Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

That ’70s Show finale

by Rob - May 19th, 2006.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

I was born in 1960, which is the same year the kids on That ’70s Show were supposedly born. I had a fondness for this show, when it first started back in 1998, because parts of it echoed my own teenage years. And so I tuned in tonight for the hour-long series finale.

It was just okay. It should have been poignant and moving, but it wasn’t really, even though original star Topher Grace returned for the final few minutes.

In fact, as I sat waiting for the ending credits, I found myself thinking about another, earlier show I’d very much liked, The Wonder Years, about growing up in the 1960s, and that program’s final episode, which still chokes me up whenever I think about it, even though that finalé first aired 13 years ago. Here’s the closing narration from that episode:

Things never turn out exactly the way you planned. I know they didn’t with me. Still, like my father used to say, “Traffic’s traffic, you go where life takes you,” and growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next you’re gone, but the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul.

I remember a time, a place, a particular Fourth of July, the things that happened in that decade of war and change. I remember a house like a lot of houses, a yard like a lot of yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. I remember how hard it was growing up among people and places I loved.

Most of all, I remember how hard it was to leave. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back in wonder.

That’s good writing.

And I still look back in wonder, too.

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