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Eric Foreman and That 70’s Show

That 70’s Show revolves the lives of several 17-year-olds living in Point Place, Wisconsin, 1976. The head of the group is Eric Forman who lives under the authority of parents Red and Kitty. Living next door is girlfriend Donna Pinciotti and her parents Bob and Midge. The rest of the gang includes Fez, a foreign-exchange student who’s soaking up American culture like a sponge, Jackie Burkhart, her on-again, off-again boyfriend Michael Kelso, and Steven Hyde, a conspiracy theorist who believes Xerox will take over the world. The gang usually spends their time in Eric’s basement, thinking of their lives, parents, and futures, but they manage to get into funny adventures and mishaps along the way through their teenage lives.

Taken from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165598/plotsummary

When analyzing the main character of sitcom “That 70’s Show” Eric Foreman, played by Topher Grace, in a leadership role there are many things to consider. Eric Foreman’s gradual, but always-persistent self-improvement throughout the seasons of the show is very apparent.

In the first few seasons of the show, Eric Foreman’s character is made out to be the “good” kid in the bunch, helped mainly along by the constant urging of his family. Out of the whole group of teenagers, Eric had the most grounded home life. His father is hard on him, but is clearly affectionate and constantly pushes his son to do better.

Although he begins very socially awkward, his long-term relationship with “Donna” only increases his self-esteem. It becomes apparent how although he seems the most socially out-of-touch (other than Fez, the foreign exchange student), he is actually the foundation of his group of friends. Though his personality is very passive, he uses his intelligence to win battles.

In addition, Eric Foreman’s house is the rallying point for his entire group of friends. This is obviously attributed to his grounded family life, with the exception of his somewhat less-than-moral sister.

These are all attributes I can personally relate to developing in much the same way. I started high school with one or two friends, little dating life, and a very strong home foundation.

At the end of my freshman year, I found the group of friends that have stayed by me to this day. Again, my intelligence was often perceived as cockiness–until I found the acceptance of my friends. Like Eric Foreman, this social life resulted in my first real long relationship that, though ended badly, increased my self-esteem and social life. I became able to converse with the opposite sex comfortably.

My house also became the rallying point for my friends and I. My parents became everyone’s parents–I even had a “Hyde”, a good friend of mine who lived with me for over a year. With the increase of my self-esteem, I saw how I became the lead during group decisions, rather than other friends who had previously. My friends started asking me for help with papers, homework, and other things. Falling into the leadership role allowed me to mature into a leader, free to allow my opinions known.

As the seasons of That 70’s Show progressed, so did Eric Foreman as a person and a leader. His emotional, intellectual, and social maturity increased exponentially due to his friend-base, his long-term relationship, and his strong family life. I can relate to his character perfectly, having progressed in my own life in a very similar fashion. At the end of the day, self-esteem made all the difference.