Friday, 18 July 2014

TV Shows that I want back episode 3 - That 70's Show

That 70's Show 1998-2006

Original cast members

Anyone who missed this show missed out big time! As the title suggests, this show was set in the 1970's. The story began in May 1976 and ended on December 31st 1979, as, well, the 70's had ended! There was an attempt at an 80's show but it tanked after 1 season. Shame. That 70's Show followed the (mis)adventures of Eric Forman and his group of friends, living in Point Place, Wisconsin. We saw the birth of Star Wars mania along with the timeless topics of growing up and young love. This show was truly funny, had a great ensemble cast and never made a dud episode. It also launched the careers of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis....who, coincidentally, played the parts of Kelso and Jackie, who were each other's first loves. The show was well known for 'The Circle', where the gang went to get chilled and peckish....yup they got stoned, although the show was famed for never actually explicitly stating what was happening in said circle. It has been referred to as 'incense' and 'oregano' to hide the truth from adult characters. The action mostly centred on the Forman's basement, where the gang hung out, each in their prescribed spots. Out of the teenage characters only Kelso and Donna don't end up living at the Forman's house, at one point or another, the rest of the teens stay there much to Red's (Eric's grumpy dad) chagrin. The show employed dream sequences to great effect, memorable ones include a Star Wars spoof and a superhero scene, along with many more. The show also used split screens to highlight the differences in male and female interactions. Whenever anyone was stoned and talking to/being told off by Red and Kitty (apart from one memorable episode when Red and Kitty accidentally got stoned from Hyde's 'special brownies') the wall behind the speaker would move to further illustrate the effect of the 'incense'.Other recurring elements included 'the stupid helmet', usually worn by Kelso, Eric's Vista Cruiser and the town's water tower.

Main characters

Eric Forman - Topher Grace 

The series starts with Eric as a 16 year old, scrawny, unathletic, mummy's boy (by the end of the series he has aged but little else has changed!). He has a not so secret crush on his neighbour and childhood friend Donna. His best friend is Hyde, a rebellious, neglected son of a single mother. Eric is, at heart, a nice guy, although he doesn't always do himself any favours! He has a dry, sarcastic sense of humour which tends to get him in trouble with his dad, Red. He's intelligent, but doesn't always apply himself to his studies and has some academic problems as a result. He is the main character for the first 7 seasons, until Topher Grace left the show. Eric chooses to go to Africa to pursue a teaching career as he has no money for college. However, his name is mentioned in each episode of the final season, and his character still helps drive some storylines, despite his absence. He returns in the final moments of the last ever episode, just before the 80's offially begin.

Donna Pinciotti - Laura Prepon 

Donna is the beautiful, redheaded neighbour and childhood friend of Eric , Hyde and Kelso. Both Eric and Hyde harbour romantic feelings for Donna, while Kelso just wants to sleep with her. Donna and Eric become a couple in the first season and, despite a breakup at the end of season 3 and a broken engagement, remain a couple until the 8th season, when Eric moves to Africa to teach. He breaks up with her in a letter, so she tries to move on with a new character named Randy. She breaks up with Randy soon after, as she feels she is moving too fast, and replacing Eric with Randy. It is implied that she and Eric reconcile in the final moments of the last ever episode, when he returns to Point Place on New Years Eve 1979. Donna is intelligent, fiercely independent and a devoted feminist. She refuses to be constrained by typically 'girlie' things, so tends to wear jeans and little make up. Despite the fact that it is agreed that Donna is way out of Eric's league, she loves him and is often the one left heartbroken by him. She is mostly sensible, but when she and Eric break up she goes off the rails. This coincides with the impending collapse of her parent's marriage. She dates Kelso's older brother Casey for a while in season 4, until she is caught drunk after skipping school. She refuses to give up Casey and is devastated when he dumps her anyway. She runs off to California, to live with her mum, with Kelso, who is also running away from Jackie who wants to get engaged. She is miserable and misses Eric, who eventually defies his parents and flies to California to bring her home. As a punishment for her bad behaviour, her dad forces her to go to a convent school to keep her away from Eric and to force her to behave. She and Eric often play parents to the group, being the two most sensible of them all. They eventually get engaged, but Eric gets cold feet and runs away before the rehearsal dinner. Despite this, Donna forgives him and they continue their relationship, until Eric leaves for Africa.

