S5 E8: Designated Basket Case: Family Trauma in Roseanne

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In our latest episode, we take a look back at two classic Roseannes that focus on Roseanne and Jackie’s father Al Harris: “This Old House” and “Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home.” These are two of the series’ most memorable episodes, as they reveal the physical abuse Roseanne and Jackie suffered as children and chronicle their efforts to heal — a process still ongoing for Jackie and Bev in The Conners. We consider the way trauma from the past seemed to shape Roseanne and Jackie’s lives, as well as how recent revelations on The Conners shape our own understanding of these episodes and all that remains unspoken about the Harris family.

We also discuss Roseanne Barr’s own public revelation, in 1991, that she was sexually abused by her parents — an accusation she partially retracted in the 2010s — and how she seemed to be wrestling with her own past during the years these episodes aired. We also talk about Roseanne’s then-partner Tom Arnold, who was seen at the time as riding Roseanne’s coattails but whose own childhood pain inspired a key part of “Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home.”

While this conversation can get a bit heavy, we have our comedic diversions as always, including string cheese, Barbra Streisand’s basement mall, MTV Beach House memories and more. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S5 E7: Caretaking and Memory-Making

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In our latest, we catch up with The Conners episodes “Stuck in the Middle and Stuck in the Past” and “New Pipes and Old Secrets,” both of which address issues of aging, memory, and child-parent dynamics. First of all, we have some fun with Ben, Darlene and Becky’s feud, including imagining David’s dynamic with Ben (should Johnny Galecki EVER return). We also revel in the show’s newfound willingness to refer to Roseanne openly and deal with her absence directly – an issue that comes up both in the plot about Dan’s loneliness and anxiety and Jackie’s efforts to find a caretaker for Bev. Most of all, we’re interested in the issues dredged up by Bev’s plotline – in particular new revelations about her abusive marriage and wounds that have yet to heal. Have we mentioned our love for amazing national treasure Estelle Parsons?

Join us for these discussions, plus enthusiasm for Poker Face and Party Down, the opposite of enthusiasm for berets, and Maura and Katherine’s memories of visiting Wisconsin Dells, midwestern Xanadu, as children. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S5 E6: Tales from the Lobo

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In our latest episode, we discuss The Conners “Two More Years and a Stolen Rose,” which takes us all the way back to season 1 Roseanne with a reference to “Dan’s Birthday Bash,” an episode in which Dan’s birthday devolves into two fights — one with a snow-plowing brute named Bobo (Eric Allen Kramer) and the other with an even scarier adversary: Roseanne herself. In “Two More Years,” Dan meets up with a wealthy former classmate (William H. Macy) at the memorial for his beloved high school English teacher and has to face facts about his life — plus another close encounter with the one and only Bobo! While side-eye-ing the somewhat convoluted plot (they are just NOW, at 60-something years old, receiving letters they wrote to themselves in high school??) and previously-unheard-of character Smitty, we cheer the revival of our much-beloved Lobo Lounge, the dive bar that has lived in our hearts all these years. We analyze the connections between these two episodes from over 30 years apart and what they tell us about Dan Conner, his evolution, and the anxieties he seems to return to again and again.

Join us for this rousing discussion plus a bit on Becky and Darlene’s living situation, our disappointment in Wednesday, the throwback trend of “case-of-the-week” TV, and more.

