Although the series went on a little longer than it should have (it could have wrapped things up a season or two prior to its final run, and the decision to continue without Topher Grace or Ashton Kutcher resulted in a noticable decline) , "That 70's Show" was been consistently excellent throughout much of its five year run, with the first half of the show's run containing some of the best episodes.
For those unfamiliar with the show, it involves a group of teenagers living in Point Place, Wisconsin in 1976. Leading the group, seemingly by default, is Eric Foreman (Topher Grace), a shrimpy, good-hearted kid that manages to attract the attention of his attractive next-door neighbor, Donna (Laura Prepon). Joining the two are: vain idiot Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), paranoid Hyde (Danny Masterson), spoiled Jackie (Mila Kunis) and foreign exchange student Fez (Wilmer Valderrama). Also featured are Eric's parents - the nervous Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) and the rage-a-holic Red (the brilliant Kurtwood Smith) and Donna's parents, Bob and Midge (Don Stark and Tanya Roberts.)
The show chronicles the lives of the kids, with the romance between Donna and Eric remaining the core of the show. Superbly played by the two actors, the romantic angle of the series became unfocused and got off track, but Grace and Prepon have always had terrific chemistry. Kutcher's idiotic character could have become old after a few seasons, but Kelso continually reaches new and funny heights of stupidity. The actor's delivery has never really been as good as it has in this series, either. Masterson, Valderama, Kunis and others provide superb supporting efforts, as well.
The show's 5th season is, in my opinion, the last great season of the show's run. While season 6 has several highlights, the series was starting to falter. The part of Eric's sister Laurie was now played by Christina Moore, as the wonderfully acidic Lisa Robin Kelly departed the series. As the season opens, Red recovers from the heart attack he suffered after Laurie married Fez to keep him in the country at the end of the 5th season. Midge comes back into the picture, complicating things for Bob, who had taken up with Jackie's mother (Brooke Shields.) Kelso remains an idiot, but tries as best as he possibly can to be a police officer in order to try and be a supportive father to Brooke (Shannon Elizabeth), who informs Kelso in "The Acid Queen" that she's pregnant - and he's the father.
However, Eric and Donna continued to have troubles as they decide on their futures, and the end of the season sees Eric nowhere to be found before their wedding. The relationship between the two characters was the core of the series for a few seasons, but after 5 seasons of the two seeing their relationship falling apart and coming back together, bringing up conflict once again here for two characters who clearly love each other began to get tiring.
The season clearly showed the characters trying to grow up a little bit and try to be more mature about life, but it's the lighter stretches of these episodes (Kelso and Eric in competition for a waiter gig in "We're Not Gonna Take It", for example) that still work best. This was a series that had a terrific ensemble when it came to comedy, as they played off each other superbly and some of the best episodes of the earlier seasons remain absolutely hilarious. Again, this is an entertaining season overall, but the show's best seasons are found earlier in its run.
131. 6- 1 601 29 Oct 03 The Kids Are Alright
132. 6- 2 602 5 Nov 03 Join Together
133. 6- 3 603 12 Nov 03 Magic Bus
134. 6- 4 604 19 Nov 03 The Acid Queen
135. 6- 5 605 26 Nov 03 I'm Free
136. 6- 6 606 3 Dec 03 We're Not Gonna Take It
137. 6- 7 607 17 Dec 03 Christmas
138. 6- 8 608 7 Jan 04 I'm A Boy
139. 6- 9 609 14 Jan 04 Young Man Blues
140. 6-10 610 4 Feb 04 A Legal Matter
141. 6-11 611 11 Feb 04 I Can See For Miles
142. 6-12 612 18 Feb 04 Sally Simpson
143. 6-13 613 25 Feb 04 Won't Get Fooled Again
144. 6-14 614 3 Mar 04 Baby Don't You Do It
145. 6-15 615 10 Mar 04 Who Are You
146. 6-16 616 17 Mar 04 Man With Money
147. 6-17 617 24 Mar 04 Happy Jack
148. 6-18 618 31 Mar 04 Do You Think It's Alright?
149. 6-19 619 21 Apr 04 Substitute
150. 6-20 620 28 Apr 04 Squeezebox
151. 6-21 621 5 May 04 5:15
152. 6-22 623 12 May 04 Sparks
S- 3 12 May 04 That '70s Bloopers
154. 6-23 622 16 May 04 My Wife
155. 6-24 624 19 May 04 Going Mobile
156. 6-25 625 19 May 04 The Seeker
VIDEO: "That 70's Show" is presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio on this release from Fox. The picture quality does show a few minor faults, but it's often equal to broadcast quality and sometimes looks slightly better than that. Sharpness and detail are often very good, and the picture looked consistently a bit better-defined than the first season set.
Some slight traces of pixelation appeared in a few scenes, but they did not cause distraction. No edge enhancement was noticed, nor were any flaws with the source material. Colors appeared well-saturated, accurate and without any concerns. Although not quite flawless, these episodes looked very good.
SOUND: The show's 2.0 soundtrack sounds perfectly fine, with clean, clear-sounding dialogue and music.
EXTRAS: Director David Trainer offers audio commentary on "Substitute", "Sparks" and "My Wife". Fans might enjoy the commentaries, but I felt they were sort of hit-and-miss; while some interesting information and insight on the episodes and cast are offered, there's also moments where I felt like Trainer was simply discussing character/plot threads. We also get interviews with Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, as well as episode promos and the "6 Minutes of Season 6" highlight reel.
Final Thoughts: "That 70's Show"'s 6th season starts to see the show declining as it heads towards the end, but there's still quite a few entertaining episodes on this season and enough to recommend it to fans. The DVD offers fine audio/video quality, as well as a decent helping of supplemental features.