Fuller House and Gilmore Girls have gotten a Netflix makeover. Veronica Mars fans made a kickstarter to fund a movie sequel to the mid-2000s teen noir. And NBC has announced that it’s bringing back Will & Grace in the fall. But there is one cult tv show that is yet to be revived: That 70’s Show.
The wonderfully silly sitcom about a group of teenagers growing up in the Seventies is basically Friends meets bell bottom jeans and Disco music. And it was one of my favourite shows growing up. Here’s why That 70s Show needs a revival…
For fans of: Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, The Wonder Years.
Where can I watch? Netflix.
1. The Dynamics within the Gang
Over its eight season run, That 70s Show explored the various kinds of relationships of the core six – Eric (Topher Grace) and Jackie (Mila Kunis) can’t stand each other; there’s an on-going rivalry between Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Hyde (Danny Masterson), while Fes (Wilmer Valderama) and Kelso have a bromance that is bordering on homoerotic at times. Aren’t you curious to see how their friendship evolved on their way to adulthood? Are Donna (Laura Prepon) and Jackie still in touch? Do Hyde and Kelso still prank each other? I wanna know!
2. The relationship between the Formans and the kids
In addition to exploring the relationships between the core sixtett, the show also finds funny ways for Eric’s parents Kitty and Red, whose basement, driveway and kitchen the kids are always hanging out in, to engage with the bunch. There are countless instances where the couple advises, comforts or simply takes care of their son’s friends, the most obvious example being their decision to take in Hyde after his father has left town.
It would be interesting to see the kids still coming to Red and Kitty for advice as adults. Jackie would enlist Kitty to teach her how to make a casserole ’cause she’s supposed to entertain her husband’s boss and his wife for dinner; Donna would be annoyed by her and Eric’s kids and she and Red would bond over a beer in the garage. Kelso probably still raids the Formans’ fridge every night.
Of course, the most compelling relationship of all is that between Red and his son Eric, who, by his father’s standards, often falls short of proving himself as a man. That probably still hasn’t changed and would be entertaining to watch in the context of a different era with a different political landscape, but also within the context of Eric being a father and a family man himself.
3. The Romances
As we know from shows like Friends and How I met your Mother, in any group with both male and female members, there is bound to be romance between some of them, at least on TV. On That 70s Show, there were three primary couples, Eric and Donna and Jackie and Kelso / Jackie and Hyde (I was always Team Hyde).
While it is pretty clear that Eric and Donna ended up together and started a family, it is less obvious who Jackie chose to build a life with – or if she has chosen at all. A revival could give answer that question for us.
4. It’s where Ashton and Mila met
Personally, I always hated Kelso and Jackie together, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t have amazing chemistry. In part, that was because there was a real connection between Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis that eventually resulted in the two of them getting married and having two children.
It’s always great to see people who are friends or lovers in real life act together on-screen, which is one of the reasons why I am obsessed with The Ranch on Netflix (it stars Ashton and Danny as brothers and has given guest spots to Wilmer and Debra Jo Rupp, who played Kitty on That 70s).
With that in mind, it would be great to see Ashton and Mila reprising their roles as the show’s former golden couple and delve right back into their bickering and bantering.
5. The pop cultural references
From bell bottom jeans and high-waisted shorts, to attending roller disco or seeing Star Wars for the first time, That 70s Show is dripping with period references and aesthetic, but never drowning in nostalgia for the era of its setting. Most notably, it embraces the style and pop culture (record stores!!!) of the decade.
If the show made a 20 year time-jump for its revival, it would be set in the Nineties, which render themselves to pop-cultural references and eccentric clothing just as well. Just imagine Jackie rocking a crop top, baggy pants and supersize tinted sunglasses. Or Eric going to see Titanic with his friends and never shuting up about it afterwards. Or Kelso, Fes and Hyde going to a rave.
That 70s Show (1998-2006): 8 Seasons à 20+ episodes à 27mins.; starring Topher Grace (Take me Home Tonight), Laura Prepon (Orange is the New Black), Wilmer Valderama (Navy CIS), Ashton Kutcher (Two and a half Men), Mila Kunis (Friends with Benefits), Danny Masterson (The Ranch), Kurtwood Smith, Debra Jo Rupp.
To binge or not to binge? There are a LOT of episodes, so don’t go overboard. Stick to a maximum of four episodes a day.