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  • I love The 70s Show, but That 80s Show tried too hard. That 70s Show is about a group of kids who happened to be coming of age in the 70s. The clothing, music, slang, vehicles, and everything else were a natural part of the script and set. That 80s Show tried to cram everything 80s into 30 minutes of television, with little or no thought to plot or character development. Every character was a simple dated stereotype. The writing was shallow and I didn't really care about anyone on the show. A shame, really, because the show centered around a record store - having grown up in the 80s, I think that the decade's music was the only decent thing to come out of that period. That would have been a great backdrop if the show had actually been about the characters, not the decade itself. Maybe enough time hasn't passed. Maybe they should try again in ten years.
  • jersey-314 February 2002
    I am a child of the 1980s. I was 7 years old in 1980 and 16 in 1989. This show is terrible. All it does is try to find humor in mocking every fad and fashion of the 1980s. If That 70's Show relied on this, it would have been off the air quickly.

    Let me explain... That 70's Show uses the 1970s as a backdrop for a sitcom about people. The oddities of the 1970s are secondary to the story line. (Much like Happy Days was with the 1950s.)

    That 80's Show uses the 1980s as it main focus of humor by making fun of everything. And unfortunately, they don't do that funny either. Seeing people sing along to Pat Benatar, talk about having a cell phone, and wearing zebra pants is funny? After the first episode, I said to my wife, "Well, it won't be long until they have a scene where the people are singing alone to Dexy's Midnight Runners." And guess what, I was proved right by week #4 where three of the main characters drive in a car and sing along to "Come On Eileen".

    FOX should be ashamed of itself if it leaves this crap on the air. It is amazing that this piece of junk will probably survive, yet FOX will probably cancel a great and funny show called "Undeclared". But then again, we've learned many times that network executives don't know anything about funny and good shows.

    By the way, does That 80's Show have the most loud and obnoxious laugh track you've ever heard?
  • Network: Fox; Genre: sitcom; Content Rating: TV-PG; Classification: Contemporary (Star range: 1 - 4)

    Season Reviewed: series (1 season)

    'That 80s Show' is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. A copy of a copy, faded slightly from the original where creators Bonnie and Terri Turner take another trip back in time in the clearly network mandated vein of roping in the young crowd that currently watches their hit 'That 70s Show'. It's an odd line of logic: do networks think just setting a show in a different time period is enough of a gimmick for people to flock to it with nostalgic interest? The show plays out like a 'SNL' skit about the 80s. The characters in this live action comic strip work in a vinyl record store, have spiked punk or 'Flock of Seagulls' hair, serve in the military against the Ruskies, watch Dynasty religiously (taking a drink every time someone gets slapped) and, in a throwback to Alex Keaton, are go-go Reaganaut business tycoons. Its a TV time capsule broadly playing off, and laughing at, only the most easily and instantly recognizable fads, attitudes and events of the decade so that the younger crowd (which this is geared toward) can watch the show and not be left in the dark by a lot of nuance and in-jokes before their time. If you want nuance and a show speaking directly to you, best stick with Paul Fieg's 'Freaks and Geeks'.

    Ah, but wait, almost the exact same thing can be said about the fast and loose way the 70s are treated in 'That 70s Show'. But '70s' rises above it. With the talent preoccupied with working on '70s' everything in this show is taken down a peg. It lacks the comic timing and imaginative direction of '70s' helm David Trainer so the series is only marginally as funny. It lacks the veteran acting, instead of Kurtwood Smith we have Geoff Pierson ('Unhappily Ever After', one of the very best bad shows ever). Pierson is quite good, one of the highlights of the show actually, but it's an noticeable down step from a veteran like Smith. Most notably is that '70s' quickly transcended it's time period jokes and has become something with a genuine heart. That show, and this is rarely reported, is the semi-autobiographical story of creator Mark Brazill. '80s' lacks that feeling of experience and honesty. Do we really care if opposites attract and Corey (Glenn Howerton) and Tuesday (Chyler Leigh) get together?

    What keeps the show's head above water – it is quite watchable – is once again an excellent casting department. In addition to the usually reliable Pierson (cornering the market in his dead-beat-father role, in a time when networks would TV fathers be harmless, overgrown children), the kids form a likable ensemble. While there aren't quite any Topher Graces in this lot of kids, there aren't any Ashton Kutchers either (if you know what I mean and I think you do). Tinsley Grimes (as the adorable Katie), Chyler Leigh (deserving every second of screen time she gets) and Eddie Shin (honestly, getting almost all of the show's laughs) stand out as the show's breakout stars. The banter between Roger (Shin) and R.T. (Pierson) is the highlight of the series.

