Tuned In

If You Do It and You're Still Unhappy, Then You Know That the Problem Is You

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I just received, but haven’t yet watched, the pilot screener for CBS’s Swingtown, which debuts June 5. The ensemble drama is about a group of married friends and their encounters with the rising era of sexual experimentation in suburban Chicago in 1976. “The title Swingtown,” says a letter from the producers, “describes the ever-shifting ‘swing’ of the pendulum that reflected the change in our country’s collective value system—morally, politically, and socially.” It also refers to married people doing it with other married people.

The show was one of the few announcements from last year’s upfront that genuinely interested me, way back when CBS screened the trailer at Carnegie Hall almost a year ago. So I’m excited, and also disappointed that the network has apparently decided to consign it to summer burnoff status.

Anyway, you have a show that appeals to Gen-X nostalgia (even though the characters are Boomers, nostalgia for the ’70s has been a Gen X trademark at least since Boogie Nights and That ’70s Show) and that is about the emotional repercussions of sex and infidelity. And who do you think of when you think of Gen X and sad sex? Liz Phair, that’s who! So I was doubly intrigued to see that Phair did the soundtrack for the pilot and will score the remainder of the season.

No sign, inexplicably, that that song made the soundtrack. I’ll let you know how it goes.