That '70s Show: Season 1, Episode 1

That '70s Pilot (23 Aug. 1998)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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Point Place, Wisconsin, May 17, 1976. Nerdy teenager Eric, who smokes weed with some classmates in the basement, is in heaven when his dad Red decides to hand him the keys of his flashy ... See full summary »



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Point Place, Wisconsin, May 17, 1976. Nerdy teenager Eric, who smokes weed with some classmates in the basement, is in heaven when his dad Red decides to hand him the keys of his flashy Vista Cruiser, at the price of extra chores and forbidding him to take it out of town, knowing that won't be obeyed anyway. The gang, which just adopted foreign exchange student Fez, is excited about a Todd Rundgren concert- Jackie uses her female charms to make sure skirt-chaser Michael Kelso would take her too. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

23 August 1998 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Did You Know?


This pilot marks the screen debuts of Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, and Laura Prepon. See more »


In the opening scene of the premiere episode, the boys are looking at a Playboy centerfold, circa 1976. However, the magazine is perfect bound, not saddle stitched (stapled) as Playboys were at that time. See more »


Donna Pinciotti: Eric, relax. We've lived next door to each other forever. You could've had me when I was four.
Eric Forman: Really? And there I was all day long on the hippity hop.
See more »


References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »


Hello It's Me
Written by Todd Rundgren
Performed by Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson,
Mila Kunis, and Wilmer Valderrama
See more »

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User Reviews

That '70s Pilot ****
8 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Original Air Date: August 23rd, 1998

Five local Point Place, Wisconsin teenagers and their foreign exchange student tagalong head out to a Todd Rundgren concert in Milwaukee after their circumstantial leader is given an old Vista Cruiser by his parents. With that simple premise, a modern day television classic was born and laughter could be heard around the world and across the decades. This little show had a mountainous power: a power to capture the spirit of the seventies on top of nineties sensibilities. With its well-defined characters, sharp-tongued dialogue and minimalist approach to situation comedy, "That '70s Show" became an era unto its own (lasting just two years shy of a decade). A lot of the future hallmarks of the show are present right from the start: the awkward, interpersonal relationships of its teen focal point, the first person camera views, the floating wall used to signify the stoned genus. In this day and age, it has become harder and harder to find true, lasting greatness gracing our television screens. "That '70s Show" will forever be the benchmark that reminds us moments of greatness are still within the boob tube's grasp, however few and far between they may seem.

On a final note, from a musical standpoint, am I the only one who prefers the Todd Griffin rendition of the theme song used throughout the first season to the version used by Cheap Trick from the second season onward? Neither one touches Big Star's original "In the Street" obviously, but Griffin's take felt more enthusiastic than Trick's, which ultimately felt as toned down as most of their post-'82 output. It's also a shame a lot of the ancillary music was cut from the DVD releases of the series, considering its use helped transport the viewer back to the decadent time depicted therein.

©2010 berringercrossreviews

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