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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » That 70's Show: Season 2
That 70's Show: Season 2
Fox // Unrated // April 19, 2005
List Price: $49.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 21, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Although the show has run its course at this point (it could have wrapped things up a season or two ago, and the decision to apparently go on in another season without Topher Grace or Ashton Kutcher is kind of absurd), "That 70's Show" has been consistently excellent throughout much of its five year run, with the first few seasons containing some of the best episodes of the show's run.

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 second season isn't quite as consistent as the first season, but there's still some great episodes and developments for the characters. The season's early episodes are some of the show's best, such as "Garage Sale" (Hyde sneaks special brownies" into the Foreman's garage sale) and "Velvet Rope" (Eric gets stuck outside a Chicago club for most of the night when the bouncer lets everyone in but him.) There's some dramatic moments in the season's middle as Eric and Donna become more serious, Donna's parents have problems and Red seeks out employment after losing his job. However, things get a bit lighter in the last third with: "Kelso's Serenade" (Kelso writes a song to get Jackie back after he cheats on her) and "Kitty and Eric's Night Out" (Eric is forced to go see "Annie Hall" with his mother, but the two end up having a good time). Overall, this is a pretty good season, but much of it seems like a transition season for the characters before the show gets back to some of its best comedic outings in the third season.

26. Garage Sale
27. Red's Last Day
28. The Velvet Rope
29. Laurie and the Professor
30. Halloween
31. Vanstock
32. I Love Cake
33. Donna and Eric Sleepover
34. Eric Gets Suspended
35. Red's Birthday
36. Laurie Moves Out
37. Eric's Stash
38. Hunting
39. Red's New Job (a.k.a. Red Gets A Job)
40. Burning Down the House
41. The First Time
42. Afterglow
43. Kitty and Eric's Night Out
44. Parents Find Out
45. Kiss of Death
46. Kelso's Serenade
47. Jackie Moves On
48. Holy Crap!
49. Red Fired Up
50. Cat Fight Club
51. Moon Over Point Place (1)


The DVD

VIDEO: "That 70's Show" is presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio on this release. The picture quality does show a few minor faults, but it's equal to broadcast quality. 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: Surprisingly, there are more supplements included on this second season then the first season (it usually seems as if, with most shows, the most supplements are included on the first season and then it falls off from there.)

The main supplement is audio commentary on three episodes ("Hunting", "Halloween", "Cat Fight Club") from the show's long-time director David Trainer. Trainer offers some interesting tidbits about filming and the characters/actors, but what struck me as odd was Trainer's subtle, slightly dramatic tone of voice, as well as how he described some of the on-screen events. About the closest thing that I can compare it to is having James Lipton from "Inside the Actor's Studio" doing commentary for "That 70's Show". Fans might enjoy the commentaries, but I felt they were sort of hit-and-miss; while some interesting information and insight is offered, there's also moments where I felt like Trainer was simply discussing character/plot threads.

Also included on the final disc are five behind-the-scenes webisodes, which take a look behind-the-scenes at the making of, "Jackie Moves On", "Holy Crap!" "Cat Fight Club", "Moon Over Point Place" and "Red Fired Up". On the other discs, we also find a webisode for "Kelso's Serenade" and a brief "look back" at the first season.

Final Thoughts: The second season set is certainly recommended for fans of "That 70's Show". Despite the fact that it's not quite as consistent as the first or third seasons, there are still certainly some fun episodes to be found on this set. Fox's DVD edition offers more supplements than the first season set, and satisfactory audio/video quality.

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