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That '70s Show: The Complete Series [Flashback Edition] [Blu-ray]

Release Date:03/07/2017
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The first season of That '70s Show largely took place in 1976, though references to Saturday Night Fever and Star Wars in the course of the season's 25 episodes indicated that there had been some incursion into 1977 territory (the series also quietly moved from a Sunday- to a Monday-night slot in mid-season). The action occurred in Point Place, WI, not far from Green Bay. The plots revolved around the exploits of a group of high-school juniors, led by the impulsive Eric Forman (Topher Grace). Usually found hanging out in the Forman basement, Eric's cohorts included his next-door-neighbor, childhood friend, and latterly sweetheart, foxy redhead Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon); his best buds Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), the archetypal "dumb hunk," and Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson), conspiracy theorist supreme; Kelso's spoiled-brat girlfriend, Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis); and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), a naïve and extremely pliable foreign-exchange student. There was also a full complement of grown-ups, foremost among them Eric's dad, Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith), who had a very low opinion of his son's friends and lifestyle, and Eric's mom, Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp), who wasn't quite as ditzy as she seemed (no one could be!). Both of the Formans worked: Red had a factory job which was downsized early in the season, while Kitty was a nurse. Next door to the Formans were Donna's parents, Bob and Midge Pinciotti (Don Stark, Tanya Roberts). Bob owned an appliance store where the semi-laid-off Red was occasionally employed as a clerk, while Midge was a stay-at-home wife and mother who was bored out of her gourd. Seen on a recurring basis was another "older" character, Eric's sister, Laurie (Lisa Robin Kelly), a freshman at the University of Wisconsin. As the season progressed, Bob and Midge Pinciotti drifted toward separation and divorce; Hyde's single mom (played in one episode by Katey Sagal) deserted him, prompting the boy to move in with Eric; and Laurie flunked out of school, came home, and tentatively began a sexual relationship with doltish Kelso. Although That '70s Show did not crack the Top 20 ratings-wise during its maiden season, the series was one of the most popular offerings of the Fox network. It also earned an Outstanding Costume Design Emmy award for the entry titled "That Disco Episode."~Hal Erickson


Audio Commentary on select episodes