“That 90’s Show” Season 1 Review

Story posted January 27, 2023 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Savannah Swartz

*This article contains topics of sexual assault that could be triggering. Read at your own discretion.*

Seventeen years after the series finale, “That 70’s Show” finally got the sequel it deserves, and it is appropriately named, “That 90’s Show”. With high anticipation because of the return of such nostalgic and iconic characters being reprised the show had a lot at stake.

Thankfully, “That 90’s Show” delivered.

Callie Haverda plays Leia Forman, daughter of Eric and Donna. She decides to stay with grandparents Kitty and Red Forman for the summer to get close with friends in Point Place, Wisconsin, and to have experiences like her parents in the original show.

In the pilot, the audience is introduced to several new characters who grow close to Leia and spend the summer in the Foreman’s basement.

The first episode especially is very nostalgic. Kitty and Red are played by the same actors as in the original show. Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp return as grandparents and are so cute in this stage of life.

Along with that, the pilot features Leia’s parents, played by Topher Grace and Laura Prepon. Prepon goes on to make multiple appearances in the show, but Grace, unfortunately, is only in episode one.

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Wilmer Valderrama also make appearances as their old characters.

Kutcher and Kunis’ characters, Miachel Kelso and Jackie Burkhart were on and off throughout the whole original show, but as revealed in the pilot, ultimately end up together.

Their son, Jay, played by Mace Coronel is Leia’s love interest throughout the season.

Coronel is well known for his career on the Nickelodeon show “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn”. While the rest of the new cast were not as well-known before these roles.

Each new teenager corresponds to a teenager from the original cast, which adds to the nostalgic feel. Except now, they are in the 90’s.

The only original cast member who will not be making an appearance on the show is Danny Masterson, who played Steven Hyde. Due to his recent sexual assault cases, Masterson has not been invited to join the reboot.

The show is witty and nostalgic, but definitely has some cringe-worthy moments.

With similar vibes and plot to the original show, the humor is the same. However, some of the dialogue and specific scenes are somewhat painful to sit through.

Another downfall is that some of the outfits do not hold true to outfits of the 90’s. The costume department of “That 70’s Show” did a phenomenal job representing the decade, and made expectations high for what was to come from “That 90’s Show,”.

However with “That 90’s Show”, some viewers have gone to TikTok to express how some outfits look like they are from Brandy Melville today, instead of the 90’s.

On the other hand, something the show did really well was casting. All of the teenagers are actually teenagers which leaves lots of potential for future seasons.

This juxtaposes “That 70’s Show” where some of the actors were in their twenties when they started their roles.

Along with that the characters who are children of original characters do an excellent job incorporating iconic catchphrases from their fictional parents.

Haverda, especially, does an excellent job portraying Eric's  awkwardness and nerdiness.

Also, Coronel does a great rendition of Michael Kelso’s iconic line, “BURN!”.

All things considered, the ten episode season was a great introduction to the spin off. For being based on such a well known show, it would have been easy for this show to flop by relying too heavily on “That 70’s Show” characters to carry the plot.

However, the writers made this show its own, but were still able to acknowledge the original show in each episode without overkilling it.

By having the same sets and having Red and Kitty in each episode it feels like the show that fans remember, but by having a new rendition of the theme song, and creating new problems and tropes for the teens to overcome they were able to create a story that can stand alone for those who never watched the original show.

For fans that love “That 70’s Show”, “That 90’s Show is easy to enjoy, however if you are not the biggest fan of the original show, the cringier parts will be harder to sit through.

The season finale left watchers wanting more, and set Netflix up to release a season two, but has yet to be confirmed.

Rating: 4/5

Savannah Swartz is a second-year communications major. To contact her, email sms9072@psu.edu.