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'Swingtown' recap: Fun and games

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Jackdavenport_l

Jackdavenport_lFavorite line from “Swingus Interruptus,” last night’s awkwardly titled episode of Swingtown: Laurie telling Doug, “You realize you have more John Denver albums than my mother?” Priceless. Also, an indication that the youngsters (and I’m including the youthful schoolteacher here) are more mature, or at least more uptight, than the adults.

Look at Roger: Still a little boy, dreaming of what he’d like to do when he grows up — love that typed list of job options: City Planner, Firefighter, Electrician, Real Estate Agent, Reporter, Stockbroker, Gravedigger. Why he left off Astronaut and Shortstop, I don’t know. No wonder Janet felt like she was losing him to a fantasy world she can’t enter herself.

Tom and Trina were both chafing under their decision to put a moratorium on swinging. I think that’s the real reason Tom kissed Janet, not just to build Janet’s confidence. I predict that the Deckers’ moratorium is just about over — and though they don’t have an inkling just yet, the Thompsons may be the unlikely couple that leads them out of it.

Meanwhile, Bruce (Jack Davenport, pictured) confessed to Susan thathe made out with Melinda (twice! Once at her place!), and Susan took itsurprisingly in stride. Seemingly mature, but then, how did that leadSusan to decide that what they needed was a trip to the Pendulum sexclub, with the window-shopping-only Deckers? (I wondered how the Thompsons were going to be roped in this time; I’dnever have guessed that muffins would be involved. Also, this was one more time that I was relieved that Swingtown airs on CBS and not Showtime, ’cause I really was fine with having what was happening behind that Pendulum curtain remain left to the imagination.) And how did Susan decide that what the Millersneeded was a swap back at home with the glamorous Brad and Sylvia? Nowonder Laurie and Doug — whose minds were on the televised Republicanconvention (well, at least part of the time) — were stunned andappalled by the pot-smoking, slow-dancing, omelet-frying foursome.(“I’m in hell,” observed Laurie, horrified to discover the limitations of her own supposedly liberated attitude, and speaking for all of us who’ve squirmedat Swingtown‘s watching-your-parents-gettin’-it-on vibe from thebeginning.) Okay, Laurie and Doug had been making out, too, but Lauriewas right to note that her parents no longer have any moral standing tocriticize her behavior, and Bruce was right that things are getting outof hand, though he seems unwilling (as in the famous box-of-pornlecture) to acknowledge his own responsibility for the example beingset for the kids.

Speaking of which, the younger teens are finally back (Am Ithe only one who missed B.J., Rick, and Samantha?), and their basementparty may have been the most revealing moment of the show. (Oh, and howgreat was it to see them playing Pong, like it was the latest Xboxgame? Loved that almost as much as I loved watching Laurie open a boxof Freakies cereal. Used to eat that all the time when I was a kid.Still remember the jingle; be glad, dear readers, that you can’t hearme singing it right now.) I still think Rick is protesting too much in order to cover up same-sex desires that he himself may not be fully aware of, aswhen he loudly asserted that he didn’t want to go into the closet “with a dude” during spin the bottle. He ended up in there with Sam instead, whoquickly gathered that Rick has strong feelings for B.J. (Funny how Rickcould tell her that she’s just another stray B.J. has taken pity on,without realizing that he might be B.J.’s biggest pity-friend of all.) When she assured Rick she wasn’t trying to take B.J. away from him, he kissedher way too aggressively, leading to yet another incident where he waspunched out by a girl. She later complained to B.J. that she’s not intogames, and he said he wasn’t either, then kissed her; this time, shedidn’t mind. These two may have the simplest, healthiest relationshipon the show; if they’re really not into games, they’re the only ones onall of Swingtown.

Questions: Do you think there’s anything to Brad’s “seasons of passion”theory? What’s the ideal job for Roger? What’s going to happen betweenRick and B.J.? Will Tom tell Trina he kissed Janet? Will Janet tellRoger? And what disaster awaits the couples with the forthcoming returnto the cabin teased in the preview?