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 E5: Becky & Mark 4 Ever

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.

S2: E19 – The Kiss, Part 1

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!