Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday, on a Tuesday! In a companion piece to last week’s Sitcom Tuesday rerun of That ’70s Show, a FOX hangout/family comedy with an added dose of high-concept nostalgia via its 1970s setting — now being rebooted on Netflix as That ’90s Show, maintaining the same premise, just updated for a different time — I have a rarity that helps display how the original maximized its chosen era as an appealing part of its “situation.”
This week, I’m offering — for subscribers who comment below to alert me of their private, noncommercial interest — access to an original broadcast of a third season That ’70s Show episode called “Fez Dates Donna,” which first aired on May 01, 2001, and included a handful of vintage, classic ’70s commercials. (The 2001 ads have been cut out of my copy — sorry; I would have been interested in seeing those as well!) In other words, I’m offering an installment of a twenty-year-old sitcom that was set over forty years ago, and in this special telecast, even added to its nostalgic appeal by including commercials remembered by viewers familiar with the series’ projected era. Now, of course, this gimmick does not really enhance the “situation comedy” — it doesn’t color the use of characters in story (or the pursuit of laughs) — but it extends the series’ own premised identity beyond the text, and that is an interesting, unique, and clever way to create a more thesis-fulfilling viewing experience. Here’s a clip.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the start of our coverage on another Carsey-Werner ’90s sitcom, 3rd Rock From The Sun! And come back next week for a new Wildcard Wednesday!