There are a bunch of new movies and shows hitting Netflix this week, but the biggest new addition is That ‘90s Show. Yet unlike the incredibly short-lived That ‘80s Show, which had no connection to the original; That ‘90s Show is a sequel focusing on the characters (and their kids) two decades later.
Which, as you may have guessed from the name, places the action firmly in the 1990s. Step aside Stranger Things, Netflix is leaving the ‘80s and diving into the dark world of ‘90s nostalgia. So expect everything from Tamagotchis to frosted tips and the Styrofoam cups with the infamous Jazz pattern.
When does That ‘90s Show hit Netflix?
That ‘90s Show arrives on Netflix on January 19, 2023. That’s this Thursday in case you were wondering, or some time in the past if you stumbled upon this article a little bit late. The first season of the series will have 10 episodes, and we expect they will be released at the same time — as is the norm over at Netflix.
What is That ‘90s Show about?
That ‘90s Show is a sequel to That ‘70s Show, set in the year 1995 — roughly 15 years after the original series ended. It focuses on Leia Forman (Callie Haverda), daughter of Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti (Topher Grace and Laura Prepon) from the original show, as she spends the summer with her grandparents.
Not only does this mean returning to Point Place, Wisconsin, it also means Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp are back as Red and Kitty Forman. And from the looks of things the duo haven’t aged in the past 16 years. Smith’s rendition of Red, and his love of threatening to plant his foot in the behind of anyone who annoys him, is arguably one of the best parts of the original — so That ‘90s Show is starting on a positive note.
Netflix hasn’t revealed much about what the show will involve, since that would spoil the fun of watching it all, but it did release a trailer. It looks as though That ‘90s Show will follow the same sort of format as its predecessor, with teenagers doing dumb teenager things: smoking weed, attempting to buy alcohol, and everything else you do when you’re living in a small town without much to do.
Who is in That ‘90s Show?
That ‘90s Show’s cast is a mix of old and new, with a collection of new faces and cameos from the stars of the original series. This makes sense, considering this show is mostly about their kids’ generation. Here's who you'll spot during the 10-episode season:
- Callie Haverda plays Leia Forman, daughter of Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti, and presumably named after Leia Organa. Eric (and actor Topher Grace) is a pretty big Star Wars nerd, after all. Leia is described as “book smart and coltish."
- Mace Coronel plays Jay Kelso, son of Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis). While the trailer suggests he’s a bit of a player, like his dad, Netflix has described him as “a true romantic” and an aspiring filmmaker.
- Ashley Aufderheide plays Gwen, a loyal but rebellious ‘Riot grrrl’ and is described as a “petite but edgy powerhouse.”
- Reyn Doi plays Ozzie, Gwen’s best friend and openly gay, described as “incredibly honest.”
- Maxwell Acee Donovan plays Nate, Gwen’s older brother who is described as a “corn-fed midwesterner” and drives a beaten-up Dodge minivan. Judging from the trailer he seems to be the show’s Kelso stand-in, and doesn’t seem particularly smart.
- Samantha Morelos plays Nikki, Nate’s girlfriend who comes from a family of overachievers. She’s described as intelligent, and into volunteering, but has a rebellious streak.
- Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp play Red and Kitty Forman, Leia’s grandparents and the only main cast members returning from That ‘70s Show.
- Topher Grace plays Eric Forman, Red and Kitty’s mild-mannered son and Leia’s father.
- Laura Preppon plays Donna Pinciotti, Leia’s mother and significantly more stubborn and rebellious than Eric. She grew up next door to Eric.
- Ashton Kutcher plays Michael Kelso, Jay’s father and is far from the sharpest tool in the shed.
- Mila Kunis plays Jackie Burkhart, Jay’s mother and the former mean girl of the original show.
- Wilmer Valderrama plays Fez, originally the foreign exchange student and now a popular local hair stylist.
Also appearing are Tommy Chong as Leo, Don Stark as Donna’s father and Leia’s other grandfather Bob, as well as Jim Rash as Fez’s former roommate Fenton. There are also set to be cameo appearances from Brian Austin Green and Adam Sandler. Danny Masterson, who played Hyde in the original series, is not expected to make an appearance on account of his ongoing legal issues (to put it mildly).
Should you watch That ‘90s Show?
At the time of writing there have been no That ‘90s Shows reviews, so we have absolutely no professional consensus on whether the show is good or not. The only way you’re going to be able to find out is to check out the show yourself once it hits Netflix on January 19. Maybe it will be good, or maybe it won’t, there’s only one way you’ll be able to find out for sure.
Chances are if you don't like That ‘70s Show you’re not going to like That ‘90s Show. Stranger things have happened, but this is a spin off and seems to be following a similar format to the original. In other words don’t be surprised if you find that this isn’t the show for you. However, if you did like That ‘70s Show, this may be worth checking out for the exact same reasons. Whether it can recapture what made the original popular enough to last eight seasons is another matter entirely.
Will That ‘90s Show last eight seasons as well? It feels unlikely, especially in light of the sheer number of Netflix cancelations over the past 12 months, but we can’t know for sure. The choice of whether you invest your time and energy is totally up to you, but I wouldn’t be surprised if That ‘90s Show doesn’t last very long.