Movie Reviews

How That ‘90s Show Managed To Replace Laurie (& Eric)

WARNING! This article contains major SPOILERS for That ’90s Show season 1!Since Laurie and Eric are largely absent from That ‘90s Show season 1, That ‘70s Show’s spinoff series finds the perfect replacement for Red and Kitty’s kids. That ‘90s Show season 1 brings back the majority of That ‘70s Show’s original main cast, but most only appear in recurring or guest capacities. In order to make up for their absences, That ‘90s Show introduces new characters around the same age as Eric, Laurie, and their friends, such as Gwen and Nate’s mother Sherri Runck (Andrea Anders), who lives next door to the Formans.

Red and Kitty return as main characters in That ‘90s Show, but they no longer have the regular presence of their daughter Laurie, son Eric, or their friends who were treated like Forman children. While Eric appears in That ‘90s Show’s series premiere to visit his parents in Point Place and unknowingly drop off Leia for the summer, Laurie doesn’t appear at all and is never mentioned by name. There may be a new group of teenagers hanging out in the Forman basement, but Eric and Laurie’s absence meant a key generation was missing from the household. However, That ‘90s Show quickly introduced one new character to solve this problem.

Related: Every Song In That ’90s Show Season 1

Sherri Runck manages to fill a lot of shoes in That ‘90s Show season 1, primarily as the new surrogate child of Red and Kitty Forman. Since Sherri fits into the same generation as Eric and Laurie, she serves as the perfect replacement for their characters. In terms of replacing Laurie, Sherri shares many of the same personality traits and problems as Red and Kitty’s eldest child, which may explain why they’re able to help her out so well. Sherri is twice-divorced with two kids, doesn’t appear to have a job, drinks a lot, and often steals from the Formans, so she’s the perfect substitute for Red and Kitty’s troubled daughter, albeit without Laurie’s manipulations and cruelties.

Just like they would be if Eric stayed in Point Place, Red and Kitty are very attentive to Sherri and help her through the roller coaster of raising teenagers. After Eric and Donna leave in the premiere, Gwen and Nate’s mom takes their place through That ’90s Show season 1’s ending as a common presence in the Forman household, even treating Red and Kitty like her parents. In fact, Sherri may treat Red too much like her own father, as she frequently projects her issues with her own dad not believing in her onto Leia’s grandpa. Eventually, though, Kitty and Red take in Sherri as another one of their children and even teach her how to ride a bike.

Without Sherri, a key generation would have been absent from That ‘90s Show, as her character truly emphasized that Red and Kitty were now the grandparents instead of just mom and dad. In addition to this predicament, Sherri also replaced Bob as the spinoff’s annoying neighbor character. Since Bob moved to Florida in That ‘70s Show’s ending, the series needed a new figure to bother them by stealing their eggs, using their shower, and having her tree fall on the Formans’ property.

Sherri’s addition also worked to create one of the best subplots in That ‘90s Show season 1, as her relationship with Fez was a highlight of the spinoff. Sherri’s storyline allowed Fez to appear in three episodes of That ‘90s Show season 1 while repeating the same fun charm that he exuded with his significant others in That ‘70s Show. The Netflix spinoff series also hinted at an intriguing past for Sherri Runck, which makes her return in future seasons of That ’90s Show more exciting.

Next: Every That ’70s Show Easter Egg & Reference In That ’90s Show Season 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button