Category Archives: Character Review

Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Darlene Conner

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series  Roseanne and The ConnersRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Having a sense of humor is a good way of getting through life. Having a sarcastic sense of humor is a great way of getting through life. On Roseanne and The Conners, Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) is sarcastic, creative, tomboyish and not afraid to speak her mind. The second daughter and middle child of Roseanne and Dan Conner (Roseanne Barr and John Goodman), Darlene is very much her mother’s daughter.

In her early teens, Darlene is very much a tomboy. As she grows up, she becomes very vocal about her art and her beliefs in animal rights and veganism. She also starts to date David Healy (Johnny Galecki), a young man who is usually the compliant one compared to his girlfriend. After a tumultuous time in Chicago, (where Darlene is in art school), she and David become pregnant, get married and bring their daughter, Harris into the world.

Though it appears that David and Darlene are headed toward their happy ending, their relationship ends in divorce. After Darlene looses her job, she has to move back to Lanford to live with her parents.

To sum it up: It would have been easy for the writers to create the typical compliant teenage girl. But Darlene is far from typical or compliant. Partially due to her sarcastic nature, she stands out from the pantheon of sitcom daughters. That is why audiences have loved her for three decades.

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Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Becky Conner

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series  Roseanne and The ConnersRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

The path of life is riddled with potholes, missteps and walls. The question is, do we let them stop us or do we find a way to move on? On Roseanne and The Conners, Becky Conner (played by both Alicia Goranson and Sarah Chalke) is the oldest child of Roseanne and Dan Conner (Roseanne Barr and John Goodman). The audience initially meets Becky when she is a young woman. Like many girls in their preteens and early teens, she is interested in clothes, makeup and boys. But though she can act like a brat at times, she also takes on a good amount of household responsibilities.

The challenges come as Becky begins to grow up. She becomes a full on rebellious teenager, complete with underage drinking and dating boys whom her parents disapprove of. One of these boys is the Mark Healy (the late Glenn Quinn), her future husband. Their marriage is emotionally and financially rocky, ending in his off screen death.

In her 40’s, Becky is single, dealing with addiction issues and working as a waitress at a local restaurant. When she gets pregnant after trying to be a surrogate for another woman, Becky decides to keep her baby and raise her daughter with the help of her family.

To sum it up: Becky Conner is a survivor. She has been through a lot, but has come out of the other side stronger, smarter and tougher. It is that message of resilience that appeals to audiences and why after two decades, fans still come back to this character.

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Roseanne and The Conners Characters Review: Dan Conner

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series  Roseanne and The ConnersRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

As I see it, the best thing about any art form is that among it has the ability to reflect the world of its audience. On Roseanne and The Conners, Dan Conner (John Goodman) is the all-American guy. He is an easy-going and hard-working husband and father. Married to his wife, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) for decades, they have four children: Becky (played by Alicia Goranson and then by Sarah Chalke), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), DJ (Michael Fishman) and Jerry Garcia Conner. 

Dan is a solid blue-collar guy. Over the course of both iterations of the television series, he has held a series of jobs from construction to vehicle repair to business owner. When the day is done, he comes home to his family and is very much a hands-on father. When he is ready to chill out, he can be found watching his favorite sports teams on television with a beer in his hand or playing poker with his buddies.

To sum it up: Viewers love Dan Conner because as a man, a husband, and a father, he is completely relatable. Though he has his moments (as we all do), Dan is an all-American every-man. He is all of us and that is why we love him.

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Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Roseanne Conner

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series  Roseanne and The ConnersRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In the history of television, housewives have been portrayed as paragons of motherly and wifely virtue. Their houses and their appearances were magazine ready, their children are angels and their husbands came home to perfect families. Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) broke that mold the moment she appeared on our television screens. She was brash, outspoken, far from modelesque and her family was imperfect.

