Pros: Fun, entertaining show with likable characters.
Cons: Could be too silly for some viewers.
Once I finally started to watch That 70s Show, I really enjoyed it. Since I like the show so much, I decided to pick up the seasons on DVD. I just finished watching That 70s Show - Season 5.
I will be mentioning things when discussing That 70s Show - Season 5 that will be spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen the previous seasons yet.
That 70s Show was on FOX for eight years. The show is currently in syndication and airs on a few different stations that I get. The show only actually spans four years even though it was on for eight years. The show is set in the late 1970s in the fictional town of Point Place Wisconsin. The fifth season takes place during 1978. The episodes have different plots that deal with specific things while also taking time to deal with the on going story arcs for the show. Things connected to the longer stories, like Eric and Donna's relationship, will make more sense if the shows are watched in order.
Teenager Eric Forman and his group of friends are the main focus of That 70s Show. Some time is also given to Eric's family as well as a few family issues for some of the other characters. At least some of every episode takes place in the basement of Eric's house where he and his friends hang out. The overall decor of the basement hasn't changed during the first five seasons, though every once in a while something in the background changes subtly. Eric and his friends are frequently shown while high in the basement. Those scenes have the characters sitting in a circle with the camera moving around to focus on each of the friends while they babble about what is usually silly stuff. Other areas of the Foreman house are featured and most things tend to happen somewhere in Eric's house.
There are a couple of important developments during the fifth season of That 70s Show. The fourth season ended with a cliffhanger when Donna decides to go live with her mom in California after her relationship with Casey falls apart. Kelso was freaked out after he sort of proposed to Jackie and she accepted, so he went along to California. The first episode of the fifth season ties up that story. Eric decides to go to California to bring Donna home. They get back together and are so happy they get engaged. They keep the engagement a secret for a while. People, especially Red, aren't exactly pleased when they find out. The changes in Eric and Donna's relationship are probably the biggest developments during the season.
The other big development for the fifth season is tied to the changes in Jackie. She was upset when Kelso took off to California, but she didn't sit around waiting for him to come back. Everyone is surprised when they find out that Jackie and Hyde have started a relationship. They still bicker a bit, but the relationship works and seems more stable than the one she had with Kelso. I like Jackie and Hyde for the most part. They have some issues and problems to deal with as well. Kelso is very jealous when he finds out about the new relationship and decides that he wants Jackie back. Fez gets a new girlfriend and finally has sex and then faces deportation during the last two episodes. Kitty has to deal with menopause. This season, like some of the previous ones, ends with a cliffhanger. This one involves Red.
The fifth season of That 70s Show is very funny overall. It has the same type of humor that has been used in the previous seasons and it still works. Kelso continues to crack me up with his antics. He is not the brightest crayon in the box, which results in some very funny moments, like when he is outsmarted by a sliding glass door. Fez still says a lot of things that make me laugh as well. Red continues to have his fits of temper that involve him threatening to stick his foot somewhere that are really funny. During one episode, Red gets Kitty a little dog and the dog ends up being in some very funny moments during the rest of the season. The season has more of the dream or fantasy type of sequences that are very amusing. During Ramble On, Kelso shares one of those moments that has all of them dressed up as superheroes from the Justice League. Eric keeps talking about Star Wars and Batman in ways that I find funny. At one point, he has to pay Donna a geek dollar for making yet another reference to Batman. During one episode Kelso starts talking about The Incredible Hulk and how cool it would be if the Hulk was a purple woman.
Eric and Donna's relationship goes through more changes during the fifth season and continues to be very important to the show overall. Jackie and Hyde end up in a relationship that plays an important part to the season as well. Fez starts to date a girl named Nina which leads to him finally having sex. Kelso romances a girl named Annette in California for the sole purpose of having sex with her. Bob and Joann are still dating, though not a lot connected to their relationship is shared. Red and Kitty's marriage is still strong, though they have to deal with a few things. Several characters are shown making out without there being any actual sex scenes. There are several sexual discussions throughout the season which might upset some viewers.
Eric and Donna both seem to be a bit more mature for the most part during this season. They are dealing with most things better, though they do still have a few issues to deal with every so often. Topher Grace and Laura Prepon do really well with the parts. Red and Kitty are mostly the same, though Kitty going through menopause does impact her and the entire family. Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp are perfect in the parts. Betty White and Tom Poston turn up in a few episodes as Kitty's parents. Laurie, who has been missing since sometime in season three, returns for a few episodes. She does seem to be acting a little nicer. Bob is still the same, though he is happier than he was in the fourth season since he is in a relationship.
Jackie is still demanding, but she is starting to mature a bit, especially when she has to deal with issues connected to her father. I think her being involved with Hyde helped some as well. She can still be shrill and annoying at times, but she is likable overall. I do like Mila Kunis in the part. Hyde is mostly the same, though he is making more of an effort with Jackie. I like Danny Masterson in the part. Leo, Hyde's boss, is in some episodes before leaving town. He at least left a note to explain where he was going.
Michael Kelso is still a huge idiot, though he is likable for the most part. He wants to be able to chase other girls and have sex with as many of them as he can and still go back to Jackie when he wants. He seems to just want what he can't have. Ashton Kutcher is really good in the part. Fez gets a job at the DMV and gets a new girlfriend, Nina. She is bossy, but in a different way from Jackie. Fez still obsesses about sex and still loves candy. Wilmer Valderrama is good in the part. Nina never really fits into the group.
Topher Grace - Eric Forman
Mila Kunis - Jackie Burkhart
Ashton Kutcher - Michael Kelso
Danny Masterson - Steven Hyde
Laura Prepon - Donna
Debra Jo Rupp - Kitty Forman
Kurtwood Smith - Red Forman
Don Stark - Bob
Wilmer Valderrama - Fez
That 70s Show - Season 5 has twenty-five episodes on four discs. There is the option to watch all the episodes on the disc one after the other or to select them individually. When the episodes are selected individually, the option to watch the promo spot for each episode is available. The fifth season is the first one not to have any commentaries for any of the episodes. Season 5 in 5 Minutes is a short featurette showing clips that highlight the major events for the season. A ‘70s Flashback: Wilmer Valderrama and Danny Masterson are two short featurettes that are focused on each actor's character. Each actor is shown talking about their character.
Going to California
I Can't Quit You Baby
What Is And What Will Never Be
Over The Hills And Far Away
The Girl I Love
Misty Mountain Hop
Your Time Is Gonna Come
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
When The Levee Breaks
Whole Lotta Love
The Battle of Evermore
Hey Hey What Can I Do
Bring It On Home
Trampled Under Foot
You Shook Me
Nobody's Fault But Mine
That 70s Show is a funny, entertaining show that I still enjoy. It might be too silly or crude for some viewers, but I do think it is one of the better comedies. That 70s Show - Season 5 is a great DVD set for fans of the show.
This review is part of elvisdo's 2009 Funny Pages Write-Off because of the numerous references to Batman, the reference to the Justice League in a daydream scene, and Kelso's discussion on The Incredible Hulk.
That 70s Show - Season 1 ~ That 70s Show - Season 2 ~ That 70s Show - Season 3 ~ That 70s Show - Season 4 ~ That 70s Show - Season 6 ~ That 70s Show - Season 7 ~ That 70s Show - Season 8