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Will ‘That 90s Show’ Live Up To Its Predecessor? 

‘That 80s Show’ was a disaster when it came out and now it seems the showrunners are trying their luck again with ‘That 90s Show’ but have they learnt from...
Credit: 20th Century Fox

‘That 80s Show’ was a disaster when it came out and now it seems the showrunners are trying their luck again with ‘That 90s Show’ but have they learnt from their mistakes?

That 90s Show is actually going to continue on from its predecessor That 70s Show unlike the previous spin-off That 80s Show. This time, instead of a random assortment of characters unrelated to the original cast, That 90s Show will follow the daughter of Eric and Donna named Leia and her group of friends. It will take place 15 years after That 70s Showconcluded on December 31, 1979.

The show will be produced and released by Netflix.

The new cast looks and is described as follows (if it sounds silly or bland, know that these aren’t my descriptions):

  • Leia (Callie Haverda)
    • A smart, snarky teenager who craves adventure
    • Assumedly the Eric stand-in
  • Gwen (Ashley Aufderheide)
    • A Riot Grrl. A feminist punk
    • The Donna stand-in (moving on from the feminism of the 70s to the 90s)
  • Jay (Mace Coronel)
    • A charming and flirty aspiring videographer
    • Possibly the Hyde stand-in but the showrunners will likely step away from anything that reminds people too much of Hyde given the actor’s (Danny Masterson) ongoing rape trial.
  • Nate (Maxwell Acee Donovan)
    • Gwen’s easygoing and fun loving brother
    • Given the very broad description, I’m going to say he’s the Kelso stand-in as they can’t just say handsome and dumb right?
  • Ozzie (Reyn Doi)
    • Insightful and perceptive. Openly gay
    • Probably the Fez stand-in or is that homophobic? Insightful and perceptive is vague and tells us nothing so this character may fall into the trap of his only characteristic is that he’s gay.
  • Nikki (Sam Morelos)
    • Nate’s ambitious and intelligent girlfriend
    • Jackie stand-in but other than the fact that she’s dating the Kelso stand-in, there isn’t much of a similarity.

The original cast is set to return with Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith as Kitty and Red Forman as part of the permanent cast.

The rest of the original cast have confirmed that they will appear as guest stars in some capacity, but we don’t know whether they will have recurring roles, appear in the same episodes, or anything like that. All we know is that they will be there with the exception of Danny Masterson for the reasons I mentioned above.

Even Tommy Chong is coming back as Leo!

Will They Learn From the Mistakes of ‘That 80’s Show’?

That 80's Show | Credit: 20th Century Fox

That 80s Show was cancelled after just one season before the last episode had even aired! It wasn’t a good time. Critics and audiences alike didn’t care for the show as its debut reached 11.4 million viewers but had dropped to just 5.05 million by the final episode. Yikes.

Critics weren’t any kinder. The Calgary Herald believed that the show came too soon and that the set time period needed to be at least 20 years away in order to laugh at it. The San Francisco Examiner called it “mildly entertaining with a few funny moments” but the big downside being the humour coming from the setting rather than from the characters, something the original usually balanced quite well. The Montreal Gazette was very straightforward with its criticism, “nowhere near as funny or original as it could have been.”

Hopefully, these lessons have been learned and at the very least they’ve kept up the 20-year time gap. Bringing in the original cast will also make it feel like a continuation rather than a random show set in whatever decade like That 80s Show, which had no ties to the original cast. More importantly the show will have to be funny, and we can’t know if it is until we see it.

All of this is pure conjecture so don’t take it too seriously, we will have to see how it all goes once the show actually comes out.

For more new releases and conjecture, check out the details of the upcoming Predator film!


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