The Third Season
In 1998 the creators of 3rd Rock from the Sun introduced That '70s Show. It's a very hilarious sitcom that takes place in, believe it or not, the 70s. Located in a fictional suburb of Green Bay, Wisconsin known as Point Place, the series revolves around the comical daily interactions of the Forman family and their friends and neighbors. This third season has twenty-five great episodes and tackles similar issues as the earlier seasons like sex, drugs, dating, friendships, and family values. These issues turn into a few sticky situations that should leave you rolling over with laughter. Like the earlier seasons, the third is filled with some really great comedy, which is mostly due to its great cast and funny episodes.
For season three, there are a lot of fun episodes and stories. The first bunch we'll talk about have to do with relationships. In the first two seasons Kelso and Jackie have been an item. In season two Jackie found out Kelso cheated on her with Laurie and they broke up. In this season Jackie sets her eyes on Hyde. Despite Hyde's expressed dislike of Jackie, she continually pursues him and he finally asks her out on date in "Jackie Bags Hyde". They find out the chemistry isn't quite there. Meanwhile, Kelso is trying to make things work with Laurie, but also still has feelings for Jackie. As for Fez, this season marks his first girlfriend. Midway into the season, he meets a girl named Caroline. Unfortunately for him, she turns out to be a bit crazy in the head. This eventually turns into the fun episode "Fez Dates Donna", where Fez pretends to date Donna to get away from his crazy girlfriend.
The other young lovebirds, Donna and Eric, are still together in this season. Many of the episodes are about their cozy little relationship. "Romantic Weekend" is a perfect episode about the couple. In it, Eric takes Donna away for a few days of romance. Unfortunately for Eric, he left the brochure for the bed and breakfast they are staying at on the counter and Red whisks Kitty away to the same place. When Eric and Red find out they're staying in the same place, they try their best to pretend the other isn't there, as not to disturb their romantic weekends. Of course nothing goes their way and when things get messed up, you'll laugh. "Baby Fever" is another solid episode, where Eric and Donna image what their future will be like together. The reflection segments are an absolute riot.
The rest of the episodes we'll look at are just plain silly. "Dine & Dash" is a ridiculous episode, where Kelso treats his friends to an expensive lobster dinner. When the meal is over, he informs everyone they are going to leave without paying. One by one they trickle out of the restaurant, leaving poor Eric alone. "Holy Craps" sees the return of Pastor Dave (Kevin McDonald, Kids in the Hall) and it is a blast. Kitty gets Red, Eric, Kelso, and Hyde to help at a church fundraiser. To Kitty's dismay, they abuse their posts. The episode also includes a hilarious performance from Cheers' John Ratzenberger. Pastor Dave also shows up in "Eric's Drunken Tattoo". The episode has some great segments with Kitty, Red, and Dave.
This season also has two episodes with the word panties in the title and they are unequivocally funny. In "Donna's Panties", Eric pulls down Donna's pants in front of Fez, Hyde, and Kelso. She's wearing big white cotton briefs and they start poking fun at her by calling her granny panties. It's a Valentine's Day Eric will never forget! The other episode "Eric's Panties" has Eric afraid that Donna might be jealous of him because he is spending a lot of time with his attractive female lab partner. But she laughs at him and won't believe an attractive girl like her would be interested, until she finds a pair of panties in the Vista Cruiser.
Saving the best for last, "Canadian Road Trip" is the funniest episode this season has to offer. Eric, Fez, Kelso, and Hyde join Leo on a road trip into our northern neighbor, Canada. There the drinking age is lower and the boys can legally purchase beer. Unfortunately, Fez doesn't have his green card and the Mounties working border patrol are less than willing to let them return to the states. They're convinced they are smuggling illegal aliens. How this episode builds and the way it concludes is pretty damn funny. It's a fun episode you'll want to over and over again.
Overall I was quite happy with season three. If you couldn't tell from my reviews of season one or season two, I really love this show. The episodes in this season were just as rich, if not more, than what you find in past seasons. If you are looking to laugh over and over again, then season three of That '70s Show has more than enough fun packed in its episodes. It comes highly recommended.
1. Reefer Madness
2. Red Sees Red
3. Hyde's Father
4. Too Old To Trick Or Treat, Too Young To Die
5. Roller Disco
6. Eric's Panties
7. Baby Fever
8. Jackie Bags Hyde
9. Hyde's Christmas Rager
10. Ice Shack
11. Who Wants It More
12. Fez Gets The Girl
13. Dine & Dash
14. Radio Daze
15. Donna's Panties
16. Romantic Weekend
17. Kitty's Birthday (That's Today?!)
18. The Trials Of M. Kelso
19. Eric's Naughty No-No
20. Holy Craps
21. Fez Dates Donna
22. Eric's Drunken Tattoo
23. Canadian Road Trip
24. Backstage Pass
25. The Promise Ring
This release is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The picture quality is very good, providing a clear and clean picture with minor color distortions and compression artifacts. Overall, it looks substantially better than its original television broadcast presentation, providing less grain in the picture.
The audio track in this release is given in English Dolby digital stereo surround. The audio in this release comes off fairly flat. However as with most TV on DVD releases it's not necessarily bad, as the majority of the audio is spoken dialogue. The sound quality is very good, providing an audible and clean audio track. There is also very little distinction between audio channels. This release also has subtitles in English and supports closed captioning.
The first extra included in this set, found on disc 1, is "A Look Back At Season Three" Featurette (23:14). It involves David Trainer, Danny Masterson, Don Stark, Kurtwood Smith, Debra Jo Rupp, Mila Kunis, and Wilmer Valderrama talking about season three, where they discuss the characters, their relationships off camera and how it affected their on camera performances, the stories tackled, and so on.
Next the TV spot promos are included with each episode and you can view them before watching the full episode. Selected episodes also come with cast introductions, with Danny Masterson: "Reefer Madness", "Hyde's Father", "Hyde's Christmas Rager", Kurtwood Smith: "Jackie Bags Hyde", "Who Wants It More", "Romantic Weekend", Debra Jo Rupp: "Kitty's Birthday (That's Today?!)", "Red Sees Red", Don Stark: "The Trials Of M. Kelso", "Dine & Dash", "Fez Dates Donna", Mila Kunis: "Backstage Pass", "Ice Shack", " Too Old To Trick Or Treat, Too Young To Die", and Wilmer Valderrama: "Canadian Road Trip", "Fez Gets The Girl", "Roller Disco".
The last item is a collection of audio commentaries for episodes "Too Old To Trick Or Treat, Too Young To Die", and "Eric's Panties", "Dine & Dash" with David Trainer and Patrick Keinlen, "Radio Daze", "Eric's Drunken Tattoo", and "The Promise Ring" with David Trainer. Like the season two commentaries, they tend to be a little dry, but contain a few interesting details about the series and the episodes they cover. For the fans they are worth sitting through.
Overall I found this season set's extras to be much better than previous seasons. While they hold very little replay value, they are nonetheless informative about the show from many different perspectives.
That '70s Show has a lot going for it. Not only is there some fine writing and excellently plotted episodes, but the cast works together so gracefully that it is hard not to laugh at every single joke. I have seen all of the episodes in this season set, some more than once, and they are just as funny as the first time. Overall I think this box set is worth every penny. It is funny, entertaining, and has a very high replay value. Highly recommended.