Is That 90s Show a worthy followup to That 70s Show? Find out in our That 90s Show review if it’s worth checking out!
It’s time to head back to the Forman’s basement. When last we checked in with this family, it was Dec. 31, 1979. Now fast forward to July 4, 1995, and Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon) have come to visit Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) with their teenage daughter, Leia (Callie Haverda). The visit goes so well that Leia asks if she can stay for the rest of the summer while her parents head back to Chicago. They agree, and Leia sets off on the summer of her life with a new group of Point Place teens.
The new cast consists of Leia’s new best friend, Gwen (Ashley Aufderheide), who just so happens to live in Donna’s old bedroom next door. Her brother Nate (Maxwell Acee Donovan) and his girlfriend Nikki (Sam Morelos) are the new Jackie and Kelso of this group, to be sure. Speaking of Kelso, Jackie and Michael had a son named Jay (Mace Coronel), who is best friends with Nate. And rounding out the group is the recently out Ozzie (Reyn Doi), who cares about no one and lets you know it.
That 90s Show is the latest in a long line of show revivals as of late. The fact it arrives the same week as Night Court tells us quite a bit about the current state of television, actually. The difference here is the new series feels very natural in why we’re revisiting this place in stories. The former teenage cast appearances all feel very logical as to why we would see them again. With Leia living with Red & Kitty, their inclusion is mandated, and it works well. To be frank, they steal a lot of light from the new cast because they are just so good in these roles.
Where the series falls down slightly is the new cast. You can tell in the first few episodes they’re feeling each other out, which is natural in any new series. The issue here is that you have the veterans being so well integrated with one another that it shines a much brighter light on the cracks in the new crew.
By the end of the 10 episodes, the new cast has gelled and works with one exception. Throughout the entirety of the run time, I never bought into Gwen’s character. Her immediate friendship with Leia doesn’t make much sense, and you have difficulty buying them as new best buds. This is now a reflection on Aufderheide, but most definitely on the writers.
The short version here is, if you enjoyed That 70s Show, you will most definitely want to check out That 90s Show. If for no other reason than there is way more Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) than you would have expected. If you’re new to the series, it’s still a fun little sitcom that will keep you entertained for a few hours.
Disclaimer: Netflix provided The Nerdy with all 10 episodes of That 90s Show for the purposes of this review. We watched them to competition before beginning this review.