After enjoying That 70s Show for several years, I decided to pick up the series on DVD. I recently watched That 70s Show - Season 3.
That 70s Show, a half hour comedy, aired for eight years on FOX. The show is currently in syndication and airs on a few different channels that I get. Even though the show was on for eight years, only four pass over the course of the show.
I will be mentioning a few things when discussing the third season of That 70s Show that will be spoilers for certain things that happen in the second season for anyone who hasn't seen that season yet. Proceed with caution.
That 70s Show is set in the fictional town of Point Place Wisconsin in the 1970s. The third season of the show takes place mostly during 1977 with the last few episodes set in 1978. A license plate shown at the end of the opening credits and at the end of each show has a sticker that indicates the year each episode is set in. The episodes have plots that can mostly stand alone, though there are some ongoing stories as well. Those things will make more sense if the episodes are watched in order. Most of what happens is tied to Eric Forman, his family, or his friends in some way.
Once again, many scenes from the third season of That 70s Show are set in various rooms of Eric's house. The most scenes are probably set in the basement where Eric and his friends hang out. That is where they smoke marijuana as well. In the first two seasons, it is just hinted that they are getting high, but it is pretty obvious what is going on. The marijuana is more directly addressed in the first few episodes of the third season. The drug use may offend some viewers. Several scenes are set in the kitchen, usually at meal time. The living room, Eric's room, Red and Kitty's room, and even the driveway and garage are also used as the settings for some scenes. Some scenes are set at Donna's house and a few other places around town where the friends spend time.
The second season ended with cliffhanger involving Hyde being arrested. It really wasn't surprising that it happened and it did open up some possibilities for the third season. The situation is dealt with in the first episode, with the consequences carrying into the second episode with Red's new strict rules. Even though the story is more serious, it is still dealt with humor, especially with Red bellowing about playtime being over all the time. Some other serious issues, usually connected to Donna and Eric's relationship in some way, are brought up while the show remains humorous overall. The final episode does get more serious and has more of an ending than the last season did, though there things that will carry into the next season.
The third season of That 70s Show has a lot of developments for the characters. The situation with Hyde being arrested is dealt with fairly quick. More goes on with him since his father turns up after being gone for years. Hyde decides to move in with his dad though he still spends a lot of time at the Forman house. Kelso starts trying to get Jackie back even while he is still messing around with Laurie. Once things fall apart with Laurie, Kelso is more active about trying to get Jackie back. Laurie just vanishes during the season with no explanation for where she went. She is even removed from the opening credits. I didn't really mind that since I didn't like her that much. Before that, she is trying to figure out what to do with her life and she decides on going to beauty school. Things are good in general for the Forman family during this season. This time, Bob has some problems to deal with concerning the store he owns. Donna and Eric's relationship continues to develop and some complications do develop for them.
The third season of That 70s Show has three holiday episodes. In Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die, the group tries to find things to do on Halloween. Fez dresses up like Dr. Frank-n-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The characters have watched a marathon of Hitchcock movies, and the majority of the episode has the characters in situations similar to some of the more famous Hitchcock movies. That causes some very entertaining sequences. Even the music for the theme song is slightly different for the episode, with a creepy sounding organ being added. In Hyde's Christmas Badger, Hyde throws a party at his dad's while Kitty is worried about his welfare. I think some bells are used during the theme song. During Donna's Panties, Eric does something that really upsets Donna on Valentine's Day. I think the Halloween episode is my favorite of the holiday episodes in the third season.
There continues to be several pop culture references throughout the third season of That 70s Show. Eric and his friends talk about music a few times, especially once Donna starts working for a local radio station. They go to a Ted Nugent concert and the singer actually appears in the episode. A few movies and television shows are mentioned, though there aren't as many of those references. During the Halloween episode, Kelso shows off his Incredible Hulk underwear. During another episode, Fez is watching Batman on television and talking about the characters. In a scene later in that episode, Fez is trying to make a decision and his conscience takes the form of Batman and his bad side takes the form of The Riddler.
This season of That 70s Show continues to be funny with most of the characters saying and doing things that I think are funny. Fez and Kelso are always doing goofy things. Red still gets angry easily and threatens to stick his foot somewhere. Red's fits do tend to make me laugh. Something happened in every episode that made me laugh out loud. Much of the humor is silly, which may bother some people. Some of the things done for humor are a bit gross or raunchy, so those things might offend some viewers.
A few different relationships end up being very important throughout this season of the show. Donna and Eric are still dating and while most things seem to be going well, they do have some issues to deal with. Kelso is involved with Laurie for a while though he is also trying to win Jackie back at the same time. Kelso does have a rather complicated love life. For a while, Jackie is chasing after Hyde, having decided that she likes him. Fez finally gets a girlfriend, though she ends up being a psycho and he still doesn't get to have sex. A few things with Red and Kitty's marriage and Bob and Midge's marriage are brought up as well. There are several sexual discussions and situations throughout the show and even though there really aren't sex scenes, it is clear that some of the characters are sexually active. The sexual content of the show, along with the drug use, might offend some viewers.
There really isn't much new character development for any of the characters. Eric and Donna evolve slightly because of their relationship. A few times, Donna is a bit annoying, though she is still likable overall. Jackie did seem to mature slightly, though she is still obsessed with superficial things. Kelso seems to realize a few things after his relationship with Laurie falls apart, but ultimately he really doesn't change.
Hyde's father turns up during a few episodes without doing much. The relationship between Hyde and his dad really isn't explored. Leo, Hyde's boss, is in more episodes and starting to turn up more often. He seems to be always high, which works for the character. Tommy Chong does a good job with the part. Some other characters, like Fez's girlfriend Caroline, are in a few episodes without being that important overall. Dave Thomas turns up during Canadian Road Trip as a Mountie, which was entertaining.
Topher Grace - Eric Forman
Mila Kunis - Jackie Burkhart
Ashton Kutcher - Michael Kelso
Danny Masterson - Steven Hyde
Laura Prepon - Donna
Tanya Roberts - Midge
Debra Jo Rupp - Kitty Forman
Kurtwood Smith - Red Forman
Don Stark - Bob
Wilmer Valderrama - Fez
That 70s Show - Season 3 is on four discs. There are commentaries for some of the episodes as well as promo spots and introductions for all of the episodes. From the episode menu on each disc, there is an option to play all the episodes or select each one. When selecting them one at a time, the options for seeing the promos and introductions are shown. A Look Back at Season Three featurette is on the first disc of the set. It shares sort of an overview of some things that happen during the season and is interesting.
Red Sees Red
Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die
Jackie Bags Hyde
Hyde's Christmas Badger
Who Wants It More
Fez Gets the Girl
Dine & Dash
Kitty's Birthday (That's Today?!)
The Trials of M. Kelso
Eric's Naughty No-No
Fez Dates Donna
Eric's Drunken Tattoo
Canadian Road Trip
The Promise Ring
That 70s Show is a fun, entertaining show overall that I still enjoy watching. That 70s Show - Season 3 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 few references to Batman and Kelso wearing Incredible Hulk underwear.
That 70s Show - Season 1 ~ That 70s Show - Season 2 ~ That 70s Show - Season 4 ~ That 70s Show - Season 5 ~ That 70s Show - Season 6 ~ That 70s Show - Season 7 ~ That 70s Show - Season 8 ~
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