That ’70s Show: Season 3
March 27, 2006
Tim Ryder, David Trainer, ,
Starring: Starring: Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Wilmer Valderrama, Debra Jo Rupp, Kurtwood Smith, Tanya Roberts, Don Stark, ,
As the title suggests this show is set over three decades ago, the time that brought us Kiss, Pong, The Exorcist and Bell Bottoms. If the fashion and decor of the 1970s wasn’t funny enough, it’s a hip comedy as well from the creators of 3rd Rock From the Sun and Wayne’s World and the producers of Roseanne and The Cosby Show. Where as Wayne’s World was original and 3rd Rock has the alien/family angle, That ‘70s show preys on a theme that is all too familiar; the troubled teenager. Before PlayStation, before videos and DVD’s, teenagers had to find something to fill their time, and without the aforementioned luxuries, that really only leaves beer, drugs and sex.
Set in the fictional suburb of Point Place, in Wisconsin, the comedy revolves around the Forman family and the youngest sibling, seventeen year old, Eric Forman’s friends. Including his girlfriend and neighbour Donna, the pretty but hilariously dumb Kelso, the laidback conspiracy theorist Hyde, to the foreign exchange student Fez trying desperately to embrace American culture, and superficial control freak Jackie.
This Season 3 box set holds over 8 hours of hip-retro comedy on four discs, and unlike the other season, the actors, characters and audience all feel a lot more comfortable and at ease with the dialogue. Because these characters are two years old now, the writers have started adding a bit more drama in with laughs. Watch as Hyde gets arrested for drug taking and finds his long lost father, Fez finally finds a girlfriend, Donna and Eric’s relationship starts to show cracks and Kelso’s erection problem leads him to the conclusion that he has to stop sleeping around, as he really is in love with Jackie. Its a good job that super mom Kitty and hard-assed Red Forman are there to parent the lot of them.
As much as the plots have improved over the three years, the most engaging stories seem to kick-start and then disappear without mention or conclusion – but there’s always season 4. Every effort has been made to make sure that everything from clothing to carpet has that authentic 70’s look. The aesthetics of each studio stage from basement to living room is going to make or break this show, even though that fact it set in 1977 is the least important element. This type of lowbrow comedy is acquired taste with its dumb humour and bizarre fantasy cutaway scenes, which is why the cast are attractive enough to be able to market under ‘eye candy’ and pull in and please the teenage market.
Everything from scripts to the acting shows progress, and yet That 70s Show still doesn’t seem to pull itself up along side the other US comedy elite such as 3rd Rock, Spin City, Friends or Frasier, thus rendering the show humble but highly watchable. But if it keeps going at this rate it won’t be long before That ‘70s Show will be right up there with the best of them. Watch out for cameo from Mrs Partridge, Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons.
The extras give us commentaries on 6 selected episodes, which are told in retrospect as director and producer talk on season 3 as they are filming season 7, so there’s plenty of spoilers mentioned of forth coming seasons, on top of a lot of praise for cast and crew and little in the way of informative chatter.
Each episode comes with a promo or introduction or both which are a nice feature for fans of the show but don’t watch either of them if this is all new to you, as the will spoil the upcoming events you are about to watch.