    Based on the potential strength of the cast is have a sneaky suspicious this show would have gotten better as it went along. But, either way, audiences flocked away from it like a swarm of bees, which probably has more to do with sending a message that we don't want this kind of franchise series than anything the show could have done - despite the best efforts of the cast. I suspect, Brazill and co. thought that the acceptance of 'The Wedding Singer' and other related products opened the door and declared it was now acceptable to treat like a cartoon this period in people's childhood. But by 2002, the 80s are still to recent and people's minds. It was a doomed concept from the start and people don't want to start down a slippery slope that will one day lead to a show, that solely stands out because it's set in "the 00s".

    * * / 4
  • What a poor effort. That 80's Show aired in NZ tonight and it was a new high in low for T.V. Seriously unfunny, lame characters and a poor cash in on the success of "That 70's Show". Anyone who derives enjoyment out of this probaly can't remember yesterday let alone the 80's.

    Good one Fox, cancel Married... With Children and Futurama and put this on. Quality programming? Nah, who needs that?
  • DarthBill19 March 2003
    It really wasn't all that different from "That 70s Show". Just about every joke was thrown in, some funny, some not. I admit I only tuned in to see the adorable Tinsley Grimes. I think this show could've become something better than it was if it had been given more of a chance, and also if the writers had taken it more slowly with things like the love/hate relationship between Corey (Howerton) and Tuesday (Leigh). I think another problem with the show was the lead character of Corey himself: the writers weren't sure what to do with him. Was he supposed to be a nice guy, was he supposed to be a jerk, they hadn't figured him out. But that's why you have to give a show like this time, so you can flesh out your characters and figure out who they really are.
  • After watching the trailer for "that 80's show" i thought it might be a nice evening filler,it looked funny and witty.NOT! I was seriously dissappointed upon watching the actual show.If you want my advice,this show sucks!Its not funny and totally not amusing.I'd stick with the 70's show if I were you.
  • This show is horrible. I was looking forward to watching this show because I loved 80's TV but I can't believe how bad they messed this one up. The problem with the show is they are making fun of the 80's, that's not the way to go. They should have watched a few episodes of square pegs or something because they are not even on target. jokes = not funny, cast = not funny, show = not funny.

    If you want to watch 80's comedy, do yourself a favor and watch reruns on Tvland.
  • isotope21127 February 2002
    Fox should be embarrassed to be airing this show. This from the same network that canceled Chris Elliot's "Get A Life"!

    The characters are lifeless, as is the acting and script. I also found the cinematography very annoying... I can't really put my finger on it, but it had a jerky, almost strobe-light quality. Very reminiscent of music videos from the era, or a webcam. I don't know if it was done intentionally for effect... but it was stupid.

    I can only hope that in the fall we will see this show replaced with some higher quality programming or at the very least they will hire some decent writers. 3/10
  • rebschucks31 March 2002
    Watching this show is like watching a very nasty train wreck - you want to look away yet you can't help but stare at the horror... I think I've seen four episodes, and I hated every single one of them... I TRIED to like it! I kept hoping the stupid piece of you-know-what would get better... I didn't expect it to be that 70s show rehashed, but damn! There's a REASON they have a laugh track on this show, you know - no live studio audience would stick around. What gets me the most is the way they're trying REALLY REALLY FREAKING HARD to force a love plot with the main character and his overdone-punk co-worker. You realize Corey and Tuesday are going to get together, and when they finally passionately kiss that laugh track is going to give a big "WOOOOO!" and I think I'm going to go to my basement and hang myself. And while we're on the topic of Tuesday, I'm sorry, but I remember the 80s fairly well, and while mohawks were in, whatever the hell she's attempting to do with it was not (to be honest, I think that actress refused to shave the sides of her head in the name of her part so they had to think of something else). I hate this show... I hate myself for having wasted two hours of my life watching it. The only people who could possibly like this show are the hopeless pre-teens who have nothing better to with with their time and don't really know the meaning of quality yet (we're all victims at that age; I remember Saved by the Bell all too well). I'd rather sit and watch a loogie dry than to watch that 80s show ever again.
  • The ideas are there, but the cast definitely needs work. They seem to be too new to the acting scene, and their lines are coming off to confused. Their body movements are also still a little unnatural. Some of the jokes are lacking as well. In time this should get better. It already seems better than the first episode.
  • While That '70s show relies a lot on wit, funny flashbacks, interesting historical references and real charactar growth, plus the great acting, this show mostly relied on the shock of the bad clothes and everyone's sexuality. The jokes weren't great and the charactars were boring. I'm glad it got canceled......but I wish FOX would bring back "Undeclared". That was a really funny show, but it was a timeslot victim :(
  • The difference between "That 70s Show" and "That 80s Show" is that the former has characters, situations, and stories we can care about and laugh at.

