Now Red is reduced to part-time-work after a car company restructuring, the Forman family budget is cut too tight to eat and entertain well. Still Kitty joins the festive mood in Point Place when ingrate Jackie's dad, lawyer Jack Burkhart, organizes a reelection campaign stopover in the Wisconsin rat-hole. A speech from the principal against 'social actions' and what motives don't count inspires the basement boys, who till then taught it all lame too lame to bother, to go crazy by streaking. Donna hesitates whether to join her parents in embarrassing matching starts-and-stripes jumpsuits. Mr. Burkhart's committee wanted a Joe ordinary to ask Ford a question, so Bob invites Red, who hesitates, then decides to tell his mind about the policy he feels cost him his job, but is delivered a sissy prepared question- not good enough. The fate of their raincoats and the presence of dogs make the boys realize the (pecker) perils in the nude are too big. When Red seems too nervous to ask either ... Written by
President Gerald R. Ford is coming to small town Wisconsin and Forman clan patriarch Red (Kurtwood Smith) is given the opportunity to ask him one question. The only question facing Red however, is will he ask the pre-approved inquiry or invoke his freedom of speech and ask his own, harder hitting query. For the third show in a series' run, this is a surprisingly dead on sitcom portrait of America. The writers, cast, even (soon to be) long time director David Trainer are all comfortable in their positions and expertly blend together the matchless melting pot of Midwestern values and hyperactive humor.
This show presents a novel way of dealing with the economic recession of the seventies while touching upon the popular counter cultural subject of streaking through populated events (for evidence of this activity's reputation look no further than Ray Steven's 1974 song "The Streak"). Nothing is taboo for this show, be it the sexual inclinations of Donna Pinciotti's parents hinted at before her very ears or religious symbolism depicted in the school cafeteria during a moment of rebellious decision regarding the title pursuit.
It's not just the standout scripting of the episode or the marvelous way it's presented, it's also the undeniably superb casting choices the producers made. There's the show-stealing performance from Kurtwood which begins to truly define his curmudgeonly lovable character. There's also the wonderful highlighting of differences and similarities between working class grump Kurtwood and fun-loving, American flag jumpsuit wearing next door neighbor Don Stark (who plays air-headed Bob Pinciotti a little too perfectly). Each teenager spotlighted on the show has already been well-rounded in their creation and it's also incredible to have two generations of sex symbols living under the same roof on screen: the heartbreakingly hot Laura Prepon (Donna) and the ageless Aphrodite Tanya Roberts (as Donna's mom Midge Pinciotti). I do believe the series marginally missed out by not developing the high school principal (Mark Bramhall) into a recurring supporting role, though that's a very minor nitpick compared to the successes achieved. Overall, "Streaking" hits another horsehide out of the park on the entertainment ball field that is television.