So one of my all time favourite shows is That’s 70’s Show. It’s a comfort show really, like the movie Clueless or the 1999 version of Annie or The Lion King, a show or film I can watch at any time and it either soothes or entertains me.
I find it hilarious and it’s set in one of my favourite periods of history music wise and fashion wise, the 70’s.
However the show isn’t perfect, far from it, and one of the things that really bugged me when I watched it then and when I re watch it now, is Michael Kelso.
The other guys have problems too but for this post I’ll be focusing on Michael. Although, to be honest, he annoys me the most because they brush off his flaws whilst they zero in on the others’ flaws.
He’s a player and he only thinks and cares about one thing when it comes to women, sex. He’s a horn dog and it makes sense given he is meant to be a teenager in his late teens for most of the show but still, they take it to the nth degree.
He never learns from his mistakes, he never gets called out or punished in a way that would make him sit and think about what he’s done.
He cheats on Jackie for a whole season and yet no one does anything about it and no one tells her because none of them truly like Jackie so they’ll always be on Michael’s side, even Donna. Then that tells the viewers we shouldn’t feel sorry for Jackie, she’ll be fine, she’s young yada yada.
It pissed me off that Donna didn’t say anything when she was a feminist. I mean, sure Jackie was annoying but as a woman wouldn’t you want to help her?
Then when Jackie found out she was sad and everything but did Michael feel the sting of punishment? Did he get scolded? Not really. He was sad for a moment and then started dating Laurie as he always wanted so really it’s like he was rewarded.
Then Jackie ended up wanting him again and guess what, they eventually got back together!
Did Michael learn from his mistakes? No, he carried on cheating on her. And so the cycle continued.
What gets to me the most is that when Jackie cheated momentarily Michael acted like she committed murder and couldn’t let it go and forgive her when she forgave him for the same crime. And she only kissed the guy!
Then when Jackie finally moved on and started dating Hyde we, the audience, are made to feel like we should feel sorry for Michael because his friend has broken the code… I’m sorry what?!
I felt nothing for Kelso! As he cried I sat there stone faced! It was so annoying. He was all boo hoo poor me when he ran off to California to avoid committing to her and she moved on. It was his fault their relationship failed and the Hyde thing was bound to happen so… what’s the problem bro? Didn’t you want the freedom?
It got to me that they really tried to make Jackie and Hyde feel bad, like Kelso would ever care about their feelings if it was the other way round.
Then there’s the title of this post, sexualising friends. I have guy friends and if they treated me the way Kelso treats Donna and Jackie when he’s not dating either of them then we would not be friends.
If they played along with the flirting and enjoyed it the way Laurie does then I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Some things that don’t work for me work for others and so I’d mind my business and leave them be. But they don’t enjoy it, they’re uncomfortable, and they’re always telling him to stop but he doesn’t.
How can you be friends with someone who doesn’t see you as a person? He’s too busy trying to have sex with you to be a good friend. Why do they stand him?
He even sexualises them when they’re taken, in front of their boyfriends and yet he wants his friends to honour the code when it comes to his ex-girlfriends… ok.
Also he touches them and generally he’s a horny creep. Fez is the one who is portrayed as the creep but Michael is just as bad as him only he doesn’t voice his inner thoughts and he has success with women because of his good looks and because he’s not a “geek” like Fez.
Be honest if he wasn’t good looking he would be the least favourite character. I mean in My Hero Academia there’s Mineta and he’s very much hated (I definitely do not like him) but if he was a hot character I bet there’d be less hate coming towards him (I still would not like him).
I think that’s what irks me the most, he gets away with it. They never fight him on it and they never stop talking to him, he never has to reflect or change because his friends won’t tolerate it anymore.
So he stays that way throughout the whole show. Even when he gets someone pregnant, even when he gets a daughter he remains a creep. Honestly he’d probably remain that way until old age and transition into being ‘that creepy uncle’™.
It’s not just that he gets away with it but that he’s also seen as so lovable. I mean sure he does have redeeming qualities but they are kind of dim in comparison. If my lovable friend kept groping me and hitting on me in a gross way I would ditch him because no thanks but that’s just me.