“Swingers,” a more literal title here than the Vince Vaughn/Jon Favreau movie, is a sibling to the Red Oaks episode “MDMA,” which also rested on a kitschy idea that’s funnier in concept than execution. Here, David is solicited by a forty-something couple at the country club to videotape them having sex. Of course, things get all screwy.
The episode starts out with a chaotic insight into Wheeler’s home life — the dog eating pancakes off the counter; shoeless brothers and sisters spilling milk; an moribund grandmother staring robotically at a portable television — but the moment is actually sweet. It’s a departure for the show to give any insight into the family of its secondary characters, yet this scene is well-warranted and lets us see Wheeler as a surrogate parent in his own family. More than the implausible relationship he develops with the statuesque lifeguard Misty, this moment characterizes him as so much more than just a sad sack in a bowtie.
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Getty and his wife (Gina Gershon, once again branded “Special Guest Star,” despite not really having much to do) discuss their daughter Skye with a mixture of frustration and surrender. “She and I used to be close,” says Getty, correcting himself: “Closer.” When Getty suggest that Skye has been pampered, his wife snaps, “Oh, please. She’s always been her own person. She is who she is. Don’t you remember day one in the hospital? They’re already calling her a diva.” (In a fine little moment a few scenes later, Skye comes upon her father sleeping in a lounge chair and removes his eyeglasses and walks away with his workbook.)
NEXT: David’s off to film a “private event”