Swingtown, those dirty, dirty Deckers are having a party to raise money for the legal defense of Harry Reems, the real-life star of the adult film
Deep Throat, who is being prosecuted by the Nixon Administration -- in an effort to distract the public from the Watergate scandal, says Sexy Bunny Lady Lawyer Sylvia (the vibrant Erin Daniels, who played Dana on
The L Word). Susan unwittingly accepts the invite to Trina's party, unfamiliar as she is with Mr. Reems' oeuvre. Once the cat is out of the bag, though, courtesy a nude cardboard cut-out of Reems -- with detachable "censored" black bars -- Susan wrestles with the same issues we all do when it comes to pornography and censorship, and eventually decides to both see the film in question and go to the party anyway, whether Bruce likes it or not.
Bruce's reaction to Susan's act of defiance is probably the most interesting revelation of the episode. Repeating a theme of the show, Bruce seems more than willing to explore swinging, and all its implications, but he most definitely wants to do it in private, where it's hidden from public eyes. Just like Susan's wallpaper graffiti. I have to admit that I find the see-sawing openness of the Millers to be a tad annoying. One week Bruce is pushing Susan into a group shower at the cabin, and the next he forbids his wife to go to a party because "it's
pornography." More significantly, Bruce bristles at the idea that Susan has "all these opinions," and is making
choices, a theme presented with the added political weight of the abortion debate.
Oh, my stars! Janet left her Tupperware at home and went to the porno party as well! To support Susan, she says, but it's clear that her pot-induced breakthrough is having residual effects. She attempts to appear shocked and disgusted, but ends up getting charmed by Reems, and she and Roger have a nice moment where they semi-admit that they enjoyed the film. Later at home, inspired by the evening's screening, they get down to replicating its major themes.
B.J. and Rollergirl continued their sweet flirtation tonight, which includes her infatuation with Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci, and Nadia's mother, who must be better than her own blowsy mama, who shows up tonight to flirt awkwardly with Reems ("Linda Lovelace didn't exactly invent that move, you know," she slurs at him). Tonight's "'Tween Time in Swingtown" vignette culminates in B.J. presenting Rollergirl with her own 10.0, and I have to admit that my heart grew three sizes upon seeing B.J.'s toothy grin and the momentary joy it brought to the damaged Rollergirl's face.
Meanwhile, Laurie continued her semi-chaste affair with her hottie summer school teacher Mr. Stephens, capturing the attention of her boorish ex Logan, who attempts to blackmail Laurie into reconciling. Instead of taking the bait, though, she takes a page from her mother's book and doesn't allow a man to make her choices for her. By the end of the episode, as Helen Reddy's feminist anthem "I Am Woman" swells on the soundtrack, the two Miller women share a moment of sweet victory. "Way to go, Mom," Laurie says when she finds out that Susan went to the party. And Molly Parker's sunny face breaks into the most complicated and satisfying of smiles, conveying the pride she feels both in her daughter's admiration -- and in herself.
A sidenote: Last week, I made a goofy, juvenile plea for
Swingtown's characters to just GET IT ON already. I understand that some of you might have interpreted that to mean that I am a rube who has completely misunderstood the point of the show.
So let me explain.
First of all, I am a rube.
Secondly, I get that
Swingtown isn't about sex, it's about freedom, and how tasting new freedoms affects these characters, in particular our shiny protagonists Susan and Bruce Miller. And so far, it has basically been an interesting journey. I do really like the show. I think the way it incorporates changing gender roles and the political context of the 1970s, for example, is innovative, definitely not your usual ironic, oh-dear-look-at-how-big-the-collars-are kind of tired nostalgia (see:
That '70s Show).
That said, here's what I should have written instead. I think that
Swingtown might pack more of a punch, might have more of an electric charge, if the Millers were more actively engaged in the swinger culture that the Deckers embrace so lustily. It's then that we'd really see, in a much more dramatic fashion, how their characters develop. Maybe I'm just being impatient (and maybe a little bit pervy too), but I think the sooner
Swingtown pushes its little baby birds out of the nest of monogamy and definitively into the big, scary world of swinging, the sooner the show will truly become the summer fun we all want it to be.
(Also: I know a lot of big words, but
meh sometimes just works.)
Next week: There's an auction, at which Janet (sporting a sassy new hairdo) writes a check that Roger can't cash because he's been fired!
How did you like "Go Your Own Way"? And do you agree with me that more swinging might ultimately make for better drama?
Watch full episodes of
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Tonight in Swingtown those dirty dirty Deckers are having a party to raise money for the legal defense of Harry Reems the real-life star of the adult film Deep Throat who is being prosecuted by the Nixon Administration -- in an effort to distract the public from the Watergate scandal says Sexy Bunny Lady Lawyer Sylvia the vibrant Erin Daniels who played Dana on The L Word Susan unwittingly accepts the invite to Trinas party unfamiliar as she is with Mr Reems oeuvre Once the cat is out of the bag though courtesy a nude cardboard cut-out of Reems -- with detachable censored black bars -- Susan wrestles with the same issues we all do when it comes to pornography and censorship and eventually decides to both see the film in question and go to the party anyway whether Bruce likes it or notBruces reaction to Susans act of defiance is probably the most interesting revelation of the episode Repeating a theme of the show Bruce seems more than willing to explore swing