What a great show. I'm watching it more now in reruns than I did when it actually aired, though I did watch it back then as well. Completely realistic and deftly balanced the funny with the serious. Got a little out there in later seasons after the Conners won the lottery, but it was reeled right back in the wonderful last episode. Roseanne and John Goodman were the perfect match, and the kids were brilliantly cast (even though they were highly obnoxious), as was Laurie Metcalf as Jackie.
The second Becky sucked.
I loved how they played with having 2 Beckys though.
I just loved this show. It seemed to go on and on without turning into crap. The last couple seasons, though, seemed to undo that. They should release a deluxe set of DVDs that does not include those last seasons (which officially began with the "Drunk Bev" episode.)
Nobody loves me.
Loved the Halloween eps and of course the Thanksgiving ones. Reminded me of all the dysfunctional family gatherings I've had to go through.
Bev getting a DUI is one of my favorite episodes.
Drunk Becky was also good.
I love the reruns, but I skip the episodes that are too heavily about those loser brothers the daughters ended up with.
"You can call her Bev, or you can call her Sea Hag" is the best line ever.
I love Roseanne's sarcastic, in-your-face humor. She can handle anybody with a few words and a look.
I couldn't see anyone else playing Dan other than John Goodman. He was simply made for that role.
I love the Jackie character, too. Laurie Metcalf played her with spunk and warmth. Jackie had ahout a zillion different jobs throughout the series, and just as many love interests. I liked her with Michael O'Keefe's character the best.
As for the kids, they picked the right little boy to play DJ, because Michael Fishman really resembled Roseanne facially, particularly when he was younger. Becky and Darlene were real bitches most of the time, though. There were several moments in the show when they could have stood a smack across the face. Becky No. 2 just didn't have that "it" factor. Sarah Chalke was too "nice".
I also love watching the first season to see hot young Clooney.
I liked Sarah Chalke in Scrubs and even in HIMYM, but Lecy was better as Becky.
I also love that Jazzy theme song!
I think Roseanne was the only sitcom that felt real, and still was funny as shit. I guess All in the Family did that too, but that was way before my time. I remember being a poor white trash kid in Bumfucke when the show first started and couldn't believe people on TV looked like my friends and family.
That said, the minute I saw Friends, I hit the gym, hit the books and hit NYC the minute I turned 18.
I find the firstg season almost as hard to watch as the last. Roseanne's "acting" is so bad and she laughs so much at her own jokes it really takes me out of the show.
I still laugh out loud when DJ gets his head stuck in a drawer ( unseen in the bedroom) and Roseanne grabs a bottle of cooking oil with "Why does he do that?" and few minutes later DJ comes out of the room with his oily hair slicked back and a big smile on his face.
Jackie's phone call with Auntie Barbara...the best.
The end of each show was almost always brilliant. The first episode with Sarah Chalke had the family watching "Bewitched" and all agreeing they preferred the original Darren, except for Becky.
"If you contracted a disfiguring, painful, fatal disease, I would dance a jig of glee!"
Bev to her rival
The last season they were just phoning it in. Complete waste of time.
Chalke was too generically pretty and too much of a valley girl to play blue collar.
It's just me and my ganja!
I never found the antics of this ugly, white trash loser family amusing. The fans of Roseanne must simply adore Honey Boo Boo and company.
Great show with a few missteps, e.g. Bev's patrician sounding accent.
Casting of most neighbors was great. The sisters who lived next door with their dad were really good. So was the uptight ('needlebutt') chicago neighbor.
What happened to Roseanne's best friend. Lonnie's wife. She was a big part of the show and then just gone. Did they ever explain it?
Crystal Conner? She was Lonnie's mom. She now has a full time job calling out whores, darlin.
[quote]I find the first season almost as hard to watch as the last. Roseanne's "acting" is so bad and she laughs so much at her own jokes it really takes me out of the show.
That was the charm. It seemed more real, not to mention hilarious.
[quote]Chalke was too generically pretty and too much of a valley girl to play blue collar.
Chalke is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada not exactly a commute from The Valley.
[quote]The last season they were just phoning it in. Complete waste of time.
BUT the finale was brilliant and one of the five best sit-com finales.
Best episode ever was the one where Roseanne went to visit David's house to talk to his mom.
A bit over the top, but just so real in terms of how some people live.
Reminded me of when I was doing some tutoring, and some kid's mom was complaining about having such a hangover. Made me appreciate my home life so much more.
