“Hanging out……down the street….”
It’s hard to believe that a show about the 1970’s is over twenty years old. That 70’s Show is the second longest running live action sitcom for the Fox Network (Married…With Children is the longest). It’s successful run ended fourteen years ago in 2006 after eight seasons, but the series is still extremely popular in both syndication and on streaming services such as Netflix.
The core cast:
- Topher Grace as Eric Forman
- Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti
- Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde
- Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso
- Wilmer Valderrama as Fez
- Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart
- Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman, Eric’s Mom
- Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Eric’s Dad
- Don Stark as Bob Pinciotti, Donna’s Dad
- Tanya Roberts as Midge Pinciotti, Donna’s Mom
The cast also included Lisa Robin Kelly as Laurie Forman, Eric’s sister, who appeared in a recurring role. In Season Six, Laurie was portrayed by Christina Moore due to Kelly’s battle with alcoholism. Tommy Chong portrayed Leo, manager of the local Foto Hut and the resident pothead.
Many of the show’s stars would go on to have massive careers. Both Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher (who eventually married in real life) have become established stars on both the big screen and on television. Laura Prepon starred in Netflix’ highly successful Orange Is The New Black. Wilmer Valderrama continues to have success as part of the cast of NCIS, but he has also appeared in a number of successful films and voiced Manny on Disney Channel’s Handy Manny. Danny Masterson co-starred with Kutcher on Netflix’ The Ranch until accusations of rape surfaced against him. His career is currently up in the air. Topher Grace has appeared in numerous films and television shows over the years, most notably Spider-Man 3 and BlacKkKlansmen. Tanya Roberts left the series after the third season to tend to her terminally ill husband, Barry. She returned as a guest star in seasons six and seven. Lisa Robin Kelly would eventually succumb to her battle with alcoholism and passed away and the young age of 43.
Many of the episodes centered on the relationship between Donna and Eric, with the rest of the characters having their own subplots over the course of the series. Kelso, Hyde, and Jackie ended up in a love triangle and Fez spent most of the series looking for love, sex, and candy. He failed almost every time with love and sex, but his candy addiction escalated as the series continued.
One of my favorite things about this series was the many parodies and musical numbers that were inserted into the show. The show parodied everything from Reefer Madness to The Super Friends and featured musical numbers inspired by Westside Story, Grease, and more. There were also a ton of guest stars including a number of 1970’s actors and musicians like Alice Cooper, KISS, Mary Tyler Moore, and many contemporary stars like Bruce Willis, Melissa Joan Hart, and the Rock (Dwayne Johnson). Other notable guest stars included Betty White, Don Knotts, Billy Dee Williams, and Gloria Gaynor.
A number of future stars and established young stars also had guest roles over the course of the series. Amy Adams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eliza Dushku, Justin Long, Shannon Elizabeth, Jenna Fischer, and Luke Wilson are just a few of the many guest stars who would go on to bigger and better things or were already popular when they made their appearance on the show.
A lot of the series took place in the Forman’s basement and one of the most popular elements of the show was “the Circle” where Eric, Hyde, and the rest of the cast would often “solve” problems and discuss issues while under the influence of marijuana.
I really enjoyed watching this show. Hearing Red call Eric a “dumbass” or watching Kelso get hit in the eye by Hyde never got old and still draws laughs out of me to this day. If you enjoyed That 70’s Show, tell me about your favorite moment in the series in the comments section.
As always, thanks for reading my post. Netflix currently has all eight seasons of That 70’s Show available for streaming and it’s also available on Blu-ray and DVD. Keep on rockin’, folks, and I’ll see you again real soon!