That ’90s Show season 1, episode 1 recap: That ’90s Pilot

That Ô90s Show. (L to R) Sam Morelos as Nikki, Mace Coronel as Jay, Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen Runck, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, Maxwell Acee Donovan as Nate, Reyn Doi as Ozzie in episode 101 of That Ô90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022
That Ô90s Show. (L to R) Sam Morelos as Nikki, Mace Coronel as Jay, Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen Runck, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, Maxwell Acee Donovan as Nate, Reyn Doi as Ozzie in episode 101 of That Ô90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022 /

It’s the latest in the seemingly never-ending line of new shows that are sequels to old shows, but this time it’s about the main characters’ kids. Twenty years after That ’70s Show can only mean it’s time for That ’90s Show.

That ’90s Show Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Welcome back to Wisconsin…

Red Forman and Kitty are getting ready for a Fourth of July celebration with Eric and Donna returning to stay for the weekend along with their daughter, Leia. Eric is going to take Leia to space camp for the summer and is excited about the father/daughter bonding time.

But Leia seems less than thrilled. She heads outside to play basketball where she overhears Gwen singing along to a CD, from the house next door. Leia wanders over and meets Gwen as well as her half-brother Nate.

While Leia bonds with her new friends, Eric and Donna adjust to becoming what Red calls “upstairs people” and we get the first return of the iconic ’70s Show “circle”, but this time it’s around the upstairs table with all the adults.

The next day, Leia goes over to hang out with her new friends despite Eric’s protests. He relents but says that she has to be home in time for fireworks.

Leia meets the rest of the main teenage cast including Nate’s girlfriend Nikki, his best friend Jay, and Ozzy the final member of the group. Jay and Nate have a story they describe as a Fourth of July miracle.

Through a case of mistaken identity, a keg, a prepaid keg mind you, was loaded into the back of their van no questions asked. Now the six teenagers are in possession of a full keg of beer.

The only problem is that they have no tap to access the beer. Leia, as the only new person in the group, agrees to try and buy the tap since everyone else has already been caught trying to get beer before.

A pregnancy disguise is cooked up, but quickly falls apart. Just when it seems that Leia is caught, she falls back on her debate club skills.

She points out they already have the beer and if she gets the cops called on her for the tap, then everyone gets in trouble since the giving alcohol to minors part, has already happened. With the tap successfully obtained, the gang heads to the water tower to celebrate their victory.

That ’90s Show Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Eric turns into Red…

Leia arrives home late, having missed the fireworks and well past the curfew that Eric set. She tells her parents that she wants to stay with her grandparents for the summer, but Eric shuts the idea down and the two of them get into a fight.

Later, Eric and Donna return to their old spot sitting on the hood of a car in the driveway. Eric confesses that he’s having a hard time with Leia growing up and not needing him as much anymore.

He finds Leia in the basement and the two of them have a heart to heart. Ultimately, Eric decides that Leia can stay for the summer.

As Kitty prepares for a new group of teenagers to hang out in her basement again, we also learn that Jay’s last name happens to be Kelso. This means that he is the offspring of Kelso and Jackie who are preparing for their latest wedding.

(It seems that it’s happened a few times before.) As Kitty hurries to gather snacks for the kids to have in the basement, Red sighs, resigned to the inescapable cycle of teenagers that he can’t seem to escape from.

That ’90s Show Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Nostalgia vs. New Material

As we continue with this trend of reboots and legacy sequels, there is a recurring problem that happens with almost every new show. It’s always more interesting to get updates about the old characters, than it is to learn about the new characters.

The new group of teenagers are clearly going to be the main focus of the series moving forward. But the show felt more engaging when it was focusing on Eric and Donna trying to be parents.

The scenes with Eric, Donna, Red, and Kitty were the most engaging in the entire series, but maybe that’s unfair. After all, we’ve had seven to eight seasons of television to get to know and love these characters, while the new group of teens have only been around for a minute at this point.

As we go forward, it will be a real test to see if the show works as a full-fledged sitcom of its own, without being able to rely purely on the nostalgia factor. The potential is there.

Callie Haverda does a pretty impressive job establishing herself in the series. It’s easy to see the influence of both Eric and Donna on the character, yet it already feels like she’s starting to make the character her own.

The rest of the cast hasn’t been given the opportunity to be fleshed out as much yet. It’s easy to look at the group and point to each one in turn and say, “That’s the Fez replacement, that’s the Jackie replacement, that’s the Hyde replacement”, and so on.

We’ll see if these characters can start to really come into their own in the next few episodes.

Next. Netflix’s Treason season 1, episode 1 recap: The Assassin is revealed. dark

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You can watch That ’90s Show season 1 on Netflix