Hello again, Wisconsin!
Fox’s late 90s, early 2000s teen sitcom “That 70s Show” has taken on new life in Netflix’s spinoff series “That 90s Show.” The comedy aired Jan. 19 releasing all 10 episodes of the first season.
The show focuses on Leia Forman, played by Callie Haverda, choosing to spend her summer at her grandparents house in Point Place, Wisconsin, instead of accompanying her father to space camp. Leia befriends the teens around the corner including the edgy girl next door Gwen and the pretty-boy love interest Jay Kelso. The gang spends the summer finding themselves and bonding in the iconic Forman basement.
“‘That ’90s Show’ maintains the likable vibe that made the earlier show such a reliable comfort watch — the laid-back humor, the upbeat nostalgia, the simple empathy for the small but significant challenges of suburban adolescence,’” said Angie Han, Hollywood Reporter.
Debro Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith reprise their roles as Kitty and Red Forman throughout the series.
Many other cast members from “That 70s Show” make cameos throughout the spinoff.
Topher Grace and Laura Prepon return as Eric and Donna, Leia’s parents. Other returning cast members include Ashton Kutcher as Kelso, Mila Kunis as Jackie, and Wilmer Velderrama as Fez.
When asked about her return to the franchise on the “Today” show, Rupp said, “Well, I cried. I just cried for like a week. They’re very generous people. I really feel like everyone fell back into their place.”
Rupp’s sense of nostalgia seemed to resonate not only with the other actors but with devoted fans as well.
Sophomore Juliana Leonardis recalls a specific moment in the show in which she evoked nostalgic feelings.
“When Ashton Kutcher, who plays Michael Kelso, comes in through the back sliding door screaming ‘burn’ it immediately shocked me and made me laugh because it was his catch phrase in the original,” Leonardis said. “Same goes for Mila Kunis when she left yelling ‘Let’s go, Michael.’”
In addition to the return of characters and quotable catch phrases, the set design has also remained the same in this new adaptation.
According to Yahoo News, “One eagle eyed fan spotted that the original sofas in Kitty and Red’s living room have now been moved down to the basement and have become the sofas Leia and her friends use to crash and hang out on.”
While reviews appear to be positive, some devoted fans are upset with the style and continuity of this new adaptation.
Though she enjoyed the season, Leonardis felt that the overall structure was not what she anticipated it to be.
“When I heard about the spinoff, I hoped it would be a lot about the main characters we see in the original show. That was not the case,” Leonardis said. “Compared to the original ‘That 70s Show,’ I felt like the structure was very much like a Disney or Nickelodeon show you would watch nowadays. I found the majority of the plot to be very predictable and not as humorous as the original show was.”
However, “That 90s Show” has been receiving many accolades from critics, as it received 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. While not renewed for a second season just yet, some are optimistic for a bright future ahead.
In an interview with Decider, Haverda shared her anticipation for the evolution of her character, Leia.
“I think she’ll kind of move out of her comfort zone… and we’ll probably see her come back as a more confident person, more sure of herself. Yeah, I’m really excited to see what happens with her when she comes back,” Haverda said.