How perfect was Grant Show as Tom last night on the Swingtown episode entitled “Get Down Tonight”? Which he did, rockin’ that Travolta-esque white polyester leisure suit at the disco, or teaching the Millers how to line dance New York-style, or simply opening his mouth to speak, as every phrase that comes out seems both innocent and a cheesy come-on (much credit, of course, to the mighty ‘stache that frames that mouth).
Ah, but it’s not all dancing and Quaaludes and foursomes in the pool with the Millers. Most of the drama last night belonged to Roger. So glad that the oft-neglected Mr. Thompson (Josh Hopkins, pictured) got a chance to unburden himself and admit (at least to himself, and to his secret shrink) that his real dilemma isn’t his unemployment or his directionlessness but that he’s in love with Susan. He suspected Susan felt the same way about him, especially when they started making Chicken Kiev together (no, that’s not a euphemism), but Janet’s sudden return home prevented him from blurting out his feelings to Susan. He finally got his chance at the very end of the episode, which saw Roger and his wife’s best friend united in a passionate kiss.
Bruce, clueless as ever, had no idea what was going on. C’mon, man,you promise your wife a few days of quality time, and you spend part ofit without her on the golf course? Or frolicking with the Deckers? (Itmay have been a bigger shock to see Bruce pop that Quaalude at the Jetnightclub than it was to see Susan do the same in the pilot episode.)At least Bruce and Laurie are mending fences; their driving lessonpredictably erupted into a you-just-don’t-understand-me argument, butBruce can always be counted on to say the right thing in the end (butonly after saying all the wrong things), and they had a nicefather-daughter moment.
Janet, too, was preoccupied. Kudos to her for getting a temp job ina steno pool, for being so efficient that she got offered a full-timeposition, and for politely but firmly telling her ass-grabbing boss tokeep his hands to himself or else. (Hey, Mister, this isn’t Mad Men.)Still, her workplace success may lead to problems at home, and not justbecause Roger can’t remember to set the oven timer in order to keepChicken Kiev from becoming Chicken Chernobyl. Rather, the gender rolereversal is causing much confusion for young Rick, whose “BizarroWorld” remark was the funniest line of the night.
After all, Rick already has enough sexual confusion in his life. Istill think Rick is gay and hasn’t figured it out yet (or is tryingvery hard to prove to others that he’s straight), though I doubted mytheory for a moment when Rick’s eyes bugged out upon meeting Samantha’sattractive cousin Lisa. At last, Rick and B.J. on a double date withtwo girls; their dads seemed awfully relieved. They’d have been less soif they’d seen the strip poker game that followed. Card-shark Lisa gotRick down to his briefs, then took him away for some alone time, but hewouldn’t close the deal, and he quickly dressed and fled withoutexplanation. (At least he didn’t get beaten up this time.) Girls ruin everything, Rick later complained to his dad.Roger told him he should take his time looking for the right girl andnot settle. Rick didn’t seem to grasp that Roger was talking abouthimself and Janet, while Roger didn’t recognize that no girl may be theright girl for his son.
Questions: Will Roger become a Mr. Mom while Janet becomes thebreadwinner? How far will Roger and Susan take their shared affection?How long before Bruce and Janet find out? Will Rick ever kiss a girl –or a guy? How bad an idea is it for the Deckers to invest in theirfriend’s disco? (Too bad the new Chicago nightspot owners can’t seejust three years into the future to this hometown riot that will drive the first nail into disco’s coffin.) And were “midlife crisis” and “win-win” common terms in 1976?