Steven Hyde - Danny Masterson 

Hyde is Eric's best friend from childhood, and eventually his foster brother after his mum leaves town. Hyde is paranoid, rebellious and insensitive. He often ridicules everyone in the group, except for Donna, and likes to deny that he has any feelings whatsoever. At the start of the show he is shown to have feelings for Donna, even going so far as to kiss her when the gang go to Jackie's ski cabin. However, his feelings are unrequited and he eventually gets over his crush. He has few realtionships in the show, the main one being with his former nemesis, Jackie. He explains away their relationship by pointing out that she's really 'hot' when you imagie her silent. He does eventually fall in love with her and they date for a while, but his jealousy over her continuing friendship with her ex boyfriend, and first love, Kelso, causes major issues. Eventually, Jackie demands a commitment from Hyde, and when it is not immediately forthcoming, she decides to take a job offer in Chicago. When Hyde finds out that she has left, he follows her and it is implied he is about to propose. Sadly, Kelso bursts into the motel room wearing nothing but a towel and implies that he and Jackie were about to have sex. Hyde leaves and heads to Las Vegas, where he meets and drunkenly 'marries' Samantha, a stripper. He returns to Point Place and Sam follows him, and despite Jackie's promises that nothing happened with Kelso in Chicago, Hyde chooses to remain married, and his relationship with Jackie ended for good. It turns out that Samantha is already married, which means Hyde was never legally married to her, and she returns to Las Vegas with her husband in season 8. Hyde remains single for the rest of the show. His mother, Edna, brought him up alone after the man he thinks is his father, Bud, leaves. Edna runs off with a man and leaves Hyde behind alone, with no money to support himself. When Eric finds out he tells his parents, and Kitty insists that Hyde move in with the Formans. Red is initially resistant, as they have little money thanks to his employers reducing his work hours. He quickly caves and orders Hyde to pack his things. Hyde then lives in the Forman's basement, until Bud returns and who, after the two reconcile, asks Hyde to move in with him. Bud once again leaves Hyde, who moves back in with the Forman's. He has a surrogate father/employer/friend/child, a stoner named Leo, whom he meets when he applies for a job at his Foto Hut. Leo suddenly leaves town, when it is revealed that he was only meant to stay for a short time, and ended up staying 8 years! He returns near the end of season 7, and resumes his friendship with Hyde. Eventually Hyde discovers that Bud is not his biological father, and learns his father is William Barnett, who it turns out is black and extremely rich. He also has a half sister Angie, who is initially extremely hostile towards Hyde as she doesn't want him muscling in on her dad's business and ruining her dreams of taking over the reins some day. The two eventually become close however, as they both work in one of their dad's record chain stores named Grooves. William eventually sells the record stores and Hyde receives a generic letter informing him of the sale, which leaves him worried about his career, and hurt that his father thinks of him as just an employee. As it turns out, Barnett has sold all the stores except the one in Point Place, and he turns the shop over to Hyde, who ends the 70's as a business owner and manager of the last remaining Grooves.

Michael Kelso - Ashton Kutcher 

Kelso is the lovable idiot of the group. Once again, he is a childhood friend of Eric, Hyde and Donna. It is stated that Kelso comes from a large family, although we only ever see his dad and his older brother Casey. A sister is mentioned but she is supposedly extremely unattractive. Kelso is immature and takes great pleasure in what others think is childish, such as toys and festive kids movies. He is a frequent wearer of the 'stupid helmet', and is very accident prone, injuring his eye an inordinate amount of times. Kelso starts the show with Jackie as his, extremely annoying, girlfriend, whom he insists he is breaking up with but never does. Deep down Kelso does love Jackie, but he is still much too young and immature for such a serious relationship....leading to him making many many mistakes! He is intellectually challenged in most ways, but shows an amazing talent for maths and, astonishingly enough, computer engineering! He decides that Pong, pretty much the first successful video game, is too easy, so he gets to work and manages to make the paddles smaller, thus increasing the difficulty. Kelso is a good guy underneath it all, he sometimes just needs a push to make the right decisions. He accidentally gets the (very hot, played by Shannon Elizabeth) librarian Brooke pregnant, in the toilets of a concert. Thanks to advice from his friends he steps up and does everything he can to be in his daughter, Betsy's, life. Kelso has a relatively brief stint on the police force, but eventually leaves Point Place and moves to Chicago to be near Betsy.

