That 70s Show: Season Two

While That 70s Show had enough zing and retro-friendly laughs to get a renewal for a second season, its first season was miles away from fulfilling its potential. Almost right off the bat in season two it's apparent the writers and producers did their homework, as they succeed in creating laughs and furthering the characters' personalities. While the show focuses more on sticky situations than steadily advancing storylines (i.e., romances, feuds) it only takes two episodes to bring a harsh dose of reality to Point Place, Wisconsin, as Red, the breadwinner in the Forman family, loses his job and turns to beer as a cushion. And while the drinking remains a one-off incident, the writers don't hand Red an easy time with his unemployed stint. Red's case is the only true downer of the season, and it's resolved midway through when he's hired on as manager of Price-Mart, which leaves the gang a lot of room to delve into their stashes of pot and get into some hi-jinks. An interesting twist is turning Kelso's dream of making it with Eric's slutty sister, Laurie, into a reality and ruining his relationship with the overbearing Jackie. While Ashton Kutcher's acting abilities are questionable, his performance as the penis-before-brains, narcissistic dufus is sound. Luckily, the writers found ways to spice up the rather innocent and dull relations between main couple Eric and Donna. With his insecurities and insensitivity, and her independent thinking, some great situations arise, such as being caught having sex by a cop, Eric's "I love cake" response to Donna's "I love you," Eric killing Donna's cat, Mr. Bonkers, and Eric's inability to cope with Donna's bare ass in the yearbook. Like the first season, this box set comes with some poor special features, as if they felt obligated to throw something in there but not something good. A featurette on the season with director David Trainer is the best of the bunch, which includes selected episode commentaries, but overall, you get the sense that they just weren't trying. (Fox)