In our sixth installment of the season, we recap The Conners, “Drug Test, Protest, and One Leaves the Nest,” in which Harris joins an Occupy Wall Street-style protest while somehow managing to remain ignorant of pretty much everything about economic inequality in America, capitalism, solidarity and how to take a principled stand for something you believe in. We analyze it in tandem with a related episode from the original series, classic season 5 episode “Lanford Daze,” in which Darlene herself launches a memorable protest against the “meat-industrial complex” — in this case represented by her family’s own Lanford Lunch Box. We consider Darlene’s youthful shenanigans in tandem with Harris’s, noting the differences in their approach, understanding of issues and cultural context. We also parse the Conners episode’s second plot line relating to drug testing at Wellman and Robin’s (Alexandra Billings) revelation that she is trans, which leads to a discussion of anti-trans sentiment in popular culture (especially in the 1990s). Join us for these observations, plus more on Loretta Lynn, bad fashion of the early oughts, and what we’ve been watching, including the new film Ammonite and the mid-2010s BBC teen show My Mad Fat Diary. Hoooo doggies, we love these sandwiches!
Well, we hope you’ve all been enjoying safe and happy holidays. We’ve been on a bit of a break ourselves, though we will be back with more commentary on The Conners and more of the old show soon! In this episode, we revisit the elopement of Becky and Mark Healy (RIP Mark and beautiful Glenn Quinn), which is portrayed in the back-to-back Season 5 episodes “Terms of Estrangement,” parts 1 and 2. We find Becky to be egregiously hard on Dan as the bike shop goes under, and we spend quite a lot of time on the ways the financial situation the Conners find themselves in here connects to their current situation on The Conners. We celebrate the writers of the original series for their one-liners, non-sequiturs, and inclusion of the ever-vain Nancy and her newly liposuctioned butt. In all, we remember how young our Becky was, but how much she loved Mark (and he loved her, too!). As per usual, we digress into realms of pop culture only somewhat related to the topic at hand. Thanks again to Brenda for suggesting we take some time to cover these two kids in love.
Join us for a little Andy Rooney-style, “get off my lawn” crankiness as we catch up on the recent Conners episodes “Birthdays, Babies and Emotional Support Chickens” and “Friends in High Places and Horse Surgery.” First of all, we love the Conners, we really do — but we’ve got to talk about their appalling pandemic etiquette, from their chin-masking to their indoor-gathering to their ball-pit-renting. We also critique the often overstuffed, rushed nature of The Conners, parsing numerous fast-tracked plot elements, including a spontaneous baptism and Darlene’s sudden interest in middle management. What happened to the days when an entire Roseanne episode could revolve around a simple fart? Or a teenaged boss? Or a decision to become a trucker?
But look, it’s not all complaining — there’s some good vibes here, too, we promise! We’ve got praise for guest actress Alexandra Billings and adorable Emilio, plus lively tangential discussions of Hulu’s new Christmas rom-com (that is not very rom, actually) Happiest Season and Maura’s fond memories of seeing Ricky Martin on Broadway. Listen and subscribe on iTunes!
In this episode, we catch up on The Conners’ Covid Halloween and Darlene’s tough adjustment to her new job at Wellman’s—episodes 2 & 3 of The Conners Season 3. Like a lot of folks, we have more to say about The Vow versus Seduced, the appeal of The Queen’s Gambit, and the divinity of the pristine grocery store in Supermarket Sweep. We talk about the way the family deals with a cancelled trick or treat night in Lanford in “Halloween and The Election vs. The Pandemic,” and the emotional pendulum of the Halloween theme with the family crisis about Mary’s status as a latchkey kid (in 2020!). We also examine Darlene’s characterization as an elitist, and the odd juxtaposition of the mean-girlesque, juvenile social dynamics of the women at Wellman accusing Darlene of snobbery while calling her names and rendering their “high-brow” Marie Antoinette joke. We end on some final thoughts about the contrast between the first season episode, “Let’s Call it Quits” which we discussed in our last episode, and the anti-union-ish rhetoric of the conversation between Darlene and her co-worker Nicole in “Plastics, Trash Talk, and Darlene Antoinette.” Join us!
After a slight delay, we’re back in action with episode 2 of our third season! In “Wellman Revisited,” we discuss The Conners Season 3, Episode 1, “Keep on Truckin’ Six Feet Apart,” which checks in on our favorite family as they deal with the pandemic, resulting financial distress, and being served an eviction notice by Danny Trejo. When they hear Wellman Plastics — local factory and former workplace of Roseanne and Jackie — is reopening, Becky and Darlene decide to apply. This prompts us to examine themes of economic hardship, labor and the American dream in both classic Roseanne and The Conners. We look back on one of the most memorable Roseanne episodes of all time, “Let’s Call it Quits,” in which Roseanne leads a walkout at Wellman in response to a new and especially terrible boss. Are Darlene and Becky right back where their parents started in 1989, and will they get back on their feet? Please join us for all this plus digressions on the HBO docuseries The Vow, Katherine’s brush with cult membership, George Clooney, and more!
