When you start That 70’s Show it is very easy to hate Bob or to strongly dislike him. He’s not very likeable in the beginning. I mean he looks friendly but the words that come out of his mouth leave you like [insert eyes emoji].
Then there’s his marriage to Midge. Now, in real life I would mind my own business unless they were my friend or cousin and I was telling them to run, but seeing as it’s a TV show I shall comment on it. It’s a toxic marriage.
He’s so misogynistic and he doesn’t listen to her and she’s telling him what’s wrong and how she feels but he’s ignoring her words and then he acts shocked when she leaves him.
The show was made in the 90’s and set in the 70’s so it is fair to say he represents the men of that time. However, it is also fair to say he could have known and done better.
I mean take Red, he’s a war veteran and a proud republican. He doesn’t mince his words or spare feelings and yet he treats Kitty better than Bob treated Midge. It’s so interesting for me to watch honestly.
When Kitty decides to go back to work he supports it. When she challenges his authority by daring to disobey him or ‘talk back’ he rolls with it whereas Bob gets his back bent out of shape and rants about what a woman should and should not be.
It’s funny (not funny ha-ha but funny interesting) that he’s that way when he has a daughter like Donna. Not only is she fierce and independent but she’s his daughter. Doesn’t he worry that a man will treat her the same way he treated Midge?
(Also he does have another daughter but she mysteriously disappears after the first season… did they send her away?)
The good thing about Bob though is he doesn’t stay in this misogynistic state. He actually evolves and becomes a better person and how does that happen? Midge leaves him.
He has to face the consequences of his actions. It may be the 70’s but it’s not the 50’s and so women can leave, women know they have rights and are demanding better from men. Feminism is already a thing and so Midge puts her money where her mouth is and she leaves Bob when he refuses to change and meet her half way.
When she leaves he has to raise Donna alone (again, where’s the other one?), he has to cook when he doesn’t know how, he has to essentially be the mother and the father.
The show could have bypassed this opportunity and gotten him a mistress or something but they didn’t! They actually develop his character. They show how sad he is that Midge left, they show him adapting and changing and becoming a better person.
They show him dating someone like Joanne, a no nonsense, strong and independent woman. A woman who even challenges Red.
Granted Bob doesn’t become a feminist or anything but he loses the misogyny and it’s so refreshing to see.
That 70’s Show is a light hearted show but they did manage to develop their characters and challenge them into becoming better people as the seasons went on (except season eight… we don’t talk about that one). I really like that about the show and it’s one of the reasons it’s one of my favourites, that and it’s funny.
So yeah, Bob had one of the best character development arcs. Hyde did too but I can talk about him in another post.