The Roseanne house is at 619 S. Runnymeade in Evansville, Indiana. I lived in Evansville as a kid and it is very working class Lanfordesque (but unfortunately we were not so near to Chicago).
When Dan beats Jackie's boyfriend who hit her and ends up in jail and Roseanne tells Darlene to bail him out is one of the funniest episodes.
I agree that the first season wasn't all that strong. At the time, it was funny but when the show grew darker and Roseanne stopped laughing at her jokes, the show really grew. You could see it with the final episode of the first season when Roseanne's scarily sadistic boss pushes her to the edge.
The first season had some sitcommy situations- a torndao! A man dies in the kitchen! But then we had episodes like Crystal's husband's body in the cemnet pylon which could have been a silly joke- but to its credit, even that episode had a twist to it during Crystal's monologue.
"Roseanne you've got to understand that we are two different people!! There's ME...(hand gesture) and there's YOU!!! (hand gesture)."
Roseanne paved the way for Honey Boo Boo
[quote]I think Roseanne was the only sitcom that felt real, and still was funny as shit.
There is a great episode where Roseanne takes Becky and classmates to the supermarket for a lesson in budgeting. The series stands out as one of the few that was made by people who actually knew the working class experience.
[quote]I never found the antics of this ugly, white trash loser family amusing.
I wouldn't say they are white trash. They're working class, not racist and try to do the best they can for their kids.
She's a whore, darlin'
Season Five was my favorite even though Becky left. The early 90s recession hit them badly, Dan closed his bike shop, we met David's mother, the power was turned off, their father died...
Yeah their constant money problems were very realisticly portrayed. My parents go through the same as Dan and Roseanne and the troubles that were caused in their relationship resonates with the real life.
And the show and performances resonated and stayed in your head unlike the much Emmy-honored "Murphy Brown." I think Roseanne called her that "stick up her ass Candice Bergen!"
I remember I used to think Roseanne was so fat. Now I watch the show and I think she’s average.
Ha, that's true R39. The Bob Newhart Show had a rerun from 1973 on the other night of Bob's support group for his fat patients and they were downright svelte.
And looking at pictures from school a few weeks ago on FB, "The Fat Kid" wouldn't look any bigger than the average kid nowadays. Crazy, we're all fat as fuck.
Archie Bunker is barely overweight in the first season and they call him a fattie.
The first few seasons were great; almost every episode was a winner. Once they had the Lunch Box it went downhill and downhill fast. In the first few seasons, Roseanne and Dan were parents who really loved their children and supported them and wanted a better life for them but by Lunch Box seasons they were always humiliating and making fun of the kids. Plus, it became all about Roseanne working out her own personal issues through the sitcom (for example, in the first few seasons she and Jackie were closer to their father than their mother but, by LB time, the dad dies and it turns out he was beating them with a belt their entire childhood).
It all went to shit when R started to make everything so PROFOUND and IMPORTANT and MEANINGFUL. The last few seasons are completely unwatchable.
I find only the last two seasons the least enjoyable- with the final one of course being almost unwatchable.
Jenna Elfman explaining Riot Grrrls was embarrassing. Jackie became a cartoon. Grandma became shrill.
But I did like an episode in the final "fake" season where Jackie and Roseanne learn the repercussions of their Wellman walkout- even though that episode never really happened.
What was the outcome of the Wellman walkout? I'd quit watching long before then.
The funny thing was that at the time Tom Arnold was involved, the show was at its best. A perfect storm of psychos.
I always wanted to see the episode where Dan's glamorous cousin Cristal came to visit from Vegas.
Same as r39. Back when the show was originally on, I thought Roseanne was fatter than hell and her weight really stood out to me. Today, I see people who are fatter than Roseanne ever was almost everywhere. Just tonight, I was in the grocery store and many of the people there were just HUGE! Americans have gotten so much bigger than they were 20 years ago.
Not too long ago there was a thread here with pictures from shopping malls that were all taken in the year 1990 and the posters kept remarking how few fat people there were.
The kitchen and porch were so real they pointed up how phony every other "working-class family" kitchen set was.
Old worn-out linoleum, those jalousie windows with louvers that close with a crank, half-empty bottles of dishwashing liquid, washcloths and scrubbers, and on the porch a washer and dryer and all the laundry stuff that actually got used.
It was a small detail, but someone knew what the kitchen in an old house, with a houseful of kids, would look like. Most shows just stick some fake kids' drawings on the fridge with magnets and call it good enough.
