When ‘That ’70s Show‘ first aired in 1998, it was a hit with its fun-loving, bell-bottom-wearing characters and classic rock soundtrack. It was a hilarious homage to the decade of disco, weed, and wide collars. But fast forward to 2023, and the show’s sequel, ‘That ’90s Show,’ falls flat. It’s like a bad cover band trying to play the same tunes but without any of the original’s charm.
Like the original, ‘That ’90s Show’ follows a group of teenagers in Wisconsin and their antics while their parents are out of sight. Leia, the daughter of Donna and Eric, and Jay, the son of Michael and Jackie, are the new members of the gang. The setting remains the same as the original, with Eric’s childhood home basement serving as the central hangout spot. But still, something is missing, and we are here to find out what.
One of the critical aspects of ‘That ’70s Show’ was its humor. It was quirky, irreverent, and always had a touch of nostalgia. Unfortunately, ‘That ’90s Show’ tries too hard to replicate that humor and falls flat. The jokes feel forced, and the show seems to be trying too hard to be funny. The actors also appear uncomfortable with the script, and the humor seems more cringe-worthy than comedic.
Another problem with ‘That ’90s Show’ is the casting. The actors are miscast and lack the original cast’s charisma and charm. The new characters feel like knock-offs and lack the chemistry and camaraderie that made the original show so enjoyable. Even the returning cast members, Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, seem to be phoning in their performances. The absence of Danny Masterson, who played Hyde, also leaves a hole in the show that can’t be filled.
Lack Of Nostalgia
Finally, ‘That ’90s Show’ fails to capture the nostalgia that made the original show so popular. While ‘That ’70s Show’ was set in a decade that was popularly associated with nostalgia and had a distinct style, ‘That ’90s Show’ doesn’t have the same cultural significance. The show’s portrayal of the ’90s feels flat and uninteresting. There’s no real sense of time and place, and the show’s attempts to evoke nostalgia fall short. The soundtrack, which was such an essential part of the original show, also fails to capture the spirit of the ’90s.
While ‘That ’90s Show’ might not have captured the same charm as its predecessor, ‘That ’70s Show,’ it’s still worth checking out for fans of the original. It’s a nostalgic trip back to a simpler time, and the cameos from some of the original cast members are a nice touch.
Sure, the show has flaws – the writing isn’t as sharp, the casting isn’t as spot-on, and it lacks the same spark that made ‘That ’70s Show’ so special. But if you’re in the mood for some entertainment and a trip down memory lane, ‘That ’90s Show’ is worth a watch. Just don’t expect it to live up to the high bar set by the original.