    "That 80s Show," on the other hand, just trots out 80s fads like wine coolers, punk, and Madonna, and expects us to laugh at them. The dialogue is stupid, the characters are vapid, and the stories are non-existent, but ha-ha-ha, that girl is trying to dance like Pat Benatar. Tee-hee, cell phones were huge, clunky and expensive. The boys are wearing hair gel -- I'm rolling on the floor laughing. Or not.

    Typical Hollywood, thinking the reason "That 70s Show" succeeded was just the 70s trappings. It couldn't possibly be because it's well-written and well-acted.
  • I didn't mean to watch the first episode, but I left my television on Fox after a Seinfeld episode had concluded. The promos for That 80's Show were not the least bit promising, but the moments from the ads were, in fact, the funniest bits from the episode...still, they weren't the least bit funny. I could stomach only 15 minutes before I had to turn off the television.

    I remember the 80's. Referencing things from that decade does not qualify as humor, but that is all that the show attempted. Characters provide humor, but these characters were weak and forgettable...placed merely as the deliverers of referential one-liners. I don't recall being constantly aware of the 80's during the 80's. Things were simply the way they were. That 70's Show could take place in any time period and it would still be funny(at least the first 2 seasons would still be funny)'s a comedy that happens to take place within the 70's. That 80's Show(at least the first 15 minutes of the first episode) could exist nowhere else because every single line is a tired 80's gag. Situation comedy doesn't work when the situation is the comedy. Imagine Seinfeld if every joke, even every line, were some lame reference to living in New York. Imagine Cheers if every bit were about bars. Imagine The Simpsons if every episode revolved around the fact that the characters were all cartoons. They would've all been canceled after a few episodes, and I hope Fox cancels That 80's show immediately. It sucks.

    How this tripe could ever pass as entertainment is beyond me.
  • I've seen the first 3 episodes of this show now. Strike one, strike two, and STRIKE THREE! It's just plain awful! "That 70's Show" works because it's a sitcom set in the 70's. "That 80's Show" seems to be a sitcom based on what we all REMEMBER about the 80's. Seriously, did anyone out there EVER speak to your friends back then the way the characters do? In the 80's, you wore high hair, Michael Jackson Zipper jackets, and leg warmers because everyone did. No one ever made a big deal about it then like they do in this show! To anyone who hasn't seen "That 80's Show" yet and is considering watching the next episode, try doing something more humorous with your time; like watching paint dry.
  • This show really sucks. The characters are stupid, and I hate it how they try to make viewers laugh by referring to 80's trends like portable phones, talking rocks, and stupid shows like "Dynasty". The bi-sexual jokes got old real fast, and besides that any joke on this show bites. And the laugh track is ANNOYING!!! Fox please cancel this crap, and replace it with one of those new shows coming in March (I cant remember the one but the other is "Greg the bunny").

    This show sucks period.
  • After looking around at the Internet discussions of this show, I have concluded that many people didn't think "That '80s Show" was up to scratch with "That '70s Show," mainly because "'80s" was just a little bit different.

    I disagree. While this show did have its weak points, I thought it was a hilarious portrayal of '80s pop culture. I actually enjoyed this show.

    I also believe that the Fox Network was too premature in creating the show. "That '70s Show" did well because it began in the 90s, which was when all of that delightful 70s pop culture was still in full swing.

    2002 was too early for "That '80s Show." Modern pop culture still hadn't let go of the influence of the 70s at that point, and not very many people were not receptive to the oncoming 80s influence at that point.

    I partially blame that as the reason that "That '80s Show" died with its cancellation. And as I said before, fans of "That '70s Show" had preconceived ideas of what "'80s" had to be like.

    Would "'80s" have done well if it had been released in 2004 or later? There is no way of knowing. I like to think that the show would have had more of a fighting chance if it had.
  • matt_s29 January 2002
    Since this show is basically the offspring of "That '70s Show" comparisons are unavoidable. This show isn't very funny at all, and the only good thing I can think about this show is Tuesday (Chyler Leigh). Not only is she the only really funny and colorful character but she's damn hot too.