I also remember how strange it was to see the Conners "repeat outfits" from episode to episode, just like real life -- John Goodman in particular had a purple flannel shirt that was beat to shit and didn't quite fit right.
OP here. Wonderful reading all the responses. It truly was a groundbreaking show, though. Won a Peabody Award and multiple Emmys and Golden Globes. I don't think Roseanne's acting was ever bad on the series, just real. Almost effortless, in fact.
Thank you for the link to Jackie on Youtube, r38. I remembered that scene. I had tears rolling down my face as I watched the clip from your link!
I LOVE the first five seasons, and think they rank up there with the best of any sitcom in television history. Especially seasons three to five.
Then the show started to get ridiculous. Leon coming back and taking part ownership in the diner. Having Sarah come in and play Becky.
Mark and David living together. I just didn't care for any of it. It eventually lost all of it's luster. And I didn't like the finale either. One of those "pretend everything we did for most of the show never happened" deals. As bad as NEWHART.
I have to say that I thought the late Glenn Quinn nailed the character of Mark when he first started dating Becky. He had a dangerous yet sexy aura about him that seemed to truly frighten Dan and (especially) Roseanne. You can see why they didn't care for him, but you could totally see why Becky fell for him. He was so effective in those small bits.
But then they ruined it by not only making him a full time cast member but turning him into a complete moron.
Titled "To Whom it Concerns:"
To whom it concerns, Darlene's work will be late,
it fell on her pancakes and stuck to her plate...
To whom it concerns, my ma made me write this,
and I'm just her kid, so how could I fight this...
To whom it concerns, I lost my assignment,
maybe I'll get lucky, solitary confinement...
To whom it concerns, Darlene's great with the ball,
but guys don't watch tomboys when they're cruising the hall...
To whom it concerns, I just turned thirteen,
too short to be quarterback, too plain to be queen...
To whom it concerns, I'm not made of steel,
when I get blindsided my pain is quite real...
I don't mean to squawk, but it really burns...
I just thought I'd mention it, to whom it concerns...
Darlene and Becky have to be the two most obnoxious TV kids ever. There were times where they truly deserved the smackdown.
The episode when Darlene and Becky tried to get in good with Roseanne so they could go to a concert was heartbreaking. Loved Dan telling them off.
Indeed, R56. They were so mean in that episode.
One of the signs of the show's demise was when Darlene became nothing more than a punch line delivery machine. You could see a pattern that applied to all of her interactions.
It was sad to see the show's death spiral. It managed to stay good for so long. Then, when it became bad, it became really bad.
I just found out Carrie Fisher used to write for the show.
r55, they werereally the first in the history of sitcoms to portray teenage obnoxiousness and monstrosity. Sitcoms always presented cutesy-pooh little teens beauty queens, but these kids were real. Now, we get that all the time so we don't realize the Connors were something very different on mainstream network TV.
Was it the lottery season or the one before where it jumped the shark? I just stopped watching at some point in the mid 90s, it just went downhill.
I remember the lesbian kiss and Roseanne hosting the VMAs but not much after.
"I wouldn't say they are white trash. They're working class, not racist and try to do the best they can for their kids."
If I remember this correctly, Roseanne takes David into her home (without consulting Dan; he eventually goes along with it, the way he went along with everything), kind of "adopting" him, after hearing his mother chew him out. David is Darlene's boyfriend. I remember her saying something to Dan about how their adopted son who lives with them is also their daughter's boyfriend and "how white trash is that?" They WERE white trash; very trashy, obnoxious people.
All this talk about "realism." If this show was truly "real" then Becky would have gotten pregnant by Mark, Darlene would be a lesbian, D.J. (or whatever the hell his name was) would be smoking pot and selling it, they would have had a pit bull or a rottweiler, the house would have been filty, Dan would be an alcoholic and have affairs, they would have knocked those awful kids on their asses regularly, the police would have been called to quell the routine domestic violence...now THAT would have been "realism."
The daughters were very real .. in the beginning. I knew sisters who were exactly like those girls. Same relationship. Same arguments. Same everything.
Unfortunately, like most long running shows the characters seemed to get dumber and dumber and I stopped watching after the third season.
My favorite episode: Darlene reading a poem in class about her most insecure feelings and seeing Roseann tear up because she had no idea she felt that way.
I hated the Halloween episodes. But it really is one the best LOL sitcoms ever in its first few seasons, to rank alongside The Golden Girls and the similar Married with Children.
