TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'

TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'
(Fanpop / Wikipedia)

Welcome back to the TV Boyfriend Smackdown! We pit two (or three) of television’s most eligible (and fictional) bachelors against one another, and discuss their merits with regard to three major categories: attractiveness, personality, and potential for capital-D Drama. Based on our spirited debate, we’ll declare a winner, but fear not: you’ll have a chance to weigh in as well.

This week’s Smackdown is a mega-edition, as we travel back in time to take a look at the eligible boys of That 70's Show. Beware of spoilers here — if we’re going to judge thoroughly, we’re going to judge on everything that’s happened so far and we can’t be held responsible for your inability to Hulu or Netflix in a timely manner. And the 70s were a long time ago, get with it! Let the smackdown begin!

TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'Eric
Lindsay's Take: The hero of our tale, Eric Forman was the typical 70s teen, but does that mean he’d make a lovely boyfriend?
  • Attractiveness: One of the show’s resident gingers (actually there were a lot of redheads on That 70's Show, weren’t there?), Eric was just a little too thin for me… I like them a little on the burly side, if I’m being honest. Plus, he wore bell-bottom pants. I know they all wore bell-bottoms, and it was the 1970s, and it was in style. But, ugh.
  • Personality: Eric was just a regular old teen, hanging out with his friends, smoking some pot, and getting into the normal trouble that teens do. He was a good person, if not sometimes teenage stupid, and he was definitely a lover: obsessed with Donna, always trying to win and keep her heart (for the most part)
  • Possible Drama: Hm.. not much room for drama here. Eric was the quietest and calmest of the whole gang, so aside from some teenage lady drama, it’d all be easy sailing.

TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'Jess' Take:
  • Attractiveness: Sure, Eric Forman was cute, if a little waif-like. Nothing about him screamed “three-alarm fire” but that little sparkle in his eye was pretty adorable. And that hair!
  • Personality: Eric was kind of geeky and generally a stand-up guy — yeah, he got into some messes with his friends, but can ya blame the guy? You gotta spice things up any way you can as a teenager living in small-town Wisconsin. At the end of the day, you could usually count on Eric to do the right thing...or at least get away with whatever he & his crew did wrong. He was also pretty ambitious sometimes, you know, wanting to better himself so he’d be good enough for Donna.
  • Possible Drama: Honestly, not a lot of drama potential with this one, aside from perhaps a fear of commitment or rushing to commit too quickly, depending on the day and the lady in question.

TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'Kelso
Jess' Take: Ah, Michael Kelso. So pretty, so dim, and so...mediocre as a boyfriend. Let’s assess!
  • Attractiveness: Kelso’s whole thing was being good-looking. He counted on it, milked it, and made $$$ off of it. So yeah, he was attractive, but he knew it — too much — which kind of made him less attractive. See how that works?
  • Personality: Pretty dumb, pretty sweet, and pretty vain about his overall prettiness. And though he may act like a golden retriever sometimes (if you told Kelso to fetch a can of beer, he totally would), he definitely wasn’t as loyal as one to his many girlfriends. He was also nearly always down for any scheme, which could be fun or annoying, depending on the scheme.
  • Possible Drama: As I mentioned above, Kelso would probably cheat on you. Or get arrested for some harebrained fiasco he got into with his buds. He might be nice to look at, but he’s not exactly the best choice for a long-term relationship. Pick Kelso if you want a one-night adventure with an Adonis.

Lindsay's Take:
  • Attractiveness: Is there anything else to say about Kelso’s hotness? He was obviously the best-looking of the bunch, and, as Jess said, knew it. At least he knew to profit from it.
  • Personality: The 1970s song written about Kelso? “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon, of course. Kelso was in tune with the song’s lyrics, also, because he was mostly a dog to all of the girls he dated. Not cool, man. Jackie could have done way better (and did).
  • Possible Drama: Like Jess said, Kelso is not the guy to date. Would I take him as a friend? Yeah, totally — he was pretty, fun-loving, always down to pick up chicks (if you’re into that sort of thing), and ready to go along with most schemes. The only drama with Kelso comes from his girlfriends.

TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'Fez
Lindsay's Take: Exotic and charming, Fez was always lucky with the ladies. But was he good to the ladies? Let’s think about it...
  • Attractiveness: Fez’s wardrobe wasn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. Again, bell bottoms. But it was the time! I know. And a lot of collars with matching shirts. Wilmer Valderrama always had a great smile, and Fez flashed it at every opportunity. He was a regulation hottie.
  • Personality: Fez was so much fun! Though his friends certainly made fun of him for being just the slightest bit dense, I’m going to chalk that all up to a language barrier, no? After all, he wasn't Wisconsin-bred. His heart was always in the right place, and he was always ready for a laugh, and that makes Fez someone great to be around. 
  • Possible Drama: Fez was pretty single-minded, having been in love with Jackie for way too many years without reciprocation, so there’s some drama there when he can’t get over things. Other than that, easygoing, eager-to-fit-in Fez wouldn’t stir up too much trouble.

Jess' Take:

  • Attractiveness: Fez was definitely a cutie — he was a sharp dresser, though a bit of a trend-follower (which wasn’t always flattering in the 70s), and his hair was only rivaled by Hyde’s for best male hair on the show. And that smile, oy vey!
  • Personality: Fez was the butt of a lot of jokes with the 70s crew, largely because he was always trying to keep up, fit in, and finally get a girl to kiss him. He was also kind of a follower, relying on the other guys and gals to teach him the ways of life in Point Place (and America). But he could always laugh at himself and he was a jovial, well-meaning guy. You could definitely have fun with Fez.
  • Possible Drama: Again, not so much drama here — unless Fez is taking too many cues from his sometimes-boneheaded friends, which he was definitely likely to do. Also, Fez could get a bit obsessive; he was in love with Jackie for like, 8 years and never gave up, even when she dated two of his best friends. On one hand, that’s sort of sweet, and on the other hand, jeez, Fez, get a life and give up already!

TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'Hyde
Jess' Take: The rebel without a cause of the 70s, that’s Steven Hyde. And what kind of boyfriend would that rebel make? Let’s see.
  • Attractiveness: I love the hair, I love the sideburns, and I love the aviators and rock n’roll tees. Steven Hyde, attractive? Why yes, absolutely.
  • Personality: Hyde was a stoner (as much as the other guys, at least), a conspiracy theorist, and anti-authority in every way...but you knew, even before he ever showed it, that there was a softy underneath those scruffy sideburns and wise-cracking exterior. He had a crappy childhood and needed to protect his rep as a rebel to cover up the hurt. So yeah, he could be kind of an ass and almost never showed compassion or sympathy, but he grew up as the series went on.
  • Possible Drama: You miiight get kind of tired of the constant railing against the government (and any authoritative figure) and ranting about conspiracies. Also, if his relationships with Jackie and Sam are anything to go by, a relationship with Hyde would be rife with fights...and make-ups.

TV Boyfriend Smackdown: Hyde vs. Eric vs. Fez vs. Kelso from 'That 70's Show'Lindsay's Take:
  • Attractiveness: I bet if you trimmed up Hyde, he would be quite rugged and handsome. Hyde was nothing but rock-star cool, as Jess said, and I could totally see some rock groupies following him around on tour.
  • Personality: Every group has one friend who goes completely against the grain of the others, and in this group, Hyde was that one. He certainly had his own opinions, and that could rub some people the wrong way. Hyde had a hard exterior formed by his tough times as a kid, but inside, a soft, chewy center grew. 
  • Possible Drama: Hyde was just constantly on, you know? Always raging against the machine and never cutting his hair, it’d be very exhausting to be around all the time. If Hyde would just tone it down a bit, there would be much less drama in his life.

Winner: Eric and Fez

We’re tied with Eric and Fez on this one, folks! Eric was kind of boring, but sweet, and Fez was fun, but kind of annoying. One thing we’re clear on? They’d both be better boyfriends than Kelso and Hyde. So they both win this 1970s Smackdown!

Disagree with our outcome? Well, you have a say, too! Just vote for your preferred winner in this round of the TV Boyfriend Smackdown below, and we’ll see you in two weeks for our next match-up!

Poll: Which 70s Boyfriend Do You Pick?
Click to vote:
  • Hyde
  • Kelso
  • Eric
  • Fez