Jackie Burkhart - Mila Kunis 

Jackie starts the show as Kelso's annoying, bitchy girlfriend, who nobody else likes. She is from a rich family, and is extremely self absorbed and selfish. Jackie is very judgemental, and deems most people to be beneath her. She adores Kelso, yet keeps him on a very tight lead! At first she isn't really accepted my the group, nor is she even tolerated. Kelso insists he is going to break up with her many times at the start of the show, but, while they do have some tiffs and breakups, they stay together through many of the early seasons, and still express love for one another in later seasons. By sheer stubbornness and tenacity, Jackie is eventually accepted as an integral group member, becoming Donna's best friend, and eventually dating all the boys except Eric, who still insists he hates her....but doesn't....deep, DEEP down! Her father is a very powerful and influential man throughout the first few seasons, until he is jailed, and Jackie loses her family money and social standing. She eventually moves in with the Pinciottis, until her mother finally returns from her extended vacation! Jackie's relationship with Hyde allowed her to mature and mellow slightly, and the two truly loved each other, but Jackie's demands eventually led to their breakup. By the end of the show Jackie and Fez live together as roomies, and she finally realises that Fez is the man for her. Despite the fact that he had been in love with her for years, at first Fez is unsure, as he doesn't want to be her last resort, but, eventually, they admit their feelings for one another and end the show as a couple.

Fez - Wilmer Valderrama

Fez, whose real name is never stated, is a foreign exchange student...hence where the phonetic spelling of his nickname comes from. He is sweetly innocent in many ways, yet he is still a horny teenage boy desperate to lose his virginity! Nobody knows where Fez comes from, nor his ethnic origins, which causes Red, Eric's dad, to call him many politically incorrect (and hilarious) nicknames like Tonto, Ali Baba, Hadji and Tarzan. Fez only takes offence to being called Tarzan, as he points out to Red that Tarzan was a white man! At one point Fez is about to be deported as his visa has expired, so he marries Laurie Forman.....causing Red to collapse with a heart attack! His marriage enables him to become a US citizen, and luckily for Red, means the marriage can be terminated! Throughout the show, Fez has loved Jackie despite the seeming impossibility of anything happening between them. That is until the final season, when Jackie realises that Fez os the man for her! He rings in the 80's with Jackie Burkhart as his girlfriend, finally!

Red Forman - Kurtwood Smith 

Red is Eric and Laurie's strict father. Laurie is a daddy's girl, despite her exploits. Red is constantly frustrated by his son's lack of athletic prowess, and his snarky personality. On the surface Red is a traditional man's man, but he loves his wife and children and would do anything for them. He is also very charitable, when encouraged by his wife.

Kitty Forman - Debra Jo Rupp

Kitty is Red's wife and the mother of Eric and Laurie, and, in truth, the surrogate mother to the entire group. Unlike her husband, Kitty sees her daughter very clearly, and her behaviour pains her greatly. She mollycoddles Eric, and views him as her baby boy, she goes into deep depressions if she feels that she is losing him in any way. She loves Donna as a daughter, but is also jealous of her place in Eric's life. Kitty is a nurse, although at times she chooses not to work and to stay at home with her family. She is very generous and sweet, but it would be unwise to cross her in any way!

Midge and Bob Pinciotti - Don Stark and Tanya Roberts 

Midge and Bob are Donna's embarassing, but loving and lovable parents. Neither of them is the brightest bulb, but they love their daughter very much. Two other daughters, Tina and Valerie, were mentioned at the start of the show, with Tina even appearing in an episode, but were then never mentioned again. Bob and Midge are childhood sweethearts, who ended up having a baby while still at school. They eventually split up, with brief reconciliations, and Midge moves to California. Bob remains in Point Place and has a couple of somewhat serious relationships, one being with Jackie's mum Pam.

So, there you go.....a quick peek into a great show that I would love to see back on screens, however impossible it is!

Thanks for popping by!


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