom says, “She’s seen a portfolio or two.” And the other where he asks her about investing in the club and says, “Well, it’s up to you it’s your money.” I wonder how that’s going to play out.
    Also, my quess is that by the end of the next episode Susan is going to be running that office. She loves showing off her efficency and the opportunity to control her environment. And if she can be paid and verbally rewarded for her analness, she is in heaven.

  • Sharon sorenson

    the season finale is September 5th, not August 29th.
    I agree with everyone, this show needs to be renewed. TV has changed in so many years, our choices are reality which is getting old or shoot ‘em up criminal shows…there is no comedy shows whatsoever and now we’re teased by this great drama “Swingtown” and we may have just a couple episodes left. It’s not fair. CBS you need to do the right thing and renew this show and give it a chance. STOP changing the night. Choose either Thursday or Friday and give the viewer a chance to ‘connect’ to this show & love it as much as we ‘regulars’ do.
    Thank you

  • DanOregon

    Dug the white suit. The Deckers make this show.

  • mary

    really like the show, can not wait till the next one, I relate to the show and it brings back
    good times .

  • Susan

    Love Susan & Roger. Love Janet standing up to the boss. Finally, love Laurie & the teacher – they have the sanest, most honest relationship. Susan & Bruce are just so uncomfortable lately. They know swinging is really not in their best interest. Lose the young kids – they don’t add anything, Roger is the best character, in my opinion.

  • Sina

    If this show does get renewed which I hope, they HAVE to send Laurie to college somewhere. She looks so weird. It’s hard looking at such an ugly face on tv and I’m not trying to be mean. Love that Roger and Susan kissed yet I feel bad because I love Janet also. I am pretty sure Trina has money because during that episode where her ex shows up, Tom mentioned something about Trina coming from money. Don’t care about those kids. Instead of showing the kids, they should add an extra couple to the mix.

  • sara

    this show needs to be renewed, but LOSE THE KIDS. The show stops dead in it’s tracks whenever the show up – they do not belong in this show.

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