That 70’s Show sequel: Revamped for a new generation
February 6, 2023
Casts being reunited and old stage sets being propped up once again. All with the thrill of reborn potential.
Throughout the years, there’s been an increased interest in rebooting once beloved TV shows. “Gilmore Girls”, “Full House”, and “Boy Meets World” are among the many cult classics to get a spin-off. Likewise, it would only be expected that “That 70s Show” would get one too. After years of begging, pondering, suggesting, Netflix finally released “That 90s Show” to hopeful viewers of the original show.
The episodes follow Leia Forman, the daughter of the original main character, throughout the summer of 1995. She stays at her grandparents’ house during the summer and relives the life that her parents once lived.
Leia’s new group of friends in Point Place, to say the least, marks all the boxes of the stereotypes list. Gwen, Leia’s neighbor and closest friend, is the typical 90s riot grrrl. Her lines all include something pertaining to not letting men define women and their personalities. However, Gwen has scenes that include making out with a guy or helping Leia find a boyfriend.
Then, there’s Ozzie, the token gay kid. It isn’t revealed until an episode or two that Ozzie is gay. However, once it is, it becomes his whole personality. He spends whole episodes just discussing his boyfriend or his 16 step plan to fully coming out. Nate and Jay are the himbos of the show. Both spend an odd amount of screentime exchanging “bros” between one another. Lastly, Nikki is portrayed by an Asian actress. Her father is a well-known doctor around town and she has the same aspirations. Nikki spends the entirety of the show studying for the SATs or talking about how excited she is for school to start. She even gets an “adrenaline rush” at just being in the school building before the official year starts.
The diversity is one of the strong points of the show. Nonetheless, it quickly becomes the characters’ main personalities. They have no original thoughts or characteristics other than liking the same gender or obsessing over grades. This quickly became uninteresting and redundant.
Additionally, the new cast just didn’t have the same chemistry as the original one. Viewers are made to believe that these teens have known each other for years. The complete opposite fell into place. Scenes with the new “gang” felt awkward. As if, the actors weren’t comfortable around one another.
Even so, “That 90s Show” had a few decent moments. Most of which included reminiscent cameos from the original cast. Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti gathered on top of their car hood in the first episode. Similarly, this is where they shared their first kiss in the original pilot. Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkhart burst into the Forman’s kitchen for a few seconds to discuss their second remarriage. Leo and Fez even get a couple scenes throughout the entirety of the show.
Overall, “That 90s Show” wasn’t terrible. There were sappy moments and some laughs. It was a nice attempt to bring back something that was once so beloved. However, it will never compare to its predecessor.