Thursday, January 19, 2023

We’re All Alright with That ’90s Show, Netflix’s Feel-Good Nostalgic Delight: Review

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That ’90s show premieres Netflix on January 19, 2023. Unlike other shows along the same lines, The That ’70s Show Spinoff aces that are bringing fans back to Point Place while attracting new audiences. Here’s why That ’90s show is worth the watch

Historically, every good reboot or spinoff series has involved the cast of the original in some way. This is a good way to get fans interested in the new concept, but including the original cast also tends to make for a better story. That is certainly the case with That ’90s show.

Although it didn’t seem like the relationship between Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon) was going to make it That 70’s show, it did. In the world of That ’90s showThey are happily married and have one daughter, Leia (Callie Haverda). Now she’s navigating her teenage experience at Point Place like her parents did more than a decade ago. And while some of the stories feel recycled (getting drunk for the first time, finding a stray bag of marijuana in the basement), that’s because every teenager experiences them.

They aren’t the only characters out That 70’s show appearing in the spinoff. Regardless of what original characters appear, or for how long, their appearance is welcome and warranted. But maybe the best part That ’90s show is that it revolves around Kitty and Red Forman (Debra Jo Rupp, Kurtwood Smith). Like stepping back in time to an old friend’s living room, the Formans haven’t changed much, from their relationship to their basement. Which gives That ’90s show a familiar, warm and welcoming feeling – the advantage necessary to attract viewers, regardless of whether they are watching That 70’s show or not.

Much like including the original cast, paying homage to the series that inspired the spinoff can easily go awry. But with that 90s show, do not do it. That’s because it doesn’t use the Netflix series That 70’s show as a crutch.

The 10 episodes of the first season of That ’90s show hold their own when it comes to sitcoms. Rather than overdoing Michael Kelso’s (Ashton Kutcher) iconic “Burn!” Insult, the spinoff only includes a “Burn!” into the story of the first season. The insult is tactful, the timing is perfect, and the joke is delivered by none other than Kelso’s descendants. In other words, it’s perfection.

Kelso’s “Burn!” isn’t the only reference to That 70’s show included in it That ’90s show. From Leia’s burning desire to be cool (a nod to her father) to Ozzie’s (Reyn Doi) over-the-top personality (a nod to Wilmer Valderrama’s fez) and the return of The Circle scenes, That ’90s show does not skimp on the callbacks. Despite this, they never feel compelled. That gives the Netflix series an authenticity that some other reboots lack.

That 70’s show was about a group of teenagers in the 1970s. Ironically, much of the original series’ target audience wasn’t even alive in the ’70s. And yet the show found a home on Fox for eight seasons. That’s because being a teenager is understandable in any decade.

The same can be said about it That ’90s show. It doesn’t matter whether you remember the 1990s fondly or didn’t live to see the decade. There is something for viewers of all ages to relate to That 70’s show spin off. Maybe you’re someone who grew up watching the original series and is now a parent who can understand how Donna and Eric feel about leaving their baby girl for the summer. Maybe you’re even older and can identify with the empty nests that Red and Kitty have become. No matter how old you are, That ’90s show delivers the perfect blend of nostalgia and relationship building viewers have come to expect from a sitcom spinoff.

All 10 episodes of That ’90s show are available on Netflix.

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