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.

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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!

S4 E11: A Very Special Conners Catch-Up

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We’re back, baby! 714 Delaware St. was on a brief hiatus but now we’re catching up with trifecta of Conners episodes: “Sex, Lies, and House Hunting,” “Triggered,” and one with a long title that starts with “Miscommunication.” First, we delve into the lives and loves of Becky and Darlene, pleased to see Becky kicking the loser Professor Glen-Glen to the curb, and excited at the prospect of the Conner girls moving out of the family home (but you KNOW there will be drama). Meanwhile Ben keeps coming around like an obvious blob-vious, and it seems likely he and Darlene will reconcile. We’re also happy to see old favorite Chuck (James Pickens Jr.), who is unfortunately dealing with his wife’s illness, and we celebrate the Return of Louise.

But one of these episodes is not like the others, so we must spend some time mulling the Very Special Episode “Triggered,” which handles the issue of gun violence somewhat effectively, if not subtly. We debate whether the episode is an accurate reflection of the working-class family we know and love, and whether it feels jarring dropped between two serial stories.

Join us for this in-depth discussion plus our thoughts on Benedetta, Lindsay Lohan, Criminal Minds, Kid 90, active shooter drills, and the wilds of Waffle House. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

S4 E10: A Legacy of Snooping

In our latest installment, we discuss The Conners episode “Hot for Teacher and Writing a Wrong,” in which Becky falls for her psychology professor (Matt Walsh) and Darlene accuses Mark of selling drugs — when he’s actually selling college admissions essays. We cringe as Becky’s interest in education gives way to questionable “feelings for” a professor she barely knows, and hope this doesn’t jeopardize her studies. We also consider Darlene’s Roseanne-esque tendency to snoop behind Mark’s back, and compare her plot line with the Roseanne season two episode “No Talking,” in which Roseanne searches Becky’s room and is tempted to read her diary. We ponder whether Darlene is a more permissive parent than Roseanne and analyze the generational differences between Becky and Mark’s 14-year-old drama: Becky’s “leave me alone, I hate you” approach vs. Mark’s the tell-the-truth and offer a rational explanation approach.

Join us for all this plus Maura’s detailed thoughts on Olympic figure skating and discussions of teacher-student relationships, diaries, and more. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S4 E9: Darlene’s Dilemma

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In our latest episode, we discuss The Conners S4 E11, “Patriarch’s and Goddesses,” a great hangout episode which features the one and only JOE WALSH of The Eagles (as Aldo’s dad). We revel in this old-school storyline that features Walsh’s character drinking beer with Dan, mooching, rambling, and ultimately jamming (with John Goodman on harmonica) over the closing credits. Just like the old days! (Spoiler alert: Katherine admits she likes the f-ckin’ Eagles.) We also enjoy this episode’s thoughtful Darlene storyline, in which she’s unable to handle Ben’s new lady-friend and must grapple with her difficulties in making the relationship work. This caused us to look back to a Darlene-centric episode from the original series, “Daughters and Other Strangers,” in which Darlene once again puts up a tough front to hide the fact that she’s scared to go to art school without David.

Join us for this Darlene deep-dive plus our thoughts on the following: natural deodorant, patchouli, and memories; what makes a good ’80s night; why Pat Benetar is always on the radio constantly all the time; the white wine age-cheapness continuum; and why Ghost World is our fave. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

S4 E8: Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterbeds

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In our new episode, we discuss The Conners “Three Exes, Role Playing and A Waterbed” and “Spills, Pills and The Midnight Lasagna” — but first, we have to get down to business re: our sadness over the recent passing of so many icons of television, music and film, particularly Betty White and Ronnie Spector (little-known fact: Ronnie sang the theme song to Roseanne Barr’s short-lived cartoon show Little Rosey!). We also dig into all the great stuff we’ve been watching over the holidays, namely Yellowjackets and The Beatles: Get Back. We’re head over heels for these shows and we’ll shout it from the rooftops!

