May 21, 2006

Finale Report: That 70s Show - "Love of My Life" and "That 70s Finale"

It has finally happened, something that I had originally expected about seven and a half years ago. That isn't to say I didn't like the show, I did and do. I remember watching those early episodes and thinking it was funny, kind of dumb, and probably wouldn't last. I am happy to have been proven wrong, although the past couple of seasons have suffered a bit in quality. I did not care for season 7 much at all. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the show was just not funny to me, that said, I did skip many episodes last year. I knew that Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher were both leaving, and it seemed as if they knew the energy was being drained by those two leaving. The show soldiered on with it's eigth, and ultimately final, season. This last season was a bit better in quality over last year, but I did not care for the addition of Josh Meyers as Randy, I don't feel that he gelled all that well with the rest of the cast.

The series finale was billed as a hour special, but that amounted to little more than the final two episodes aired back to back. The first episode continues the storylines that had been building up lately. Red and Kitty are selling their home, Donna and Randy have relationship troubles, Fez and Jackie dance around their mutual attraction, and in a new part, Hyde gives up the circle, and finds a lot more time for things like model cars. I don't want to spend too much time here, but some notable things do happen.

Key happenings in this episode include the sale of the record shop chain by Hyde's father, except for Hyde's which he is now the owner. Fez and Jackie finally become an episode this episode, and Donna finally gets rid of Randy. The episode closes with Kitty announcing, ecstatically, that Eric was coming home, right after Donna said she was leaving.

The final episode takes place on New Year's Eve 1979, ending the show with, what else, the end of the decade. The show opens with some talk of Eric's impending return and Donna's imminent departure, plus how Fez is nothing more than Jackie's next victim. This leads to the last circle scene.

Later on, upstairs, Kitty tells Hyde that she doesn't want to move but doesn't have the heart to tell Red. Just then, Red walks in, giving Hyde all of his paid rent money, something to get started with. At the same time, only downstairs, Jackie and Fez make an unsuccessful attempt at their first kiss as a couple. Fez wants to make their first kiss special, so he discusses it with Hyde on top of the water tower.

While the two discuss the memories of the tower, old pal Kelso arrives. The trio say that the best way to end the decade is to jump off the tower, and in true fashion of the show, Kelso is suckered into being the only guy to jump.

Back at the Forman house, Donna shows up, to the surprise of Hyde. She decided she wanted to say goodbye to Eric, just then, the Vista Cruiser pulls up. Everyone is expecting Eric to get out, but it's only Red saying that, in true dumbass fashion, Eric missed his flight. Back in the basement, Hyde and Kelso catch up with each other, with the usual physicality. While, over at the water tower, Fez and Jackie finally succeed in that all important first kiss.

Red and Kitty are in the kitchen, when Red is presented with the Packers season tickets that Hyde bought as enticement to stay. Red doesn't want to accept, until Kitty admits her desire to stay. Together they decide to stay in Point Place.

The scene shifts to the night, midnight is approaching, the gang is enjoying the party. Kitty even asks if anyone had seen Laurie, after she goes to the other kids saying what she has liked about them over the years. Donna needs some air and heads outside.

Donna reminisces about her relationship with Eric, then she hears Eric from off-screen. Eric makes his return, giving a heartfelt speech to Donna about when he left and the time in-between. Could this be the reignition of their heat? Who knows?

This leads into their final circle, as the time draws near midnight. We hear Kitty call them up for the final countdown. The gang runs up the stairs, the last one up has to call Red a dumbass. The loser? Kelso, who puts on his Packers dumb helmet and sulks upstairs as the episode ends.

This was a good end to the series. Would I have liked some more? Of course. I would have liked to see more of the impact that Eric and Kelso's return would have. I was glad that the episode had none of Randy in it, an unnecessary character.

In the end, I enjoyed this series, probably more than I should have. It excelled in it's dumb comedy and teen soap grounding, and it worked. A show that will live on in syndication and DVD.

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VJ_M said...

I like this show very much and i often used to watch that 70s show online .your blog contains a very interest information about this show.

Anonymous said...

Even I love watching this show. I miss watching this show. that is the reason i have made a site on it Watch that 70s show online lol!! Thanks for the post.

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