Swingtown

Season 1 Episode 12

Surprise

0
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Aug 29, 2008 on CBS
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Susan and Roger plan a surprise party for Janet but end up sharing more than just party ideas.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This show continues to grow on me, despite the fact I never thought it would... I just wish other people could get past the "swingers" label and see this show for what it really is!moreless

    9.0
    When I saw the pilot episode of this show I really never thought it would be anything other than a filler show I watched out of boredom over the summer. I actually caught myself rolling my eyes, wondering why I was even bothering to waste my viewing time. Boy, I was wrong.



    Something about this show struck me as relevant. With each successive episode the characters developed, and I found myself waiting impatiently for the following week so I could tune in to see what was going to happen next. Why?



    Because this show actually gets you a semi-realistic (only slightly "Hollywood-ized") view of marriage. Complete with all the assorted struggles that come along with all relationships. Whether you are married because someone got pregnant, or you are with the love of your life, marriage is a struggle. It is work. And this show doesn't gloss over that fact. Swingtown embraces it.



    This show depicts some of the most common (and often difficult) struggles in modern relationships. Money issues, Infidelity, Lust, Settling for less than you deserve (or the wrong person), Job loss, and just about every stress that can negatively impact a relationship. And ironically, being set in the 70's doesn't make it any less meaningful in today's society. While we might not be a 'Swinging Society' these days (though there are still swappers out there), the swing-theme is just a tiny part of what this show is really about. The true heart of this show lies in the stories about the interpersonal relationships between wife and husband, friends and lovers.



    I am particularly drawn to the relationship between Susan and Roger, the theme of "settling", and wondering if she will stay with Bruce (despite current situations). You get the sense that she wants to do the right thing, but she won't be satisfied. Does she have the courage to step out of the safe boundaries of her world and reach for true happiness? Will it be with her husband? Or Roger?



    In otherwords, this show actually has me emotionally invested in the characters, relating to them on a personal level (despite my own satisfying marriage), and I think that makes for some genuinely well-done television.



    I truly hope that Swingtown is re-newed for another season.

    I would really like to see how these characters grow and deal with their challenges. And I hope more viewers would get past the "Swingers" theme and recognize this show for what it really is: A show about love and marriage.



    I'm looking forward to the season finale and keeping my fingers crossed for season two!moreless
  • Susan and Roger plan a surprise party for Janet's birthday, while sorting out their feelings for each other. Roger is offered a job, but in Cincinatti. Bruce thinks Melinda might leave his company, and he doesn't want to lose her company.moreless

    7.7
    Surprise was a pleasant surprise. Maybe not one of the best, but a serviceable penultimate episode, nonetheless. I wrote a lengthy recap that covers most of the pivot points of the plot, and please avail yourself of it if you don't have time to watch it and want to catch up. Warning! Spoilers! But you knew it was going to be a recap, so don't come crying to me.



    The weakest story is the Ricky/BJ clash. I was wondering what was Ricky's thing, but according to the writers of Swingtown it is that he is worried about losing BJ's friendship to Samantha, and that is why is he is being such a big jerk. Also, he is attracted to Lisa, but he ran out when she took off her top because he panicked. Thought it might be because he realized he was gay but there is still one more episode for that twist, if that is what happens. Frankly, that would make a lot more sense. Before, he was mocking his father for wearing an apron. Now, he is making his mom a happy face pancake for her birthday. Color him confused. The scene where he gets drunk at his mom's birthday is the weakest scene of the season so far.



    Speaking of Gadar, thought that Henry Fisher, Janet's supervisor at the newspaper, was a little light in the loafers. Now he seems to be smitten with her, and is flirting with her outrageously. Still time for him to come out, a Will looking for his Grace perhaps, or more like Just Jack looking for a Karen to care about? We will see.



    The advice column angle is brilliant. What an opportunity to skewer the sanctimonious prudes like Janet, especially if she should stray with either Henry, Tom, or even a surprise encore from Harry Reems. Can you spell hypocrite? I like Janet, but still relish the chance to see her not heeding her own advice.



    Making Trina pregnant was pretty bold as well, but then they chickened out by making her sure it was Tom's baby. Where are the consequences when the possibility of a different father is eliminated? How about Anthony as the father, and how would they all react if it was so obviously NOT Tom's baby?



    OK, the writers are probably thinking they already pushed the envelope pretty darn far. They dropped a hot potato, but c'mon. Usually, any female character that strays too far from convention has to pay. Carmen, after getting a little too Bizet, gets stabbed and dies. Here we have a message more like, why can't Susan and Roger be together? Why can't Bruce and Melinda talk about stocks and watch Cubs games together? Why can't a teacher be with his student? Why can't Tom and Trina enjoy themselves with Anthony, Michelle, Susan, Bruce, and a host of others? Most dramas that ask questions like that are answered by the female being severely punished. If they all live happily ever after, then we will have seen a miracle, even if this is the final season. It is a wonder they got it on TV in the first place.moreless
Rylan Williams

Rylan Williams

Anthony

Guest Star

Latarsha Rose

Latarsha Rose

Michelle

Guest Star

Matt Barr

Matt Barr

Matt

Guest Star

Nick Benson

Nick Benson

Rick Thompson

Recurring Role

Michael Rady

Michael Rady

Doug Stephens

Recurring Role

Rachelle LeFevre

Rachelle LeFevre

Melinda

Recurring Role

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