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That '70s Show - Season Three



DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005 (Fox Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $49.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: 575 Minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: 183 Minutes
Audio: English
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features:
Commentary on 6 Episodes
* “A Look Back on Season 3” Featurette
* Cast Member Introductions on Selected Episodes
* Episode Promos on All Episodes.


That ‘70s Show’s 3rd season is now on DVD! Get on down to the basement for a rocking flashback to the swinging ‘70s. As the partying begins, Red decides he’s been too lenient, so he sets up a few new house rules. This not onlymakes the kids miserable, but makes Kitty feel like she’s been a bad mother. Hyde feels even worse after he finds his long-lost father tending bar at a local dive. Meanwhile, as Donna and Eric continue dating, Jackie begins pursuing Hyde, which upsets Kelso even though he’s dating Laurie. And Fez finally gets a girlfriend, only to discover (too late) that she’s certifiably a psycho!

The show stars the six kids: Topher Grace as Eric Forman, Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso, Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti, Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde, Mila Kunis as Jackie Beulah Burkhart, and Wilmer Valderrama as Fez. Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith star as Eric’s parents. The show also stars Don Stark & Tanya Roberts as Donna’s parents, and Lisa Robin Kelly as Laurie. Tommy Chong (of Cheech & Chong fame) is a ultra-recurring special guest star as Leo (Tommy plays Leo with such regularity that I’m listing him with the regular cast).

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Episodes to Watch Out for:
#1) Reefer Madness: When Eric tries to save Hyde’s hide by confessing that he smokes marijuana too, Red decides he’s been too lenient, so it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy.
#3) Hyde’s Father: Hyde is stunned to discover his estranged father has been back in town tending bar for over a year, and Donna is disgusted when she discovers a stack of girly magazines under Eric’s bed.
#8) Jackie Bags Hyde: As Red and Bob compete with each other by throwing holiday barbecues at the same time, Hyde finally asks Jackie out on a date.
#10) Ice Shack: Kelso arranges a double date with Eric and Donna in an attempt to win Jackie back, while back home, Hyde panics when the passenger in his car says he’s carrying a bag full of drugs.
#12) Fez Gets the Girl: After getting a raise, Eric tries to figure out why his father isn’t happy for him, and Donna sets up Fez and a beautiful girl on a blind date which includes free tickets to a Led Zeppelin concert.
#14) Radio Daze: When Donna gets a job at a radio station and becomes “Hot Donna” while on the air, Eric fears she’s going to end up dumping him and spending all her time hanging out with rock stars.
#15) Donna’s Panties: On Valentine’s Day, Eric gets into trouble with Donna, Kelso finds out Laurie is cheating on him, and Fez’s new girlfriend tells him that she’ll kill him if he ever leaves her.
#20) Holy Craps: Donna and Jackie hang out with Fez’s new girlfriend, Caroline, in an attempt to make her feel welcome and quickly come to the same conclusion as Hyde ­ Caroline is psycho!
#21) Fez Dates Donna: Red and Bob fight over their common property line, while Donna and Fez go out on a date together in an attempt to make Caroline believe they are a couple.
#23) Canadian Road Trip: A road trip to Canada to buy beer gets Fez busted after he can’t find his green card, and Donna is suspicious about a modeling audition invitation that Jackie receives.
#25) The Promise Ring: Eric and Kelso decide to buy promise rings for Donna and Jackie and while Jackie is thrilled, the ring causes Donna to take a good hard look at her future.

It’s More than The List of Memorable Guest Stars, it’s the List of Memorable Guest Stars Plus!:
Shirley Jones (“The Partridge Family”): #2 - Red Sees Red
Charo: #2 ­ Red Sees Red
Angelica Bridges (“Baywatch,” Maxim’s 50 Sexiest Women in the World ­ 1999): #3 ­ Hyde’s Father
Brian Dunkleman (American Idol Season 1): #13 ­ Dine and Dash
Howard Hesseman (“WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Head of the Class”) - #14: Radio Daze, #24: Backstage Pass
Alice Cooper: #14 ­ Radio Daze
Danny Bonaduce: #14 ­ Radio Daze
Valerie Harper (“Valerie,” “Rhoda,” “Mary Tyler Moore”): #19 ­ Eric’s Naughty No-No
John Ratzenberger (“Cheers”) - #20 ­ Holy Craps
Nick Bakay (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”): #22 ­ Eric’s Drunken Tattoo
Dave Thomas (“Grace Under Fire,” “SCTV”) : #23 ­ Canadian Road Trip
Ted Nugent: #24 ­ Backstage Pass
Monty Hall (“Let’s Make a Deal”) - #25: The Promise Ring


Packaging is a four-disc slim case setup. Each of the four case covers contains two different cast members jumping around in front of a different colored background, with an episode menu on the reverse side. Inside covers feature various shots of the main six standing around in front of the same colored background. The two on the front cover of that disc’s slim case are on the disc, while the other four stand to the left. Disc 1 has Eric & Donna (Topher Grace & Laura Prepon), Disc 2 is Jackie & Kelso (Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher), Disc 3's Hyde & Fez (Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderrama), while disc 4 features Red & Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp & Kurtwood Smith).