When they did some sort of reunion chat with Oprah, John Goodman made sure he mentioned how tough it was to work with Rosie at times. She must have been a fucking nightmare. Glad Goodman is having this amazing comeback.
I think her ICONIC version of the National Anthem was when America turned on her. The surgeries she had were a big improvement, but the Prince-style name changes got wearing.
Did this show user in the Great Age of Crude that we are currently living in?
Mark was sex on two legs when he first appeared. I don't know why they didn't have Becky get pregnant with his baby. That would have been way more realistic than having Roseanne have the baby. If they wanted a "Cousin Oliver" then it should have been Becky's.
"Mark was sex on two legs when he first appeared. I don't know why they didn't have Becky get pregnant with his baby. That would have been way more realistic than having Roseanne have the baby.'
Although Roseanne wanting another baby was unbelieveable and stupid (the Connors are having a rough time with the kids they already have, and they want to have ANOTHER one?)the pregnancy I found the most ridiculous was Darlene's. Darlene was homely and surly and sarcastic; what boy would have wanted THAT, even a loser type like David? She was also very dykeish; the idea of her with a boy was absurd. The kissing scenes between Gilbert and Galecki are excruciating to watch; she's obviously faking it and faking it badly. She might as well be kissing a block of wood. Darlene wants to escape the dreary existence of her parents; she goes to art school and claims to have been offered a $500 a week job right out of college (yeah, right). Darlene doesn't want the life of her parents. And what does she do? She gets knocked up! And gets married! Apparently being pregnant makes the previously sullen, morose Darlene "happy." What crap! It just didn't make any sense.
The episode where Bev breaks her hip has to be the among the funniest 22 minutes of television. They weave like three independent stories that in the end tie together brilliantly.
They had some awesome guest stars and ensemble players too over the years. Tim Curry, Fred Willard and Martin Mull, Joan Collins, Sandra Bernhard. They had three Oscar winners as semi regulars: Red Buttons, Estelle Parsons and Shelly Winters. I know most people dont like him but I loved Tom Arnold on the show. Yes, he was an obnoxious lout, but he was (for me at least) a funny lout. And shit, did I have the hots for Michael OKeefe.
Here is a link to the episode. Still funny after all these years.
At its best, "Roseanne" may well have been the best sit-com ever. At its worst, well, it may have been the worst.
The lottery year was terrible. I understand that, on paper, it must have seemed a pretty good idea, but having chosen to go down that road, they could have done a much better job. The episodes with Mo Gaffney, who I generally like, were particularly bad.
I really like the Disney World episodes. Keeping in mind that they were a HUGE "Fuck You" from Roseanne to ABC and Disney, they are hilarious.
In my mind, the series finale ranks right up there with "Newhart," "Angel," and "Mary Tyler Moore." The only misstep was not having Bonnie Bramlett sing the closing song, which should have happened.
My least favorite episode is the fantasy in the bathroom that ended with a musical number. That was painful. On the other hand, the getting stoned in the bathroom was hilarious.
In general, the thing I liked least about the show was the gradual dumbing down of Jackie. She started out as a fairly smart single woman, whose problems were a nice contrast to Roseanne's "married-with-family issues." By the end, she was the 1990's version of Ethel Mertz.
Love the show. Read that Roseanne had no acting experience so during the first season John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf were a huge support. Love the show.
OP here. I'm still watching it like crazy in reruns. I was just watching one of the first season episodes and noticed that John Goodman has great hands. They're HUGE, and strong.
[quote]I really like the Disney World episodes. Keeping in mind that they were a HUGE "Fuck You" from Roseanne to ABC and Disney, they are hilarious.
The episode that followed those was REALLY where the fuck you landed. Mark decides since he had such a great time at Disney World, he is going to take a job at a local theme park. He is housed in what looks like a cell and the whole operation is presented like its some sort of cult. Its pretty ballsy to bite the hand that feeds you, but when the hand is the Mouse House, you really have to have a set on ya', cause those bastards don't fuck around.
I'm a big fan, too. It's one of the very few shows I can watch again and again.
Only recently I learned to appreciate (if not enjoy) the lottery/final season. For sure it killed the show, but I do think it was a brilliant finale - to tie it back in to that episode from seasons earlier when Dan and the kids gave Roseanne a writing room for her birthday.
No kidding, r73. I had forgotten about that episode immediately following the Disney World stuff. The three of them put together really demonstrate how powerful Roseanne Barr was at the time.
