The ’70s are back on CBS

By Rick Bentley

CBS gets nostalgic with its new summer drama “Swingtown.” The series, set in 1976, looks at what happens when a conservative couple moves into a new neighborhood where the only thing more prevalent than free love is drug use. It premieres at 10 p.m. Thursday on CBS.

Why get nostalgic about the ’70s? It was a time of bad fashions, stupid-looking mustaches, terrible hairstyles and more cheesy lines than at a mouse debate. “That ’70s Show” got it right by making fun of the decade.

Bruce (Jack Davenport) and Susan (Molly Parker) Miller are the new kids in town. Before they can unpack, their sex-crazed neighbors Tom (Grant Show) and Tina (Lana Parrilla) Decker show up at the front door. The Deckers invite the Millers to their all-you-can-mate picnic.

The Millers, like a pair of actors in a sleazy porn movie, are pulled into the world of free love and spouse swapping. This causes problems with their old neighbors, the Thompsons (Miriam Shor and Josh Hopkins), who are so conservative they make “Bewitched” snoop Gladys Kravitz look like a swinger.

“Swingtown” is full of dialogue that, while it might have sounded hip in the ‘70s, today sounds like a bad “Saturday Night Live” skit.

The series might eventually redeem itself as the consequences of all the sex, lies and drugs begin to unfold. Problem is, “Swingtown’s” not good enough to survive as a drama and not campy enough to be a guilty pleasure.

If you stumble across “Swingtown” the best thing to do is keep on truckin’.

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