I was four years old when Roseanne first aired late 1988. It wasn’t a show that my family watched, but was one I’d catch an episode or two in syndication toward the tail end of the 90’s. It was a show I enjoyed, but I wouldn’t have called myself a fan. I wasn’t a fan until about ten years ago, when I decided to revisit the series. I picked up the first and second season on DVD and within a couple months I’d powered my way through the entire series. I loved it and once I completed it, I started back at season one.
Roseanne spoke to me in ways that other shows didn’t. There is nostalgia for this time period, but also a relatability that I don’t get with other shows. It shows a regular family dealing with the ups and downs of life. They aren’t well off and their problems are problems that exist in the real world and not normal sitcom hijinks. This made Roseanne especially comforting when I had lost my job and was dealing with my own family problems.
For several years, I watched Roseanne over and over. I just couldn’t get enough Roseanne so I got online and read about the blueprints of the house and on-set drama, and once I exhausted those stories I started digging deeper into Roseanne’s books and standup, which didn’t really do much for me. It was the family that kept me engaged while watching Roseanne, but outside of a paragraph interview where Roseanne had given some hypothetical updates on what happened with the family after season nine, there wasn’t much to go on. It was a show that had been off the air for twenty years after all.
Then came the revival, which I enjoyed but didn’t love. Then Roseanne self-destructed and it seemed like The Conner family was done for until it was saved and rebranded The Conners.
I was excited about The Conners, because Roseanne was arguably the worse part of the revival season (okay, second worse behind the new kids). The Conners came back and I really enjoyed. I thought they handled Roseanne’s exit well and reshifting the focus to Dan and Darlene really worked. The show was good and definitely a comfort, but not amazing.
The Conners’ ratings were good and a second season was awarded with more episodes. The series went from feeling like a special event series to a real cohesive series and it gave the actors and actresses time to find their voice. The show started blending a little more drama into some episodes and the jokes and timing got funnier. Alicia Goranson (Becky) and Ames McNamara (Mark), who seemed to be the most out of place early on in the revival really found their spot on the show and have become two of the most entertaining characters. The addition of Katey Sagal (Louise) added a dimension to Dan’s story and the cast that was much needed. The resurrection of The Lunchbox was also a welcomed addition to The Conners legacy.
Last night, Brandy and I watched the latest episode of The Conners and found ourselves laughing throughout the entire episode. Everyone hit their marks, the humor was spot on, the acting was engaging and I realized that I was loving this show. The Conners has went from a damn good way to spend 23 minutes a week to something I love. It’s time with a TV family that I almost feel part of. I’ve seen so much of their life over the years, it’s hard not to feel attached to them. And it really helps that show is legit funny, well-acted, and just a joy to watch.
I really hope The Conners gets renewed for as third season (and a fourth and fifth) and I really hope the storytelling and humor stays as strong as it has been.