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(Column) Rice: What I’m Watching Right Now…’Roseanne’

Kate Rice

Just Another Gal from Casper: What I’m watching right now edition…

Back in 1988, “Roseanne” gave us a humorous, relatable glimpse into the lives of the blue-collar Conner clan. I’m not a big sitcom fan, but I watched the show from time to time, mostly because I loved Sara Gilbert’s portrayal of sardonic second child Darlene.

In 2018, the show was rebooted. I enjoyed every episode of that first season. It was great to see how Lanford’s favorite middle class family had changed over the years. Then, Roseanne Barr, for whom the character and show was named, sent out a series of problematic tweets, and the show was cancelled.

Luckily, it was revamped as “The Conners,” and it’s been “gotta see” TV for me ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Roseanne Barr’s sarcastic mama Conner, but you know what? The show’s just fine without her. Even better, actually.

First of all, it makes me laugh. I appreciate a family that uses humor to get through real life issues. Money and health problems, complicated relationships — stuff that most of us experience throughout our lives.

And, I love all of the characters. Darlene, an atheist struggling to find some sort of spirituality (here’s hoping she never totally softens those rough edges). John Goodman’s Dan, finding his way from husband and father to widower back to husband again. Lecy Goranson as oldest daughter Becky, now a single mother and recovering alcoholic, is so much funnier than I remember from back in the day. And the brilliant Laurie Metcalf manages to keep neurotic Aunt Jackie juuuust this side of annoying.

We see son DJ from time to time, still the butt of his sisters’ jokes. And Darlene’s kids — brainy fashionista Mark and sarcastic Harris — bring out different facets of the older, established characters’ personalities. Kudos to the casting department for casting Emma Kenney as daughter Harris — she’s not only a fantastic actress (I looooved her in “Shameless,” a show for another column), but she actually looks like she could be Sara Gilbert’s real-life daughter.

Another bonus? The amazing Katey Sagal as Louise, Dan’s current love interest. Katey delivers both comedy and drama, so she fits right in. Roseanne who?

Comedy and relatable drama _ that’s the brilliance of this show. The scripts are smart, the characters flawed and the action believable. If you wanna offer up 30 minutes of your time once a week to the entertainment gods, watch The Conners Wednesday nights at 8 (Mountain Time) or catch it commercial-free on Hulu the following day. 


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