Whereas That ‘70s Present had its fair proportion of foolish storylines, the sitcom’s low level got here with the completely pointless, bizarrely darkish story of Charlie Richardson. Like most sitcoms that final for quite a lot of seasons, That ‘70s Present took a while to search out its toes, loved relative vital popularity of just a few years, after which fell into decline some time earlier than the present ended its 7-season run. For a body of reference, the viewership of That ‘70s Present seasons 4-6 averaged round 10 million per episode whereas, by That ‘70s Present season 8, this quantity had dropped to only over 5 million.
Whereas the success of the Netflix spinoff That ‘90s Present proves That ‘70s Present remains to be enduringly widespread amongst tv viewers, the ultimate seasons of the unique present weren’t as well-liked as its finest outings. This was due partly to the departure of Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher, though the writing of That ‘70s Present additionally appeared to develop extra slapdash earlier than the exits of those actors. The introduction and swift exit of a personality who was as soon as meant to change into Grace’s substitute is an ideal instance of simply how a lot the later seasons of That ‘70s Present struggled with character growth.
Charlie’s That ’70s Present Dying Is The Present’s Worst Subplot
Viewers accustomed to That ‘70s Present’s behind-the-scenes machinations know that the short-lived Charlie Richardson was killed off as a result of, though producers considered him as a possible Eric substitute, actor Bret Harrison obtained a suggestion from one other present. Changing the lead character with a youthful star wouldn’t be the primary sitcom cliche That ‘70s Present leaned into, however this was not destined to work out as Charlie solely appeared in 4 episodes of the sequence earlier than he was killed off. Unceremoniously thrown off the water tower offscreen, Charlie suffered what’s arguably the harshest destiny of any character in That ‘70s Present historical past.
Since viewers didn’t know that Charlie was meant to exchange Eric, his arc was actually wild. He was launched as a socially awkward nerd who met the Level Place crew and was instantly bullied by Fez. Fez was fast to notice that he obtained loads of hazing over time and ultimately, the gang joined in, obtained Charlie drunk, waited till he handed out, and put him in a gown earlier than leaving him behind. Then he died by falling off the water tower. That ‘70s Present (and That ‘90s Present) killed off characters earlier than and since, however this dying nonetheless appeared inordinately brutal and abrupt.
Charlie’s That ’70s Present Dying Encapsulates A Main Flaw
Since Charlie was meant to be a substitute for Eric, his actor’s unavailability was doubtless irritating for the creators of That ‘70s Present. That stated, the carelessness with which the character’s exit was dealt with proves that the writers of That ‘70s Present weren’t overly invested in its characters or its fictional world at this late stage. The makers of That ‘70s Present have been clearly counting down the clock to cancelation, or else the sitcom wouldn’t have greenlit a gag the place a teen dies tragically and nobody cares. The joke by no means match the tone of That 70s Present and the sequence by no means justified its inclusion, making this a low level for the sitcom.
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