Swingtown

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Want To Keep Your Marriage Intact? Sleep Around.

As the credits roll, Mabell and Sparky fondly reminisce about the many 1976-specific things like the Carter footage and disco. And boy, it's not awkward at all when Mabell asks, "Are there more than two people in that bed?"

Bruce is looking like I must have when I had to explain the show's premise to my folks. The only difference is, he's in a position to do something about it, as he's at a bar and a bartender's making him a prairie oyster. (For those of you unfamiliar with this drink: Google it and the phrase "Sally Bowles" and the recipe should come right up.) Melinda comes over and comments, "I think the actual hair of the dog is the only thing that could make that drink more disgusting." She asks how it went when Bruce got home the previous evening, and Bruce admits that "she's not stupid, Melinda." Melinda replies, "I can't imagine you would have married her if she were." Bruce gives her a look like I wasn't really thinking "marriage criteria" when she and I got together in high school. However, Melinda clarifies, "I'm glad you called. It was nice just talking to you ... but next time we get together, maybe we should find somewhere a little more private?" She's rubbing his knuckles with a finger as she suggests this; Bruce stammers nervously that the market's about to open. Saved by the bell!

"Typing pools!" my mother sighs in a nostalgic fog. "No stupid cubicle walls and not a computer screen to be seen." Yes, we're in Janet's workplace and Henry's just thrilled to see her. Janet -- who looks like she's shaking off the effects of having been hit by a truck -- apologizes for being a little late and Henry reassures her that "Ten minutes early is only late to people like you and me." She smiles, pleased. Anyway, Henry's bursting with good news: the life & style editor has seen Janet's writing sample and he wants to see her right away. He shoos Janet off to see Mr. McCall off-screen. Janet leaves with a mixture of delight -- in the pleasure of kindred-soul Henry's company, in validation for a job well done -- and sadness, because that damn relocation is hanging over her head. We see lots of time relapse and Janet comes back to spill the news. McCall hated the writing sample but Mrs. McCall loved it, so Janet was offered the column on a trial basis. Then she stuns Henry by telling him, "I turned him down, Henry." He gives her back a look like, What the fun, woman?

Meanwhile, Laurie is droning about what classes she may want to take in the fall to the superhumanly patient Doug. She's got a definite right-brain bias going on, and explains why she needs to take neither calculus nor physics in the fall because "I finished my requirements this summer. I could take nothing but PE and study hall and still go to Northwestern." Ah, the halcyon days of yore before college admissions became a brutal blood sport! Doug deftly manipulates Laurie into taking calculus by telling her, "You're brilliant and you like a challenge." And then this tedious badinage is interrupted for an important news bulletin from Liz the stoned philosophy grad: there's been a massive earthquake in Guatemala, and nobody knows whether Dave -- Doug's grad school roommate and current Peace Corps enrollee -- is alive or dead. Who's wishing they had a TV now to keep on top of current events, eh, Doug?

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Swingtown

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