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Over the years, we've seen a lot of preposterous things done by writers
when the show just had to go on no matter what, keeping "8 Simple
Rules" going after John Ritter died comes to mind, but this is probably
the first time I cared. The idea of having "That 70's Show" without
Eric or to a lesser extent Kelso is ridiculous. They tried to cover it
up with a comeback of Leo and increasingly outrageous story lines, but
it always felt like why bother when you don't have a main character
anymore. It just didn't really connect, it was a bunch of unrelated
stuff happening that most of the time wasn't even funny. The last
season felt like the season too much for every single character, simply
because Eric used to take a lot of screen time and now we'd be smashed
in the face by how stale and repetitive the rest of the characters
were. Focusing on the gimmick that is Fez was thoroughly uninteresting
and the character would simply stop working, because the whole deal was
that he'd say something weird from out of nowhere, and you can't say
stuff from out of nowhere when every second line is yours. They also
brought in the standard cousin Oliver, only this time it just wasn't a
kid. Whenever you heard somebody knock on the door, you started praying
it wasn't Randy, please let it not be Randy. The deal with Randy was
that he'd do really awful jokes, usually as Red would say, smiling like
an ass and totally screwing up delivery and Donna would be in stitches.
I think more than half of the last season was Donna pretending to be
amused. The problems had started earlier though: what once was a truly
great show with an equally great concept that for once wasn't about a
dysfunctional family slowly got into the territory of soap opera.
Everybody started being in love with everybody, emotional scenes were
dragged out at nausea, with just one usually lame joke placed somewhere
to divert attention that we were watching "As The World Turns". I'm
guessing this was character development, but come on that was written
almost as clumsily as the moral lessons from "Family Matters". To be
fair, the last episode, also because it had a cameo by Topher Grace (a
cameo in his own show), was really good, even if not that funny either.
By the way, yet more criticism on Season 8: what the hell was with the opening theme? Not only did they use the same joke twice (a character not singing), Fez scared the hell out of me. Dude, don't open your eyes that far. But the first five seasons or so,among the best comedy ever broadcast.
How does an usual day start in Point Place, Wisconsin...
First of all, Red, the tyrannical father of the Forman family and a WWII veteran, sits at the kitchen table and reads his newspaper while his overjoyed wife Kitty serves breakfast. Then comes their skinny son, Eric, he sits at the table as well, and his father starts his daily yelling, usually involving placing his foot in Eric's behind if (insert reason here). If his promiscuous angel-faced sister Laurie is at home, she comes along, then Red stops yelling and kindly talks to her, making Eric feel left out of the family.
Once this daily (painful) ritual is over, Eric rushes down to his basement, where all his friends are already hanging out. And when we get to see them, it becomes obvious Eric and his redhead tomboy girlfriend, next-door neighbor and childhood friend Donna Pinciotti are the sanest people around. Meet Steven Hyde, the conspiracy theorist who hates disco and doesn't really care about what's around as long as it's not funny to watch; Michael Kelso, the kind of guy who thinks that he will get through his life only by his looks and that carrots grow in trees; Jackie Burkhardt, the one who thinks of herself as the prettiest girl around, spoiled kid of a rich father, and, of course, cheerleader; and Fez, a naive but oversexed foreigner who loves candy and can't keep a secret. At first they simply hang out, gossiping and making fun of Kelso, but then they all sit in a circle and let the real fun begin... before going out doing something they'll regret later.
Meanwhile Red goes out and meets Donna's weirdo parents, Bob and Midge. He's rude, but they don't mind, as they think he's joking. Somewhere around is Leo, an aging hippie, who's constantly confused and makes word plays without even noticing.
Did you imagine that seemingly peaceful neighborhood with all these awesome characters? Of course, most seem "clichéd", but the show takes the cliché to a new level. Now throw in some of the most wicked story lines a sitcom can offer, sit down and enjoy one of the best TV shows ever. The one that never does two times the same thing and which is, compared to most sitcoms that are "cute funny", purely hysterical. If you get hooked, don't let this show let you go. Bite on the hook over and over and, man, you will see the sitcom genre from a whole new prospective.
