That '70s Show

That ‘90s Show Has A Nearly Impossible Task After That ‘70s Show’s Finale

That '70s Show has a notably well-liked finale episode, which leaves That '90s Show in the tough position of trying to top the original ending.

After That ‘70s Show’s incredible finale episode, the sequel series That ‘90s Show has the nearly impossible task of a worthy follow-up ending. It’s not often that a series that has been running for eight seasons ends on a high note, with many of That ‘70s Show’s contemporary sitcoms like Seinfeld, Roseanne, Modern Family, Two and a Half Men, and How I Met Your Mother featuring controversial finales. With That ‘70s Show being one of the few from this era to have a well-liked ending, including the finale being the highest-rated episode of the series on IMDb, it would have been reasonable to hang up the towel then and there. However, with the original cast and characters returning for a direct spinoff in That ‘90s Show, the series is presented with a new challenge of living up to the original.

In recent years, reboots and spinoffs of beloved ‘90s and ‘00s sitcoms and dramas have become more and more common, with some like How I Met Your Father and Dexter returning to – intentionally or not – revive interest after a polarizing finale. While That ‘70s Show wasn’t similarly in need of a better ending, a follow-up series makes complete sense when considering the basis of the original sitcom. That ‘70s Show was a nostalgic look at 1970s teenage life, with the series debuting 20 years after the era it depicts. That ‘90s Show is thus a worthy follow-up, depicting teenage life in the 1990s as the series debuts 25 years after its depicted era.

While the creators already tried repeating this set-up with the failed indirect spinoff That ‘80s Show, Netflix’s That ‘90s Show has an incredible asset in terms of actually being a continuation of That ‘70s Show’s story and characters. This formula sets up That ‘90s Show for success better than its predecessor, but it also opens the door for more inevitable comparisons to the original series, with more risks of possibly upending the positive reputation of That ‘70s Show’s finale. That ‘90s Show is a great way to explore a new generation of teens in Point Place while also reviving the beloved original characters, but the spinoff now has a nearly impossible task of delivering another incredible finale episode.

Why That ’70s Show’s Finale Was Perfect, Despite Season 8’S Failures

That ‘70s Show season 8 is notable for being the weakest installment of the season, not just because of the absence of Topher Grace’s Eric Forman and Ashton Kutcher’s Michael Kelso but also because of the largely disliked creative directions for the remaining characters. Despite its overall blunders, That ‘70s Show season 8’s greatest change was a better focus on Kitty and Red, with the series finale being a perfect holistic wrap-up to the sitcom. That ‘70s Show’s finale episode primarily depicted Kitty and Red preparing to leave for Florida before deciding to remain in Point Place with their family and friends, Jackie and Fez finally moving forward in their relationship, Michael Kelso returning from Chicago, Donna getting ready to go to school, Hyde taking over the last Grooves store, and Eric returning from Africa to finally reunite with Donna.

With That ‘70s Show season 8’s Randy hardly being featured in one scene, the series finale was primarily a love letter to the sitcom’s larger legacy, making sure to balance the emotional farewells with comedic reprisals of two of the greatest recurring gags through the main characters in The Circle and on the water tower. Despite That ‘70s Show season 8 being a weak point in the series, the finale managed to bring back all of the original characters while properly tying up their overarching storylines. That ‘70s Show also had one of the most perfect and fitting tricks for its final scene, allowing the series to go out in style: a countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve 1979, with the sitcom cutting to black as the year turned to January 1, 1980. It’s remembered as one of the most clever ways to end a series by perfectly reflecting its underlying basis, but That ‘90s Show will now also struggle to top it.

That ’90s Show Likely Can’t Repeat The Original’s Ending

Although That ‘90s Show‘s ending needs to be original in order to avoid relying on all the old tricks of That ‘70s Show, it may not have the chance to repeat the stylish decade countdown even if it wanted. While That ‘70s Show’s timeline featuring only four years over eight seasons presented continuity errors, the show could still reasonably end in 1979 while enjoying a long narrative lifespan. Had That ‘70s Show begun in 1971 rather than 1976 or only received two to three seasons, it may not have had the opportunity to conclude the finale on New Year’s Eve 1979. As such, That ‘90s Show’s timeline beginning in 1995 means the series would likely require a five-season order to wrap up in the same way as the original sitcom, so it may not be able to rely on the crutch for its finale to redo That ‘70s Show’s fitting ending by concluding on New Year’s Eve 1999.

Even if That ‘90s Show earns multiple seasons on Netflix that allow for a 1999 timeline ending, the series may still decide to differentiate itself by introducing new timeline-based tricks for its finale. Since That ‘70s Show’s stylish ending is so highly revered, That ‘90s Show is in a tough position where it must write a finale that’s just as (if not more) creative than the original’s. Repeating That ‘70s Show’s ending may also be seen as a creative cop-out, especially when it’s expected that all of the original characters will return for That ‘90s Show’s finale. Rather, That ‘90s Show needs a new ending that offers a novel finale equally fitting for both the original characters and new Point Place teens.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button