The people at ABC hated her, but feared most of all losing her and her powerhouse ratings pull. Meanwhile, Disney was trying to get her to conform to their idea of "family entertainment," thereby creating some sort of synergy between their various corporate divisions.
And, look what she gave them! Haha! Roseanne may have become a whack-job in recent years, but I'll always love her for that.
This show probably went the longest of any sitcom without crossing the line that all decent sitcoms cross where they turn into a generic bad sitcom. But when they crossed that line, they did it with enthusiasm. The moment was the episode where Bev's character was re-engineered into an alcoholic. After that, the writing became nothing more than alternating set-ups and punch lines.
The bizarro final season makes it easy to forget that this show turned into a piece of crap a couple seasons earlier. And the final episode seemed to be nothing but an acknowledgement that the last seasons were never meant to not be crap.
R75 I just remembered, it is later revealed Darleen's baby was conceived on the trip to Disney World. Roseanne even makes some wise-crack about it being the Happiest Place on Earth. The take away? If you want your daughter to have a child out of wedlock, bring her to Disney World. Walt would approve, after all, his own daughter had a bun in the oven on her wedding day.
I thought Jackie's body would reject a white dress.
Yup, r77, David and Darleen fucking on a ride, Becky trying to pick up a costumed character, Dan drinking his way through Epcot. Disney employees portrayed as control-freak Nazis. Not to mention the whole David episode with the deprogramming sequence at the end.
All this while Disney and ABC were paying her MEGABUCKS to keep the show on the air. For a moment in time, Roseanne rocked the world.
R80 nailed it.
I loved it up until about 5 yrs ago. I've burned on it now though. Too many soap opera-y episodes, and I also dislike Roseanne a lot more than I used to. The internet puts celebs under a microscope and she's coming out looking pretty bad to most people. I don't like her as a person anymore, but she was funny. Now she's just angry and depressing.
I know people rag on the finale but I maintain on of the most moving moment in tv history is when the voices of the family Roseanne essentially lost wish her a happy birthday as she leaves the basement.
When DJ says "Happy Borthday mom" as a little boy after nine years of all that sadness those characters went through, is heartbreaking. And then to end with a now dead Dan's voice is extremely moving.
It's like all those years haunted Roseanne and in the end she would have given back the all the money she ever won to have her family back the way it was.
I think a lot of people can relate to that.
Here's another gem of a scene with Jackie providing some support for both Becky and Roseanne when Becky decides to go on the pill.
Laurie Metcalf is such an outstanding actor. So is Goodman. And they're both working today. Meanwhile Roseanne is doing reality shows with Macadamia nuts. Or was. But she deserves all the accolades. She owned the show. It carried her name. And she had the right to fit it to her vision. I agree with how weird she looked after the cheek implants and the spray tan, lol.
For me the show peaked when Dan's bike shop went belly up and Becky blew up at him and then ran off and got married. It was shocking to hear Becky yelling at Dan how he blew it for the whole family. Yet it was one of the most "real" moments in any fictional TV series and an all too realistic ending for the Becky character.
There were still some good episodes in the season or so after Becky left (which was at the beginning of season 5) but then Darlene went away to school and David became a focus. All this coincided with Roseanne's horrible plastic surgery and her successful efforts to turn the show into a platform for her personal opinions. (I appreciate all she did for gay and lesbian visibility on TV but in the context of the Lanford universe it wasn't very realistic.)
For me the definitive jump-the-shark moment was the "Gilligan's Island" tribute episode at the end of season 7. I remember it getting all kinds of accolades in the press but I just thought it reflected how far Roseanne the actor/producer had deviated from Roseanne the character. The show was no longer about the struggling Conner family, it was just a vehicle for Roseanne to do whatever she felt like. The final two seasons were more of the same, though I do think the series finale helped redeem some of the excesses.
The pot-smoking episode was the best. Roseanne, Dan and Jackie stoned out of their minds in the bathroom had me in tears the first time I watched it.
I agree that the episodes where Becky left and got married were the shows best.
You never see that kind of real, raw pain on sitcoms and that's what made it brilliant. For Becky to scream at Dan and call him a failure who ruined everyone's life was so shocking only to be topped by Dan refusing to say goodbye to Becky when she left.
Becky tearfully hugging Roseanne goodbye was moving as well.
Really a sad ending to the character. I almost wish they hadn't brought her back with Chalke playing the role because it was such an excellent goodbye.
[quote]It's like all those years haunted Roseanne and in the end she would have given back the all the money she ever won
I thought winning the lottery was part of the fantasy?