S5 E5: A Merry Merry Conners Omnibus

Happy holidays from 714 Delaware St! For this last installment of 2022, we’re discussing the year’s final four episodes of The Conners, exploring plots from Darlene’s job woes to Louise at the Lunch Box, from Harris’s hobo boyfriend to Beverly Rose’s new persona (Pancake the dog), and most important of all, Mom stuff: between Louise and Doris (Jane Curtin) and Jackie and Bev (the great and amazingly vivacious Estelle Parsons, age 95!). We’re overjoyed to see Bev back even though it is under difficult circumstances for the character, and we discuss the way Jackie’s relationship with her mother — and her own understanding of that relationship — has been thoughtfully rendered in The Conners. We also get to talk about some more Roseanne callbacks that have come up in season 5 — thank you for this, Conners writing staff! Join us for this epic 2022 wrap-up, plus digressions on Lindsay Lohan in Falling for Christmas, Tia Mowry Lifetime movie A Very Vintage Christmas, our thoughts on couches, baloney, and Christmas shopping, and much more. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

S5 E4: The Meaning of Halloween

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Yes, we know it’s almost Christmas — but we need to take a moment to reflect on Halloween. In this episode, we discuss The Conners “A Little Weed and a Bad Seed” and “Book Bans and Guillotine Hands,” this season’s Halloween episode that is tinged with Roseanne nostalgia and a bit of melancholy. We discuss the show’s increasing references to Roseanne, with Darlene and Becky both struggling to set aside a need to please and channel their mother’s more confrontational nature, and Dan trying to keep Halloween traditions alive despite his family’s apathy. We also take another look at Roseanne season two Halloween episode “BOO!”, which shows the beginnings of the Conner family’s Halloween obsession, and the origins of Becky’s understanding of the holiday. Join us for these topics plus digressions on Celebrity Rehab (aka “feel-bad TV”), Wednesday, The Watcher, book banning, recent film recommendations, and the psychedelic 1970s educational characters the Letter People. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S5 E3: Is Season 5 The Conners’ Best?

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In this installment of 714 Delaware St., we barrel through this season’s first four Conners episodes in order to catch up with our favorite family. We laugh (a lot), we cry, we cringe, and we ask the question: could season 5 be when The Conners finally hits its stride? We’re loving Darlene and Ben’s chemistry, Jackie and Neville the odd couple, Harris’s personal growth, and the fact that we’re getting more of that classic Roseanne-style “hangout” content and silliness we love. Plus, Mark and Harris are getting drunk to Morrissey and Mary’s got a boyfriend — could it be the show is finally serving up the teen plotlines we all deserve? Will Mark flip the bird in the senior photo? Will Mary write her own “To Whom It Concerns”? It all remains to be seen. We hope you’ll enjoy this easygoing season along with us.

Come for The Conners, stay for talk of Katherine’s new Peleton, Shannen Doherty in the 2010 Hallmark classic Growing the Big One, our thoughts on both Sting and Chicago, the definition of “Rocker energy,” and our conflicted feelings on Morrissey. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

S5 E2: Roseanne Road Trip!

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Dear listeners, we are back from our long fights against illness to finally bring you episode 2! We’re putting the Conners on pause for a moment to take a look back at some classic Roseanne — and who doesn’t love a road trip? We’ve selected two special episodes, season 4’s “Kansas City, Here We Come” and season 8’s “The Getaway, Almost,” that both feature Roseanne and Jackie hitting the road for some sisterly bonding, complex emotional and family shit, and Riot Grrrl music. In “Kansas City,” the women find out their father has been having a long-term affair and pile into Jackie’s big-rig to go meet his mistress. We discuss this episode’s incredible writing and performances, and consider how much of the Harris family story comes together in these mere 22 minutes. We also look at how its subtle feminism compares to the much more in-your-face “The Getaway,” which acts as Thelma and Louise reference, Riot Grrrl primer, and mid-1990s pop culture handbook all at once. And: Jenna Elfman as Garland, the least edgy Riot Grrrl with the perfect ’90s shag! Slide on into the passenger seat and ride along with us! Plus digressions on Jeffrey Dahmer-related programming, Halloween faves, Thelma and Louise‘s continued relevance, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s genius for family dynamics, and more!

