S3 E11: Good Golly, Miss Molly

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Join us for our latest installment, in which we discuss two recent episodes of The Conners, “An Old Dog, New Tricks and a Ticket to Ride,” and “A Fast Car, a Sudden Loss and a Slow Decline.” These episodes serve up a major dose of nostalgia in the form of Molly Tilden (played by Danielle Harris, she of the coveted ’90s mall bangs and child-star ubiquity who grew up to become “the Natalie Portman of horror,” according to an unverified Wikipedia quote). We follow these episodes’ two main storylines — one involving Darlene and Molly, the other Becky’s struggle with alcohol — dipping into some classic season 5 Roseanne memories along the way. We lament narrative inconsistencies (where is CHARLOTTE), Molly’s quick exit, and Ben’s lack of compassion while reveling in the chemistry between Molly and Darlene as they forge an unlikely friendship fueled by a night at the biergarten. Throw back a few Warsteiners with us as we chat about all of these FEELINGS plus Superstore, our love of Kids in the Hall and what makes movies about incest so damned compelling. Listen & subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S3 E9: The Anxiety Years

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In our latest episode, we do our best to catch up with The Conners by discussing “Panic Attacks, Hardware Store and Big Mouth Billy Bass” and “A Stomach Ache, A Heartbreak and a Grave Mistake.” We delve into the show’s realistic depiction of Darlene’s anxiety (featuring Dr. Fred Savage to the rescue!) as well as our own anxiety (Zoom-related and not), imposter syndrome and its relationship to class and gender. We also analyze Ben’s frustrating white-dude hubris, his relationship with Dan, and Jay R. Ferguson’s talent (he DID graduate from Evening Shade University). We also revel in the second episode’s Roseanne-centric plotline, featuring our beloved Patton Oswalt and a fun subplot involving Becky, Harris, Fatal Attraction, and coffee-table books. Join us for all this plus some extra nonsense about massages, furniture-store props, and fake maple syrup.

S3 E8: A Marvelous Night for a Moondance

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In our latest episode, we catch up on The Conners with recaps of “Promotions, Podcasts and Magic Tea” and “Who Are Bosses, Boats and Eckhart Tolle?” We’re happy Darlene’s got a promotion (though a bit confounded by her managerial style) and even happier that the increasingly hairy Ben is following in our podcasting footsteps. But did he really have to “quit” Instacart? Plus, Jackie and Neville trip on “tea,” Jackie preps for Jeopardy! and Dan’s boat envy threatens to ruin his relationship with his longtime friend and business partner, Chuck. We ask the important questions, like, when did Wellman’s get a union? Why isn’t Dan straight-up stoked about cruising Lake Michigan with his BFF (and beer)? Did Dwight and Jackie have a tryst? What exactly IS “herbal tea”? Is this the sink, are we shrinking?! 

Join us for all things Conners plus a discussion of our fondest hair removal memories, Van Morrison’s reactionary ways, Meet Joe Black, the most boring episode of The X-Files and our love for Bills Pullman and Hader.

S3 Ep 7: A Heavy Coat with No Closet to Hang It

Capital insurrections, inaugurations, a pandemic, and another impeachment, and yet The Conners keeps rolling along. We are catching up with what’s happened in Lanford lately in our latest episode, and it’s a lot! First, in The Conners’ “A Cold Mom, a Brother Daddy and a Prison Baby,” Ben’s mom, who doesn’t have a name and looks a LOT like Murphy Brown, has some intense news about Ben’s father. The inimitable Candice Bergen appears as Ben’s mother, whose elegance masks a peculiar likeness to the dowager Harris, Bev. Meanwhile, Becky rejects Emilio’s limp handshake of a come-on, and we have mixed feelings about it. We also discuss “Young Love, Old Lions and Middle-Aged Hyenas,” in which Ben tries to help by building a closet for Becky, and makes Dan unduly angry, albeit correct. And we think Harris’s new boyfriend Josh is cute and stupid, and a jarringly convincing portrayal of an interloper in political activism, centering himself in causes that don’t directly affect him. As always, we talk about what we’ve been doing and watching – there’s a little Night Stalker talk, and a tangent about an unaired British series featuring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson. Katherine gets a little bit imperious about teaching on Zoom.

S3 E6: The Conner Family Money-Making Death Machine

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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!

S3 E4: We’re in Mask Hell (and Other Complaints)

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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!

S3 E3: Take It In the Shorts? What Does That Mean?

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!

S3 E2: Wellman Revisited

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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!

Special Summer Episode: Mall Madness

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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.

S2 E18: The House at 714 Delaware Street

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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!