26 June 2007

Hank Ranks No. 8

The 11 Characters From That '70's Show (Minimum 50 Episodes)


11: Midge Pinciotti [Tonya Roberts]

Midge is dim, but not in a particularly funny or remarkable way. She's also incredibly stacked, but I never found Tonya Roberts particularly attractive. Midge mostly existed on That '70's Show to be eye candy, and to that end, she was adequate.

10: Steven Hyde [Danny Masterson]

It's not that I hate Hyde, it's just that I don't find him that compelling, or believable as the rebel, or "Fonzie" of the group...Remember that episode where he meets the Punk chick and almost moves to New York City? Yeah, he ALMOST went with her, which is exactly my problem with this character...

09: Leo [Tommy Chong]

My dad had Cheech y Chong albums in his collection, and I was exposed to their brand of humor and drug subculture pretty early in life(9-10 years of age)...When he took us all to see Up In Smoke at The 57 outdoor when I was the tender age of 12, well, I was already wise to that whole scene. Leo IS Tommy Chong, and vice versa, and there's nothing wrong with that, except it's too easy, you know?

08: Jackie Burkhart [Milas Kunis]

Milas Kunis is cute in a somewhat exotic way. I think she's from Russia, or the daughter of Russian immigrants. Anyways, her character, Jackie Burkhart, is annoying as hell, and to that end, Ms. Kunis does a damn good job. It's too bad that her cuteness doesn't quite overcome the annoyance factor and put this character higher on this list.

07: Fez [Wilmer Valderrama]

It's interesting to see Fez go from a somewhat shy, geeky exchange student to a somewhat suave ladies man throughout the course of 8 seasons. Along the way he developed a taste for candy and a propensity to masturbate, and picked up homosexual overtones that made the character more interesting, even if it didn't help him escape being the token brown-skinned target of alot of easy ethnic jokes. Fez was characterized as being fairly ignorant, but it seemed to be more about cultural differences than outright stupidity. Fez is funny, but he isn't a clown.

06: Eric Forman [Topher Grace]

Eric Forman really does belongs right here in the middle of this list. He's the "Teenaged Everyboy" holding down the middle of all the wackiness and stupidity around him. He's a nice guy who isn't too smart or too stupid, isn't too funny or too serious, is constantly criticized by his dad, but has a true, loving ally in his mom. Despite all this middling balance, he somehow, perhaps through the vagaries of geography alone, dates the hottest, coolest girl in town.

05: Bob Pinciotti [Don Stark]

Bob is almost a clown. It has alot to do with the hair, really. But Bob isn't stupid. He runs a successful business until the evil monolith PriceMart comes to Point Place, and he's fairy progressive, even for the 1970's, in that he experiments with marijuana, swings with his wife, attends a key party, is a nudist, and generally seems to be enjoying his life. Bob's a hard guy to completely pin down, but more often than not, scenes are better when Bob's involved.

04: Reginald "Red" Forman [Kurtwood Smith]

Credit to Kurtwood Smith for playing a total hardass dad and still making Red a understandably likeable guy. I'd say Mr. Smith is the best actor of the cast, followed by Topher Grace, and indeed, it is their consistently great interplay that elevates a fairly pedestrian sitcom into something a bit more worthy. Something shown in syndication 12 times a week on the local CW affiliate here in Madison.

03: Michael Kelso [Ashton Kutcher]

Kelso is the true clown of the show, and as such, I believe Ashton Kutcher did a fairly remarkable job. Friends of mine who are serious about such things have vehemently disagreed with me on this very subject, but I believe Kutcher's physical comedy is rather impressive, as was his portrayal of a beautiful, narcissistic dumbass. Kutcher was a male model previous to his acting career, but he can't be a complete bubblehead, or a bad actor, to play such a clown so well. Good clowns are rare. Kramer is the gold standard in recent years, but Kelso more than holds his own, I'd say.

02: Kitty Forman [Debra Jo Rupp]

That voice. That nervous laugh. Kitty had Eric's back, and when she didn't, you could still see and feel her love for her son. She was often the rare voice of reason on the show, at least until she started going through menopause around season 5, and whether you want to admit it or not, Kitty is a MILF. Kelso and Fez say as much on a couple of occasions.

01: Donna Pinciotti [Laura Prepon]

C'mon, it's Hot Donna. A tall, redheaded glass of Hot and Cool...And when she went blonde, she didn't lose an ounce of it - she possibly got even hotter. Donna. The most perfect girlfriend in the history of television? Smart, rational, funloving, understanding, writes short stories, works at a radio station, and truly loves the awesome averageness that is Eric, he of the sunken chest and ass lack...While I realize television isn't real, I somehow believe that there really are Donna Pinciotti's in this world. Hello Wisconsin!


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