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"The 90's show" is not enough to take off but it presses the right buttons - voila! culture

2023-01-24T23:14:46.417Z

Ten episodes don't really allow the series to develop and take shape, and the young cast doesn't have the opportunity to connect and create chemistry like in the original. And yet, "The 90's Show" does well to play with its strengths



"90's Show" trailer (Netflix)

Every decade comes to American television a seminal nostalgic sitcom whose plot takes place about twenty years before.

"Happy Days" was a lullaby in the 1970s and 1950s.

At the end of the eighties came the "magic years" to miss the sixties.

In the late 1990s, the "70s show" yearned for the freedom and idleness of two decades earlier.

In the 2000s, "Everybody Hates Chris" arrived, wishing for the 1980s.

The heroes of these series were all somewhere on the puberty scale and indicated what was actually going on here: the creators and writers were simply recreating their youth.



By the time "Chris" arrived something had already changed.

All of television, in fact.

Along with the multitude of series that results from broadcasters that just kept joining - first the cable channels and then the streaming services - suddenly a lot of nostalgic series started to populate the screen, a huge wave that we feel strongly to this day.

Mainly ones that hit the sentimental chords ("The Goldbergs", "Stranger Things", "Glow", "Young Sheldon", "Sweet Pickle", "Hot and Wet American Summer", "The Kids Are Fine", as well as "Downton Manor" and "Girls Derry" which are British, but became huge successes in the USA as well); but also those that burst the bubble ("Mad Men", "The Masters' Sex", "The City on the Hill", "The Americans" etc.) or at least dance About the two weddings ("Snap", "Pose", "Physical", etc.).

Part of this is of course due to the fact that the amount of content on television has increased in the last decade and a half.

But there is also something deeper in this matter.

The preoccupation with nostalgia has always stemmed from longings for an era that was seemingly innocent and simpler.

In the case of the 21st century, this feeling only increases.

It's easier to write an unresolved story by sending a text, "Be careful, and I'll buy it on the way", or to find out something about someone you only need to log into a few social networks and surf for ten minutes.

Where are those good old days when every child didn't have a mobile phone, let alone Tiktok and content flooding everyone from every direction?

Where are the days when we had to shout out the window to Yoav's mother to call him out to play soccer?

Where are the days when we would die of boredom, wandering the streets, exactly what we did the week before, with nothing to do but talk to each other?

The arrival of "That 90's Show" on Netflix last week is the most requested thing in the world.

Not only as a link in the chain of nostalgia, but also as part of another large-scale trend of the current television era - the pawns, reboots and remakes.

"The 90's Show" is nostalgia for a simpler time and a classic series that itself was one big embrace of the past.

A recursion that perfectly captures today's television, a series that has no choice but to exist.




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The real anchor.

Courtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rapp, "That '90s Show" (Photo: Patrick Wymore/Netflix)

But should it exist?

Well, yes, haven't you read this far?

In a reality where we got four seasons of "The Sorrows of Raising Girls: The Next Generation," there's also room for a new life for the friends from Point Place, Wisconsin.

But the question is in its place, because it's not that the judgment of the creators of "The 70s Show" was always brilliant - the last four unnecessary seasons of the original series will testify.

Her biggest sin was to stay much too long after she was no longer successful, the writers clearly ran out of ideas, they repeatedly matched the various characters and even blew up Eric's (Topher Grace) marriage proposal to Donna (Laura Pripon).

They played teenagers, yes?

The last nail in the coffin was driven when Grace - who plays the main character in the series, with all due respect to the others - left and was replaced by the insufferable Josh Myers.



That is why it is impossible to take lightly the terrible judgment of the creators of "The Show of the 70's", which at the time also included an attempt to ride on the success with the failed "Show of the 80's" from 2002.

At the time, it was a work that really had no connection to the original series, it was very bad and was quickly canceled.

This time, in the new series, it is a direct extension in which Debra Jo Rapp and Cartwood Smith return to play Kitty and Red Furman, and most of the original cast members also return to guest.

