That season 8 of the ’70s show was an abject failure – here’s why

That 1970s show was brought to a disastrous end by several prominent absences and a host of mind-boggling decisions that spoil the fun.

That show from the 70s had excellent writing, a well-defined cast of characters, and subtle references to fit the period that only added to its charm. The ten-year sitcom left such an impression that a spin-off with some original stars is coming to Netflix. But even the most seasoned fans hated the final season — preferring to write off the remaining 22 episodes as nothing more than a bad trip.

Season 8 of Season 8 of That show from the 70s felt completely separated from the rest of the series. A huge blow came when Topher Grace announced that he would not be returning as Eric Forman. As the show’s central character, half of the main couple and a central resident of the iconic basement, Eric was much loved and critical of the series. It was all downhill from there.

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Grace took the role of Venom in Sam Raimi’s Spider Man 3, with Eric’s departure explained by him taking a teaching job in Africa. This jeopardized the character’s relationship with longtime lover Donna Pinciotti, and That show from the 70s messed up that relationship by having a rushed off-screen rift between the two. And while Ashton Kutcher stuck, the actor’s evolving film career meant that his character Michael Kelso showed up only sporadically. The loss of these two protagonists also detracted from the dynamic fans they had come to love.

Screenwriter duo Jeff and Jackie Filgo were also noticeably absent for the final season after serving as executive producers for more than 170 episodes. The Filgos were also a prominent fixture on the show’s writing staff for the first six seasons, and were responsible for Jackie Burkhart and Steven Hyde’s favorite combination. While the romantic pairing of the two seemed disastrous at first, their relationship eventually served to improve both characters, similar to How I met your motheris an unlikely combination of Valentina and Charlie. But the couple was forcibly separated in Season 8.

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Hyde was impulsively married off to a stripper named Samantha. The plot point would have served much better as a season arc where Jackie and Hyde eventually reconciled or Hyde learned to love Samantha. However, after only eight episodes and a painful plot twist, That show from the 70s never mentioned Samantha again. Additionally, Jackie and Hyde returned to their bitter Season 1 dynamic with little to no mention of a courtship spanning seasons. Even more baffling was Kelso’s decision to propose to Jackie, despite the fact that they had been separated for a while.

While the existing characters felt like they were in poorly written fanfiction, the new ones were even worse. To make up for the departure of Grace and Kutcher, Josh Meyers joined the cast as Randy Pearson. Given an instant flirtation with Donna and quick friendships with the rest of the cast — including Eric’s parents — Randy was clearly meant to be an amalgamation of Kelso’s charm and Eric’s sweetness. However, the character was so unpopular with viewers that Meyers’ image was removed from all DVD copies of the season.

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The most confusing part of That show from the 70s‘s final season was what it did to Fez, the quirky character played by Wilmer Valderrama, who would later go on to star as Agent Nick Torres on NCIS† Fez was characterized by his obsession with sweets, his charming clumsiness and his mysterious international origins. By season 8, most of these traits were all but forgotten and his tendency to let his mind-boggling nature mess up his romantic pursuits was completely reversed.

The comic relief of the series suddenly became irresistible to women; most striking and baffling of all, he was irresistible to the newly single Jackie. After spurning her old romantic interests in favor of someone “better for her,” Jackie decided she was in love with Fez. Even more mind-boggling, Fez initially turned her down – he harbored an intense crush on Jackie for almost the entire series, and yet, when his previously unrequited love came after him, he turned her down. That show from the 70s now flew in the face of its own established canon.

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Since the characters as a romantic couple lacked on-screen chemistry, the combination of Jackie and Fez was collectively despised. Valderrama told TODAY in 2021 that both he and Kunis were surprised by the decision to date their characters, and that it felt like the most random thing the show could have done. “We were almost through everything,” he laughed.

That show from the 70s ended not with a bang, but with a haunted wail, losing many of the concepts and people that made the series successful and replacing them with storylines and characters that went directly against what had already been established. Now that Netflix has ordered That show from the 90sfans have hopes that what happens next in Point Place will be better than the woes of Season 8.

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