Usually, when a new series his the air and the producers want to grab and hang on to a core audience (in this case, lovers of good drama), they'll pull out all the stops on the pilot episode in order to create enough buzz to get the critics and the regular drama fans talking so that word of this new show will spread. I would like to qualify that axiom for the good people at CBS: You want these critics and drama fans saying GOOD THINGS about your new show.
This is NOT what everyone is doing.
I'm all for giving a new show a chance to find its legs and catch its stride during its first few months, but this show is stillborn. Why the creators decided to set it in 1976 I will never know. The complaints of the characters about the "high prices" of this and that (just so that we can compare them against what the same things cost today) will get stale really fast. Equally so for watching dad stumble through his 8-track collection in the car looking for his favorite "Boston" album. Speaking for myself, I've seen enough 70s fashion revivals that I don't want to see any such efforts on television, thank you very much. What does that leave us with: Swingers.
Note to all 20-somethings: In the 70s swinging was what liberated and childless couples (for the most part) indulged in despite the disapproval and wagging fingers of "normal" suburban America. Nowadays, it's just called cheating on your spouse, but they know about it and don't care.
My question is: WHY THE 70s??? Aside from silly clothes, cheesy porn-actor moustaches and generally lame music, people were doing then pretty much what they do now. All this setting will give you is a very gentle hook for that portion of the audience that grew up in the 70s and for those who didn't but would still like to laugh at how silly everyone is dressing. The premise isn't even new! In the 70s, we had "Happy Days" which was set in the 50s; in the 80s we had "Wonder Years" which was set in the 60s; and in the late 90s, we were force-fed "That 70s Show". Setting a series 20 to 25 years behind modern day is hardly new and a straight-laced family living next door to a couple of sex-crazed philanderers is ancient. The well really is running dry.