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 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!

S2 E16: Sister Stories

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Hi folks! In our latest episode, “Sister Stories,” we discuss The Conners episode “Pilot Lights and Sister Fights,” which focuses on the romantic reunion of Dan and Louise and a flare-up of tension between Darlene and Becky, who has been bonding lately with Darlene’s BF Ben (Jay R. Ferguson). Darlene’s stress over trying to have a baby seems to trigger her old feelings of insecurity related to her sister, who has always been considered the more “popular” and personable of the two Conner girls. We analyze this new conflict in relationship to classic Roseanne season 7 episode “Rear Window,” in which Becky and David start to become close while he and Darlene are broken up. Oh, and this episode also features a hilarious A-plot of Roseanne and Dan peeping at their new, VERY elderly nudist neighbors who don’t seem to catch onto Roseanne’s witticisms about “crack” and “Uranus.” Join us as we dive into these episodes and other pertinent issues like the classic stoner film 9 to 5; Maura’s illustrious childhood turn in The Velveteen Rabbit; the mysterious, sartorially-challenged nature of keyboardists; Arby’s, and more!

S2 Ep 15: Bev!

In this podcast episode, we focus in on the dowager Harris, Bev. The world’s nitpicking-est mom, the devotion-seeking grandmother, the ever-youthful-and-probably-a-vampire Bev, so perfectly portrayed by also likely-to-be immortal Estelle Parsons. We begin by talking about recent The Conners episode, “The Ice Woman Cometh,” which finds Bev returned to Lanford with money in hand for precious Mark’s summer camp for smartypants. Darlene pursues equal money for Harris, betraying the deserving Mark in cold fashion. We question Harris’s inexplicable new career aspiration – to go to tattoo school (Listen. That’s really not a thing.) And Dan’s heart breaks over Louise, but at least we get to see Katey Segal rock with a full band. Next, we discuss the similar original series episode from Season 5, entitled “Mommy Nearest,” wherein Bev gives Jackie and Roseanne $10,000 each from her divorce settlement, with the caveat that she’s moving to Lanford. You can imagine how Jackie and Dan react. There’s a LOT of horse talk in this episode, as well as a detailed description of a totally problematic Jackie sweater, and a rant connecting Breaking Bad and Tiger King. Please join us!

S2 Episode 13: The Salads of My Youth

Hey everyone, we’ve got a nice one here for you—another trip to Season 3 of the original series, to visit the episode entitled “Home Ec.” This one finds Roseanne giving a lesson in feeding a family to Darlene’s Home Economics class. Here, we digress an awful lot, mostly about the presence of a teeny Leo DiCaprio in the background of Darlene’s classroom, and about our own junior high school Home Ec nightmares. Mostly, we talk about salad dressing. Catalina? What the *&% is that?

S2 Episode 11: If I Were Dwight

Hey listeners! After a short delay, we present to you our most recent discussion of two recent episodes of The Conners, which we’re calling, “If I were Dwight.” In this, we take on “Live from Lanford,” the live episode written around the New Hampshire primaries – a fun and successful effort in live broadcasting, we think. We do feel sad about Dan and Louise’s breakup, but we also think it’s a little weird that everyone acts like her 3-month tour is such a lengthy time away. Like, why can’t she go on tour AND stick it out with Dan, you know? Harris is still an a-hole, but Mark is a cutie pie. The main thing, though, is that our friend Dwight is such a PAL to Louise and to Dan, and he’s really delivering the goods in terms of Lanford’s Steel Magnolias spinoff. We also discuss the episode following, “Brothers, Babies, and Breakdowns,” in which Ben gets really intense about wanting a baby all of the sudden. While we think he’s a Hot Dad™, we think he’s putting way too much pressure on Darlene to do something she doesn’t want to do. Dwight, again, is perfect as he shows up, breaks down, and pulls through (in that order) for the Lunch Box as Lanford’s next big stew chef. Thank goodness! Lastly, we freak out about the appearance of Little Ed, Dan’s brother and Crystal’s son, who calls on Dan to help him deal with the aftermath of Big Ed’s death. HOLY CRAP. But, wait, what? Where IS Crystal? We hope you listen and enjoy as you catch up with The Conners along with us!