... and the series lets you forget all that. I am about three years
older than the kids portrayed in the series. Born in 1958, I learned to
drive during the first gas shortage, and got my first post-college
graduation job during the second gas shortage in 1979. The 70's were a
truly dreadful time to be young - inflation, competing for after-school
minimum-wage jobs with laid-off thirty-somethings, dreadful music,
The funny thing is, this series doesn't ignore any of that and still manages to make the 70's look fun, even for those of us old enough to know better. It manages to look the 70's directly in the face - complete with time-authentic clothing - and yet fill the show with the hopefulness of youth and the things that make the high school and college years both the best of times and the worst of times. Then there are the parents. The two young lovers in the show - Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti - truly have dreadful parents with the best of intentions. Eric's parents, Red and Kitty, are not exactly June and Ward although they are conventional for the decade. They represent what happened when the 60's finally reached the suburbs during the 1970's. Donna's parents are two people who have been waiting for the 1960's to show up their whole lives in order to give their weirdness legitimacy. Eric's friends Fez, Kelso, and Jackie round out the group representing nerdiness, well-meaning incompetence, and snobbishness respectively. Hyde is an unusual teenager for a show about the suburbs, but he largely represents someone who has to play the cards he was dealt even when those cards are dealt by largely absentee and negligent parents. I highly recommend all eight seasons even though season eight does lag a bit due to the absence of Eric.
I can't believe we don't have that 70's show anymore. I have all 8 seasons of that 70's show!! I absolutely Love It!! I lay in the bed every night and watch several episodes before I go to sleep. At the end of a long busy day it's nice to kick back and have a great laugh before you go to sleep. I was so sad they took the show off air... at least we still have the re-runs!! I am hoping and praying they will come back with at least a reunion...Like maybe when Donna finishes college and we finally get to see her and Eric get married!!!! Wouldn't that be awesome!!! It would be even better if they would continue it for several years!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I haven't liked many TV shows post 1990, but THAT 70S SHOW is great.
Never seeing it during it's first run, thinking a gimmicky period
piece, I was wrong! I started watching in reruns and the more I
watched, the more I liked! Now, it is the only show premiering
post-1990 that I watch regularly.
Although THAT 70S SHOW mimics some of the styles, attitudes, music, and tastes of the 70s, it does not mire itself in that decade by going overboard with the references and look of the 70s. It contains so much funny, witty, biting dialogue that is delivered with confidence and certainty by its main cast that it overcomes any 70s clichés by just being humorous. The humor is what keeps the show eternally watchable.
Although a hilarious sitcom, no matter what time period, the uniqueness of mocking the 70s does work in its favor as it gives the show a signature identity. But its the focus on universal issues (family problems, teen angst, marital issues, peer pressure), dealing with all of them with comic aplomb, that gives the show a mass appeal.
The show's center is one Eric Forman (played to absolute comic perfection by future superstar Topher Grace). Eric is a super-skinny, geeky-looking, non-athletic teen and still comes off as super-cool due to Grace's brilliant self-deprecation of the character. Eric has 5 friends Donna, Hyde, Kelso, Jackie, and Fez (played respectively in hilarious fashion by Laura Prepon, Danny Masterson, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Wilmer Valderama). We get to see life in Point Place, Wisconsin through the eyes of these 6 teens and boy do we get a lot to see! Donna, a forward-thinking feminist, is the object of Eric's affection and these 2 have the core relationship of the show. They become a couple pretty soon after the show starts and they are NEVER a boring couple. Most of the shows eps end with them having a meaningful conversation about them and their future and it works as a great insightful bookend, which works as a perfect counter to the prior hilarity. Hyde is Eric's best friend and soon moves in with the Formans when his mother abandons him; Hyde is the mellow, zen, cool one of the group and just sits back, observes, and makes fun of his fellow friends with easygoing aplomb. Kelso is the dumb one of the group and Kutcher plays it the absolute hilt, displaying amazing physical comedy as well as telling some of the most absurdly hilarious ideas and stories ever! Jackie, who starts out as Kelso's girlfriend, is a verbose, self-absorbed debutante cheerleader and is at first only accepted as part of the group b/c of Kelso, but she manages to ingratiate herself to the point where they all HAVE to accept her! And finally, Fez! Fez is the foreign exchange student from some unknown country (we never know exactly where) and he is a scene-stealer! "I said good day!" "You son of a b*tch!" Valderama is only sporting a foreign accent here as he hasn't one in reality and he is always in character and creates one of the most unique characters I have ever seen. His scene-stealing moments often help make the show for me.
The show constantly takes us into the minds and thoughts of these characters through engaging fantasy scenes of how they would like or imagine things to be. The gang repeatedly gets into trouble (most of it on purpose). They constantly play gags on the Point Place residents as well as each other. They hang out most of the time in Eric's basement plotting, pontificating, or just plain playing around.
