After my first insanely negative review of CBS' new summer series, Swingtown, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and tune in once again to see if it could somehow be redeemed. (Optimism at its finest!)
Although many of my original critiques continue to ring true (It needs to be on cable, they need to take it one step farther, and the acting is less-than-emmy-worthy), I did find episode to be a lot more captivating than the pilot.
Fortunately the writers utilized the second episode to really start honing in on character development. They set us up with so many plotlines in the pilot, that it was only fair that they gave the characters equal attention. We saw the stark contrast in the old neighbors and the new ones (prudes and exhibitionists, respectively), and we saw the Millers struggle with finding a happy medium in between. We also see a little bit of a struggle with Tom and Trina (the new neighbors) being so set in their "open relationship" ways, and Janet and Roger (the old neighbors) being so set in their more traditional ways. I also suspect there might be a little bit of a love affair in the making between Roger and Susan.
They also explored the relationship B.J. Miller and neighbor Samantha some more. I still find this storyline to be a bit lacking, but hopefully in the weeks to come there will be more insight as to why this is a meaningful relationship to Samantha, as the characters seem to be a bit too flat for me.
So all in all, the second episode was better than the first, as we saw more of the repercussions of jumping into an unfamiliar lifestyle, and the struggles of finding a balance between how open is too open of a relationship, and the necessity to spice up their mundane sex lives. There was also a little bit of mingling in the Playboy Bunny Club, and the feminist critiques surrounding that.
Plus, if the sex appeal of Trina and Tom isn't enough to make you tune in again, it's time you checked your pulse!