Parents' Guide to

Swingtown

By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Sex-themed '70s-set drama isn't meant for kids.

TV CBS Drama 2008
Swingtown Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

This series started as an exploration into a new lifestyle but ended as an endorsement of the current order.

My rating is partially based on what it failed to achieve rather than the series itself. I was upset at CBS for canceling and other networks for not picking it up, but after buying the series and becoming familiar with the pro's and con's, I understand. They spent too much time with extraneous matters and not with the subject of swinging. They made a decision to make Roger the solution to Susan's wayward ways and I found it condescending. They built an emotional wall between Susan, Bruce and their new neighbors totally uncalled for. Molly Parker carried that series as far as it could go...without her, it would have been a travesty....primarily because of lost opportunities. The mishmash of the writing showed, particularly with Trina Decker. Swinging best friends can be as protective of marriage as anyone and they made her indifferent to Susan's marriage. And the confrontation between Susan and Melinda was atrocious, leaving Molly Parker to save what little was given by the direction and the writing
age 16+

offensive to some, but not to others

Because of this show's concept of open marriage, which some people embraced in the 70s, some people, especially parents with teenagers, will find this show offensive. That said, sex is mostly just talked about and not shown. Moreover, what little is shown is tame. That the producers were able to work with boundaries and still pull this show off is a feat all by itself.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

If Boogie Nights and That '70s Show had a love child, it might look a lot like SWINGTOWN, a drama built around a downright cheeky topic that somehow manages to remain fairly tame when it comes to graphic sexual content. Although the adult characters are the show's main focus, Swingtown also includes significant teen storylines. But whether parents will feel comfortable watching a show about swingers with their kids is up to them.

Of course, the series would be a completely different animal if it were airing on pay cable (which was the producers' original plan), where nudity and language are permissible, if not encouraged. But the fact that Swingtown embraces the limitations imposed by network censors is part of what makes it so intriguing. But can a show like this win a loyal following without the aid of bare breasts and buttocks? That remains to be seen.

TV Details

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