Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TV EYE: Schwing

You can smell this one a mile away--Swingtown (CBS, Thursdays, 10:00 PM)is an ill-conceived but noble hybrid, an HBO/Showtime offering doing time on mainstream network television. Set in a suburban Chicago neighborhood in 1976, the show attempts to penetrate into the deeper and darker truths of the malaise ridden “Me Decade”, particularly in the temporary phenomena of open marriages and spouse-swapping. The show is awash in garnished nostalgia, the songs, the drugs, the accoutremonts, but it all somehow comes across as shallow, a surface examination of a titillating piece of post-hippie, pre-yuppie time, Ang Lee’s memorably shaded movie of novelist Rick Moody’s book The Ice Storm remains the pop culture template of the period so far.

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