That ’70s Show and the Everyman Appeal of Eric Forman

In light of the recent news that Netflix is returning to the world of That ‘70s Show with a ‘90s-set spinoff featuring Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp as Red and Kitty Forman, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hangout comedy and why it was able to stretch the last four years of the 1970s into eight seasons of television. What makes it so beloved and so rewatchable that, more than 20 years after its debut, it’s returning in a new form? While the original show was laugh-out-loud funny and many of its lessons universal and timeless, the truth is That ‘70s Show primarily worked for one reason, and that was the subtle strength of Topher Grace as the show’s self-deprecating leading man Eric Forman… read more >

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