“That ‘90s Show” Brief Review

Written by Alexandra Tarter, Editor-in-Chief “That ‘90s Show” is a perfect throwback to Millennials’ childhood. Layers and layers of nostalgia reveal themselves in each and every episode, with a fresh […]

Written by Alexandra Tarter, Editor-in-Chief


“That ‘90s Show” is a perfect throwback to Millennials’ childhood. Layers and layers of nostalgia reveal themselves in each and every episode, with a fresh take from the present. 

 

 

 

 

A sequel of “That 70s Show”, the spinoff centers around Eric Foreman (Topher Grace) and Donna Pinciotti’s (Laura Prepon) daughter; Leia Foreman (Callie Haverda). Leia is visiting her grandparents, Kitty and Red Foreman (Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith), for the summer. There, she finds herself an exciting group of friends who brings her out of her “dorky” shell. A classic teenage tale, Leia and bestfriend Gwen Runck (Ashley Aufderheide), love interest Jay Kelso (Mace Coronel), teenage couple Nikki and Nate (Sam Morelos and Maxwell Acee Donovan), and comic relief Ozzie (Reyn Doi) experience a summer impossible to forget.

 

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1B8AAEFF 4D98 4B0D 89E9 70E88F67FCDE

Photo Credits: Netflix

Yes, you heard that right. Jay Kelso, son of Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkhart (Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who do make a Cameo). Truly, the best of both worlds. 

 

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EA399A12 6766 4FBA B0D7 BC285E72F0B9

Photo Credits: Netflix 


The first season carries the legacy of its parent series well; we see identical transitions, the famous weed circle scenes, peeks into the character’s imagination, and so much more. The show is truly entertaining to watch, each character interesting and unique. However, there are a few aspects I had a problem with. (SPOILER)

 

The show’s pace. Everything moved so quickly, especially since there are only 10, 25 minute episodes. The same storyline spread across double, or even triple the amount of episodes would’ve flowed much more nicely and kept the viewer on the edge of their seat. Usually, 10 episodes a season works fine when episodes are much longer, like 45 minutes to an hour, with the same amount of running time, like seen in “White Lotus” on HBO. The season we got did not feel much like a season, friendships and relationships rushed, missing key aspects of real life. Jay and Leia’s relationship began halfway through the season, with them barely knowing each other. Unlike Donna and Eric, who have known each other their whole life, began a relationship much later than Leia and Jay, who just met. Serena and Jay’s relationship should’ve been more stretched out, it’s like it barely ever happened. It seems the showrunners were rushed in producing the series, trying to squeeze in multiple seasons in one. We didn’t get to see as much as we would like; not enough scenarios that would have lasted the whole summer. There could’ve been so many more episodes, where we could’ve gotten to know the characters better, like a day at the beach, at a carnival, lemonade stand, etc. So, my advice to producers, quantity does matter in order to make quality. Don’t be lazy.

 

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7A74C9AE A61D 4638 9BF9 9B9EF4C7845C

Photo Credits: Netflix

Next, the acting. The characters. Shallow, empty, did not feel real enough. Although this is a sitcom, where cringey acting is inevitable, the acting felt forced and unrealistic. With an almost all teenage ensemble, it’s easy, and very common for acting to come across more theatrical than intended. Almost feels like a Disney Channel show. There is no need to be overly dramatic, it’s almost difficult to watch. Especially Leia, who was meant to be a dorky character, acts like she’s performing for young children. Some of the script is at fault, too, though. One liners don’t make us laugh like they used to, the “funny” jokes are not so funny, more odd.

I do have a problem with Ozzie, though. He felt like he didn’t really belong, just a stereotypical sassy gay best friend. His lines were meant to be comic relief, but he didn’t come across as a unique character, but a plot device to make the audience laugh. His character lacked chemistry with the others, and again, his lack of development throughout the season. 

 

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D7317B5D 2CBA 4324 8854 B76D58D0B722

Photo Credits: Netflix

And then, the conclusion of the show. We did see a fight between Jay and Leia over leaving and having a long distance relationship, and then her encounter with Nate, which caused interesting conflict necessary to any plot line. However, the first season did not really end on a cliffhanger, a happy little summary to the mini-show. All the characters waved Leia off happily as she returned to Chicago. Boring. Where’s the drama? I feel concluded, like I don’t need to watch a second season. Truly a Disney Channel exit. 

 

Producers, next time, don’t be afraid to add in a little reality, and stretch out the show a bit. All good fiction is grounded in truth and realism, after all. 

 

 

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