    "That '70s Show" has jokes that would be funny for any time period. This...thing is just a bunch of stupid '80s jokes and cliches. The storyline is lame, the jokes suck, and the characters are flat and stupid. Stick with the original. 4/10
  • Despite what the name would suggest, "That '70s Show" was a show about people that just took place in the '70s. In referenced the culture, the politics of the time, but the plots and humor all came from the characters, or at least primarily did.

    "That '80s Show" on the other hand focused too much on the era it was set in. The jokes didn't come from the characters or even the situations they found themselves in.

    Instead the jokes all centered on the '80s: "Look, I have an enormous cell phone that costs too much and only gives me five minutes of talk time on the battery." Let's face it, jokes like that aren't really funny to begin with and get old very, VERY fast.

    Not only that, but you really can't even write a sitcom worthy plot around them.

    And on top of that, the '80s kind of really sucked.

    So what you have here is a sitcom about a decade that ignores its cast and banks entirely on the decade it's set in to carry the show. The result is kind of an epic fail.
  • for those of u who think this show can even compare with that 70s show you are completely mistaken. This show tries way too hard to be funny with all of the unneeded laugh tracks. They never really have us a chance to even connect with the characters! Very bad show... Too rushed...

    What a terrible show! In gonna repeat my reasons why this show was a disaster: •bad acting •tries too hard to be funny •unneeded laugh tracks •no character development •no story development

    Just a horrible show! I can't believe these same people made that 70s show! That 70s show sets the standard for teen sitcoms and this just make teens look stupid! I, as a teen an offended by the stereotyping that this show does. Sad excuse for a show. My rating: 1/10
  • I'm sorry but I love this show. I loved it when it first aired, I just watched every episode again, and I love it still. It's not just funny, it's witty. Eddie Shin and Tinsley Grimes are Laugh Out Loud funny. Glenn Howerton and Chyler Leigh are adorable as the will they/won't they couple, and Brittany Daniels, Margaret Smith and Geoff Pierson are great filling out the cast. Yes, this makes fun of the 80's, I lived thru the 80's, there was a lot to make fun of. If you can watch this series without a smile on your face then you don't want to be happy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I tried on at least 3 occasions to watch this series. I really thought and hoped it would delight me at least half as much as THAT 70s SHOW did. But this show failed before the first scene was over. Where the 70s Show instantly showed you delightful characters with amazing personality and chemistry, the 80s Show was so busy trying to convince you that you were now in the candy colored, superficial, electronic, wealth-obsessed Reagan era that all you were given was boring mannequins, not people. THAT 70s SHOW wasn't "self aware" of the era it was set in. They were just people, living their lives in their orange, brown, gold and olive green living room. It seemed that THAT 80s SHOW tried too hard to get that 80s "vibe" flowing during the crucial "bonding time" when we could have known the people that populated it. We had the oddly bland "Dad" trying to fit in with a bad 80s hairdo, a wacky sister who spent way too long dancing to a Pat Benetar video on MTV, a boring bisexual who unrealistically dresses in those brightly colored asymmetric outfits as though she wants to live in a nightclub 24/7, an extremely boring and uninteresting girl who sports an extreme mohawk but has absolutely no punk charisma, the yuppie "best friend", and of course the central protagonist male, who is nowhere near as interesting as Eric Forman was.

    The first episode is a bizarre bore...Yuppie best friend wants to listen to self help cassettes, then the 2 guys decide to sing along with the Talking Heads. "Hey! Do you realize this show is set in the 80s yet?" Bisexual chick tries to hit on daffy sister. Mohawk girl clashes with Main Protag for unknown reasons. No chemistry. Nobody is connecting. Nothing is happening. I've heard that subsequent episodes are better, but I actually watched 3, and I still felt nothing. So disappointed. For a better 80s vibe, just watch the Season 4 opener to THAT 70s SHOW, where Eric accompanies an angel to see how his life would have turned out had he never kissed Donna after that Todd Rundgren concert.
  • SnoopyStyle12 September 2013
    The team that brought us "That '70s Show" gives us "That '80s Show". It makes poetic sense if not in the real sense. They never understood that the audience wasn't watching it for the 70s style as much as for the group's chemistry. That show had fun which this one never achieved.

