Saturday, June 07, 2008

Vice and Period TV

I saw the first episode of Swingtown tonight. The series is set in the seventies and is supposed to depict the casual sex, drugs and rock and roll of the era. However in a discussion on one the TV nerd sites I visit, Television Without Pity, A Little Edgy commented on a glaring puritanism of this show.
My only nitpick besides the overuse of period music was the lack of smoking. At a party like that in the seventies, the air would have been blue with tobacco smoke. It's an interesting comment on our own times that the producers feel free to portray drug use and various permutations of sexuality, but they refrain from showing people doing something that was ubiquitous and morally neutral: smoking.

This is in contrast to another period TV series Madmen where the air, circa 1960 Madison Avenue, is blue with cigarette smoke. This has some basis in reality in that (tobacco) smoking has declined over the last 30 years at the same time that pot smoking has equaled it in numbers if not legality.

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