S5 E11: Big Rigs, Bodysuits, and the Rock-afire Explosion

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We’re winding down season 5 of The Conners on our latest episode, discussing “Road Trip and Guilt Trip” and “Text Thread and the Marital Bed.” These two minor episodes don’t have too much to offer, though they do provoke plenty of speculation about topics including exactly how recently Jackie revived her career in the big rigs, whether there is an agreed-upon strategy for married couple finances, if an iPhone 4 would actually even work anymore, and most importantly, whether Chuck E. Cheese left his former ShowBiz Pizza bandmates to become the Foo Fighters to their Nirvana (or the Frasier to their Cheers). We enjoy more of Sara Gilbert’s tomfoolery this season and she cavorts around the living room in a leopard-print bodysuit, and we discuss Katherine’s love of another bodysuit-heavy program, Physical with Rose Byrne.

Join us for this random chatter plus even MORE randomness on the travesty that is the new Fatal Attraction series, our love of bad songs “I Wanna Kiss You All Over” and “She Drives Me Crazy,” Basic Instinct and the fantastic new season of You Must Remember This, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? and more. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

S5 E10: Nielsen Family Values

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In our latest, we discuss The Conners season 5 episode “The Contra Hearings and the Midnight Gambler” alongside a classic Roseanne from season 7, “Couch Potatoes.” In particular we compare the plot of the family trying to impress Mark’s music teacher – played by guest star Whoopi Goldberg – with the memorable Roseanne moment when the Conners were selected to be a Nielsen family and have their TV-watching habits monitored. These plots both follow one of the shows’ favorite themes: that the Conner family is, as Roseanne puts its, “white trash and we’re gonna stay white trash until they haul us out to the curb.” We consider Roseanne’s and Darlene’s attempts to fit into a “classier” or more highbrow echelon of society, and how through the generations, the Conners seem to become more and more secure in embracing who they are.

Join us for this discussion plus Becky’s short-lived gambling addiction, Ben and Darlene as Peanuts characters, our love for Sister Act, disturbing novelty t-shirts, the 2019 BBC series Dublin Murders, and much more.

S5 E9: Harris’s Decision

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In our latest long and belated installment, we tackle three recent Conners: “Adding Insult To Injury,” “Possums, Pregnancy and Patriarchy,” and “Hiding In and Moving Out.” We discuss Darlene’s job search (with guest appearances by Jack McBrayer and Jamie Pressly) and bad attitude, Becky’s even worse attitude and thwarted attempt to commit fraud, Ben’s martyr complex (the man loves to complain almost as much as he loves to mansplain), and Louise’s sudden decision to “stop touring,” which seems to mean she must also stop fronting her band and start teaching guitar at a halfway house (Becky and Louise spin-off idea: Halfway House of Rock). But the core of this episode belongs to Harris’s pregnancy storyline, which disappoints us by paying lip service to a pro-choice position while ultimately choosing the tried-and-true TV route: Harris decides to have the child and suffers a miscarriage soon after. We praise, however, the way The Conners continues to realistically represent a working class family’s complex relationships and patterns in this storyline and others.

Join us for all this plus digressions on Daisy Jones and the Six, Priscilla Presley drama, Yellowjackets season 2, she sheds, hobos, possums and the famous Brenda pregnancy scare storyline on 90210. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

*NOTE: Due to a microphone malfunction, the sound is a bit subpar on this episode. The issue is fixed and better sound awaits in episode 10!

S5 E8: Designated Basket Case: Family Trauma in Roseanne

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In our latest episode, we take a look back at two classic Roseannes that focus on Roseanne and Jackie’s father Al Harris: “This Old House” and “Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home.” These are two of the series’ most memorable episodes, as they reveal the physical abuse Roseanne and Jackie suffered as children and chronicle their efforts to heal — a process still ongoing for Jackie and Bev in The Conners. We consider the way trauma from the past seemed to shape Roseanne and Jackie’s lives, as well as how recent revelations on The Conners shape our own understanding of these episodes and all that remains unspoken about the Harris family.

We also discuss Roseanne Barr’s own public revelation, in 1991, that she was sexually abused by her parents — an accusation she partially retracted in the 2010s — and how she seemed to be wrestling with her own past during the years these episodes aired. We also talk about Roseanne’s then-partner Tom Arnold, who was seen at the time as riding Roseanne’s coattails but whose own childhood pain inspired a key part of “Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home.”

While this conversation can get a bit heavy, we have our comedic diversions as always, including string cheese, Barbra Streisand’s basement mall, MTV Beach House memories and more. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S5 E7: Caretaking and Memory-Making

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In our latest, we catch up with The Conners episodes “Stuck in the Middle and Stuck in the Past” and “New Pipes and Old Secrets,” both of which address issues of aging, memory, and child-parent dynamics. First of all, we have some fun with Ben, Darlene and Becky’s feud, including imagining David’s dynamic with Ben (should Johnny Galecki EVER return). We also revel in the show’s newfound willingness to refer to Roseanne openly and deal with her absence directly – an issue that comes up both in the plot about Dan’s loneliness and anxiety and Jackie’s efforts to find a caretaker for Bev. Most of all, we’re interested in the issues dredged up by Bev’s plotline – in particular new revelations about her abusive marriage and wounds that have yet to heal. Have we mentioned our love for amazing national treasure Estelle Parsons?

