Christmas Challenge: That 70s Show

THAT 70s SHOW: 1.12 “The Best Christmas Ever”

Oh, when That 70s Show was fresh and unique. I remember liking this episode a lot when I first saw it. It’s one of the few episodes when Hyde supposedly liked Donna (in fact, it might’ve been the only episode where Hyde liked Donna, which is why it’s so odd). And really, that’s all I remembered about it.

But it’s just funny. Surprisingly enough, we don’t have the “circle” in this episode, and instead, we have accidental drunkenness.

But, first, we have the Christmas tree. Eric wants to have a party in the basement for his friends, but needs money. Red tells him to go out and get the family Christmas tree; whatever money he has left is his. Well, he and the guys decide to steal a tree off the side of an interstate in order to save the money. They get a perfect tree, which his mother loves, even after a bird flies out of it. Of course, you knew this wasn’t going to end well. In the middle of his family’s party, the state troopers arrive to confiscate the tree, which naturally lands with Red’s foot figuratively up Eric’s ass. (If you know the show, you know that’s no surprise.)

Meanwhile, Eric’s sister spikes the punch at Eric’s party, which means all the pep squad girls who are trying to stay sober end up getting completely trashed, including Jackie, who is just excited about everything, including the last-minute gift from Kelso, hot rollers.

Really, I always forget how funny Jackie is in this season, and this episode just highlighted that. Beyond her drunken mess, it was great seeing her interaction with Hyde as he tries to figure out what to get Donna for Christmas. She insists it’s Donna, and after she accepts that it’s a “girl other than Donna” and finds out his price point, she yells, “$6! You don’t deserve a girl like Donna for $6!” Ok, so it’s not as funny written in a blog post, but it certainly is in the show.

Of course, the love triangle comes at the end, when Hyde gives Donna a sentimental photo from fifth grade, while Eric gives her perfume. In fact, it was the same perfume that Donna’s mother recommended to Hyde that he couldn’t afford. Awkwardness continued when Donna gave her own gifts: an ID bracelet to Eric and tube socks to Hyde. “Good!” Eric said. “I mean…tube socks are good.” I guess we know who Donna chooses.

Recommendation: This episode’s great. Even if you haven’t been a fan of the show (or even just watched the final sucky seasons), you should go back and watch this one. It will get you in the holiday spirit. And the outfits will make you want to don Christmas plaid with pleasure.

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