That ’90s Show cast
The much-anticipated sequel to That ’70s Show is here with many of the original cast and new faces in the new spin-off TV show.
That ’90s Show follows a new cohort of Point Place kids and, like the original, will focus on everything that the group of fun-loving teenagers get up to. The year is 1995 and when Leia visits her grandparents in Wisconsin, she’s intent on creating some sort of adventure in her life. But will it all go to plan?
The original series first aired back in 1998 and, as well as being a hilarious watch, helped launch the careers of Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Laura Prepon and more.
That ’90s Show is a genuinely fun sitcom to watch.
The summer is just beginning and the Formans, Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) and Red (Kurtwood Smith), are preparing to welcome their son Eric (Topher Grace), their daughter-in-law Donna (Laura Prepon), and granddaughter Leia (Callie Haverda) for a Fourth of July celebration. Yes, Eric named his daughter after a Star Wars character and has even managed to build an academic career in his very specific area of expertise. Kitty is extremely excited to have a kid at home again because she misses having Eric and the gang around (Red does not). After Leia meets her new next-door neighbor Gwen (Ashley Aufderheide) and the rest of the kids of Point Place, she decides to spend the summer with her grandparents. Instead of going to space camp. Which is what her dad wanted her to do. Seriously, Forman?
You may have seen from the trailer that the former cast members reprise their roles in That ’90s Show guest appearances. Read on to find out more about the cast and characters of the new Netflix series, as well as which original stars will be returning.
Callie Haverda plays Leia Forman
Who is Leia Forman? Leia is the leading character in That ’90s Show and we follow her as she visits her grandparents for the summer. While in Wisconsin, she bonds with a new generation of Point Place kids and may just be able to inject some much-needed adventure into her life, which is what she so desperately desires.
What else has Callie Haverda been in? The teenage actor has been in a variety of roles including The Lost Husband, Shut Eye, The Eleven Little Roosters and also featured in See Plum Run.
Kurtwood Smith plays Red Forman
Who is Red Forman? Returning favourite Red is the grandfather of Leia and watches on with a stern eye as his teenage granddaughter welcomes in a new group of teens into his home. Fans of That ’70s Show will recognise Red, who is the father of Eric.
What else has Kurtwood Smith been in? The well-known TV and film actor is known for his roles in 1987’s RoboCop, Rambo III, the seventh season of 24, Marvel’s Agent Carter, Suits and most recently, Disney Plus’s The Dropout.
Debra Jo Rupp plays Kitty Forman
Who is Kitty Fornan? Kitty is the grandmother of Leia, wife to Red and mother of Eric. She’s a returning face and this time round, Kitty is watchful over her granddaughter, but is also excited for a new generation of kids to be welcomed into her home.
What else has Debra Jo Rupp been in? Perhaps best known for her role in That ’70s Show, Rupp has also starred in Friends, Better With You, WandaVision and Teacher’s Pet.
Ashley Aufderheide plays Gwen Runck
Who is Gwen Runck? Kitty and Red’s next door neighbour, rebellious and dynamic Gwen quickly becomes one of Leia’s friends when she moves in for the summer.
What else has Ashley Aufderheide been in? Aufderheide has had a recurring role in Emergence, and also starred in The Slap, Preacher, Unforgettable, Going in Style and Infinitely Polar Bear.
Mace Coronel plays Jay Kelso
Who is Jay Kelso? Described as “charming” and “flirty”, we can assume that Jay will likely be Leia’s love interest in the series. He’s a young videographer and just so happens to also be the son of Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkhart – aka the previous leading characters of That ’70s Show, played Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
What else has Mace Coronel been in? The 18-year-old actor has starred in Nickelodeon’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, as well as Zoe Valentine and Netflix’s Colin in Black & White.
Maxwell Acee Donovan plays Nate Runck
Who is Nate Runck? Nate is Gwen’s easygoing and loveable brother, who becomes part of Leia’s growing friendship group.
What else has Maxwell Acee Donovan been in? Donovan is known for his roles in Gabby Duran & The Unsittables, Good Kids and War Dogs.
Sam Morelos plays Nikki
Who is Nikki? Nikki is the smart and “laser-focused” girlfriend of Nate.
What else has Sam Morelos been in? Aside from her upcoming role in That ’90s Show, Morelos has also starred in the short film Forgetting Nobody.
