That 70's Show
Episode 6: The Keg
Episode 7: The Disco Episode
By: Carlos Uribe
That 70's Show is a series about a group of teenagers growing up in the 70's. It aired from 1998 to 2006.
The first episode I'm reviewing this week is “The Keg”. This is an episode that has Eric rebelling for the first time this series. He cuts class and in the process finds a keg in the middle of the road. This leads to him and his group of friends deciding to throw a party. They plan to charge two dollars a head and have a good time. When it comes down to actually having the party, they discover that they are missing a particular piece needed to get the beer out of the keg. That piece being a tap. This means sending Kelso out to buy a tap but then that tap immediately breaks. Eric goes to steal one from his father but by the time he gets back, it's too late. The cops have busted the party and his father is waiting for him. It's a simple and even traditional story that has some funny elements: Kelso buying the tap and the second car scene with Bob and Red. It was all a bit traditional and the episode didn't really do anything new with this type of story. This meant that it was predictable and it simply didn't feel to be that original.
What's bad is how it portrays the mothers in this episode. Kitty is supposed to be a bit naïve, but she's not supposed to be stupid. Bob's wife, Midge, is also not supposed to be stupid. They both fail to pick up on obvious signs that their children are throwing a kegger. It isn't until their husbands find out that Red and Bob put it together. It simply rubbed me the wrong way that Kitty and Midge didn't have the intelligence to figure out the truth. While the mothers weren't very bright this episode, the funny sub-plot of them hanging out together to watch a tv show did work very well. This episode might have been largely predictable and didn't treat all of it's characters with the respect that they deserve, but it did have it's moments. It's just that those moments were too spaced out and thus the episode's plot was revealed to be relatively thin. If this episode had managed to find something new to do with the story, then it would have been much better.
The second episode I'm reviewing is “The Disco Episode”. In case you didn't get it from the title, this is an episode that is largely based around disco. The girls want to go dancing, which drags all of the guys to go. This was an episode that revealed that Hyde didn't know how to dance and it had Kitty teaching him. This leads to a strained sub-plot where Bob and Midge think that Hyde and Kitty might be having an affair. While the sub-plot could have been funny, it was so obvious that the two were just dancing that it strained all credibility. This was obviously the episode trying to set up a miscommunication scenario. Hyde learns to dance and this episode becomes one that hints at a potential relationship between Hyde and Donna. Donna doesn't that the potential for the relationship very seriously, but the seed has been laid by the series if it decides to pursue it in the future. I don't remember if it does, but the potential was now there.
The seed was also laid for a potential Fez and Jackie relationship when Fez is able to dance with Jackie and Kelso isn't. This is a relationship that doesn't really happen until the very end of the series, but this is an episode that lays out the potential for it. The episode itself ends with Donna and Eric kissing and dancing together. While Eric can't dance as well as Hyde, it's clear that the show is going to keep having them as the main couple for a while. The Disco Episode is therefore one that uses the era's discos to develop the relationships between the characters. This makes the episode be surprisingly good.