The wait is finally over! That ’90s Show proves how in a time full of sequels and reboots, a show can be refreshing to audiences. Netflix released their new iteration of That ‘70s Show today in the US. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show would stick to its roots and re-create the charm that made its predecessor iconic. Judging by what fans are saying online, a great story, a new setting, and talented cast would encapsulate what made the original series so fun to watch.
This show takes place 16 years after the events from the beloved Fox comedy, That ‘70s Show. The overall story focuses on Callie Haverda (Shut Eye, The Lost Husband) who stars as Leia Forman, the daughter of Eric Foreman played by Topher Grace (Home Economics, BlacKkKlansman) and Donna Pinciotti played by Laura Prepon (Orange Is the New Black, The Hero) where she interacts with other teenagers from Point Place, Wisconsin. She first visits her grandparents Red Forman played by Kurtworth Smith (Ultra City Smiths, The Dropout) and Kitty Forman played by Debra Jo Rupp (WandaVision, The Ranch) for the summer.
After the first trailer released, many fans were eager, yet skeptical, to watch this new re-telling with a brand-new line of characters. While some say the show’s aesthetic fits more with 2020’s culture than during the 90s, the same could be said for That ‘70s Show back when it first aired. Regardless of that, the show still garnered massive success and took audiences through memorable episodes with the main cast.
As it was teased by Netflix, “Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll never dies, it just changes clothes.”
Fans of the original show were excited when most of the main cast would reappear in some capacity, with Red and Kitty being major role models for this new cast. Many still yearned for their favorite characters to reappear on screen, as it was reported by Deadline, Topher Grace would only make a cameo in 1 episode as Eric, the main protagonist of the previous show. Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch, Two and a Half Men) and Mila Kunis (Black Swan, Bad Moms) return as Michael Keslo and Jackie Burkhart and fans expect Wilmer Valderrama (NCIS, Encanto) to reprise his role as Fez.
A notable absence that would have to be addressed would be the case of Steven Hyde. Played by Danny Masterson, his court case and recent mistrial saw him dropped from any potential future projects. Moreover, Netflix would work around this and navigate to insert a creative reason for Hyde not to return. Although Masterson won’t be likely to make an actual appearance, his character could be mentioned a handful of times to establish reasons for a departure, as well as a motive that makes sense in the show’s context.
What makes this sequel different from others would come down to the direction the plot goes. Many other shows make use of easter eggs as references and callbacks to previous episodes or in this case, to That ‘70s Show. Many fans feel nostalgic for the original series and would be the most excited when returning members of the original cast reappear on screen. If the story does not rehash storylines or rely solely on references and romanticized nostalgia, the show has a chance to engage with newer audience members and satisfy older fans. Luckily, fans pointed out how most of the new cast exhibit traits that made their ’70s counterparts so iconic with a new spin.
Only time would tell what this season would bring for audiences, but hard-core fans are nevertheless eager to finally get a glimpse at their favorite characters once again. You can watch the show starting January 19th on Netflix.