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However, they were used again in the final episode, i.e."December 31, 1979 a.m." From the premiere onward, the episode's year could be determined by the registration tags on Eric's Vista Cruiser at the end of the opening and closing credits.
Thus, 1976 was chosen, which allowed episodes set within a short time frame to address streaking, the sexual revolution, the Equal Rights Amendment, the 1973 oil crisis, and the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, all of which were culturally influential events that occurred in the earlier years of the 1970s.
The shift to 1977 during the last half of the first season also allowed the inclusion of the first Star Wars movie, which premiered in May 1977.
Over time, this proved problematic from a narrative standpoint, as nearly every year featured a Thanksgiving and/or Christmas episode, and the teen-aged actors playing high-school student characters all aged into their mid-20s by the time their characters graduated from high school after five seasons (except Mila Kunis, who was not quite 20).
As the series timeline sped up and slowed down with more rapidity near the series' climax, the timeline necessitated that several major events depicted as having occurred months apart would have in fact happened within weeks or even days of one another.
The timeline issues experienced on the show were not unprecedented, as other period-specific TV series have had similar issues.
Most notably, M*A*S*H aired for 11 seasons despite the Korean War only lasting three years.Throughout the first two seasons, episodes opened with title cards showing the season/month and year (example: Late Spring, 1977 or June 1977).These, however, were largely abandoned after season 2, with few subsequent episodes using them.Eric was originally supposed to be replaced by his new friend Charlie, played by Bret Harrison, as an "innocent character", who proved fairly popular with audiences, but the character was killed off after Harrison was offered a lead role in the series The Loop.Another new character, Samantha, a stripper played by Jud Tylor, was added as Hyde's wife for nine episodes.The show remained in 1977 for the next two seasons.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating