The producers of the highly-acclaimed television show, “That 70s Show,” came out with a spinoff called “That 90s Show” on Jan. 19, 2023, 25 years after the pilot episode of “That 70s Show” premiered. “That 70s Show” was based on a group of teens as they grew up over the years and focused on their iconic friendship. In “That 90s Show” those same teens are now grown-ups, navigating their new roles as parents. The spinoff is based on their kids as they grow up in their teen years, similarly to the original but with a modern twist.
In the pilot episode of “That 90s Show,” fans felt loads of nostalgia from all of the parallels of the previous show. Little moments like a simple iconic phrase, a nudge on the shoulder or a movement of the camera made the spinoff feel like the perfect full circle moment. The plot of “That 90s Show” is similar to the original in terms of documenting the lives of the teenagers but Callie Havedera (Leia Forman) is new to the group, and to the town, so the already established friend group dynamic isn’t there yet like it was in the original. Watchers get to see Leia navigate making new friends and build the foundation of what will hopefully be an iconic friend group. Additionally, the spinoff has more diversity which gives the show room to explore different topics, so it’ll be interesting to see how the series’ plot takes that into account in later episodes.
An aspect of the show that helps with bringing the nostalgia is the fact that most of the original cast returned to the spinoff. The returning cast includes Topher Grace (Eric Forman), Mila Kunis (Jackie Burkhart), Ashton Kutcher (Michael Kelso), Laura Prepon (Donna Pinciotti), Wilmer Valderrama (Fez), Tommy Chong (Leo), Don Stark (Bob Pinciotti) and Jim Rash (Fenton). The only person who didn’t return to the show is Danny Masterson (Hyde) because of current legal issues that he is involved in. However, despite the loss of a key member, the chemistry between the returning cast hasn’t diminished in the slightest and the new group of teens are successfully filling the shoes of their on-screen parents.
Although the cast is fairly similar to “That 70s Show,” one big thing has changed. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, who were previously in an on-screen relationship on the show, got married around 17 years after the original show premiered. In the spinoff, their chemistry is real which makes the show feel more authentic. Additionally, the actors fell right back into their roles from “That 70s Show” seamlessly and provided watchers with content knowing their characters ended up together. Their romance isn’t the only on-screen love on the show. The chemistry between Callie Havedera (Leia Forman) and Mace Coronel (Jay Kelso), the daughter of Eric and Donna and the son of Micheal and Jackie respectively, perfectly encompasses the dynamics from both relationships on “That 70s Show” and serves as the perfect teen romance for this show.
The full-circle moments in the plot, as well as the romance and humor create the perfect amount of nostalgia and newness in the show. Additionally, the show’s ability to keep iconic moments from “That 70s Show” but still create a way to make the spinoff relevant and have its own flair will be sure to keep both new and old watchers excited as they watch the new cast create their own bond and navigate their way through being teens.