1 Jay Detail In That ‘90s Show Doesn’t Make Any Sense
WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for That ’90s Show season 1!A key detail regarding the introduction of Jay Kelso in That ‘90s Show doesn’t make sense for That ‘70s Show’s returning characters. That ‘90s Show season 1 follows the new generation of Point Place teens over the summer of 1995, with Eric and Donna’s teenage daughter Leia Forman becoming close with Red and Kitty’s next-door neighbors and their friends. One of the new characters in Leia’s gang happens to have a similar connection to That ‘70s Show, as her love interest Jay Kelso is the son of legacy characters Jackie Burkhart and Michael Kelso.
That ‘90s Show season 1 reveals that Jay and Leia didn’t know one another before the summer of 1995, with Eric’s father Red and mother Kitty also having no idea who he was. When Jay first introduces himself to Red and Kitty in That ‘90s Show‘s pilot, he clarifies that his last name is Kelso, which immediately shocks Red. Michael and Jackie soon walk in to confirm that Jay is their son, which is even more surprising news to the Formans. While Jay’s connection to Jackie and Michael is a great way to continue the original characters’ legacy in That ‘90s Show, his first encounter with the Formans doesn’t align with his parents’ backstory or the town’s reputation.
Unless Jackie and Kelso briefly left Point Place upon finding out she was pregnant, there’s no way that Kitty wouldn’t have known about Jay. Jackie and Kitty formed a pretty close bond in the last few seasons of That ‘70s Show, so Jackie leaving Fez, marrying Michael, and having a son with him should have been something the Forman family already knew about. Jackie was Donna’s best friend and Michael was one of Eric’s best friends, so it’s unlikely that they all went 15 years without seeing one another at weddings or other events and never mentioned their child and marriage.
Even if they had for some reason broken off contact after That ‘70s Show season 8, Kitty mentions in That ‘90s Show that Point Place is a very small town and she has eyes everywhere. This makes it odd that Kitty wouldn’t have known that her neighbors and Eric’s best friends were married with a son. That ‘90s Show suggests that Jay has been living with the re-married Jackie and Michael in Point Place all his life, so it’s illogical that the Forman family – at least Donna and Eric – wouldn’t have discovered Jay’s true parentage over the past 15 years.
Even more shocking than Red and Kitty not knowing Jay was Kelso’s son is the fact that Leia and Jay had never met before That ‘90s Show’s pilot. While That ‘70s Show and That ‘90s Show’s timelines are notoriously messy, Jackie and Donna would have been pregnant and raising newborns around the same time, so it’s difficult to believe they wouldn’t have bonded further over this experience. That ‘90s Show also reveals that Eric and Donna come down to Point Place with 15-year-old Leia for the holidays, so there’s no apparent reason why they wouldn’t have reunited with Kelso, Jackie, and Jay at least once since they still live in town.
Jay and Leia being strangers borders on being unexplainable unless Donna and Eric had a major fallout with Jackie and Kelso. Donna was shocked that Leia was dating a Kelso in That ‘90s Show’s ending, implying that not even she knew about Jackie and Michael’s son. Since Leia mentions that Eric often talks about how much fun he had with his friends as a teenager, it’s far more likely that their families would have kept in touch. With so many contradictions, it seems Jay, Jackie, and Kelso’s 15-year disconnect from the Forman family will remain an unsolved mystery in That ’90s Show.
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