It’s not alright

“That ’70s Show” spin-off does not live up to the original


Courtesy of Netflix

Promotional photo for the new spin-off of “That 70s Show” called “That 90s Show”.

Clio Burns, Staff Writer

When I first heard that Netflix was producing a spin-off of ‘That ‘70s Show”, I was immediately excited, albeit a bit wary. When “That ‘90s Show” was released this past January, I watched the entire series almost instantly, only to be met with sour disappointment.

Although my expectations were not extremely high, based on the promotional content I had seen, I had hoped for something somewhat entertaining. Instead, I was met with just under five hours of poor acting and jokes that fell flat far more often than not. The most impressive performances in the show were those of “That ‘70s Show’s” original cast members, most of which were tragically brief.

Nearly everything about the show pales in comparison to its predecessor. Rather than endearing, the nerdy main character felt mildly embarrassing to me, and the colorful transitions were more awkward than they were funny. The laugh track sitcom went from a non-issue to borderline infuriating – perhaps a result of no longer finding myself laughing along.

When it came to fashion, an area in which “That ‘70s Show” excelled, “That ‘90s Show” once again fell flat. Although for the most part it remained accurate to the time period, the outfits weren’t as fun as I had hoped. Where I had anticipated styles similar to those in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” or “Boy Meets World”, the stylists took a slightly tamer approach with clothes from current brands such as Brandy Melville.

Fortunately, the show wasn’t all bad. The performances of particular cast members managed to shine through. Without Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith reprising their roles as Kitty and Red Forman, I almost certainly would have stopped watching altogether. Amongst the new cast members, Reyn Doi stole the show as Ozzie. Not only was he the hands-down funniest character out of the new cast of teenagers, a scene in which his character comes out to Kitty was by far the most touching in the entire show.

Despite its poor quality, the show’s length (just one season of only ten thirty-minute episodes) makes it a quick, bingeable watch. Although I can’t say I will be tuning in for season two, I wouldn’t jump to call it a total mess, just a mediocre show failing to fill its predecessor’s footsteps.