The biggest TV hit of the summer of ’08 is a show about the summer of ’76. Swingtown is seen each and every Thursday at 10PM right here on Channel 3, and based on the ratings, you like it..quite a bit.
I confess, I watch it, too. It’s about three couples and their children during the Bicentennial summer in suburban Chicago. They don’t say exactly where, but judging by references to Lake Michigan and the “village” it’s likely Winnetka, Wilmette or one of those affluent north shore burbs. Think Westport, or Fairfield.
Swinging is one of the sub-plots, but I love the sets, the music, the clothing, the props that remind me of the 70s. My parents had an avocado green bathroom, and a harvest gold telephone that matched the stove, dishwasher and refrigerator. My mom had the same tupperware that Janet sells. In last week’s episode they showed a Ford Pinto wagon. I vividly remember going to the Ford dealership with my mother and father to look at one during the gas crisis. They thought about trading in our big green Ford wagon for something more fuel efficient. They wisely decided against the Pinto, which later made headlines for its deadly feature of exploding gas tanks.
Also last week, the issue of women’s rights came up. It was a different time then. Women were coming into their own and realizing their power at home, society and in the workplace. In the 70s my mother wanted to get her ears pierced, and my father actually forbade it. I remember this day like it was yesterday. My mother’s response? She immediately called her friend and they went to the salon and got holes put in their ear lobes, openly defying my father’s silly comment “if God wanted you to have holes in your ears, he would have put them there.”
Swingtown brings up all sorts of memories for me. Riding my bike to Norwood Center to see a movie, or riding around town. In a previous episode the kids were playing Gnip Gnop. We had that same game.
Alright, children of the 70s, let’s hear from you. Don’t forget your city or town.