Hello Wisconsin! That’s right, after teasing fans for over a year, That 90’s Show is almost here. The official synopsis follows Leia Forman, the love child of Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti (Yep, they knocked boots), and she forms bonds with other teenagers. At the same time, she spent the summer of 1995 with her grandparents, Red and Kitty, in Point Place, Wisconsin, 15+ 1/2 years after the events of That 70’s Show concluded on December 31, 1979. That also means it will completely ignore That 80’s Show, so don’t expect to see Corey, Katie, or anyone else from that failed spin-off.
Kitty and Red look like they haven’t aged a day. Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp remain entertaining as ever and haven’t lost a beat. The best jokes come from those characters. Unfortunately, I hate to be a negative Nancy, but the cast feels like a baby version of the original ’70s cast. It also seems heavily woke. Of course, I won’t judge the show as this is simply the trailer, but I wasn’t feeling anyone outside of Kitty and Red. We don’t get much from anyone other than Leia Forman. Hopefully, I’m wrong, and this show is truly unique. However, it does come from the original team from That 70’s Show, who has more hits than misses.
In terms of the original cast, Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Wilmer Valderrama are expected to return in some capacity, though it’s unknown when and how deep their roles will be. It will likely just be a cameo, but that’s pure speculation. The critical thing here is that the writers should establish the personalities and characters of the new cast first instead of relying on the old names to boost the show. Nostalgia is great, but the new show needs to thrive without relying on the original cast members. If you’re wondering about Danny Masterson, he’s not returning. Masterson’s career is likely over, given that the sexual allegation charges could land him in prison for 45 years plus. There’s no word whether the show will acknowledge Hyde or ignore him. Likely, there will be a line of dialogue stating that Hyde’s either dead or in prison.
Sadly, Eric Foreman’s sister – Lisa Robin Kelly – passed away in 2013; She was excellent in her role as Laurie, and she and Grace had great chemistry as brother and sister. Tanya Roberts is also in the same boat as the actress passed away in 2021. She initially left the series in season three to care for her terminally ill husband, Barry Roberts. She and Bob (Don Stark) were another bright spot in the original series. Stark’s appearance in the show has yet to be confirmed. It would make sense, given the fact that he’s the grandfather of Leia Forman, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he made a cameo, though it doesn’t seem as if he’s a permanent cast member. The promotion for the upcoming Netflix series is gearing up, and Kurtwood Smith talked to Looper about his feelings regarding his return to the iconic role that helped put him on the map:
“I guess the number one thing [I’m happy about] would be getting to play Red Forman again. Number two would be playing opposite Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman. Then beyond that, there are original people from the show in terms of writers – three of the creators of this show were from the original show. [All of this] should make it a fascinating project.”
That 90’s Show is scheduled to debut on January 19, 2023.
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