Swingtown : Season 1

  • Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 5, 2008
Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 26
  2. Negative: 4 out of 26

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. 50
    Kelley's fascinating concept--the personal and sexual politics of an open marriage--is stifled by CBS prime-time superficiality and an inability to intimately explore intimate subject matter.
  2. Once you get beyond the show’s homages, both to 1970s style and “Desperate Housewives,” this proves to be a groovy little summer soap opera.
  3. 50
    Swingtown is far from a great show, but until it feels obligated to give killjoy lip service to the downside of sexual freedom--note the transformation on Molly Parker’s postcoital face at the end of the pilot--here’s hoping it has its chance to be rompish and fun and a pain in the side of standards and practices.
  4. Swingtown walks a fine line between being a period piece, down to the pudding cups, baseball shirts and snatches of the old "$10,000 Pyramid," and parody.
  5. 10
    Kelley's compulsive fascination with erratic eroticism turns everything in Swingtown into hypersexualized sleaze.
  6. Since Swingtown isn’t even peekaboo, much less dirty, I wish I could say that it’s played for laughs. But I don’t know what it’s played for.
  7. 50
    Swingtown could have been great. Instead it's a hit-you-over-the-head production--with product placement and wardrobe so obvious it begs us to scream, "That's so authentic!"--best forgotten.
  8. The sex is all implied rather than shown, as is much of the drug use. It's a very PG-13 approach to potentially R-rated subject matter--and that's the problem.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    50
    Swingtown can't decide whether the '70s were transformative or deformative; there's a distinct ironic edge, applied mostly through the use of music.... But that edge isn't nearly sharp or funny enough (unlike "Weeds"), which tends to muddle the point of view.
  10. 20
    There are vivid reminders of the era's ugly clothes and hairstyles. But the writing is obvious and ham-handed.
  11. Sadly, though, there's nothing quite that earthshaking going on in Swingtown, which boasts the same eye for detail that characterizes AMC's early-'60s drama "Mad Men"--from a woman smoking on an airplane to another sipping a Tab--but none of its style.
  12. It's ugly and bloated, too, bringing back memories of tawdry times, tasteless fashion and terrible music.
  13. Swingtown isn't just misguided because it's on the wrong network. The show's bigger problem is that the resident "squares" are much more interesting characters than the swingers at the core.
  14. 40
    With so much going on, one would expect Swingtown to be exciting, but it’s not. Behavior that was scandalous in the ‘70s isn’t today.
  15. 40
    Basically, the whole thing is stylish and '70s-sexy but also shallow enough to feel like a less funny, hollowed-out combination of "The Wonder Years" and "Boogie Nights."
  16. Swingtown was created to portray a broad but nuanced picture of '70s suburban America, but it might be too ambitious.
  17. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    70
    The relative tameness of Swingtown makes the unease it provokes more inviting: You tune in to see the bodies and stick around for the minds.
  18. Even skillful performances by its largely unknown cast aren't able to hide the lack of character development and the sense that the people in this series are almost self-parodies.
  19. Swingtown has ’70s mystique, but not much mystery.
  20. 30
    Swingtown is a little too fond of the seventies to reveal anything about them that we don’t already know.
  21. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    80
    It's also, judging by the pilot, flawlessly art-directed, full of well-chosen period music and--for a drama about a country searching for its bearings in its bicentennial year--a lot of fun.
  22. 40
    No one is more than skin-deep, so there’s little in the way of irony or metaphor to disguise the fact that Swingtown is so determined to be shocking it seems a little quaint.
  23. 63
    The show itself, sad to say, is not done well enough to work. But it's not dull, and it's worth watching if only to try to figure out what CBS could have been thinking--beyond, "No one's going to confuse this with NCIS."
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    This series about suburban angst circa 1976 exhibits rare depth for the procedural-packed web, and includes plenty of nifty touches, from the pop-song score and "Boogie Nights" fashions to the first-rate cast.
  25. It has one thing going for it--the essential thing. That is, deft writing that yields the kind of suspense that causes people to want to know what comes next. That's no small achievement for a series whose characters are so entirely devoid of, yes, character--or anything resembling an interesting thought.
  26. 70
    It's rather a bold, retro step for CBS to attempt this kind of show in the era of reality television and domestic fights that appear to be actual and spontaneous rather than cooked up by a writer. But the airwaves are so choked with reality that a return to fantasy seems strangely refreshing and, ironically, even more realistic.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 111 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 80
  2. Negative: 7 out of 80
  1. Evah
    Jan 17, 2010
    4
    I only saw the pilot and didn't feel compelled to watch more. The story seems predictable, the characters are non-existent, there's I only saw the pilot and didn't feel compelled to watch more. The story seems predictable, the characters are non-existent, there's no thrill whatsoever. I agree, very hamhanded. What a contrast to the first episodes of a series like Mad Men, which were already unique, intriguing and layered! Full Review »
  2. EjHemedes
    Oct 27, 2009
    10
    Swingtown is the best TV has seen in quite some time. From material, casting, acting, everything was first class from top to bottom. Sexual Swingtown is the best TV has seen in quite some time. From material, casting, acting, everything was first class from top to bottom. Sexual tension was high all throughout without too much nudity. This show does not deserve to be cancelled. Full Review »
  3. JennyV
    May 8, 2009
    10
    This was a well-written, funny, smart, creative show. My husband and I love this show and are disappointed that it's cancelled. We found This was a well-written, funny, smart, creative show. My husband and I love this show and are disappointed that it's cancelled. We found Swingtown on Netflix; and had we known we would have tried to prevent its cancellation. A network should pick this up and keep the show going. There are a lot of fans. Full Review »