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View Full Version : Can't figure out why That 70's Show seems to be stuck in 1978...


Alzarian
05-07-2003, 08:24 PM
I rarely watch this program, but I remember catching it back in 1999 when they did a whole episode about the premiere of the first Star Wars movie (1977). Do you mean to tell me its 4 years later and they have only aged a year? Does this show only go a week forward for every episode? How do they explain their aging?

Just hoping someone can explain to me how time works on this show, cause I just assumed it would be 1981 by now...

Sir Prize
05-07-2003, 08:29 PM
Welcome to the TV time warp, Alzarian.

Does anybody know if this is the show's last season? They're graduating.

Cat Fight
05-07-2003, 08:33 PM
I saw Topher Grace on a late night talk show (Conan, I think), and when he was asked about the show moving forward in time, to the 80s, he said he really doubted it, and brought up the outright failure of "That '80s Show." So they'll grow up, go to college, get married, but never wear neon windbreakers.

Carter the Great
05-07-2003, 08:44 PM
Didn't they make a big deal about it turning 1980 on the show?

I seem to remember some promos that played up the joke that something terrible was coming and it was... the 80s..

But it wasn't a promo for That 80s Show because it featured the cast of the 70s show.

kasuo
05-07-2003, 08:46 PM
Chyler Leigh of That 80's Show was hot, especially when she had her spikes up.

teemingONE
05-07-2003, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by Carter the Great
Didn't they make a big deal about it turning 1980 on the show?

I seem to remember some promos that played up the joke that something terrible was coming and it was... the 80s..

But it wasn't a promo for That 80s Show because it featured the cast of the 70s show.

It was a look into the future supposing Donna and Eric never got together. It was pretty funny.

fiddlesticks
05-07-2003, 09:20 PM
Heck, its only May/June 1978 on the show. They were a week or so away from graduation in the episode previous to this week's.

The series won't be ending. Fox ordered a few years worth of new episodes awhile back. As for next season, it'll still be 1978 :). Lest they pull something in the last few episodes of this season, Eric & Donna will be moving to Madison. Fez, Hyde, & Kelso all have jobs and seem destined to stay behind in Point Place. Not sure if Jackie has magically caught up in age with the gang or if she'll still be in high school next season. We'll just have to wait and see what they come up with...

Guinastasia
05-07-2003, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by teemingONE
It was a look into the future supposing Donna and Eric never got together. It was pretty funny.


They showed that in syndication earlier today.

Oh, and I didn't know Jackie was younger than the rest of them.

Fern Forest
05-08-2003, 02:34 AM
Originally Jackie was a sophomore and all the rest were juniors. And the plate at the end of the early shows said 76. There moved throught 77 and are at 78 now. But don't try and make sense of it cause you wont.

Grousser
05-08-2003, 03:02 AM
I've only watched some chapters of the show (im a non captive fan), but I wouldn't mind about the time inconsistencies of it.

It would be pretty cool if they just deal with 70's events, no matter the year they are in. A kind of Twilight-Zone-intervention in any episode, would work fine for me. No need for historic precision, anachronisms welcome.

refusal
05-08-2003, 08:34 AM
In the end it could turn into The Brady Bunch Movie.

Wile E
05-08-2003, 08:39 AM
Well, considering there are about 26 episodes to a season and only a day or two passes per episode, I don't have a problem with them spreading out a year's time over a few years.

SanibelMan
05-08-2003, 09:06 AM
Question, while we're all talking about the show...

I saw the episode where Donna heads off to California in syndication. Unfortunately, the next episode had her right back in Point Place with no explanation, so obviously they aren't being aired in order. Can someone tell me what happened after she (presumably) got to California and how she came back and what all happened?

Ludovic
05-08-2003, 09:26 AM
If they bump it up to 1979, they'd have to deal with video games. 1978 it was possible to ignore....have they had them at all in the series?

Fern Forest
05-08-2003, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by SanibelMan
Question, while we're all talking about the show...

I saw the episode where Donna heads off to California in syndication. Unfortunately, the next episode had her right back in Point Place with no explanation, so obviously they aren't being aired in order. Can someone tell me what happened after she (presumably) got to California and how she came back and what all happened?
Eric was waiting in her bedroom to tell her he loved her when she ran away. After he found out she ran away Eric when to California to tell her he loved her and bring her back and back she came. This was all to the great displeasure of his parents. The main consequence of this was that her father was so angry he put Donna in an all girl school but other then that things returned to normal.

