That ’90s Show, a spin-off from That ’70s Show, aired last week on Netflix. That ’70s Show aired between 1998-2006. It followed a group of friends as they grew up in Point Place, Wisconsin, in the 1970s. That ’90s Show follows Leia Foreman, daughter of Eric and Donna, as she spends a summer with her grandparents. There, she meets new friends and goes on her own adventures.

It feels rushed for a show set over the course of a summer. This is primarily due to Netflix. The streaming service has become notorious for canceling shows out of nowhere and not allowing series they produce to run their course, even if they are popular. With the show’s 10-episode run and insecurity about the show’s future, it isn’t strange that the show reflected that.

The Good, The Bad, And The Okay

The original series has 200 episodes, allowing the characters to grow and develop. This series has ten and no direction.

Other series with around ten episodes have an easier time developing narratives when there’s a story uniting characters. Unfortunately, this series does not have one and comes across as a highlight reel which makes it difficult to connect with the new cast, especially when members of the original cast are also in the mix and set a high bar.

The other main issue is that the show fails to capture the fun of the previous show. There are moments that mirror the comedy of the original series. Unfortunately, many of those moments come from the original cast. Kitty and Red are the shining beacons in the show and the main reason I kept watching. Much of the original cast also made cameos and breathed some life into the series to contrast the disjointed attempts at humor. 

The new kids definitely have their moments, but they’re very rare. In most cases, the kids come across as wooden in their delivery, but they manage to land a few one-liners. A main concern is that the new kids come across as if they don’t know who their characters are supposed to be without their one-note gimmicks. This is very obvious in their joke deliveries and actions. Unfortunately, it’s hammed up, and it comes across as disingenuous. 

The only two characters who have a grasp on their characters are Leia and Jay. Jay is the son of Kelso and Jackie. Those two match their parent’s energies and behave similarly enough to them that they fit in well but stumble here and there. Compared to the other kids, they come across as more confident in their performances.

The Verdict

The show itself is a decent watch, but it’s nothing to write home about. Given Netflix’s pattern of canceling shows, it isn’t likely that this show will get a season two. If it does, I hope the cast gets the time to grow and develop their confidence in their characters. 

That ’90s Show is currently on Netflix. For quintessential ’90s sitcoms, check out Andie’s recommendations!