Reyn Doi plays Ozzie
Who is Ozzie? The sarcastic yet insightful one in the group, Ozzie is the perceptive one of the group and is also openly gay.
What else has Reyn Doi been in? The young actor has starred in Side Hustle, S.W.A.T. as well as movies Adopted and The Boss Baby 2: Family Business.
That ’90s Show special guest star
As previously mentioned, the new sitcom will also feature some guest appearances from the long beloved original cast. Returning cast members who will be reprising their roles as guest stars are as follows.
- Topher Grace as Eric Forman
- Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti
- Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart
- Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso
- Wilmer Valderrama as Fez
- Tommy Chong as Leo
- Don Stark as Bob Pinciotti
Although only appearing in guest star roles, the return of the original cast is still a momentous occasion for many fans of That ’70s Show. Speaking about his return, Kutcher previously explained to Variety that “it was really nostalgic to be back on the set”, adding: “It’s all the same folks that made That ’70s Show, so it was pretty bizarre”.
He explained: “Mila and I were contemplating it. We thought, ‘Listen, we’re only in the position that we’re in because of that show, so let’s just go back and do this’. We just went back and had fun for a week. It was so random and fun.” On the new series, he also said that it’s “really funny” and that “the new cast is phenomenal”.
That ’90s Show Review: Red and Kitty Forman Steal the Show
For these reasons, the vibrant and unique acting skills that were displayed on That ‘70s Show make it nearly impossible to replicate in a rebooted format with new actors. The showrunners are hopeful that small cameos by most of the main cast, along with an increased presence from the legendary Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp as Eric’s parents, Red and Kitty Forman, will be enough to scratch the nostalgic itch of their intended audience. There’s also an effort to mirror some of the traits of the original characters in the new cast members, but this results in a mixed bag of mediocre joke setups and punchlines.
The protagonist of That ‘90s Show is likable enough. Leia Forman (Callie Haverda) is the daughter of Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Lauren Prepon). She combines her father’s timidity and nerdiness with her mother’s flair for theatrics and adventure. When she’s interacting with her parents in the pilot episode of the series, it seems like there’s a lot of potential. She plays off of her parents well, but this might just be the charisma of Prepon and Grace rubbing off on their onscreen daughter. Once her parents leave the picture, Leia turns into an ordinary teenager of sorts. She has boy issues, problems with fitting in, anxieties about her progress in life as an adolescent, you know, the whole gamut of first-world issues that 15-year-olds espouse on TV.
Leia’s surrounded by a potpourri of friends that simulate some of the key ingredients we loved in the original cast members, particularly her would-be boyfriend Jay Kelso (Mace Coronel). Jay is actually the best character from the new additions, as he isn’t a carbon copy of his father. Instead, Jay tones down the wild stupidity of Kutcher’s famous idiot and suffuses the show with more of an innocent ignorance. His progression throughout the season from a bad boy into a thoughtful, yet still-unaware teen is sensical, but not really completely revelatory. All of the plot points throughout the 10 episodes come through as somewhat generic as we await the next one-episode appearance by Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), Donna, or even Donna’s father, Bob Pinciotti (Don Stark).
The glue that holds this spinoff together is the husband-wife team of over 40 years that we mentioned at the beginning. Red and Kitty Forman are somehow even more fleshed out than they were on That ‘70s Show. With multiple decades separating their appearance in the two shows, the writers have keenly evolved these parents into more modern versions of themselves. Grandparenting looks good on Red, who has softened significantly since his days of incessantly desiring to shove his foot up everyone’s ass.
There’s still enough curmudgeon in Red to make him everyone’s favorite crank, but the time that has passed since his own son was in the house has changed his outlook on the world a little bit. Red is now a more caring husband, a more involved father-figure, and someone people can look to for advice. He constantly encourages Kitty to pursue her dreams in their senior years, topped off by nudging her back into the workforce as a nurse.
Kitty is still a motherly force to be reckoned with. Her infinitely optimistic energy creates a fantastic yin and yang to Red’s still-sometimes-sour demeanor. Kitty is an older woman who wants to spice up her golden years with the new kids down in the basement, but she also appears to want more. She’s ready for the advancements of the 21st century that are on the horizon. A couple key storylines that follow Kitty’s newfound curiosity in the world is her acceptance of the new group’s gay character, Ozzie (Reyn Doi), and her anticipation of learning all about the internet.
That ’90s Show is available on Netflix now.
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