S2 Episode 10: Girlfriends, College Costs, and the Artist Formerly Known as Jackie

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We’re back with another installment chatting about season two of The Conners! Join us as we discuss the latest episode, “Mud Turtles, a Good Steak, and One Man in a Tub” (a lengthy title which we’ve matched with one of our own), in which a storyline about Harris’s college prospects and the daunting cost of tuition brings us back to Roseanne’s roots in its mostly sharp commentary on socioeconomic issues. Plus, we celebrate Jackie’s new friendship with Cheryl Hines as Dawn (who starts out seeming like a “gal-pal” but ends up a mere girlfriend), and her unexpected artistic talent, which reveals itself in a “wine and painting” class. Finally, we mull over Louise’s ultimatum to Dan, and consider how nice it would be if her band would just play on the show with David Crosby, already. Stick around too for our tangents on Black Mirror, Quantum Leap, student loan debt, and Katherine’s (amazing) bigfoot-related artwork.

S2, Episode 6: Stew of a Kind

In the sixth episode of our second season, “Stew of a Kind,” we discuss the latest Conners episode, “Tempest in a Stew Pot,” which finds Becky and Jackie plotting to open a new restaurant in the old Lanford Lunchbox — one that, improbably, serves only stew. Darlene, who holds the keys to their dreams in the form of power of attorney, rejects their idea, leading to a rift that sends Becky packing and on her way to Jackie’s house. We look deeper into Jackie and Becky’s close relationship over the years, analyzing a season 3 Roseanne classic, “Becky Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” in which Becky goes to stay with the single-and-swingin’ Jackie while fighting with her parents over Mark. We explore Darlene’s evolution from a mature child to the Conners matriarch, who in some ways has taken Roseanne’s place — at Jackie’s expense. Come for the analysis and stay for our tangents, from the story of Katherine’s first tattoo (it involves a toilet, an ex-con and a guitar string), Maura’s brush with Elton John, restaurants that are too specific and why no one under 40 listens to Pearl Jam. Join us!

Episode 25: Just Me & My Ganja

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Join us for our last episode of the summer as we discuss a *Very Special Episode* of the highest order: Season 6 episode “A Stash from the Past,” in which Roseanne, Dan & Jackie find some old weed in a drawer…and hijinks, sadness, paranoia, and pudding-pop-eating ensue. Not only is this a start-to-finish hilarious episode about aging and responsibility (named one of the best-ever episodes of television by TV Guide, an infallible publication), but it gives us an excuse to discuss marijuana moms, our favorite Drug-Free America commercials, Katherine’s amazing teenage drug experiences, Greg Brady’s weed habit, and memorable drug-related episodes of Diff’rent Strokes, Freaks and Geeks, Strangers with Candy, and Beverly Hills, 90210. As Jackie so succinctly puts it: “There’s a reason they call it ‘dope.'”

Episode 17: Paper Hearts & Teddies

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In this belated Valentine’s episode, Maura & Katherine explain the unexpected personal crises that kept them away from the podcast for a few weeks, and celebrate the fact that we’re back to discussing classic TV! We look at Roseanne’s only Valentine’s Day episode from season 3, in which Darlene has a crush on a boy improbably named “Barry” and Dan has a fear of full-figured lingerie. We also discuss other Valentine’s favorites from ’90s shows The Wonder Years, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and Frasier, and our own feelings of childhood anxiety and adult apathy toward the holiday. Bonus discussions include our wholehearted love of Leon (played by Martin Mull), our confusion about a certain type of lingerie (it may or may not be THE TEDDY), and the indisputable fact that Tobey Maguire shares a face with K.D. Lang. We hope you’ll join us for a little candy-heart-themed nostalgia-fest!