THAT 70S SHOW: SEASON SEVEN
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Topher Grace as ERIC
Mila Kunis as JACKIE
Ashton Kutcher as KELSO
Danny Masterson as HYDE
Laura Prepon as DONNA
Wilmer Valderrama as FEZ
Debra Jo Rupp as MRS. FOREMAN
Kurtwood Smith as MR. FOREMAN
Created by: Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner and Mark Brazill
BY KEVIN CARR
As “That 70s Show” fades into America’s collective pop culture memory from the television screen, it’s still going strong on DVD. The seventh season has been released as a box set, and fans can start mourning in about six months when the next – and final – season eight comes out.
The seventh season begins with Eric and Donna recovering from their lost wedding. Eric has decided to shuck responsibility for a life of doing nothing, and Donna miraculously supports him in this. Jackie is still dating Hyde, but she’s pushing for a longer commitment. Meanwhile, Hyde discovers his true father and the sister he never knew. For maximum comic relief, Fez and Kelso spend their time together being basically stupid with a few diversions as Kelso learns to be a father.
Watching the evolution of this show is fascinating in itself. The series began as an homage to the decade of the 70s. Drug references and 50s-era teen crime waves were commonplace. Soon, the pot references in “the circle” were replaced with just kids hanging out, and the teenagers’ behavior was tempered quite a bit.
As the show is winding down in its seventh season, it revives all of that inappropriate spirit that made the stories so hilarious in the first place. Instead of just bringing back the smoky background in the circle, there are constant references to Hyde’s stash and a hysterical call-back to the first time Eric was caught toking it in the basement.
Gone are the days of responsibility for the show, which is now perpetually stuck in the 1979 time loop. The writing and directing demonstrates a less reactive attitude in the showrunners, and that works out brilliantly. The magic from the earlier seasons is back, and we’re treated to fewer very special episodes. It’s too bad the show has to end in the next box set.
Similar to earlier seasons, this set includes audio commentary on selected episodes as well as promo spots for all 25 episodes. There’s a retrospective of the writing on the show, a recap of the season and a scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel spotlight on Don Stark.