S5 E1: Multiple Marriages/Maniacs

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Dear listeners: Ready or not, we are back again for a FIFTH season of Conners madness! As usual, we’re playing catch up, recapping the final two episodes of season 4, “Three Ring Circus,” and “A Judge and a Priest Walk into a Living Room…” That’s right – The Conners is celebrating yet another wedding, this time a double (almost triple)! We debate whether the show’s insistence on these kinds of attention-grabbing plots points has it creeping into Roseanne-season-9-territory, and lament the fact that The Conners continually seems to introduce new characters with potential only to quickly throw them away (like Aldo). We also can’t help but do what we do best: harp. Mainly on the fact that Jackie’s previous marriage to Fred (and baby Andy) seems to have been wiped clean from the Roseanne-a-verse. But why, we ask, WHY?! Of course, there are some things to enjoy about these episodes, particularly the hilarious Joe Walsh, the presence of Jerry Gergich from Parks and Rec (Jim O’Heir), Harris as tattoo artist, and some cute sisterly moments between Becky and Darlene.

We also follow some delightful tangents on subjects such as the extremely risqué British dating show Naked Attraction, Netflix’s The Sandman, Catholicism, Casio keyboard demo songs, and the Quantum Leap reboot. Join us!

NOTE: We had some audio and connection issues this episode and we know they are obnoxious to the ear. We apologize for the poor sound quality! The issues will be fixed for episode 2.


S4 E13: When a Ghost House Isn’t Good Enough (and Other Stories)

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In our latest episode, we start to wind down season 4 of The Conners with a close look at “Big Negotiations and Broken Expectations” and “The Best Laid Plans, a Contrabassoon, and a Sinking Feeling.” First we confront a new frontier in Dan and Louise’s relationship, as they have their first serious fight as a married couple. (We have to say, we’re mostly on Team Louise, even if she did foolishly suggest that Dan renovate a house). We also continue to follow Darlene’s funeral-home-renovating adventure, which leads her to request a raise and say some not-very-Marxist things about the line workers at Wellman. This causes us to once again ask: Really, Darlene? But one thing we actually AREN’T judgmental about is Darlene and Ben’s reconciliation, which was a long time coming. They both have their issues, but we’re rooting for these two kids — and we hope they get their his-and-hers sinks! We’re also rooting for Mark, who has a notion in his head that he must learn the contrabassoon, and he must learn it from Bev’s friend Doc Brown, a.k.a. Christopher Lloyd, who is a snob and a half. To which we say: DON’T TEASE US WITH BEV, Conners writers, unless Estelle Parsons is going to appear before our very eyes!

Tune in for all this plus our discussions of the logistics of Ben’s beard trimming, Katherine’s hatred of Ketchup, and our deep and undying love for Heartstopper, Kit Connor, Olivia Coleman, and…everything else about Heartstopper. Did we mention we love Heartstopper? Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!

S4 E12: Come back to the Lunch Box, Jackie Dean

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In our latest episode, we dive into The Conners season 4 episode 16, “Gas Pump, House Dump, and a Stew Volcano.” While we must first mull over Darlene and Becky’s very strange decision not to move right into the beautiful Victorian funeral home Patton Oswalt has basically handed them (young Darlene would love to live in a funeral home!), we focus mostly on the episode’s story involving Jackie and her crisis over the Lunch Box. Feeling overwhelmed by the work of managing the restaurant and simultaneously concerned by the lack of customers, Jackie enlists Ben’s help in making a perfectly bonkers commercial. This prompted us to look back at a couple of Roseanne original series episodes, season 5’s “Pretty in Black” and “Looking for Loans in All the Wrong Places,” which chronicle the beginning’s of Roseanne, Jackie, Nancy (and ultimately Bev) opening the restaurant. We analyze the meaning of The Lunch Box in Jackie’s life and consider how it’s perhaps her greatest success — her own original idea, come to fruition not once but twice.

Join us for these Lunch Box memories plus our thoughts on gas station TVs, Cap’n Crunch, sentimental sitcom music, George W. Bush’s art, and how much we love Patton Oswalt. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify!