By: Aaron C. Ramirez
It’s the age of the revival. Last season, ABC resurrected 90’s behemoth, Roseanne. In this heated political climate, Roseanne’s tenth season was again able to speak for the blue collar working class families. Bringing in 27.3 million viewers in its new season, Roseanne was ratings gold. In the final episode, a freak storm hits their small town causing major water damage to their basement, and the Conner family found themselves praying for the president to consider the storm a federal emergency to offset the costs to repair it. Wrapped with a nice bow, the Conners got their wish, and ABC renewed the show for a second season and an additional ten episodes. What the Conners couldn’t expect was that creator and namesake Roseanne would open her big fat twitter, and tweeted a racist comment about former senior advisor to president Barack Obama’s, Valerie Jarrett. ABC cancelled the show and hundreds were out of a job. Fans of the revived series were gutted but understanding.
On June 21, 2018, ABC announced they had retooled the original concept but without the involvement of its moniker. This new show would be the called The Conners. In honor of this new show let’s focus on the five best moments of Roseanne without Roseanne.
“An Officer And A Gentleman” (season two, episode 15)
Our first moment is the fallout from a fight with star Roseanne during its original run. Her character was written into visiting her parents, and all duties are taken on by kid sister Jackie (3x Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf).
Jackie becomes the domestic goddess for a spell and all towards the soundtrack of Leave it to Beaver. The kids are happy, and familial tensions between brother and sister-in-law lessen.
“Brain Dead Poet’s Society” (season two, episode 10)
Throughout the series each Conner child has their highlighted scenes, but early on we knew that Darlene Conner (2x Emmy nominee at the young age of 18/19 years old) was anything but normal. Her dry, sarcastic humor was relatable to other teens that didn’t feel like they were the 90210 brand.
Darlene is forced to attend a recital in her honor. Her poem is picked as one of the best in the school, and she must share with her classmates and tv viewers her deeper feelings whilereciting her poem, “To Whom it Concerns/ Darlene’s great with a ball/ But guys don’t watch tomboys, when they’re cruisin’ the hall/ To Whom it Concerns/ I just turned thirteen/ Too short to be quarterback, too plain to be queen…”
“Eggs Over, Not Easy” (season 10, episode 4)
Many fans would remember Becky (Lecy Goranson) as a straight-A student wanting to make a better life than what the small town of Lanford, IL had to offer. So when the revival started and we see Becky as a waitress lamenting, “This wasn’t supposed to be my life, serving white people ‘fa-gee-tas.’”
It’s at this moment, sisters Becky and Darlene are able to connect about failed relationships. The two frenemies start to realize they may need each other. Both feel stuck, but it seems to hit harder when it’s revealed that Becky’s been stuck since her husband Mark, played by the late Glenn Quinn, had passed away. Hopefully The Conners can have more poignant moments between the two continuing to create allies among them.
There’s not one singular moment for Dan Conner. He was the man’s man, but willing to accept that his grandson likes to wear skirts. His wife may be headstrong, but Dan was no push over. He fought through embarrassing conversations about puberty with each of his children from menstruation to masturbation. He went to jail to protect Jackie from an abusive boyfriend, and was the father many viewers wish they had. So, when the original run killed Dan Conner in the finale the collective audience gasped. Fans called fowl, and it was quickly rewritten for the revival. Without Roseanne to be there, we still know the Conner family has their patriarch, and John Goodman can get the opportunity to finally win his rightly deserved Emmy.
“Wait Till Your Father Gets Home” (season 5, episode 16)
This episode shows the great timing with both her and Goodman as they shop for a casket and Jackie warns the funeral director, “I’m likely to buy anything that you show me, and I’m also very likely to take out a gun and blow your head off if I think you’re taking advantage of me…”
But, the moment that all fans remember is when Jackie’s father passed away and she must call and inform her deaf Auntie Barbara. Laurie Metcalf would be awarded with an Emmy for her performance in this episode.
The Conners have been through many trials and tribulations, but now the show can thrive without Roseanne to get in the way of the show’s own success. With multiple Emmy nominations and winners among cast members, a strong writing staff and loyal fan support let’s hope The Conners can show us they’re gonna last longer like the Great Wall of China, or that rabbit with the drum.