And we've got to get down to Swingtown

by Jen on July 30, 2008

in Television: My window to the world

Thank god for Television Without Pity. I haven’t visited there much since most of the shows I loved so much ended (Buffy, Angel, The West Wing, Felicity, Everwood, Dead Like Me… to name but a few late-greats) and they stopped recapping the ones I did watch.

Their recaps are indescribably entertaining — worth reading even if you’ve seen the episode. I especially liked the West Wing recaps. For example, the recap for Season 4, Episode 20 contains gems like this:

Joe says he thought he heard what sounded like gunshots before, while they were talking. He asks if Josh heard them. Josh: “No, but I heard a brass quintet playing the ‘First Noel,’ so I just assumed somebody somewhere was locked and loaded.” Joe thinks for a moment, trying to remember something — anything — from his cram session the night before with the Little Big Book of Sorkinese (“Chapter 1: Yiddish, Yiddishisms and Yinglish. Chapter 2: References to Broadway Musicals. Chapter 3: Sports Metaphors. Chapter 4: Poker and Chess Stuff. Chapter 5: Quotations from Philosophers Ancient and Modern. Chapter 6: Shakespeare and Classical Theatre. Chapter 7: References to 1940s Screwball Comedies. Chapter 8: Scientific and Mathematical Concepts and Buzzwords. Chapter 9: Latin. Chapter 10: Words That Start With ‘Dw’…”)

Of course, to truly appreciate all of the snarkiness and inside jokes (“Damn you, Berlanti!”), it helps to spend some time on the forums, too. (This is especially true of the Buffy recaps).

To get to my point — and I do have one — this summer I’ve become addicted to Swingtown. Initially, I grabbed a few minutes of the second or third episode that aired, merely out of curiosity. C’mon… a primetime network drama about swingers in the seventies? I wondered how they were going to pull it off. But, curiosity sated, I’ve come to like it. The series does address topics like open marriages, swinging, the mile-high club, and the like (albeit in scenes with what seems like an unrealistic amount of clothing being worn for such activities), but it also deals with other (non-sex-related) contemporaneous topics like 70s-style feminism, the Nixon v. Carter election, and more timeless issues (censorship, the dynamics of marriage, a neighbor’s alcoholism, and even existentialism). Plus it’s just good, primetime drama fun. In mid-summer where, if you’re not a fan of reality shows, there’s nothing worth watching.

But because, as every parent knows, this infant-parenting gig does not always allow an uninterrupted TV-viewing schedule, I’ve set the DVR to record every episode of Swingtown. So when I sat down today to watch the last episode recorded, I was confused by the “Previously on Swingtown…” scenes. Some of them were unfamiliar! I had missed an episode somehow!

After briefly despairing, I remembered TwoP. It had been so long since I’d visited the site that it looked completely overhauled, but, yes! They recap Swingtown! I was able to sit and read the missed episode, so that I wasn’t left in the dark about what I had missed. All was right in the world again. Thanks, Television Without Pity.

* * * * * * * * * *
Of course, in the writing of this post, I discovered that CBS has full episodes for viewing on their website. Oh, well. Live and learn. And TwoP is still great.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Lori July 31, 2008 at 11:01 pm

I was a BIG West Wing fan.Dang. I just sat down to blog to Hopkins. I should have chosen Swingtown instead.Congrats on your 2 month old, and thanks for entering the giveaway. Good luck!

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