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That ’90s Show Review: A Millennial Nostalgia Trip

That 90s Show Featured Image
The ensemble cast of That '90s Show

That ‘90s Show is the long awaited continuation of the hit series That ‘70s Show, which was a staple of my after school TV watching. It’s hard to imagine the ‘90s being old enough for the setting of a series, but it is absolutely a nostalgia trip as soon as it starts. That ‘90s Show doesn’t quite have the same magic as the original, but it’s a good series that can lead younger viewers back to the original. It also gives the older viewers a chance to enjoy the return of original cast members, from Topher Grace to Tommy Chong!

That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Topher Grace as Eric Forman, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman in episode 101 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022
That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Topher Grace as Eric Forman, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman in episode 101 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022

That ‘90s Show Review

While the main focus is on the new cast of teens in Point Place, it is so great to see many of the original cast members back, especially Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith as Kitty and Red Forman. This time around, they’re back as grandparents taking care of Leia Foreman (played by Callie Haverda) for the summer (much to Red’s dismay). As great as it is to see most of the original cast back together in the pilot episode, it would have been better to have them all interact with each other. Hopefully that can happen next season (as long as Netflix doesn’t cancel it first)!

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The new cast of teens are led by Haverda, who does a great job as Leia. She’s a female version of Eric, which fits in perfectly with the rest of the group. They made a point to have the archetypes of the original cast represented in the new cast, and it works…for the most part. For example, Nate (Maxwell Acee Donovan) is the “Kelso” of the group, but I feel like he makes Kelso look like a genius at times. My hope is that Nate can do some growing up before a potential second season and become a more tolerable character.

That '90s Show. (L to R) Mace Coronel as Jay, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen Runck, Reyn Doi as Ozzie, Maxwell Acee Donovan as Nate, Sam Morelos as Nikki in episode 101 of That '90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022
That ’90s Show. (L to R) Mace Coronel as Jay, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen Runck, Reyn Doi as Ozzie, Maxwell Acee Donovan as Nate, Sam Morelos as Nikki in episode 101 of That Ô90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022

Debra Jo Rupp is having the time of her life playing Kitty again. She is such a scene stealer and has great chemistry with the new cast. She also still has great chemistry with Kurtwood Smith, who steps right back into the shoes of Red Forman with no problem at all. Red has done some growing up over the years and is a good grandpa to Leia; he’s tough and caring at the right moments. The rest of the original cast members are great reprising their roles as well, but I won’t spoil all of the surprises!

That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman in episode 101 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022
That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman in episode 101 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022

Overall, I would recommend giving That ‘90s Show a chance, especially if you are a fan of the original. Is it perfect and exactly like That ‘70s Show? Of course not, but neither was Fuller House and that got several seasons. I can only hope Netflix gives the same courtesy to this series. It’s a fun nostalgia trip with some predictable moments, but at its heart it’s all about friends, family, and having an awesome summer in the ‘90s.

Rating: 7/10

7 Out of 10

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Written by Elliott Wishnefsky

Elliott Wishnefsky is an Entertainment Writer & Critic for FandomWire. He's a graduate of Millersville University with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Elliott is also a content creator for his own brand, Learning at the Movies! Twitter: @Learning_Movies | Facebook/Instagram: @learningatthemovies | TikTok: @learningatthemovies