What do you think about Jackie and Kelso? And could you perhaps write a meta (if you want and if you have time) about the differences between Jackie and Kelso and Jackie and Hyde, please?
Wow, I don’t really know where to begin with a meta showing the differences between Jackie/Kelso and Jackie/Hyde just because they’re such different relationships and I haven’t really seen anyone argue over who should be with who, like Jackie/Hyde is so universal to me (within the fandom) that I’ve never considered writing a meta about the two ships.
I was never really a fan of Jackie and Kelso even before Jackie and Hyde were a thing, it’s not like I shipped Jackie or Kelso with anyone else but I didn’t pay that much attention to their relationship. That 70s Show came out when I was, like, 8 so as a kid I saw them more as comedic relief in the form of a duo than as an actual ship if that makes sense. Then when I got older and rewatched it I realized how fundamentally toxic Kelso and Jackie were and how even from the beginning when Hyde didn’t like Jackie, he still respected her and thought she deserved better, that’s the major difference.
I mean yes, superficially, the difference that sticks out the most is that Kelso and Jackie were very much alike:
whereas Hyde and Jackie were fundamentally different
And these very obvious contrasts of course mean very obvious differences in dynamic. But the most important difference is, as I said, the respect.
Jackie and Kelso’s relationship is portrayed comically but it was a terrible one. That isn’t to say there weren’t cute moments:
or moments that showed how much Kelso knew Jackie:
But throughout their relationship, Kelso was either cheating on Jackie:
Or he pressures her about sex:
Or he continuously tells the group how he’s going to break up with her but refrains from doing so either because she can be useful to the group:
Or because they were physically intimate.
And Michael admits that Jackie makes him feel bad about himself:
which is meant to explain why he repeatedly cheated and lied to her, which of course is an utterly immature response.
On the other hand,
Jackie and Hyde, even though their dynamic is at first genuinely
confrontational, Hyde expects her to realize she deserves more than what she puts up with from Kelso:
and is visibly irritated by the way Kelso flaunts his relationship with Laurie:
and is protective of Jackie’s vulnerability and state of being:
which is why he goes to jail for her (I mean, it’s also a part of his self-fulfilling prophecy but that’s another post):
(while incidentally, Kelso pushes Jackie to the side and yells, “Out of my way” in “Halloween”)
and its also why he punches Chip when he explains that he’s going to use Jackie for sex and calls her a bitch
This respect feeds into their actual relationship because while Kelso was emotionally manipulative and while he consistently lied to Jackie, there was always transparency between her and Hyde. For instance, when Jackie finally chooses Hyde in 6x01, he kisses her, yes, but he doesn’t lie to her about going on a date with another woman, which Kelso would’ve done in their relationship. The transparency was there even when it was something neither of them wanted to admit to, which was usually how much they actually cared about each other, and that was more about self-deception, which they get over once they talk to each other about whatever they’re self-deceiving about:
and the last gif actually segues into the other difference between Jackie and Hyde and Kelso and Jackie — the level of maturity, which is related to one of the first points I made about how the obvious difference is that one dynamic is an opposites attract dynamic and the other isn’t.
Jackie and Michael may understand how the other thinks
but bonding over the arguably vapid aspects of their personalities doesn’t encourage growth in either of them, which actually consistently disappoints Jackie and which also consistently makes Kelso feel bad
which only further perpetuates their cycle.
By virtue of being polar opposites who care about each other and respect each other, Hyde and Jackie naturally push the other to grow. Jackie learns that being domineering and spoiled won’t get her way with Hyde:
while Hyde learns to be vulnerable and to go outside of his comfort zone:
and they both learn to compromise:
and their effect on each other is noticeable to everyone around them:
whereas everyone consistently told Jackie she could do better and told Kelso that she made him unhappy.
Something else I’ve also noticed while looking up gifs for this post is that while Hyde and Jackie will be physically intimate in background scenes just by being together and being close
I barely if ever remember seeing Kelso and Jackie be so casually intimate with each other, it was always a display of sloppy kissing.
All in all, Jackie and Hyde were a much more nuanced relationship and a much healthier relationship and a much more affectionate relationship imo,
None of the gifs are mine, thank you for reading, sorry it’s so long.