Welcome to season 3 of 714 Delaware St.! Before the premiere of the new Conners season, we invite you to look back with us on one of our favorite unsung characters of classic Roseanne: Bonnie Watkins, portrayed with down-to-earth charm by Bonnie Bramlett, a well-known rock singer who performed throughout the ’60s and ’70s as half of the duo Delaney & Bonnie. Bramlett, who befriended Roseanne Barr in 1990 and was cast on the show during a break in her singing career, served as Roseanne’s work pal and confidant during seasons 3 and 4. We dive into Bonnie Bramlett’s impressive biography and look back on some of her character’s finest moments, including her rendition of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” in the episode “Scenes from a Barbecue,” “The Bowling Show” in which we meet her husband Duke (played by none other than David Crosby), and other Rodbell’s adventures. We consider the robust world of friends and acquaintances that Roseanne had created by its fourth season and how characters like Bonnie made Lanford feel more real through their small but potent contributions.
As usual, we also discuss what we’ve been watching during our hiatus (The Vow! Schitt’s Creek!) and explore some nostalgic trains of thought such as all things Alicia Silverstone and Roseanne’s short-lived 1990 cartoon Little Rosie. Thanks for sticking with us!
Greetings, friends! We hope you’ll enjoy our special summer episode “Mall Madness,” in which we discuss the classic Roseanne season 1 episode “Mall Story.” The Conners, Jackie and Crystal are heading to the mall for a big sale—Dan needs shoes, Becky needs a dress, Crystal needs “taaaahhhhls,” and Jackie needs to admire the pecs on some storefront fitness guru. Laugh along with us at this silly episode’s absurd dialogue, and remember the days when you could not only leave your house and be near other humans, but you could spend hours wandering around one of America’s suburban retail meccas in your coolest jean jacket! Join us as we grab an Orange Julius, try on some synthetic party clothes at DEB, pick up some cassingles at Sam Goody, and check out the dirty novelties in the back of Spencer’s Gifts. Yep, we’re here to talk malls, malls, and nothing but malls, including other mall episodes of such programs as Designing Women, The Nanny, Stranger Things, and Daria, and our own favorite mall memories.
Hello all! This is the second half of our talk about “White Men Can’t Kiss,” Roseanne‘s episode about implicit racism and its effects. Here, we continue to deal with what we found especially effective about this episode, as compared to “very special” episodes about race on other TV series – 90210, for example. Starting with Dan’s awkward conversation with Chuck during the guys’ poker game through to the final scene in which Roseanne encounters Gina’s father (and her own racist assumptions), we unpack the successes and failures of the racial politics of this episode. While we do talk about the present, and the racism of our subject’s titular source, we spend our time primarily on this single episode. We hope you’ll listen and tell us your thoughts.
We’ve been wanting to do this one for a while, and the moment seemed right. This is the first half of our discussion of the classic Roseanne episode, “White Men Can’t Kiss,” in which DJ is supposed to kiss a girl (his future wife, Gina) in the school play, and doesn’t want to, because she is Black. DJ’s racist response creates conflict and concern between Dan and Roseanne, who both newly recognize and reveal some of the racist attitudes that they both unconsciously hold. In our conversation, we talk about what the episode does that feels very progressive, even now, and we try to unpack ways that this episode and the two series have missed opportunities to do and say even more about anti-Black racism. We are pretty academic and serious here, but we also accidentally talk for too long about Shia LeBouf and the movie Cocktail, as well as our mutual love of hand-me-down, mismatched bedsheets. We’ll post the second half in the very near future, so stay tuned!
Join us as we wrap up our discussion of season 2 of the Conners! In this episode, we discuss The Conners season 2 finale, “Bridge over Troubled Conners,” in which the Conner home is at risk of foreclosure, meaning hard times for Dan and tough decisions for Darlene and Ben. We explore our own love for the Conner house, the memories we hold there and the lived-in feel of the set, as well as our memories of our own family homes. Other topics include Becky and Emilio’s storyline and this episode’s excellent guest stars—David Pasquesi (aka “Stew the Meat Man” from Strangers with Candy) and Joel Murray (aka sad-sack Freddy Rumsen from Mad Men). We evaluate season 2 as a whole and express our wishes for season 3, as well as carry on far too long on such issues as laughter on TV shows, Sebastian Bach’s compelling turn on Gilmore Girls, David Healy’s potential future as a crazy cat lady, and our desire to spend more time among birds.
We hope you’ll tune in…and stay tuned as we look back to classic Roseanne for our summer episodes!