Roseanne and her husband, Dan (John Goodman), have three kids. Becky (played by Alicia Goranson and then by Sarah Chalke), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), DJ (Michael Fishman) and Jerry Garcia Conner. In addition to her kids, Roseanne’s sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is always stopping by.

The Conners are the average middle-class American family and Roseanne is the average middle-class American wife and mother. She and Dan are juggling their kids, their jobs, paying bills, keeping their marriage going, etc. Over the course of the original series, Roseanne has multiple jobs, a breast reduction, and a fourth child.

When the series returned, Roseanne was still Roseanne. But with a new twist. While dealing with knee pain, she has become addicted to the pain killers. It’s what kills her on-screen while her off-screen alter ego, Roseanne Barr became a persona non-grata after some rather unsavory comments made via her Twitter account.

To sum it up: in being real and representing real women, Roseanne Conner and the actor that played her changed the way that women are portrayed on television. Roseanne was imperfect, complicated and faced the same everyday situations that the viewers faced. It is that grounding in reality that makes her memorable and lovable.

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Character Review Preview: Roseanne and The Conners

Dear Reader,

After completing my final character review for The Golden Girls, I decided to take a couple of weeks off from my character review posts.

The new group of characters that I will be reviewing in the new year is from…Roseanne and The Conners.

I look forward to your comments and likes in the weeks to come.

Sincerely, Writergurlny

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The Golden Girls Character Review-Stanley Zbornak

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

This will be the final character review for The Golden Girls. The next group of characters I will be reviewing is…..you will have to come back and find out.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Golden GirlsRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Golden Girls.  to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

When we get married, we hope that the person we are marrying is going to be a loyal, communicative and supportive spouse. We also hope that we will be married to this person until we shuffle off this mortal coil. But that is not often the case.

On The Golden Girls, Stanley Zbornak (the late Herb Edelman) is not exactly the ideal spouse. Married to his ex-wife, Dorothy (the late Bea Arthur) for nearly forty years, their marriage ended because of infidelity on his part. The courtship was just as contentious. A first date led to a one night stand, which nearly led to an unwed pregnancy.

After Stan and Dorothy divorced, he re-married twice. But he still popped in and out of Dorothy’s life. The result of these appearances were doors slamming in his face and insults from both Dorothy and her mother, Sophia (the late Estelle Getty).

Stan can also be shifty. Always looking to make a quick buck, he has the tongue of a salesman, but not the business person’s acumen to succeed. He thinks that he is a charmer, but Dorothy, Sophia and their housemates are not always pleased with his presence.

If there is one thing that Stan has going for him underneath the unreliable used car salesman shtick, he loves Dorothy. She also still loves him. There are moments in their post divorce relationship that reflect that love and the nearly four decades they spent as man and wife.

Though Stan is a comic character, there are moments where he shows that he has a heart and emotional depth. It is those moments and the balance of comedy and drama that make him a perfect character. When creating characters, writers often add a surprising quality that is not obvious to the audience at first glance.

That is why Stanley Zbornak is a memorable character.

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The Golden Girls Character Review: Blanche Devereaux

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Golden GirlsRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Golden Girls.  to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In our world, there are certain ideas about women and sex. When we get to our golden years, we are not interested in sex and/or romantic relationships. On The Golden Girls, Blanche Devereaux (the late Rue McClanahan) was the exact opposite of the stereotype. A modern version of Scarlett O’Hara, Blanche had her fair share of dates. Widowed for a few years, Blanche often waxed poetically about the South of her childhood and the many young men who came calling.

But Blanche is more than just an old Southern debutante. She was devoted to her late husband and her late parents. Though her parenting skills were not as strong, she tried, as many parents do. She also attempted to accept that her brother was gay, though it took some help from her roommates to finally respect who he really was. She is also equally devoted to her roommates, who pay rent to her as the owner of the house they share.