Fern Forest
05-08-2003, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Ludovic
If they bump it up to 1979, they'd have to deal with video games. 1978 it was possible to ignore....have they had them at all in the series? The Formans do have Pong. In fact Kelso got so good at it that he decided to take it apart and fiddle with the insides to make smaller paddles. Kelso and Red bonded over the task and they did succeed in getting smaller paddles.

Lamia
05-08-2003, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Ludovic
If they bump it up to 1979, they'd have to deal with video games. 1978 it was possible to ignore....have they had them at all in the series?

I remember one episode that featured Pong, and I think there have been arcade games.

More disturbing to me than the way the show deals with time is the way they deal with space. I watched this show fairly regularly during its first season, partially because I went to high school in Wisconsin and there were occasionally some good Wisconsin jokes and references. But I think whoever they had on their writing staff who knew about Wisconsin...or even owned a map of Wisconsin...must have left, because when I've caught the show over the past few years it's been full of inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

Early episodes established the fictional town of Point Place as located somewhere south of Milwaukee. It's close enough to Kenosha that the kids were excited to hear about a disco opening there, and close enough to East Troy for them to go skiing at Alpine Valley (now an outdoor concert venue, but it did use to be a ski resort). It's even far enough south that they could make a casual trip to a club in Chicago. But later Point Place becomes far enough north that Donna and Jackie can go to Sheboygan and back twice in one episode. Heck, it's even farther north than that, because (in the same episode, IIRC!) the boys can easily drive up past the Canadian border to buy beer!

And don't get me started on the weather. Red has a Veteran's Day cookout every year? In Wisconsin? And people hang around in the yard in their shirtsleeves? Yeah, right.

BrainGlutton
05-08-2003, 10:16 AM
"That 70s Show" . . . "That 80s Show" . . . God damn it, when are they going to give us something worthwhile, like "That 60s Show"? Yeah! Now that would be a creative challenge! A funny, lighthearted sitcom about 17-year-old New Left revolutionaries!

easy e
05-08-2003, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by Lamia
Heck, it's even farther north than that, because (in the same episode, IIRC!) the boys can easily drive up past the Canadian border to buy beer!

I don't really watch this show, but I saw that episode. Why did they even need to drive to Canada, because in '78, the drinking age in Wisconsin was 18. And wouldn't you have to go through the UP or MN to get to Canada? Wisconsin does NOT have a land border with Canada.

dreamer
05-08-2003, 11:40 AM
I don't care what year they stay in, I love this show! It never fails to make me laugh and that's what it's meant to do. The writers are great, you can tell the actors love what they do and obviously enjoy working with each other.

I was a little confused about the last scene in last night's show being that it was the seasons cliffhanger, but I am looking forward to next season and am hoping to attend a live taping, or two, or three.

av8rmike
05-08-2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by BrainGlutton
"That 70s Show" . . . "That 80s Show" . . . God damn it, when are they going to give us something worthwhile, like "That 60s Show"? Yeah! Now that would be a creative challenge! A funny, lighthearted sitcom about 17-year-old New Left revolutionaries! NBC ran a 60's miniseries a few years ago, but I didn't watch it. Heard it was pretty bad.

How about American Dreams, does that count?

MissTake
05-08-2003, 02:32 PM
What about that horrible new FOX show, Oliver Beene? That's set in the 60's.

Anyone know what ever happened to Donna's little sister?

fiddlesticks
05-08-2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by MissTake
What about that horrible new FOX show, Oliver Beene? That's set in the 60's.

Anyone know what ever happened to Donna's little sister?

The character was dropped. Just like Chuck Cunningham (Richie's older brother) on Happy Days. Speaking of sisters, pretty interesting to have Laurie back in the fold again.

Oliver Beene is trying desperately to be "Malcolm in the Middle in the '60s". Beene is trying to be a little different from past '60s shows by starting in the pre-turbulent Kennedy years. Any comedy that tries to use the late 60s as a setting will have to live up to inevitable Wonder Years comparisions.

teemingONE
05-08-2003, 03:41 PM
i didnt even remember donna's little sister, what episode(s) was she in and what season did she last to.

Fern Forest
05-08-2003, 06:02 PM
We never actually see Donna's sisters but she does mention them. Having to baby sit them, etc. We did see most of their parents but they've since all disappeared except for Bob. The dog and Pastor Dave haven't been seen in awhile either.

It doesn't matter if the drinking age was 18. The show works as if all the kids are considered 17 or younger. Even when they turn 18 and have a party like Hyde did they get reset to a younger age by the next show.

