That ’90s Pilot
Episode 1 of That ‘90s show starts with Red and Kitty in their house. Their son Eric arrives at his childhood home to celebrate the 4th July weekend with his parents. His daughter, Leia takes a bathroom break and Eric tells his parents that Leia was all grown up now and would not enjoy watching ‘The Little Mermaid’ as she did as a child.
Just then, Donna, Eric’s wife walks in carrying all of Leia’s luggage. The two couples sit to have a meal and the family catches up. Donna calls Kitty ‘Mrs F’ just like she used to years ago and Kitty points out that she could call her ‘Mom’ now. Donna states that she would do that someday but Kitty does not approve of that.
Eric tells his parents that he was given a permanent position as a professor. He also tells Red that he and Leia will be going on a ‘father-daughter’ space camp that summer. Leia doesn’t seem so happy about the trip and leaves to go outside. Red continues to mock Eric about going to a space camp at his age but the man does not seem to mind the direct insults from his father.
Kitty points out that Leia does not like the idea of going to the camp but Eric wants to give his daughter the best experience over the summer. Outside, Leia is playing basketball by herself when she overhears Gwen singing. The young girl is Forman’s neighbour and lives in Donna’s old house.
Gwen claims that it was possible that Leia’s parents hooked up as children considering they were next-door neighbours. The two girls bond over rock music and team up against Gwen’s stepbrother, Nate. The next day, at the Forman house, Kitty is getting emotional about not having her kids at home anymore.
Eric is shocked to see that Leia is now wearing a nose ring that her new friend Gwen gave to her. Eric tries to parent Leia about his but the teen girl’s grandparents have her back. Red jokes that Eric is now in the same place that he used to be in. Gwen introduces Leia to her friend, Ozzie as they play UNO in Gwen’s basement.
There, Nate, his girlfriend Nikki and Jay join them. Jay tries to flirt with Leia but it seems like Ozzie has a crush on the guy. Nate tells the group that they had accidentally picked up a keg full of beer for free. Since it is the fourth of July weekend, Nate and Jay want to celebrate.
Gwen agrees too and asks her stepbrother to tap the keg but he mentions that they did not have a tap for the keg. Upstairs, Donna and Eric are trying to come to terms with the fact that they have become adults and are the ‘upstairs people’ now. In Gwen’s basement, the six friends are trying to figure out a way to get a keg tap from the convenience store and they pick the new girl, Leia to buy one.
Leia disguises herself as a pregnant woman to get the keg tap but her cover is blown. She uses her debate skills to get the keg tap from the store owner. The six friends raise a toast to Leia and watch the fireworks. Leia decides that she wants to stay back for the summer and make friends with Gwen and the others.
She goes back home and tells her family that she won’t be going back home with Eric and Donna. Everyone except Eric is happy about Leia staying with her grandparents for the summer. She storms out of the room in anger. Later that evening, Donna convinces Eric to let Leia stay back for the summer.
Eric meets Leia in the basement and tells her that she could stay back for summer and the father-daughter duo hug. The next morning, Eric and Donna leave to go back home and the parents bid farewell to their respective children. Donna leaves after calling Kitty ‘Mom’ and the old woman takes that as a win for her.
Kitty is getting ready to go to the store to stock up on snacks for the new set of kids while Red is shocked to see that Leia is hanging out with a guy named Jay Kelso. As it turns out, Jay is Eric’s teenage friend, Michael Kelso and Jackie’s son. After the kids have left, Michael cracks a bunch of jokes and flirts with Kitty which further sets Red off.
Just then, Jackie arrives and states that she and Michael are getting remarried for the second time. The two leave and Red is frustrated to see it start all over again. Kitty and Leia introduce the kids to the basement while Kitty hands the kids a box full of goodies that Leia’s parents used to kill time. Gwen finds some weed in the box and declares that this is the best summer ever.
The Episode Review
That ’70’s Show was really a classic that fans enjoy to this day. Despite the fact that most of the main cast from the original show showed up in the first episode of this spin-off, That ’90s show tries to bring back similar tropes from the original version and it does not really stick as well.
The plot and setting of this one are interesting but it seems like the concept of having a show with a laugh track is very inauthentic in today’s day and age. The characters from the original are just as chaotic as they were in the original show but the younger teens do not really do a great job. At least not yet anyway.
The show sure can be a nostalgic hit for many young adult viewers but the writing and the jokes are not really great. I wonder why it took Kitty 18 years to convince Donna to call her mom but it all happened over this weekend. Had Donna continued to call Kitty “Mrs F” until the end of this episode and then finally called her mom when she takes Leia back home after summer, this could have made much more sense.
You can read our full season review for That 90s Show here!