To sum it up: Blanche is a great character because she is vibrant, she is full of life and is complicated like the rest of us. As both a fan and a writer, I love how complicated Blanche is. I also love that she represents that a woman’s sexuality does not diminish once she gets to a certain age. That is why Blanche Devereaux is a character that television viewers will not forget anytime soon.

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The Golden Girls Character Review: Sophia Petrillo

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Golden GirlsRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Golden Girls.  to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

When it comes to women of a certain age, the impression is that time have taken their toll. At this point in their lives, they are living quietly, without the excitement of their younger years. Sophia Petrillo (the late Estelle Getty) on The Golden Girls proved that women of a certain age do not lose their lust for life just because their younger years are behind them.

Sophia was born in the first few years of the 20th century in Sicily. One of three children, she immigrated to New York as a teenager. After the death of her husband and being hospitalized for a stroke, Sophia moved in with her daughter, Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur).

The stroke took away Sophia’s ability to censure herself. This often led to conversations that ended with Dorothy threatening to send her mother back to the home. “Shady Pines, Ma” was often heard out of the mouth of an exasperated Dorothy.

Though she openly mocks her housemates, Sophia loves them as if they all were her flesh and blood. It is that love that sustains her, especially after Dorothy re-marries and moves in with her new husband.

To sum it up: It would be easy to create a character of a certain age who has taken a back seat to life. It is harder to create the same character, especially if she is female, with the same vibrancy and joie de vivre as a younger woman. Fans of The Golden Girls love Sophia because she is sassy, she is smart, but most of all, she loves her daughter.

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The Golden Girls Character Review: Rose Nylund

*I apologize about the delay in posting. For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Golden GirlsRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Golden Girls.  to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

The dumb blonde has been a reliable character trope for generations. But it takes a smart writer and a smarter actress to take that character trope into new directions. On The Golden Girls, Rose Nylund (Betty White) appears to be the stereotypical dumb blonde. But she is much more than that.

At first glance, Rose appears to be far from the brightest bulb in the box. She says and does things that only a naif would say and do. The stories of her youth often reference her hometown, St. Olaf and the Scandinavian-American family that she was raised in. While she may appear to be a dumb blonde, Rose is much more than the archetype.

A widow whose husband died while they were making love, it takes Rose a few years to get back into the dating world. She is employed in a series of jobs after losing her late husband’s pension. Though she did have a long term relationship with Miles Webber (Harold Gould), the relationship ended after they broke up and Miles married another woman.

To sum it up: It would be easy to characterize Rose as a dumb blonde. But she is so much deeper than the innocent that she appears to be. Rose is empathetic, kind, loving, sensitive and sometimes, not all there. But we love her still, regardless of her lack of intellectual abilities.

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The Golden Girls Character Review: Dorothy Zbornak

The next group of characters I will be writing about are….characters from The Golden Girls.

*-I apologize about the delay in posting. Life as it does got in the way.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Golden Girls. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Golden Girls.  to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

No one goes through life without challenges. The question is, is this person destroyed by these challenges or can they rise above them? On The Golden Girls, Dorothy Zbornak (the late Bea Arthur) has been through a lot in her 60ish years. Born to Italian immigrants in New York City, Dorothy grew up in a loud and complicated family. The oldest of three children, she has often been pushed aside for her younger siblings. In her late teens, after getting pregnant, she married Stanley Zbornak (the late Herb Edelman). After nearly 40 years of marriage, he left her for another woman.

Dorothy is known for her bookish ways, her sharp tongue and her grounded view of the world. She also has a soft side for her mother, Sophia Petrillo (the late Estelle Getty), who can also be a thorn on her side. Their verbal confrontations often end with the following statement: “Shady Pines ma”.

To sum it up: Though Dorothy has been through a lot in her life, she is able to rise above what has stood in her way. She may have her ups and downs, but the fact that she can rise above those downs is a testament to her strength and her courage. It is a lesson that we all can learn.

That is why Dorothy is a memorable and beloved character.

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