Going Retro with 'That 70s Show'

Feeling anxious about the summer break? Doesn’t it seem too long and tiring after hours of interning and travelling?

But don’t worry! After a day full of working and deadlines, it’s Netflix to your rescue, again. But this time, let’s try and move past the mainstream Riverdale and the buzz around The End of The F***ing World. Why not take a step back in time with That 70s Show to unwind the stress with comedy and drama?

*spoilers ahead*

Starring Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama in lead roles, this show talks of the lives of six teenagers that hang out in the Forman house’s derelict basement. Donna (Laura) and Eric (Topher) are neighbours, who each other’s love interests from the pilot itself. They go on to date, work their way through the various highs and lows, only to discover how different they are from each other. Donna is often shown as more daring and adventurous than Eric, who is scared of his tough and strict father.  A ludicrous, yet cute relationship of Jackie (Mila) and Michael (Ashton). And of course, it is extremely flattering for fans of the Kutchers to see Ashton and Mila be in an on-screen relationship, completely oblivious of the fact that they’ll be married to each other one day! Jackie’s constant preoccupation with her looks and Michael’s dimwittedness will surely make you laugh!  Fez, the international student, added the touch of humor through his obsession with--though the complete absence of, in his life--women. His accent and the mystery around his nativity is unsettling, though undoubtedly humorous. And Steven with his annoyance for the government, love for Led Zeppelin, hatred for Jackie and an overly placid attitude towards everything else that comes his way makes him fascinating.

The show is based on the way life was for an average middle-class American family in the 70s, giving us a break from the rut of contemporary ideas of comedy shows centered around dressed-up high school girls and charming and good-looking boys. It shows us the real picture in terms of relationships between parents and their teenaged children, co-dependencies in friendships and growing up. Everything from getting high with friends to having sex and getting busted by parents is humorously put forth in the show.

But That 70s Show has its own flaws. Although a majority of the plot was engaging and entertaining, the storyline was unnecessarily stretched through the 7th and 8th seasons. It was dissonating to first watch central characters be removed from the show, only to have them suddenly reappear again. One of the biggest drawbacks of the show was that the viewers couldn’t fathom the lives of the characters after the final episode. Most of the relationships at the end were unexpected and unfortunate, which degraded the plot.

But seen as an overall production, this show is a must-watch for every teenager with exceedingly expectant and/or strict parents, intrusive neighbours, deadlines, relationships and most importantly, friends. Watch it for yourself to find out where Fez is from, what happens to Jackie and Kelso, whether Donna and Eric get married and how Steven makes his life better.

It’s an entire decade in 102 hours filled with laughter!


Edited by Devashree Somani

Images curated by Kangan Dhawan