Join us for these discussions, plus enthusiasm for Poker Face and Party Down, the opposite of enthusiasm for berets, and Maura and Katherine’s memories of visiting Wisconsin Dells, midwestern Xanadu, as children. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S5 E6: Tales from the Lobo

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In our latest episode, we discuss The Conners “Two More Years and a Stolen Rose,” which takes us all the way back to season 1 Roseanne with a reference to “Dan’s Birthday Bash,” an episode in which Dan’s birthday devolves into two fights — one with a snow-plowing brute named Bobo (Eric Allen Kramer) and the other with an even scarier adversary: Roseanne herself. In “Two More Years,” Dan meets up with a wealthy former classmate (William H. Macy) at the memorial for his beloved high school English teacher and has to face facts about his life — plus another close encounter with the one and only Bobo! While side-eye-ing the somewhat convoluted plot (they are just NOW, at 60-something years old, receiving letters they wrote to themselves in high school??) and previously-unheard-of character Smitty, we cheer the revival of our much-beloved Lobo Lounge, the dive bar that has lived in our hearts all these years. We analyze the connections between these two episodes from over 30 years apart and what they tell us about Dan Conner, his evolution, and the anxieties he seems to return to again and again.

Join us for this rousing discussion plus a bit on Becky and Darlene’s living situation, our disappointment in Wednesday, the throwback trend of “case-of-the-week” TV, and more.

S5 E5: A Merry Merry Conners Omnibus

Happy holidays from 714 Delaware St! For this last installment of 2022, we’re discussing the year’s final four episodes of The Conners, exploring plots from Darlene’s job woes to Louise at the Lunch Box, from Harris’s hobo boyfriend to Beverly Rose’s new persona (Pancake the dog), and most important of all, Mom stuff: between Louise and Doris (Jane Curtin) and Jackie and Bev (the great and amazingly vivacious Estelle Parsons, age 95!). We’re overjoyed to see Bev back even though it is under difficult circumstances for the character, and we discuss the way Jackie’s relationship with her mother — and her own understanding of that relationship — has been thoughtfully rendered in The Conners. We also get to talk about some more Roseanne callbacks that have come up in season 5 — thank you for this, Conners writing staff! Join us for this epic 2022 wrap-up, plus digressions on Lindsay Lohan in Falling for Christmas, Tia Mowry Lifetime movie A Very Vintage Christmas, our thoughts on couches, baloney, and Christmas shopping, and much more. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

S5 E4: The Meaning of Halloween

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Yes, we know it’s almost Christmas — but we need to take a moment to reflect on Halloween. In this episode, we discuss The Conners “A Little Weed and a Bad Seed” and “Book Bans and Guillotine Hands,” this season’s Halloween episode that is tinged with Roseanne nostalgia and a bit of melancholy. We discuss the show’s increasing references to Roseanne, with Darlene and Becky both struggling to set aside a need to please and channel their mother’s more confrontational nature, and Dan trying to keep Halloween traditions alive despite his family’s apathy. We also take another look at Roseanne season two Halloween episode “BOO!”, which shows the beginnings of the Conner family’s Halloween obsession, and the origins of Becky’s understanding of the holiday. Join us for these topics plus digressions on Celebrity Rehab (aka “feel-bad TV”), Wednesday, The Watcher, book banning, recent film recommendations, and the psychedelic 1970s educational characters the Letter People. Listen and subscribe on Apple podcasts!

S5 E3: Is Season 5 The Conners’ Best?

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In this installment of 714 Delaware St., we barrel through this season’s first four Conners episodes in order to catch up with our favorite family. We laugh (a lot), we cry, we cringe, and we ask the question: could season 5 be when The Conners finally hits its stride? We’re loving Darlene and Ben’s chemistry, Jackie and Neville the odd couple, Harris’s personal growth, and the fact that we’re getting more of that classic Roseanne-style “hangout” content and silliness we love. Plus, Mark and Harris are getting drunk to Morrissey and Mary’s got a boyfriend — could it be the show is finally serving up the teen plotlines we all deserve? Will Mark flip the bird in the senior photo? Will Mary write her own “To Whom It Concerns”? It all remains to be seen. We hope you’ll enjoy this easygoing season along with us.

Come for The Conners, stay for talk of Katherine’s new Peleton, Shannen Doherty in the 2010 Hallmark classic Growing the Big One, our thoughts on both Sting and Chicago, the definition of “Rocker energy,” and our conflicted feelings on Morrissey. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

S5 E2: Roseanne Road Trip!

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Dear listeners, we are back from our long fights against illness to finally bring you episode 2! We’re putting the Conners on pause for a moment to take a look back at some classic Roseanne — and who doesn’t love a road trip? We’ve selected two special episodes, season 4’s “Kansas City, Here We Come” and season 8’s “The Getaway, Almost,” that both feature Roseanne and Jackie hitting the road for some sisterly bonding, complex emotional and family shit, and Riot Grrrl music. In “Kansas City,” the women find out their father has been having a long-term affair and pile into Jackie’s big-rig to go meet his mistress. We discuss this episode’s incredible writing and performances, and consider how much of the Harris family story comes together in these mere 22 minutes. We also look at how its subtle feminism compares to the much more in-your-face “The Getaway,” which acts as Thelma and Louise reference, Riot Grrrl primer, and mid-1990s pop culture handbook all at once. And: Jenna Elfman as Garland, the least edgy Riot Grrrl with the perfect ’90s shag! Slide on into the passenger seat and ride along with us! Plus digressions on Jeffrey Dahmer-related programming, Halloween faves, Thelma and Louise‘s continued relevance, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s genius for family dynamics, and more!