That 70's Show: Season 3
Fox // Unrated // $49.99 // November 15, 2005
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted November 13, 2005
Highly Recommended
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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.

While the first season of "That 70's Show" got off to a great start, the second season seemed like a transition season for the characters (with a mixture of comedy and drama that seemed somewhat ineffective, given that the characters were not quite fully developed) before the show got back to some of its best comedic efforts for this third season. Highlights of this third season include: "Roller Disco" (Fez finally wins Jackie over - if only for a minute - after an amazing performance in a disco competition as her partner), "Too Old to Trick-or-Treat, Too Young to Die" (a very clever and very funny Hitchcock parody Halloween episode), "Ice Shack" (Kelso tries to get back with Jackie and invites Eric and Donna - along with tagalong Fez - along for the ride to what turns out to be an ice shack), "Dine and Dash" (Kelso takes everyone out for a nice dinner, only to announce his plan is to dine and dash, eventually leaving Eric and Donna), "Canadian Road Trip" (Fez, Hyde, Kelso and Eric go to Canada to buy beer, then get stuck there when Fez can't find his green card), "Backstage Pass" (Hyde and Fez get in trouble after trying to sell counterfit Ted Nugent T-shirts at a concert), "Romantic Weekend" (Donna and Eric go for a romantic weekend in the Wisconsin Dells, only to find that Red and Kitty are in the room next door) and also, "Radio Daze" (Donna takes a radio job and becomes known as "Hot Donna", which worries Eric.)

1) Oct 3 2000 Reefer Madness
2) Oct 10 2000 Red Sees Red
3) Oct 17 2000 Hyde's Father
4) Oct 31 2000 Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die
5) Nov 14 2000 Roller Disco
6) Nov 21 2000 Eric's Panties
7) Nov 28 2000 Baby Fever
8) Dec 12 2000 Jackie Bags Hyde
9) Dec 19 2000 Hyde's Christmas Rager
10) Jan 9 2001 Ice Shack
11) Jan 10 2001 Who Wants It More?
12) Jan 16 2001 Fez Gets the Girl
13) Jan 30 2001 Dine and Dash
14) Feb 6 2001 Radio Daze
15) Feb 13 2001 Donna's Panties
16) Feb 20 2001 Romantic Weekend
17) Feb 27 2001 Kitty's Birthday (Is That Today!?)
18) Mar 13 2001 The Trials Of Michael Kelso
19) Mar 27 2001 Eric's Naughty No-No
20) Apr 17 2001 Holy Craps!
21) May 1 2001 Fez Dates Donna
22) May 1 2001 Eric's Drunken Tattoo
23) May 8 2001 Canadian Road Trip
24) May 15 2001 Backstage Pass
25) May 22 2001 The Promise Ring


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 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: Frequent director David Trainer and producer Patrick Keinlein offer commentary on "Dine and Dash", "Too Old to Trick-or-Treat, Too Young to Die" and "Eric's Panties", while Trainer offers solo tracks for "Radio Daze", "Eric's Drunken Tattoo" and "The Promise Ring". Additionally, all episodes can be played with the promo for the episode before it, and some episodes can be played with introductions from actors Debra Jo Rupp, Wilmer Valderrama, Mila Kunis, Kurtwood Smith, Don Stark and Danny Masterson. Additionally, there is a 23-minute featurette looking back at the third season.

Final Thoughts: The third season of "That 70's Show" is one of the best of the series, as it includes several classic episodes and only a few uneven ones. Fox's DVD set offers very good audio/video quality and a nice set of supplements. Recommended for fans.

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