That 90’s Show Episode 1: Pilot Review
The Band Is (Kinda) Back Together
The first episode of That 90’s Show has a nostalgic intro from both Kitty and Red before Eric knocks at their front door. It appears as though he’s been away for quite some time and now works at a university as an adjunct professor teaching a “Religion of Star Wars” course. After his hugs and hellos, Donna walks in with a bunch of their belongings and gives a funny jab at Eric for essentially not helping unload the car, which Eric doesn’t seem to pay much attention to. It’s in this moment you may start to think this show has a chance of being good.
You meet the main character Leia, who is the daughter of Eric and Donna. She appears to have the facial features of Donna and the skinny, alien-like bone structure of her father Eric. It’s also hilarious to know Eric managed to talk Donna into naming their first child after a Star Wars character. Speaking of Star Wars, Eric still hasn’t given up his love for it. Aside from teaching Star Wars at a university, he also attempts to use the wisdom of those movies to influence his daughter throughout her entire life, which she obviously can’t stand.
Leia finds herself early in the episode walking around outside of her grandparent’s home before hearing the neighbor girl across the street, Gwen Runck. Gwen is listening to music and screaming the lyrics before turning to the window and seeing Leia standing there, looking at her. They have a short interaction that has you wondering if these two are going to be romantic lovers or best friends throughout the series. After a while, I’m to believe they’re just going to be friends, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.
The majority of the episode has Leia interacting with different kids from the area, only to find out that some of them have relations to characters from That 70’s Show. I enjoyed every interaction from the new and past characters in this episode and appreciated how all of the new kids on the show resemble those legendary characters in some way. I was a bit confused when seeing Nate, though. He gave off Kelso vibes, but you later find out something important that I won’t spoil. What I’m referencing has me to believe that there are many similarities with the characters, but this show also attempts to be its own thing.
Leia enjoys spending time with everyone and even starts to catch feelings for another. This has her wanting to stay in Point Place for the summer, rather than just for a day or two. Eric and Donna allow for her to stay with Kitty and Red and say their goodbyes at the end of the episode. You also get a little idea of what the kids are capable of, as they manage to throw a keg party and even find the old Candyland marijuana “stash” that was hidden away at the end of That 70’s Show.
Final Thoughts & Score
Overall, the episode is entertaining and gives off the proper amount of nostalgia that’ll have you wanting more. The only gripe that I have with the pilot episode of That 90’s Show is how Donna feels like such a secondary character. From the beginning where Eric ignores her as she walks in with all the suit cases, to her lack of input into her daughter’s life over X amount of time, to even how she says goodbye to Leia at the end of the episode. I can’t tell if she’s scripted to be like that, or if Laura Prepon just doesn’t want to be there.
I’d give this episode 8/10.