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  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 23, 2002
  • Season #: 1 , 2
That '80s Show Image

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 4 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: Glenn Howerton, Chyler Leigh, Geoffrey Pierson
  • Summary: "The date is 1984. The location is San Diego, just one hour outside of the big dream we call Los Angeles. Corey (Glenn Howerton) and Katie (Tinsley Grimes) live with their dad RT (Geoff Pierson) and Corey's friend Roger (Eddie Shin). Corey is a creative soul who is trying to make it in the music world in a decade that only appreciates financial success. Although his father is a successful professional who is about to strike gold with his Gut Whacker and ride the '80s fitness marketing craze wave, Corey finds it difficult to get in the game. On the other hand, Corey's friend Roger idolizes Ronald Reagan and listens to motivation tapes while trying to find his way into corporate America. The household is rounded out by Corey's younger sister Katie, a chip off the old block whose sweetness and naiveté make her the perfect go between for her father and brother.

    "At Club [Berlin], a local gathering place, Sophia (Brittany Daniel) is in control. Sophia, Corey's ex, is a beautiful, "grab all that I can" kind of girl who doesn't like to limit her choices. Sophia breaks up with Corey to explore other avenues and relationships... all types of relationships. Corey's one safe haven is Permanent Record, the music store where he works for Margaret (Margaret Smith), a woman who lived through the summer of love and emerged with quite a few stories (and a rash). But things change for Corey when he's forced to deal with the new girl, Tuesday (Chyler Leigh), a punk rocker who sports a mohawk and attitude to match." (FOX press release)

    From the people who brought you That '70s Show came, appropriately enough, That '80s Show. The anachronism-filled followup launched amidst a tidal wave of publicity, scored lots of eyeballs for its premiere, and then promptly lost half of them. A lone tryout broadcast after its parent series improved its standing and suggested the sitcom could thrive with some nurturing, like That '70s Show had gotten, but the short-sighted executives who were running things at FOX, Sandy Grushow and Gail Berman, swept it under the carpet anyway, like most of the shows they launched that season.

    Much more interesting than the story of the show itself was the story of a little email battle that waged (and leaked) between co-creator Mark Brazill and Judd Apatow -- who was doing another FOX show called Undeclared the same year -- after Apatow attempted to get That '70s Show star Topher Grace to make a guest appearance on his series. Filled with such classy lines as "Die in a fiery accident and taste your own blood" and "See ya at the upfronts, bitch... unless you get cancelled before that," the tastefully-restrained tale of lies, deceit and alleged intellectual property theft probably got both of their shows cancelled without anybody ever bothering to look at any of the ratings.

    I'm living in the eighties
    I have to push, I have to struggle, oh"

    Theme song
    written by Jaz Coleman - Paul Ferguson - Paul Raven - Geordie Walker
    performed by unknown

    That '80s Show is produced by Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Company

    Broadcast History

    Jan 2002-Apr 2002, Wed 8:00-8:30
    May 2002, Tue 8:30-9:00
    May 2002, Wed 8:00-8:30
    Mar 2002, Mon 8:30-9:00
    Mar 2002-Apr 2002, Fri 8:30-9:00

    First telecast: January 23, 2002
    Last telecast: May 29, 2002
    Show type: Multi-Camera Sitcom
    Number of episodes: 13
    Media: Tape
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 4
  2. Negative: 3 out of 4
  1. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 27, 2013
    Hard to leg-warm up to.
  2. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jul 1, 2013
    '80s is full of unlikable stereotypes who were already well-parodied cliches two decades ago.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 25, 2013
    The new show takes a wispy idea and stretches it past its limit, leaving no laughs, no character development and certainly no impetus to watch again.
  4. Reviewed by: Karen Lurie
    Jul 3, 2013
    Unlike its prequel, "That '70s Show," which uses the '70s as a contextual backdrop to its characters lives (and also manages to be funny), "That '80s Show" uses its characters merely as vehicles to display what we now remember as "'80s things."
Score distribution:
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