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!
In this episode, we discuss the semi-Halloweeny “Nightmare on Lunchbox Street” episode of The Conners Season 2. The revelation that Bev is still the owner of the building the old Lunchbox was in and that Darlene now has power of attorney over Bev gives us pause. We delight in Jackie’s justified rage at the audacity of Bev! Can you imagine—having that nest egg this whole time and STILL forcing Jackie to take care of her? Though there are some costumes, this episode doesn’t go all out on the holiday spookiness, and maybe that’s a good thing. Nevertheless, Laurie Metcalf and Lecy Goranson pull out all the stops on Jackie and Becky as detectives on the case of the lying grandma, and Estelle Parsons is probably a vampire, since she seriously does NOT AGE! Notably, we both wish the “DJ and Mary Thing” were its own episode, but we are excited to find out if the Lunchbox returns. To add to the fun, Maura has some fun Lunchbox and loose meat trivia! Thanks for listening!