Also figuring prominently in the show are Eric's parents, the menacing, commie-hating Red and the lovable, happy-go-lucky Kitty (played memorably by Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp). These 2 adults give the show a much-needed mature point-of-view and constantly berate and advise the 6 ne'er do-wells. Red and Kitty are ably supported by Donna's parents, the buffoonish Bob (played wonderfully for the full run by Don Stark) and blonde bimbo daft Midge (the super-sexy Tanya Roberts, who was on the show for about half it's run). Additionally, for 3 full seasons, Eric's sister from hell Laurie (played brilliantly by the wickedly sexy Farrah-Fawcett lookalike Lisa Robin Kelly) was a major refreshing relief to counter the shenanigans of the main 6 and to be the thorn in Eric and her parents' sides! Kelly came back as a guest character for a few Season 5 eps. But, unfortunately, Kelly's personal problems led to her being replaced by a terrible new actress in Season 6. The newbie didn't last, thankfully, and was gone after a few Season 6 eps!
Sadly, at the end of Season 7, Topher Grace (Eric) and early in Season 8, Ashton Kutcher (Kelso) left the show and it never recovered as Season 8 turned out to be it's last. Grace and Kutcher returned for the series finale, though, giving the show a satisfying end.
A lot of great supporting and cameo characters would help keep the show fresh through added nostalgia and humor. Top notch supporting players were eternally high Leo (played to the hilt by Tommy Chong), Pastor Dave, Roy (the terrific comic Jim Gaffigan), Big Rhonda, Mitch, Earl, etc. They also got legends Marion Ross (HAPPY DAYS) and Betty White (THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW) to play Red and Kitty's mothers, respectively. Many celebrity cameos from the 70s made appearances as well, from Shirley Jones (PARTRIDGE FAMILY) to Pamela Sue Martin (NANCY DREW) to Charo to Ted Nugent to K.I.S.S! It goes on and on!
With great nostalgic 70s homages and references, hilarious dialogue and delivery and a nonsensical, take-no-prisoners style of comedic storytelling, THAT 70S SHOW is a television classic!
OK I liked this show WHEN IT WAS FUNNY!!!! It's not really funny anymore. All they do is have all the kids hang out at the Forman's house. AND ERIC DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE!!!! You know the show has really start to go downhill since Eric and Kelso left. I don't even know why Kelso left! These two people are the main reason why ANYONE watched this show in the first place. If they get rid of Fez now they can cancel the show and be done with it ( I mean who wants to watch Red,Kitty,Donna,Jackie,Bob,Hyde,and his STRIPPER WIFE?) And they never go anywhere or do anything. They just hang out in the basement. Oh joy. Maybe they should change it to ''That Basement Show'' Some decades never die. Sadly it's time for this one to go.
I've tried to watch this show several times, but for a show called
"That '70s Show," I don't find much apart from a few haircuts and the
occasional reference to disco that actually evokes the '70s -- the
decade in which I grew up. Of the episodes I have seen, most of the
plots and jokes could be set in any time period. Take away the novelty
of (supposedly) being set in the '70s, and the show is neither
interesting nor funny.
If you're looking for a show that more successfully represents the experience of youth in America in the '70s, in my humble opinion you can do no better than "The Wonder Years."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I grew up watching That 70's show on nickelodeon and recently started
watching the series again and I fell in love with the show again. The
actors were incredible, the show was creative and the writing was
amazing. This started to change from around series 4-5.
What I first loved about the show is that it wasn't the typical American comedy. There was a strong love story, but unlike many other comedies, the love story between Eric and Donna felt so real and you could relate to their relationship so easily. They were unbelievably convincing and you could feel the love between them both.
However this series did start to turn for the worse. There were cheap jokes and poor story lines. I think the writers were starting to run out of ideas, which does happen. I just wish the show had the beautiful ending it deserved, leaving us wanting more. Ricky Gervais made just two seasons of the UK office for this reason exactly. He didn't want it to lose it's touch and what it was about. In my opinion The UK version of the office has had the best ending of any comedy series in the Christmas specials.
I wish That 70's show ended in a similar way (and it had a very good chance) with Eric and Donna getting married. Throughout the whole first 4 series Red had always been so harsh on Eric, playing the hard dad and when he finally came round the the idea of letting them get married I thought this was the perfect way to end. Eric and Donna happy, their friends happy for them and Eric also winning round his dad for the first time.
I loved the moment in that last episode of season 7 between Red and Eric where the two of them hug for the first time. It had the same emotional feel that a lot of the earlier seasons had. Season 8 however...I won't go into season 8. I read another review and I would like to mirror one of the points made that the show is about Eric, Eric's first love, Eric's parents and Eric's friends so the fact that they made a series without Eric is quite hard to believe and it feels like a sham. Just some more money for the producers.
