S1 E18: Hopes, Dreams, and Shampoo, the Softer Sides of Roseanne Conner

714 Delaware St.

In this episode of 714 Delaware St., we take some time to reflect on someone we’ve somewhat neglected thus far on our podcast: Roseanne Conner! In the wake of mourning Roseanne Conner’s death and Roseanne Barr’s depressing political shift far-rightward, we have wanted to talk about the nuanced characterization of the Conners’ brazen matriarch. We’ve chosen two Season 2 episodes that capture Rosie’s tenderness and vulnerability. In “Hair,” Rosie is hesitant at first to take a “demeaning” job as an assistant in a hair salon, until the women there spoil her cynicism by treating her with respect and appreciation. In “Happy Birthday,” Roseanne’s birthday wish is for more time—in particular, she wishes for time to write stories like she did when she was younger. This passion underlies much of the dynamic between Roseanne and Darlene, and this episode is the referent for the totally outrageous Season 9 finale. Both of these episodes forefront a sweetness and depth to Roseanne Conner that is ever-present, but is often obscured by the brash hardness her life as a working-class mother of three (then four) requires.

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