One of the great weaknesses of Netflix It has been his inability to find a sitcom that becomes one of the great emblems of the platform. It is clear that it is not easy to find the new ‘Friends’ or the new ‘The Office’, but due to lack of attempts it has not been. The point is that later titles like ‘Space Force’ or ‘Blockbuster’ ended up being resounding failures.
In his new attempt to achieve this, he has opted for a different formula, since instead of trying to build something from scratch, they have chosen to carry out a sequel to the mythical ‘Those wonderful 70s’. Released on January 19, the first data from ‘That ’90s Show’ they have not been very good, and it is a pity, since the worst that can be said of its very entertaining first season It is a pity that it does not last more than 10 episodes so that there is more room to establish the characters and the relationships between them.
One thing that those responsible for ‘That wonderful 90’s’ are very clear about is that if something already works, better not touch too much. This leads the series to drink a lot from the original, both in terms of secondary characters and special appearances and in the way of approaching humor. There it is true that there are several references that make it clear that we are in the 90s, but in many other aspects it seems more like an extension of what we already saw in ‘Those wonderful 70s’.
The big question that arises then is How much sense does it make to do that almost 17 years after ‘That ’70s Show’ came to an end?, especially if we take into account everything that television comedy has evolved since then. Because it is true that this has not affected other titles so much, but in the case at hand, it is a work that is very much the daughter of its time and has not connected as much with later generations of viewers.
The answer to that question depends on each viewer., because it is not the same to return to something that you already had affection for than to face something that basically gives you the same thing. Yes, the young actors are different and there will be those who blurt out some idiocy on the subject of representation, but in the end they come to fill similar roles, although without falling into the error of becoming mere copies either, and with a clearly continuous sense of humor. .
There it is not only that the contribution of Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp as Red and Kitty Forman is essential so that at all times she feels like a clear successor -and incidentally conveys to the viewer a certain feeling of returning home-, since it is also noticeable that several of the creators of the original series have participated in its developing.
I needed more episodes
In fact, everything in ‘That ’90s Show’ seems designed to feel like a more or less natural transition. It is true that the first episode perhaps draws too much nostalgia with so much special appearance -later they will be common but much more dosed-, but perhaps not a better way to create a cover letter for something that wants to recover that cross between nostalgia and absurdity that it launched the careers of several of its protagonists.
In this case, I don’t think it will achieve the same, since it is true that the casting work has been quite successful, but that is where we have one of the main Netflix series compared to its predecessor: here everything has a more ephemeral touch, since the fact that the series is set during Leia’s summer vacation (inspired by Callie Haverda) until there are barely 10 episodes.
This removes weight from the recreation of the characters to become the engine even above the situations they face. -because yes, we are amused that things happen to them, but above all that they happen specifically to them-. I am aware that many would not hesitate to classify this as simple filler, but in sitcoms it is the essential glue to differentiate those that are more or less funny from those that end up staying with us forever. Be careful, I am referring to pure sitcoms, not to those television comedies for which making the viewer laugh takes second or even third place.
In the case of ‘That wonderful 90s’ I think that its new characters end up working much better than what its pilot may imply, but also that they still need filming and even that in some plots they may have been somewhat rushed due to the lack of time. And I am not very clear that Netflix is going to give it to them. A few years ago it sure was, but now they cancel so many things that the 41 million hours played that it had during its first days on the platform invite us to think that it may not go beyond here.
‘Those wonderful 90’s’ is a very good sequel that successfully recovers the spirit of the original, to the point that it really feels like a continuation of what happened there rather than something new and different. The only thing missing is not having more time for the gears to flow better, but for me I would see a second season tomorrow. Now the only thing missing is Netflix not canceling it.