‘That ’90s Show’ and ‘Night Court’ bring a dying form to life – Rolling Stone

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According to season, the opening credits sequences for night court Y That 70’s Show ran between 30 and 40 seconds. His new legsecuels — nbc‘s night court Y Netflix‘s That 90’s show — use introductions that are longer than 15 seconds, with updated versions of familiar themes that are much less complex (night court) or very fast (That 90’s show).

On one hand, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sitcom credits have been drastically shortened since That 70’s show debuted 25 years ago, particularly on network television, where commercial breaks continue to eat up the time of the actual content of each episode. Still, something feels off on both counts, in a way that carries over to most of what follows the familiar guitar riffs. Each one focuses on the children of the main characters from the originals, and each brings in some familiar faces in supporting roles, but none feel quite right.

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That 90’s Show. (From left to right) Mace Coronel as Jay, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen Runck, Reyn Doi as Ozzie, Maxwell Acee Donovan as Nate, Sam Morelos as Nikki in That 101 episode ’90s Show. Chrome Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022

PATRICK WYMORE/NETFLIX

let’s start with That 90’s show, which has just released its first season on Netflix. This has the participation of 70’s show creators Bonnie and Terry Turner, plus their daughter Lindsey Turner, though the showrunner and head writer is Gregg Mettler, who wrote for the original series for many years. The series begins in the summer of 1995, some 18 years from the start of the series. Our main character this time is Leia Forman (Callie Haverda), daughter of Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (laura prepon) and granddaughter of Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp). Frustrated and alone after a lifetime of being a good girl, she decides to spend the summer at Red and Kitty’s to finally make friends and experience a teenage rebellion. His new crew includes next-door neighbors Gwen (Ashley Aufderheide) and Nate (Maxwell Acee Donovan), Nate’s brainy girlfriend Nikki (Sam Morelos), the sarcastic, half-closed Ozzie (Reyn Doi) and Jay (Mace Coronel). , also known as the son of Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Jackie (Mila Kunis), who continue to divorce and remarry every few years.

The kids from the original show are recurring actors at best: Grace, Kutcher, and Kunis are only in the premiere, and Prepon and wilmer valderrama appear in some additional episodes – which makes a fair degree of sense. The spotlight is on this next generation, plus Smith and Rupp were always the most reliable laugh-makers on the original show, and they still have those muscles in tip-top shape all these years later. But the new guys are largely forgettable, with Ashley Aufderheide the only one whose facility with verbal or physical comedy seems to be in the ballpark of the previous bunch. because while That70’s show

it was never much of a comedy, its young ensemble was quite remarkable. Grace never turned out to be the next Michael J. Fox, career-wise, but his timing and delivery were always impeccable, and Kutcher, Kunis and the others brought so much more to it than was necessarily on the page. No one is actively bad this time around, but no one is elevating some pretty weak jokes either. Every once in a while, Smith will have a good tirade: “Down in Hell, there’s a room on the way back where the Devil spews fire into your mouth,” Red declares. “That’s the DMV!” But not with often enough.

thankfully, Hyde is nowhere to be seen, nor is Hyde mentioned. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F36HBFGxWkg Meanwhile, the studio audience, or, perhaps, the studio audience recordings ofThat 70’s show— goes berserk whenever someone from the original show shows up, whether it’s a full cast member like Valderrama, a recurring player like Don Stark or Tommy Chong, or even an actor whose presence I can’t name but appeared a total of six times, and who is much better known for his later work. But public applause is only occasionally rewarded by all the returnees. Grace, in particular, seems to have forgotten everything she knows about acting on a multi-camera sitcom after years in the movies and now two and a half seasons on ABC’s single-camera show.