But we’re also enjoying The Conners, especially these two zippy episodes that seem, frankly, inspired by our podcast, from the waterbed storyline and very familiar comforter (The Conners, WHY ARE YOU STEALING OUR MEMORIES) to Darlene’s decision to call it quits with the man we have taken to calling Fake Fred Savage. As usual, we enjoy dissecting Darlene’s relationship woes, praising Jay R. Ferguson’s hair, and sinking our teeth into some excellent storylines involving Jackie and Neville and Mark’s Saved by the Bell-esque obsession with pills (he’s so excited…he’s so…scared!). Flop down on your Big Sur waterbed and sail away with us! Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts.

S4 E7: Holiday Tidings & Heavy Furniture

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We’re dropping one final episode before the holidays! Join us for a discussion of The Conners episode “Yard Sale, Phone Fail, And a College Betrayal” in which Dan finds it hard to part with his and Roseanne’s old bedroom set from Montgomery Ward. We saw fit to pair this with a hidden gem from Roseanne season 1, “Canoga Time,” a fun and cozy episode in which Dan and Roseanne try to part with some of their beloved old kitsch in service of a rummage sale. We consider the connections between these two episodes and the meaning that kitsch objects and furniture seem to hold in both Roseanne and The Conners, and we also have fun diving into these episodes’ b-plots — from Jackie and Booker (George Clooney!) to Darlene and her new beau who, according to Katherine, has the personality of “a styrofoam cup.”

As usual, we can’t help to branch out to other topics, and begin with an in-depth discussion of the Hallmark/Lifetime/Netflix holiday movie-making machine, including takes on new films Love Hard and Single All the Way as well as favorites Snowglobe with Christina Milian (2007), The Christmas Setup with Fran Drescher (2020), and the elusive Shannen Doherty pumpkin fable Growing the Big One (2010). Happy holidays to our listeners!

S4 E6: Mothers and Daughters and Birth Control Pills

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In our latest, we discuss The Conners episode “Let’s All Push Our Hands Together for the Stew Train and The Conners’ Furniture” (ugh, that title!) in tandem with one of Roseanne‘s most memorable Very Special Episodes, “A Bitter Pill to Swallow,” in which Becky asks Roseanne to help her get birth control pills. We take a close look at Darlene and Harris’s fraught relationship and how they might be able to mend it after years of choosing control and defiance over mutual understanding and compassion. We compare Darlene’s parenting with Roseanne and Dan’s strategies (with Jackie’s help) in navigating Becky’s choice to have a sexual relationship with Mark and, above all, take responsibility for her life and health. We also can’t help but tie the conversation around birth control and women’s choices in these episodes to the threats currently facing abortion rights in this country. Join us as we dig deep into these mother-daughter dynamics and issues of women’s agency, plus discussion of Designing Women, Murder, She Wrote, and our dislike of fake Fred Savages.

S4 E5: A Vest, A Young Guest, and Darlene is a Pest

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In this episode, we discuss two very different recent episodes of The Conners. The first is “Peter Pan, The Backup Plan, Adventures in Babysitting, and a River Runs Through It,” a sort of non-Halloween episode that attempts to catch us up on storylines from Darlene’s spiritual quest (Darlene, you’re still doing it wrong) to Becky’s new life as a college student, Emilio’s new girlfriend, Harris’s romance with Aldo (whose children are portrayed as nerd-serial-killer hybrids), and Dan’s somewhat odd obsession with virtual reality. The second and our favorite, “Young Love, Old Love, and Take This Job and Shove It,” introduces one of the first in-depth storylines focusing on the now-teenage Mark, who develops a reciprocated crush on a young, Moonstruck-quoting goth lad named Logan. Join us as we plunge into these storylines as well as such compelling topics as vests and the women who love them (us), Kieran Culkin, The Babysitters’ Club, Saved by the Bell, and Katherine’s obsession with Cher’s aerobics phase.