Disc 1: Orange. Episodes 1-6
Disc 2: Blue. Episodes 7-13
Disc 3: Yellow. Episodes 14-20
Disc 4: Green. Episodes 21-25

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are rather nicely done...they feature the cast members jumping & moving around in front of various 70s colored backgrounds (depending on the disc, though there’s no rhyme or reason). Each submenu features a static shot of a cast member in front of a frozen version of the background of the main menu.

Video and Audio Quality:

Episodes are 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0. Chapter Stops! Chapter stops occur at fade-to-blacks. Video looks nice…the colors are nice ­ not overly bright or dull. Edges are normal ­ neither overly sharpened nor dull. No compression artifacts, no grain, no interlacing problems…nice. Audio is clearly ­ voice is fine and not overpowered by music…which is all intact. Episode runtimes are in the 22:15 to 22:30 range, which is normal for 2000-01.

Special Features:

Season Three Featurette: It runs 23:15. Interviews with cast and crew…the cast was super-comfortable with each other by this point…The show had built up the past in the first two years, meaning they could focus more on the comedy and the personal relationships starting in season three.

Introductions by Cast Members:
This is essentially a short-form video commentary by a particular cast member for that episode. A decent number of episodes have them.

Reefer Madness ­ 0:33. Danny Masterson. Simple—it is not really specific about anything.

Red Sees Red ­ 1:13. Debra Jo Rupp. One word is all you need to know: Bathrobe.

Hyde’s Father :27.­ Danny Masterson. It is simple without much depth.

Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die :29.­ Mila Kunis. Despite the amazingly short length, one thing that is hit upon is that Danny Masterson’s brother Jordan is actually in the episode.

Roller Disco :48.­ Wilmer Valderrama.

Eric’s Panties 1:23.­ Debra Jo Rupp. The B-Story is almost the entirety of this. Debra talks about how they were putting Red on a diet, while Debra Jo was getting bigger due to having quit smoking.

Jackie Bags Hyde 2:42. ­ Kurtwood Smith. He begins foreshadowing future series events. This one’s a 2:42 marathon session ­ most of which is about the Red/Bob B-Story

Hyde’s Christmas Rager :28. ­ Danny Masterson. I hate quickie intros; they’re over before they start. Ice Shack ­ Mila Kunis ­ 0:20. Substance and insight, where art thou?

Who Wants it More 2:12.­ Kurtwood Smith.

Fez Gets the Girl 1:08. ­ Wilmer Valderrama. This is one of the first episodes where Fez is more or less normal.

Dine & Dash ­:45. Don Stark. Dine & Dash ­ the ability to go and eat…and eat for free.

Romantic Weekend ­1:41. Kurtwood Smith.

Kitty’s Birthday (That’s Today??) 1:56.­ Debra Jo Rupp. ­ Two Minutes…wow. Debra actually refers to the parenthetical subtitle as an alternate title.

The Trials of M. Kelso ­:52. Don Stark.

Fez Dates Donna ­ 1:26. Don Stark. Don genuinely seems to be enjoying doing these. Don does actually give away the conclusion to his subplot, so you might want to tune out near the end.

Canadian Road Trip :57. Wilmer Valderrama. One of Wilmer’s favorite episodes.

Backstage Pass ­:24. Mila Kunis. There’s pretty much nothing here, just Introduction, episode title, synopsis, and episode.

Total Approximately 15 Minutes

And there are promos. These promos air before the syndication airings of episodes--interesting enough. 30 seconds times 25 episodes equals 12:30.

Too many commentaries, not enough time. Crew commentaries tend to be more of the production aspects of an episode (though not always), Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too young to Die: Commentary by Director David Trainer and Producer Patrick Kienlen. Runs 22:03

Eric’s Panties: Commentary by Trainer and Kienlen. 22:14.

Dine & Dash: Commentary by Trainer and Kienlen. (Pattern starting to emerge) 22:14.

Radio Daze: Commentary by Trainer (no Kienlen) 22:14.

Eric’s Drunken Tattoo: Another solo commentary by Trainer. While I love commentaries in general, part of the fun of having multiple people on a commentary track is that they tend to play off each other. 22:13

The Promise Ring: Yet another solo by Trainer. Trainer considers this a key episode in the series run. Refers ahead to season seven quite a bit early on. 22:13

Total Commentary Time: 133 Minutes.

Total Runtime of Special Features: Approximately 183 Minutes.

Final Comments:

My fondness for this show returned while reviewing this season’s set...­ this was a great season. Glad to see that since the last time I reviewed a set for this show (Season 1 Review), they added commentary…if albeit only with a series director and writer. The episode introductions are great ­ if albeit a bit short on Danny and Mila’s introductions. The syndication previews are an interesting addition.

For the season four set…really, just make it more or less like this. Maybe try to get the cast in on commentary track additions, but otherwise, it’s fine. Great set for a good show ­ recommended.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

--Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 11/08/05.

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