The plot takes place in Wisconsin in 1995 and follows Leah Furman, daughter of Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon), who visits her grandparents for the summer, where she bonds with a new generation of children in Point Place under the watchful eye of Kitty and the stern, explanatory gaze of Red .

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They don't have time to really grow.

The new young cast, "The 90's Show" (Photo: Patrick Wymore/Netflix)

In today's television genre, the hurdles of "That '90s Show" are vastly different from those of its parentage.

If the original series lost its way because of the large number of episodes (around 22 per season) and the number of seasons it had to issue, in the case of the spin-off the problem is the opposite: the first season ends within ten episodes without really being able to take shape.

It's easy to forget that the original series also had its struggles before it found its rhythm, but yes, the grace and chemistry between the young cast members was there from the very beginning, and they were really great.

It's not for nothing that almost all of them made a difference in the years that followed.



Will it happen this time too?

It's hard to say.

Among the young cast, we can point out a few standouts, in particular Kali Hebrada (who was born in 2007, almost a year after the end of the original series) in the role of Leia.

It is completely believable that she is the daughter of Eric and Donna both in terms of character and appearance.

She has the same dry humor and cute understated neuroticism that made her father such a perfect anchor on "That 70's Show," and the same free spirit and daring that made her mother a scornful love interest in the original.

Unfortunately, the rest of the boys around her are less impressive (and Ryan Doe as Ozzy is just awful), and it's likely that a large part of that is because they and the writers don't have time to let them really grow.



Sam Morelos in the role of Nikki is a good example of this: she starts the series almost as a taft in the background whose main role is to make out with her boyfriend Nate (Maxwell Acey), but by the end she is upgraded and becomes one of the most successful and rounded of them.

At this point the series itself realizes that there is really no connection between the stupid Nate and the smart and ambitious Nikki, and accordingly their plot also goes to places that make this connection difficult.

But at this point the momentum stops: the season ends and with it the summer of 1995.

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Stands out for good.

Kali Hebrada, "The 90's Show" (Photo: Netflix)

The concept of the "90s show" seems to submit to the real estate constraints dictated by Netflix. If each season is just a short adventure in which Leia returns to Wisconsin, we know that the momentum does not continue even when the boys are not on the screen, the feeling of badness is cut off until the next time - if there will be one - instead of continuing to live in the viewer's imagination.



And despite that, the first season of "The 90's Show" is not bad.

Although a large part of the jokes are not exactly offensive, it is interspersed with laugh-out-loud moments and surprisingly successful comedy.

The return of the seventies generation ranges from fun in the small (Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher shine as Jackie and Kelso), through joy at the sight of old faces (Tommy Chung returned to the role of Tommy Hestel), to meaty and great storylines (Wilmer Valderrama as Paz).

Some of the old plots and moments are really reproduced to get us back into the mood, like the beer keg that falls into the boys' hands only without the faucet to connect to it, or trying to look normal in front of Kitty Rose when you're stoned, or Eric and Donna sitting down to talk about the Vista Cruiser.

The pop culture of the nineties obviously gets a lot of references, the most delightful and the biggest of which is a party in the spirit of "Beverly Hills 90210".

Neighborly relations are also refreshed with the help of Andrea Anders, in the role of the trashy and cute Shari.

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Meaty and great.

Wilmer Valderrama and Andrea Anders, "The 90's Show" (Photo: Patrick Wymore/Netflix)

And after and above all, the real anchor of the subsidiary series is Kitty Rose.

The grandmother wraps herself in excessive love in her own way, the grandfather continues to be harsh and threaten his shoes to go into his buttocks, but in this case his character is much more patient and sweet as required by the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter, as opposed to father and son.

Their transfer to the front is the testimony of the ability of the "90s show" to play with its great advantages, chiefly those nostalgic sweeps.

Even if spending time with the 1995 gang is not as fun as it was with the 1976 gang, the series knows which points to press.

If she is given time to develop and close in on herself, there is a good chance that she will be just as endearing as the original series in its magical years and happy days.

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Source: walla

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