Keep an eye out for Red’s foot. The basement of the Formans in Point Place, Wisconsin, is once again open to teens and their smoke circles.
Terry Turner, who co-created “That ’70s Show” with his wife Bonnie and Mark Brazill, claims he turned down Netflix and executive producer Tom Werner’s request to revisit the 1998-2006 Fox show twice before agreeing to participate. (The Turners and Brazill’s 2002 sequel “That ’80s Show” centred on a group of San Diego friends and lasted only 13 episodes.)
“We felt like we shouldn’t do it unless we had a reason,” Turner says of another attempt. However, “as COVID progressed, we had this longing for something we had, wanting to go back home again.”
Kurtwood Smith felt at home reprising his role as the stern but loving Red for the 10-episode “That ’90s Show” (now streaming on Netflix).
“When we finally got to the set, it just kind of melted your heart, because it felt so much like home,” he says. Red, indeed, has a new chair. “But, basically, it was the old house, and it just makes you cry.”
The old house with a new set of kids: The new series introduces Leia Forman (Callie Haverda), the inexperienced daughter of high school sweethearts Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and his neighbour Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon). Leia forms deep friendships with neighbourhood kids, has her first kiss, and even her first heartbreak while spending the summer with her retired grandparents, Red and Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) (courtesy of Jay, the playboy offspring of Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkhart).
The new series also keeps fans of the original up to date on what the old crew is up to these days.
What are Eric, Donna, Jackie, Kelso, and Fez doing as adults?
Donna and Eric are living in Chicago when the series begins in the summer of 1995. She is a published author, and Eric is an adjunct professor who teaches “Star Wars” Religion.
Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Jackie (Mila Kunis, Kutcher’s real-life wife) also make an appearance in the premiere episode, visiting the Forman home before their “second remarriage.” They are the parents of Jay (Mace Coronel), about whom Kelso boasts that he has “his dad’s looks and his mom’s brains.”
Kunis has stated that she does not think Jackie and Kelso will end up together. But “’90s Show” executive producer Lindsey Turner (daughter of Bonnie and Terry) says the characters are “Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They can’t seem to stay apart.”
In Episode 2, fans get their first glimpse of Fez (Wilmer Valderrama). The next episode reveals that the former foreign exchange student now owns a salon chain called “Chez Fez.” Fez can resurrect his signature line, “I said good day,” thanks to the company slogan, “Where everyday is a good hair day.”
Why did Jackie and Fez break up?
Fez explains that while Jackie and Fez were together when the show ended in 2006, they split because she still had feelings for Kelso. When Fez and Jackie were on vacation, he overheard her on the phone with Kelso one evening. “She left me there,” Fez explains to Kitty. “And for the next five days, I was kicked out of hot tubs for talking too much.”
Terry Turner claims that Fez is now dating the Formans’ neighbour Sherri (Andrea Anders), which allows for his return, and that Valderrama told Bonnie Turner, “Just call me. “Call me, and I’ll be there.”
Is Danny Masterson’s character Hyde in ‘That ’90s Show’?
Danny Masterson played Steven Hyde, the sometimes mysterious loner of the group, on “That ’70s Show” for eight seasons. Masterson is currently facing three charges of rape by force or fear brought by three women who claim the events occurred at his home between 2001 and 2003. Masterson has entered a not guilty plea. Following a mistrial in November due to a deadlocked jury, a retrial has been scheduled for March 29.
“We did sort of wonder about Hyde as a character and what that would be,” Lindsey Turner says of the new series’ absence of Hyde. “At the end of the day, leaning into the logic of the character, it seemed logical that he’s basically like D-Day (Bruce McGill) in ‘Animal House.'” He just got into a car, got on a motorcycle, and rode away, and no one knows where he is. He’s somewhere out there, which felt entirely natural for Hyde.”
Debra’s on-set reunions were emotional. Jo Rupp’s
Rupp became emotional upon reuniting with her former co-stars, Grace, Prepon, Kunis, Kutcher, and Valderrama.
“Every time one of them came through the living room or kitchen door, I would start crying, and we would take a short break before moving on,” she says. “It’s the memories that just flood in, and I think it’s the fact that they were there to support. It was many things, but it felt like family coming home.”