Monday, March 07, 2011

That '70s Show

I just finished watching all 8 seasons, thanks to Netflix instant. If you pretend season 8 never happened, it was a decent comedy. Not great. Not amazing. But not terrible. The characters were fun. There were story lines. But let me be clear, SEASON 8 SUCKED. It's like they gave up. Or got completely new writers. Or just didn't care anymore. If I didn't have this compulsion to finish what I've started (Heroes was the one exception. I stuck with it for two seasons, wanting it so badly to be good, but it just wasn't.), I would have stopped after the 5th episode. Not that something happened in the 5th episode. NOTHING HAPPENED. It's just that by the 5th episode I realized it wasn't going to get any better. It was all one line jokes. Yes, the other 7 seasons had jokes, but Season 8 was absolute crap.

My main complaint with the first few seasons was the acting of the girls. It's like every scene they were trying hard no to laugh (same with Debra Messing in 90% of the Will & Grace episodes). It was annoying. I wondered who lost out to Mila and Laura, and would those girls have done any better. But I'd take that any day over the horrid writing of the 8th season. Those guys were just phoning it in. And it wasn't even because Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace had left the cast. Ashton had a ton of energy and Topher was the star of the show. So, yes, there was an emptiness. Seth Meyer's little brother Josh was hired to fill that hole. He wasn't bad, he just had stupid lines. I felt sorry for the actor. And what was up with Wilmer's voice? Because I watched all 8 seasons in a few weeks' time, it was glaringly obvious that it had changed. And not in a "I'm growing up" kind of way. More like a "I've partied too hard and now my voice is scratchy." It was weird to hear. Season 8 was almost like a completely different show. I wonder what the ratings were like. I wonder what was the fan reaction. Did they hate it? How could they not?

The first several seasons were fun to watch. You could clearly tell these guys were best friends. It looked like it would've been an amazing cast to be a part of. Fun and games all the time. But by the 8th season it was like they were all annoyed with each other. Or that fame had gotten in the way. It went from being a fun, brainless comedy to something that made me want to hurl my tv out the window, were I not too lazy to get off the couch.

So, my advice, if you decide to watch the series, is stop after Season 7. Fez and Jackie wind up together. Hyde marries a stripper for a little while. Donna and Eric share one last kiss. Bob moves to Florida. Red gets Packers Season Tickets, and Kitty drinks. The jokes are terrible. It's like watching bad improv. But instead of doing it for free to an audience of your friends, these peoplet were paid thousands and thousands of dollars each week to an audience all over the country. Which just makes me mad. :-)


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