It’s been a number of increasingly emotionally complex seasons for this endearing classic, but this time the show seems to uncharacteristically stumble on its feet. There seems to be a dearth of inspiration behind the many storylines, and the characterizations have long stagnated, which leads to an overall “been there, done that” vibe that dulls the proceedings. The ensemble acting continues to be strong for the most part, but it’s hard not to notice that regular performers Topher Grace and Mila Kunis seem disinterested, while series newcomers Shannon Elizabeth and Brooke Shields are both execrable in strained, unnecessary roles. There’s something missing in this season, even though it still has its moments thanks to residual good will from the first five seasons.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)