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That 70s Show Review



By Vijay Narayan



The moment that we( team LTGTR) decided we were going to do a retro issue, I knew I simply HAD to write a review on That 70's Show. Call it absolute boredom , or the fact that the actors are so freaking brilliant ( Mila Kunis .... *sighs*) or perhaps the fact that for the past week, I'd done nothing except watch episodes of this very sitcom, but I doubt the reasons for writing it are as important as the review itself, so here goes nothing. 
Created by ...... All right, I'll admit. I've no clue who really created it. Once again, it hardly matters! On the surface, That '70s Show appears to be a straightforward sitcom with a penchant for the occasional dream sequence or other bits of high concept fluff. But if you truly pay attention, you'll find a rather established cultural outlook to it. The show essentially parodies the 1970's, probably one of the most controversial times in the United States-- energy crises, the resignation of Nixon, the end of the Vietnam war, Star wars and of course, the disastrous perms, bell bottomed jeans and disco balls ( which are actually kind of cool, I’ll admit).
However, what truly brought the show alive was the brilliant acting by the main cast members . The show is set in the fictional Point Place, located in the state of Wisconsin. It revolves around Eric Foreman (Topher Grace-the guy who played Venom in Spiderman 3!), who is 17 and obsessing about the same things that all boys that age think about: beer, cars, and girls(not necessarily in that order), and who better to dampen his mood than a Communist-hating Vietnam veteran for a father, and a well-meaning alcoholic nurse for a mother! Throw in his promiscuous sister( who 'got around' with pretty much every guy in town) and you have a perfectly dysfunctional family.


Of course..ONE crazy family just isn't enough. Enter Eric's next door neighbor/ best friend/ girlfriend Donna , a feisty redhead feminist, who ,by all indications, can kick pretty much anyone's ass. Oddly enough, she's saddled with a couple of parents who are trying WAY too hard to be ‘hip’. Bob and Midge are the butt of most jokes, including a running gag about Bob's afro, which destroys the credibly of the very look that Hendrix popularized( a fact made clear to Bob repeatedly!)
Also included in the show are the characters of Hyde, Michael Kelso, Jackie and Fez. Hyde is a smart-alecky, Led- Zeppelin loving, wannabe hippie who sees government conspiracies in everything. This is probably due to the fact that he supplies most of the weed to the group and is almost permanently high. Michael Kelso ( played by Ashton Kutcher) is a rather dim, though well meaning playboy who eventually becomes a cop( and gets thrown into jail himself half the time). Jackie( yes, finally, Mila Kunis!), is a spoiled and snobby little rich kid who believes the world revolves around her. Where would any show be without the stereotyped foreigner! Fez fill this spot on the show; he’s a foreign exchange student with a strong Hispanic accent, a hair fetish, and a rather voyeuristic nature.
The plot itself is fairly lightweight, but certainly gets the job done. The show describes the daily lives of these kids- hanging out in a basement, smoking up every chance they get, stealing beers, and, if time ever permits, attending school. I could go on praising this show forever, but some things are better left unsaid, so I will end it on this note
What makes this show really appealing? Strip the show of its crazy jokes, the marijuana sessions, it’s rather caustic view of the government, and you're left with a show about teens trying to find some meaning in their lives-a sentiment shared by almost everybody our age. Definitely a must watch for... well, everybody.

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Vijay Narayan


 

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