Rarely are Hollywood nostalgia pieces very accurate in their depictions of other eras. Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley were both successful 70s shows that were set in the 50s--mostly to cash in on a 50s nostalgia craze set off by George Lucas' American Graffiti. But as funny as both shows could be, they played fast and loose with the actual 50s. Chachi wore Nikes, Joanie and Laverne had 80s hair by the end.
That '70s Show was closer, but it tended to lump early, late and mid-70s all in the same episode. And there have been other, usually much less successful attempts. Probably the best before now were Dazed and Confused, and Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, which was dead-on. Now comes CBS' Swingtown, a series set in 1976 (like Dazed). The series focuses on a straight laced family that moves to the other (more affluent) side of town, and is introduced to the "swingers" across the street.
Now, I don't know much about that topic, but I have to say--having grown up in the 70s--they have the time period nailed. From the hairstyles, porn-star mustaches, sideburns, cars, music choices, furnishings--just everything--this is 1976. And the most striking thing about it is, all of the 70s touches seem organic, and not forced. That is key, as you will know if you ever watched an abomination called That 80s Show.
The subject matter covers all of the stuff I missed about the 70s because I was too young to "get it." But looking back, I recognize the language, the situations--I bet a couple of the people in our neighborhood were swingers too! Just--please God--not my parents?!?
Borrowing a Cup of Sugar (and Maybe a Spouse)
Each generation looks back at its parents’ youth with pity and envy: people were so naïve back then, and life was so easy.
“Happy Days,” the hit sitcom that began in 1974, reveled in the comic innocence of the 1950s and its emblems: poodle skirts, diners and Elvis Presley-era rock ’n’ roll. On Thursday night 30-some years later, CBS is unveiling “Swingtown,” a drama set in the 1970s that feasts on the comic decadence of the sexual revolution. . .
Read more at: New York Times