or he’s just doing the cameo out of a sense of obligation. RelatedThe former seems more likely, simply because multi-cameras have largely fallen out of style outside of Disney Channel and Nick’s sitcoms for kids and tweens. The vast majority of comedy on cable and streaming is single-camera, some pure comedy like What we do in the shadows other mixtures of humor and pathos as reserve dogs — and network TV is even experiencing something of a sitcom renaissance, with two bona fide hits on Abbott ElementaryY ghosts both single chamber . There just aren’t many people, either as writers or as actors, who are still adept and highly practiced at throwing montages and punchlines on a stage in front of a live studio audience. That Smith, Rupp and some of the other adults can still do it is impressive, and there are occasional inspiring moments, like a stoned Leia imagining her grandparents as 8-bit video game characters, or a Beverly Hills, 90210parody with one of the original actors wearing a deliberately bad wig. It’s just not enough to keep That

90’s show of feeling like it’s being presented in a foreign language that only a few people involved can speak fluently, rather than pronouncing the words phonetically. That being said, it seems there is still an appetite for the audience form. Tuesday night series premiere of night court was NBC’s highest-rated comedy debut since the return of

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will and grace

in 2017. At this rate, can a

Caroline in the city revival far away? NIGHT COURT — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: (from left to right) Melissa Rauch as Abby Stone, John Larroquette as Dan Fielding Jordin Althaus/NBC/Warner Bros.The two main actors of night courtthey are well versed in multicam beats. Star and executive producer Melissa Rauch spent a decade as Bernadette on

Big Bang Theory

and John Larroquette won four Emmy Awards for his role in the original film.

, and spent another four seasons helming his own eponymous NBC sitcom. They are, not coincidentally, the main reasons to watch the sequel series, which has occasional moments and a pretty good episode (the fifth, set on the night a blood moon brings a particular madness to court) that really evokes the anarchic feeling. from the version directed by Harry Anderson. Rauch, using his normal voice instead of Bernadette’s high-pitched squeal, is Abby Stone, daughter of Anderson’s Harry. After growing up and working upstate, she moves to New York to preside over her father’s old courtroom and enlists Larroquette’s misanthrope ex-prosecutor Dan Fielding to return to the job, this time representing Larroquette. the accused. It’s a reasonable setup. Dan had to be significantly transformed from the misogynistic user of women that he was in the ’80s and ’90s, and if he feels very much like a new character, Larroquette is still incredibly well-suited to the specific demands and challenges of multi-cameras. Meanwhile, Rauch is sociable and enthusiastic enough to conjure up Anderson. Unfortunately, she’s hampered by the fact that Dan isn’t the only character who doesn’t want to be there anymore. Both Clerk of Court Neil (Kapil Talwalkar) and Prosecutor (India de Beaufort) clearly have their sights set on better things, which leaves Constable Gurgs (Lacretta) as the only character besides Abby who seems to be genuinely enjoying himself in this scenario.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEOeJEFKs0E Half the fun of the previous show was the feeling that all this was a ridiculous party that the viewer could visit once a week. Without, say, the presence of a bubbly, over-the-top man like the late Charles Robinson as Harry’s employee Mac, that infectious spirit is absent. So when things get more cartoony, say, Neil dresses up as an extra from

Grease

in a misguided attempt to win over Abby’s mother ( murphy brown alum Faith Ford, who also demonstrated fine-tuned multi-camera chops in a guest appearance), feels goofy in a way it wouldn’t have felt more than 30 years ago. Trends Multi-cam was a difficult and unforgiving beast to tame even in the nineties when there were so many of them. It’s even more difficult now that the format has shrunk so much. Credit these two for at least offering genuine ties to the originals, as opposed to the deservedly ephemeral, completely unrelated ones.

that 80s show – but like most of the revival and reboot trends that have consumed television over the past decade, they exist far more to exploit a familiar brand than because they’re good enough to exist on their own merits. But, well, at least someone in the night court The pilot went so far as to say, “Maybe I really am Gary Buttmouth!” The first season of

That ’90s show is streaming now on Netflix; I’ve seen all 10 episodes. Night Court airs Tuesdays on NBC; I’ve seen the first six episodes.

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