Wednesday, November 27, 2013

That 70s Show: "Thanksgiving"

Premiered November 22, 1998

Alright, that's it, hold it! Now Kitty, don't get worked up over my mother and you, you're sleeping in the basement! And we're all having a happy damn Thanksgiving!  -Red Forman

It's the day before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1976.  The Formans pick up their daughter Laurie (Lisa Robin Kelly) at the bus station.  Laurie has come home from college and brought her friend Kate (Jenny Maguire) home with her for the weekend.  Kate immediately starts flirting with Eric (Topher Grace).

Mom, Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) is dreading the arrival of Red's (Kurtwood Smith) mother.  Her mother in law has little use for Kitty and despises her cooking.  This adds to the family tension.  To make matters worse, money is scarce since Red is only working part-time.  But he refuses to scrimp on Thanksgiving.

   Eric's friends Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Hyde (Danny Masterson) are interested in Kate, asking how hot she is (Eric says "Oh,so hot!").  Jackie (Mila Kunis) and Eric's girlfriend Donna (Laura Prepon) overhear this, Jackie tells Donna she should be worried.

Eric goes up to his room to get a blanket when Kate (already "dressed" for bedtime) starts flirting with him some more.  She grabs Eric and gives him a very passionate kiss and he doesn't resist.

The next day he brags about the kiss to his friends.  Then he feels bad, since he and Donna "have a thing".  Kelso says he should "juggle them both until it all blows up in your face."

Eric can't keep a secret so he tells Donna as soon as he sees her.   She dumps him, saying he can "kiss whatever you want, why don't you start with your own butt!"

Eric feels guilty and tries to make up with Donna.  She won't have it.

It's finally time for Thanksgiving Dinner.  After the prayer, everyone is ready to chow down, but suddenly the phone rings.  Kitty realizes that no one ever picked up Red's mother at the bus station!

Eric makes one last attempt at reconciling with Donna.  He invites her to Thanksgiving dessert at his house and hopes they can remain a couple.

J.A. Morris says:

This is a very typical, formulaic episode of That 70s Show.  But it's a solid, entertaining formula, so that's okay.  Most storylines centered on interpersonal conflicts among the gang or the parent-child dynamic.  The script gives everyone at least one funny line. And Red gets to call Eric a "dumbass", which is always funny.

"I wonder if the Pilgrims were clever enough to put peanut butter in their celery?"
Thanksgiving is mainly the backdrop, but it helps drive the action.  We've all had relatives who drive us crazy on holidays.  They turn into food critics at Thanksgiving and we dread their arrival.

I was a regular viewer of That 70s Show during the first few seasons, and this is a fun episode.  So if you remember the show fondly, "Thanksgiving" is recommended for November viewing.

J.A. Morris' rating:

3 pumpkin pies.

RigbyMel says:

I remember watching this show when it was new.   It was fun in 1998 and it holds up well to repeated viewings.    It does a great job of playing with various Thanksgiving tropes within the snarky sitcom framework.  

This Thanksgiving episode of That 70s Show is well worth adding to your holiday viewing and is available in various formats.

RigbyMel's rating:

3 and a half pumpkin pies

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