According to AAA the amount of time you'd spend on the road in MN if you drove from WI to Canada is about 3 hours. Road trips across the border to get beer know no bounds when you're under 21. I know I lived in Arizona for awhile. Just don't fall to temptation when it's thursday and you have a major test the next day. Plus they were really stocking up so they were prepared. Although with Leo along one wonders why they couldn't keep their beer.

ASD
05-08-2003, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by dreamer
I was a little confused about the last scene in last night's show being that it was the seasons cliffhanger, but I am looking forward to next season and am hoping to attend a live taping, or two, or three.
Next week is the season finale.

Doomtrain
05-08-2003, 09:56 PM
Yay, I loved That 70s Show when it came out, and then I missed like 2 years of it, and it was on tonight! It still rocks!

sugaree
05-08-2003, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Fern Forest
We never actually see Donna's sisters but she does mention them. Having to baby sit them, etc. We did see most of their parents but they've since all disappeared except for Bob. The dog and Pastor Dave haven't been seen in awhile either.

I've never heard Donna talk about babysitting sisters. The only time I've seen her sister was when her parents went away and she had a party. I think they dropped the character because they wrote her in as a whiny little brat, but she was 14. She was playing younger, but was really old enough to hang with Donna and her friends.

Donna's mom, Midge, left Bob and moved to California. Both of Hyde's parents have run off. I've seen Jackie's dad and Kelso's dad, but not their moms.

Originally posted by Fern Forest
It doesn't matter if the drinking age was 18. The show works as if all the kids are considered 17 or younger.

Kelso is 18- he is a year older because he was held back for a grade.

Fibber McGee
05-08-2003, 11:47 PM
I remember hearing somewhere that two seasons of That 70's Show = 1 year.

The show's in it's fifth season, so the timing works out.

Season 1 & 2: 1976

Season 3 & 4: 1977

Season 5 & 6: 1978

Season 7 & 8: 1979

So FOX can get another three seasons out of the show before it's time to pack it in.

Fern Forest
05-08-2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by sugaree
I've never heard Donna talk about babysitting sisters. The only time I've seen her sister was when her parents went away and she had a party. I think they dropped the character because they wrote her in as a whiny little brat, but she was 14. She was playing younger, but was really old enough to hang with Donna and her friends.

Donna's mom, Midge, left Bob and moved to California. Both of Hyde's parents have run off. I've seen Jackie's dad and Kelso's dad, but not their moms. The baby-sitting thing happened in the 5th show when Eric get's a job at Fatso Burger. Hmm it says Tina Pinciotti was played by Amanda Fuller. It's been a long time since I've seen that episode.


Early on the Formans had a party where Jackie's parents attended. I think she may have had a line or two.

nuthinboutnuthin
05-09-2003, 12:24 AM
Has anyone ever heard any of them say

"FAROUT!!!" ???

Back then ( 70's),,, EVERYONE that we knew said it.. constantly.. and I cant recall it ever being said in the show.....

FAROUT MAN!!!

Tradnor
05-09-2003, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Fibber McGee
I remember hearing somewhere that two seasons of That 70's Show = 1 year.

The show's in it's fifth season, so the timing works out.

Season 1 & 2: 1976

Season 3 & 4: 1977I've heard this explanation as well. Unfortunately the Star Wars episode was in the first season (the movie was released in mid-1977) before they realized they were going through time too fast.

Fibber McGee
05-09-2003, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by Tradnor
I've heard this explanation as well. Unfortunately the Star Wars episode was in the first season (the movie was released in mid-1977) before they realized they were going through time too fast.


That's explained away easily enough. The show takes place in an alternate timeline where Star Wars was released in 1976! This has no discernable effect on history as . . . well . . . it's only a movie.

So, do I get my No-Prize?

Walloon
05-09-2003, 02:46 AM
Originally posted by Lamia
Early episodes established the fictional town of Point Place as located somewhere south of Milwaukee. It's close enough to Kenosha that the kids were excited to hear about a disco opening there, and close enough to East Troy for them to go skiing at Alpine Valley (now an outdoor concert venue, but it did use to be a ski resort). And Donna's mother was taking a women's consciousness-raising class at the fictitious Kenosha Community College.

RexDart
05-09-2003, 03:15 AM
Originally posted by Fern Forest
Eric was waiting in her bedroom to tell her he loved her when she ran away. After he found out she ran away Eric when to California to tell her he loved her and bring her back and back she came. This was all to the great displeasure of his parents. The main consequence of this was that her father was so angry he put Donna in an all girl school but other then that things returned to normal.

