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How ‘That 90s Show’ Spinoff Compares to the Hit Original Series “That 70s Show”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Vic chapter.

This post contains spoilers for “That 90s Show’.

‘That 90s Show’ is one of Netflix’s newest TV spinoffs, airing on January 19, 2023. It is a 10 episode series that reimagines the lives of the original characters  from That 70s Show but set 15 years later, placing the show in the nineties. Except, the focus isn’t on the original cast as much as it is on their kids. (Expect very limited and disappointingly short scenes of the original gang.)

This nineties inspired sequel is still based in Point Place, Wisconsin like the original, and features some surprise cameos from the main members of the gang. Familiar faces like Fez and Leo are sure to bring back fond memories for original fans — and it’s great to see they haven’t changed any of the reasons why we love them. 

With the focus in this series on the new teenagers, there is a great opportunity to revamp the same type of comedy from the original series with 90’s based references. Sadly, the writers of this show seem to miss the memo when it comes to what was really hip and happening in the nineties. Now I’m not a nineties baby so I can’t fully say what it was like, but thanks to the internet, I have an idea — even if somewhat glorified — of what life looked like in the nineties. 

We see some attempts by the show to introduce things that are supposed to help the audience believe the timeline, but sadly, not even the dial-up internet or a computer that takes up half of a coffee table is enough to convince me as a viewer of what time this show is set to take place. 

My favourite part of the show was undoubtedly Red and Kitty. If they weren’t involved in this season as much, I genuinely think I wouldn’t have gotten through streaming it. Now, they were a lot more relaxed and carefree than in the teenage days of their son, Eric Forman’s youth — but they still are as lovable as ever. 

The opportunity for the producers to have a primarily new cast to pave the way for a new era of legendary teenage gang was truly missed in this series. A lot of their interactions felt forced. 

Ultimately, are the actors to be blamed or are the writers for the poor quality of this show? When you are trying to revive such a successful piece on screen, one is setting out to complete a truly difficult task. While it was amazing to see some of my favourite characters on the screen again, it was definitely at a cost. As now my fond love for this show is somewhat tainted.

Ashley Ciambrelli is the Senior Editor for the Her Campus Chapter at the University of Victoria. She is in charge of ensuring a high quality of professional writing for the writers that are on her team. She manages the editing team, ensuring they meet Her Campus standards and stay on schedule. Alongside overseeing the editing team, she also loves writing articles herself. Ashley is currently in her third year at the University of Victoria where she is majoring in writing and minoring in journalism and publishing. Ashley has been with Her Campus since the fall of 2022, where she began with writing articles. Later that year, her passion for writing led her to take on a more prominent role within the editing team. In her free time, Ashley enjoys making tea and watching any 2000s teen drama. She casually records vocals for local singers on the side, and is currently working on releasing some music of her own. She is a foster mom with the BC SPCA, and has a strong love for all fluffy creatures — especially bunnies. She loves DSLR photography and hopes to combine her passion for writing with visual media sometime in the future.