    Whereas the 70s group was always together hanging out, the 80s group had different story lines. It's 1984 San Diego. Corey (Glen Howerton) and Katie (Tinsley Grimes) live with their Dad RT and Corey's friend Roger (Eddie Shin). Also staring Chyler Leigh, and Brittany Daniel. The group never could bond together.

    It seems that they missed the lesson of what makes a good TV show. Simply making fun of everything 80's is not enough. Strip it all away, the story and the characters underneath the nostalgia must stand on it's own. Clearly it did not.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I just saw all 13 episodes of THAT 80S SHOW (2002) and it was MUCH better than advertised! I think the death knell for this show was obviously because the idea sprung from and it followed in the giant footsteps of the now-iconic That 70s Show, which was half-way through it's run when this new show premiered. T7S was probably right at it's peak of success with it's largest ratings and that's why the makers of T7S (some of which were behind T8S) thought this show would work.

    The big myth that I always assumed about T8S was that it was a pure parody of the 80s, with nothing but in-jokes and mired in 80s references, but it really wasn't all that. I do think that was true early on as the show was a bit shaky. In the first couple of eps, they went a bit overboard to PROVE that it was the 80s with several of the main characters dressing exactly like 80s pop stars and icons (Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Don Johnson!) and making a few too many references.

    But not long after the Pilot ep, the show really settled in and became pretty solid and the characters all had their own identities that didn't seem like they were 80s impersonators any longer. A couple of the characters actually got a backstory that delved into their personalities and there was actually a wonderful central love story that was the core of the show.

    Once it settled in, the characters were solid thanks to very good acting and clever, funny, and witty dialog. The cast had a lot of chemistry, too. Even though I wasn't sure about a couple of characters early on, eventually, I liked ALL of them! By the time I got to the final ep, I was really sad because I absolutely love this cast and wonder what could have been!

    T8S was set in 1984 San Diego. The excellent, charming, and dry Glenn Howerton starred as the strait-laced central character, 22-year old struggling musician Corey Howard, who worked at a record store and still lived at home with his quirky 20-year old sister Katie (hilariously played by Tinsley Grimes) and their affluent, womanizing, wise divorced Dad RT Howard (the always-reliable Geoffrey Pierson in a terrific performance). Corey's lifelong best friend Roger (Eddie Shin in a breakout role) is an ambitious yuppie car salesman (and partygoing dance machine that refers to himself in the 3rd person!) who rents the Howards' garage apartment. Corey, Katie, and Roger hang out at a dance club every night, where we are treated to a variety of popular 80s dance and pop songs! A really great way to have an excuse to incorporate this music into the show.

    The other main setting is Corey's workplace, the record store. Corey's co-worker is punk chick Tuesday (played by the incredibly sexy Chyler Leigh in a totally winning performance) and the owner-boss is the sharp-tongued, quick-witted Margaret (wonderfully played by scene-stealing Margaret Smith). Rounding out the main cast are Corey's ex-girlfriend, the cutthroat and lusty Sophia (deft performance by Brittany Daniel) and Katie's fiancée, sailor Owen (funny work by Josh Braaten).

    A unique hook of T8S was it's use of shaky camera angles and zoom shots in several scenes, mostly the club scenes, giving these scenes a palpable feel to the viewer. Back to the character interactions, the well-crafted Corey-Tuesday love story was truly the central plot and am glad we got to see them as a couple early on and not have the typical will-they-or-won't they thing that most shows do. It's especially good since the show only lasted half a season! Corey-Katie had a sweet, genuine bro-sis relationship. Also, Corey-Roger had a great friendship dynamic. Roger-RT had funny scenes as well since both were materialistic, womanizing businessmen! RT-Sophia had wonderful interactions as well. In general, there was a very comfortable, easygoing repartee amongst this cast that I truly enjoyed.

    Even with the limited number of eps, the show did seem to make some noticeable changes as the half-season wore on. The main change was the they downplayed Sophia's bisexuality. Early on, party girl Sophia, having just dumped Corey, really wanted a relationship with Katie, but within a few eps, she seemed to back down from that and was all of a sudden a cutthroat businesswoman in the vein of RT. Also, Katie was a college dropout (but had never told RT), then mid-season, she's back in school and RT is none the wiser that she ever dropped out. Roger started off a womanizer, then after an ep where Tuesday set him up on a blind date, it seemed like he was just a 1-woman guy! It's almost like the show knew it would be cancelled and resolved all the character issues within it's short run.

    In the end, this show was not even in the vicinity of how bad I'd heard it was! It has a lot of funny moments, great characters, and potential. What could have been!
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