How the That ’90s Show Trailer Takes Fans Back to Point Place
Jan 3, 2023
Hello, Wisconsin! Netflix blessed us with the first extended trailer for That ’90s Show this holiday season. For anyone looking to recapture their love of the original series, this trailer did not disappoint.
Picking up in the summer of 1995, 16 years after That ’70s Show ended, the sequel centers on Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti’s daughter Leia (Callie Haverda) as she visits her grandparents in Point Place. Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith are back as the cheerful Kitty and perpetually grouchy Red, respectively, not losing a step in the decade and a half since they last played these roles. While spending her summer in Point Place, Leia encounters numerous new friends, including the son of Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkhart. The new group of friends comes together to again fill the Formans’ basement, much to Kitty’s delight and Red’s dismay.
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The new trailer struck a delicate balance between introducing our new young cast and paying tribute to its predecessor.
Red and Kitty’s Triumphant Return
The trailer opens with Red and Kitty in very much Red-and-Kitty fashion. Kitty is preparing for Leia’s upcoming visit and cheerfully plans to buy snacks for her and her friends. Red cautions her against this, saying that feeding the friend group is what made them stick around the first time. Shots of the new group are interspersed with the now-grandparents’ exchange, where we see them at familiar locations like The Hub and the Formans’ basement. This suggests that the young cast will stick around visiting the same hangouts that their predecessors frequented. Kitty caps off their return with an enthusiastic “I’m back baby,” while Red opts for a dejected “son of a b*tch.”
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Next, it’s time to meet our new protagonist. Leia arrives at the front door to a big hug from her grandmother. While we don’t see how Red initially reacts to her arrival, we can most likely guess how he is feeling.
The New Group
The trailer immediately cuts to Leia meeting her first friend in town, rebellious rocker Gwen (Ashley Aufderheide), by peering in her window of all places. A botched attempt at a debate club pun lets us know that Leia has inherited her father Eric’s awkward sense of humor. From there, we meet the rest of the gang. There’s Gwen’s brother Nate (Maxwell Acee Donovan), his girlfriend Nikki (Sam Morelos), friend Ozzie (Reyn Doi), and even Jay (Mace Coronel), Kelso and Jackie’s son. We see him take after his father by immediately putting the moves on Leia.
The group celebrates together by drinking on top of the iconic water tower (after debating over whether Leia can buy a tap in a clever callback to the original). Apparently, no one has painted over the water tower in 16 years. The faded pot leaf and the name “Jackie” can still be seen as the group stands atop it celebrating their new friendship. Leia laments that she wishes she could stay for the entire summer.
Back to Point Place
Red and Kitty have not done much basement renovation. The hangout is mostly unchanged from the original series, with several Easter eggs, such as the Green Bay Packers “stupid” helmet visible in the background. Leia and the group look through some relics from the ’70s and find the holy grail, a bag of green “stuff” apparently left over from when the first group was there. While Leia doesn’t know what’s in the bag, the group is happy to fill her in. They waste no time lighting up and forming a new “circle,” discussing conspiracies and deep issues much in the vein of the original circle.
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Leia continues to struggle with fitting in, though Gwen promises her she’ll always have a place with their group. She may even find love too. While the Vista Cruiser is long gone, Jay and Leia sit atop the hood of Red and Kitty’s new ’90s ride in the same place where her parents had their first kiss all those years ago. We then see another montage of the new kids adjusting to Wisconsin life. There are scenes at what looks like a mall, and later with Jay attempting to drive Leia, Gwen, and Kitty (with a still-laughing Kitty covering his eyes).
Red is not quick to warm up to the idea of their house being the central hangout again, and he may have a point, as we see cops pull over Jay and Leia, ensuing fights, and struggles with the new technology of 1995. More hijinks occur over a ’90s rock version of the original theme song.
The Original Cast
So, what was the original gang up to in the ’80s and first half of the ’90s? Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) has stayed in town, becoming a successful stylist with his own salon. While hiking in the woods, Leia and Jay encounter a slightly-older looking Leo (Tommy Chong), who may not be aware he is still in town. Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Jackie (Mila Kunis) stop by the Forman house. Both are wearing nice clothes (a very un-Kelso suit and tie in his case), suggesting that they may have found new careers. Finally, we see Eric (Topher Grace) and a back-to-red hair Donna (Laura Prepon) playfully hitting each other on the hood of the non-Vista Cruiser car. Eric is trying and failing to bond with Leia, though he tenderly admits that he will love her and stand behind her no matter what.
Red closes the trailer with possibly his most Red-like nugget of wisdom, reminding Eric to always stand behind his kids because that makes it easier… Before Red can complete his sentence, Eric, Donna, and Kitty finish in unison “to put your foot in their a*s.” Hello, ’90s.
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