Eric Forman has the unpleasant experience of growing up in
seventies (believe me I know from personal experience) Wisconsin.
It is a time of bad music, bad hairstyles and bad clothes.
It was the decade that style and taste took a holiday. Living
with his parents Red and Kitty and a collection of stereotypical
friends, Kelso an idiot, Fez a foreign exchange student and
his off/on girlfriend Donna, can Eric survive his parents
and his friends to make it to the eighties...?
70's Show was very successful, just don't ask me why.
It ran for eight seasons and this box set represents all the
season four episodes. 70's was written by Bonnie and
Terry Turner, who had previously written and created Third
Rock from the Sun and written Wayne's World, Coneheads
and Saturday Night Live. The creative triumvirate
is completed with the inclusion of Mark Brazill, who had also
worked on Third Rock from the Sun. Given the shows
writing pedigree, it's little wonder that That 70's Show
not only feels a lot like Third Rock but borrows many
of the character types.
you haven't seen the show, which is possible as it is invariably
buried in the insomniac time slots, it consist of a number
of short sketches held together by an over arcing narrative.
The show invariably starts in Eric's basement or kitchen with
the gang putting the world to rights and setting up the tenuous
plot for that weeks story. The acerbic Father is usually on
hand as is the mawkish Mother to add the odd one liner which
generates a level of canned laughter whose annoying intensity
is second only to that of a dentists drill.
Humour is very much down to the individual, so I have to hold
my hand up and say that I like either really stupid stuff
like Airplane or the Naked Gun movies or something
which drips great writing like Frasier and Fawlty
Towers. This I just did not get. Apart from the appalling
canned laughter, which detracts from almost every scene, the
characters were far from original. Even before I knew who
had written the show I found myself slobbed out on the couch
thinking that this is just like Third Rock and that
I'd seen it all before. Still, it ran for eight seasons so
there must have been a great market for it.
show was nominated many times for awards. In 2002 it won the
American Choreography award for the 100th episode (That
Seventies Musical) which is included here, must have been
a very slim year as the Choreography was nothing special.
In 1999 the show won an Emmy.
those of you that have been following the show this season
kicks off with Eric still smarting from his recent break-up
and an excuse to rip off It's a Wonderful Life. The
season then commences to spend an inordinate amount of its
time going over and over Eric and Donna's break-up. I can,
at points, see why the show was so popular. If you liked Third
Rock then you're most probably going to think that this
is the funniest thing you have ever seen. I have to admit
that the more of the show I watched the more it grew on me,
well except for the canned laughter.
Extras on the discs are sparse. On disc one you get an audio
commentary from director David Trainer on the second episode
Eric's Depression. Disc three has an audio commentary
for Class Picture. Disc four picks up the pace with
another audio commentary on Hyde's Birthday, a short piece
by Trainer on directing the show, two 70's flashbacks which
are six minute montages with Laura Prepon and Mila Kunis talking
about the show and a bit which condenses season four into
four minutes. Audio is stereo and the print is very clear.
The disc come with a language selection, however the only
language you can select is English making this a little redundant,
though you can choose to watch with subtitles.
It was a difficult one to mark; the show ran very successfully
for eight seasons and garnered large audiences, so what if
it wasn't my cup of tea you might find it hilarious.
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