Pretty hot outfit she had for those episodes, too! Wowie-zowie!

voguevixen
05-09-2003, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by GMRyujin
Yay, I loved That 70s Show when it came out, and then I missed like 2 years of it, and it was on tonight! It still rocks!

I have to disagree. The whole "Hyde/Jackie" storyline ruins it for me. Hyde & Donna I could get behind. Hyde & Laurie I could see. Hell, Hyde and FEZ I might even buy. Hyde & Jackie? Unh-uh. No way. Not gonna happen.

Prediction: the cliffhanger will have something to do with Fez's possible deportation.

photopat
05-09-2003, 11:23 AM
I predict Donna will agree to marry Fez so he can stay in the country. (They'll ask Jackie and she'll refuse) Eric will be bent out of shape but Donna will assure him it's just a ruse and doesn't mean anything. The cliffhanger will end as they are about to get married.

shep proudfoot
05-10-2003, 06:34 AM
This is one of my favorite programs. I love the characters and it is usually funny as hell, especially Red Forman and Hyde.

Saying this, I think "That 70s Show" has got the same writers as ST Enterprise. There is no continuation in the time line. It has been 1978 for four years. The guy who plays Hyde is 27 years old. Kelso is 25.

The problem, I think is that they really don't know where to move the storyline from where it is at, and the program gets good ratings from that prized 18-49 demographic. The writers are painting themselves in a corner. Also, Tommy Chong is gone from the series, who was hilarious. That retarded looking guy who is the kitchen manager at the hotel is a poor substitute. Is Fez gay or not gay?

The girl who plays Donna looks like a younger Julianne Moore. Topher Grace is the real star of the program, he is a wise ass with charm and wit. I cannot even pronounce Ashton Kutchner, he is my least favorite character. I wish I look like him though, but if I did, my Johnson would fall off.

SP

Rilchiam
05-12-2003, 01:53 AM
Another anachronism; actually a double one. A few episodes ago, Eric made a Star Wars reference, and Donna reminded him of their new rule that every time he did that, he had to pay her a "geek dollar". First of all, I'm certain that the word "geek" did not enter the vernacular until the early '80s. Second, a dollar was worth a lot more in '78 than it is now. My allowance at that time was a dollar! (Okay, I was eight years old, but still, I could get a magazine or two candy bars for that.) At that time, quarters were the legal tender, not dollars. That's the same episode where Red balks at paying $4000 for Eric's college education. Semester, year, or the whole shebang, I'm not sure, but if he was unwilling to part out with four grand, I imagine that Eric would be equally tight with a dollar; I can't see him just handing it over.

And this brings me to another point. So Donna's trying to train Eric out of making Star Wars (and, in another ep, James Bond) refs? (Spoiler for those who haven't been watching this season, but will catch up in reruns:)

Why's she marrying him, then, if he gets on her nerves so much? And a guy you can change is not one you want to stake your life on.

Walloon
05-12-2003, 10:16 PM
A dollar wasn't that much in the late 1970s. I was a teenager then too, and I remember making dollar bets. $1.00 in 1979 was equal to $2.65 today.

I also remember "geek" being a commonly used and understood slang term. There was a novelty song circa 1977 called "Geek's Revenge" by Don Noone, and another called "Pencil Neck Geek" by Freddie Blassie.

Guinastasia
05-12-2003, 10:36 PM
Yeah, with all the inflation, I can imagine a dollar wouldn't be worth too terribly much.

Wait-the guy who played Leo is Chong from Cheech and Chong?

I didn't know THAT!

I heard that the girl who played Laurie was fired. If so, why?

Oh, and Topher Grace is hot.

Fern Forest
05-12-2003, 10:56 PM
From TV Tome (http://tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/EpisodeGuideSummary/showid-246/)

NOTE: Lisa Robin Kelly resumes the role of Laurie Forman after a two-year hiatus. Although I cannot confirm my sources, she was fired from the show midway through year three for her inability to handle a rumored drug problem.

Didn't Midge kinda have the same problem? Or was it alcohol?

Rilchiam
05-13-2003, 12:02 AM
Lisa Robin Kelly resumes the role of Laurie Forman after a two-year hiatus. Although I cannot confirm my sources, she was fired from the show midway through year three for her inability to handle a rumored drug problem.

Gotta love the irony of getting fired, on those grounds, from a show which has a pot-smoking interlude in almost every episode.

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