I didn't mind the love story between Hyde and Jackie as it showed character development (mostly on Hyde's side) and also went quite deep into his character which I loved. He is another character you wanted things to go well for as he didn't have the best of upbringings.
This review may sound critical but that's only because I feel let down by the creators of the show.The earlier seasons were unbelievable however and the show still remains one of my favourites. I'm sure like everyone else, I fell in love with the love story between Eric and Donna but I just wish it ended earlier with that happy ending we deserved.
"That '70s Show" is probably my favorite show of all-time. It is a show
that constantly makes me feel good, puts me in a good mood, and is a
genuinely funny show with a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. I was
pretty young when this show first came out (like...infant young), so I
didn't watch it. My shows were "Barney" and the likes of "Teletubbies".
And around when I was about 12/13, I claimed I didn't like the show.
Truly, I had never watched it, but just seeing the commercials, I just
didn't think I would enjoy it. But, I was in the kitchen one day
watching part of the episode "Eric's Hot Cousin" with my mom, and we
just died laughing. I couldn't tell you how amazing it felt to just
gut-bust every single time someone spoke a line in the episode.
"That '70s Show" is a situational comedy that takes place in the late 1970s when gas prices were high (or non-existent) and the transition to the 1980s was inevitable. People were hungry, jobs were destroyed, and people weren't happy. Truly, it didn't seem like such a great place to be. But "That '70s Show", even with all the crap and the distaste that the '70s brought on the world, made everything seem alright, even though, in our minds, we know it wasn't. It made you feel good and just made you laugh; to see all of the gang hanging out in the basement, smoking weed, having a good time without giving a care what was going to happen to them. They were just content with living life.
The show stars Topher Grace as Eric Forman, the main protagonist. He's trying to grow up in the world as a teenager, just starting to like girls, and just starting to be at that age where he's going off and trying to break away from the world his parents deem idealistic. He wants to grow up and start living his own life and break free from the shambles that are weighing him down in his hometown, but his best friends are distracting him, the girl next door that he's in love with is distracting him, and his parents are distracting him.
Rounding off the cast is Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti, the girl next door who has fallen for Eric, and the two end up becoming more than what they used to be; Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde, the fun- loving midnight token of the gang who has a conspiracy theory for every governmentally-funded corporation and claims there's a car that runs on water; Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart, the rich and high-class socialite who believes starts off as a snob, but is eventually shown that looks and money aren't forever (even if she doesn't really care all too much); Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso, the dumb kid of the group who may be smarter than most people give him credit for; Fez, the foreign exchange student who has grown too much with popular culture and believes that he is a "smooth-talking, frisky-ass, son of a bitch"; Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith as Kitty and Red Forman, Eric's verbally-abusive father and doting mother who want the best for Eric, but don't want him wasting his life and not get anywhere or accomplish anything; Don Stark as Bob Pinciotti, Donna's father who believes the whole world is waiting for him to be on stage, though, is oblivious to her daughter's upbringings and believes that she is an angel who is innocent in every way; and Tommy Chong as Leo Chingkwake, the neighborhood hippie who owns the local photo shop and sells the kids their "film".
With an ensemble cast small enough to have each character be given a story, yet large enough to fill voids in a stage, "That '70s Show" is the perfect show for anyone looking for a great time to watch with friends, or if you're feeling in a bad mood. This show has never failed to make me laugh, and I will always love every moment of it. The characters are memorable, the dialogue never gets boring, and even after 8 years of continuous fun, the characters evolve into real people; the kids grow up into mature adults; everyone is just happy with being where they are and being who they're with. It's a great show, and I recommend it to everyone. 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Loved most of the cast and could relate to most. However the one consistent character/actor I couldn't stand was Donna/Laura Prepon. The combination of her bad acting and forced relationship with Eric annoyed me every episode. She would laugh at every line or would take things a little too seriously. They should've just fired her. Then there's Randy/ Josh Meyers. Ugh. I understand the writers trying to replace Eric's character but this was a bad idea. He was as funny as warm milk. He just goes to the Grooves shop, gets a job, and that's how he's introduced. He then started dating Donna, again another forced relationship. At this point of the show (Season 8), it should've just never existed. After the two main characters left, the studio clearly focused more on profits rather than just ending on a happy note. Eventually Hyde, Fez, Jackie, and Forman's parents were all that kept this show moving on to the bitter end. By Season 8, the main characters were either moving out , getting married, getting jobs, in other words, they grew up. The story went from kids growing up in the 70's to average middle class adults in the 70's. Once again, was great in the beginning, but once the two top characters left, they should've just cashed out.
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