Tag Archives: Roseanne Conner

Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Beverly Harris

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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 image of the grandmother in the sitcom world, is usually one of two things. She is either the kindly, loving grandmother who gives advice, loves her family endlessly and cooks like nobody’s business. Or, she is the mother/mother-in-law whose has good intentions. But she comes off as pushy, opinionated, judgmental and thinks that she knows better than her children.

On Roseanne and The Conners, Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons) is not exactly the ideal mother/mother-in-law. But to be fair, her life has not been easy. Her marriage was far from easy or loving, used as a cover to legitimize the birth of her eldest daughter, Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr). In addition to being a former alcoholic, Beverly left her husband after discovering his twenty year long affair and watching her husband abuse their daughters.

Known for being pessimistic, negative and over-controlling (especially toward her younger daughter Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Beverly is not the easiest of mothers. Being that Jackie is in and out of relationships (and jobs), her mother tries to act with motherly concern. But it comes out as critical.

Presently, Beverly and Jackie live together. They are doing their best to tolerate each other, in spite of the the decades long sniping between mother and daughter.

To sum it up: Beverly may not be the perfect mother or grandmother, but she is the perfect comedic character. Though her comments come from a good place, the reaction does not always match the intent. But that is why she is a memorable character.

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Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Mark Healy

*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.

From the time we are very young, women are told that we are to find some version of prince charming (in whatever shape he takes), fall in love and happily ever after. While that sounds great in a fantasy world, in the real world, relationships and romantic partners are much more complicated.

On Roseanne and The Conners, the late Mark Healy (the late Glenn Quinn) was married to Becky Conner (Alicia Goranson and Sarah Chalke). Mark is a bad boy in every sense of the word, causing the parental hackles of Becky’s parents, Dan and Roseanne Conner (John Goodman and Roseanne Barr) to rise. He is not exactly the man they pictured their eldest daughter marrying.

Forced out of his house at 16 by his alcoholic parents, Mark is not exactly book smart or sensitive, but he is street smart. That street smart and his devotion to his wife eventually wins over his in-laws, though they do take the opportunity every now and then to make a joke at his expense. He is also protective over this younger brother, David (Johnny Galecki), but like any good big brother, he does give David the occasional ribbing.

Like the actor who played him, Mark died young. His nephew, Mark Healy (Ames McNamara) was named in memory of his uncle.

To sum it up: Mark may not be prince charming and may not be the first choice when a parent thinks of a future partner of their daughter. But he is reliable, he is steady and does the best he can to support his wife. I would hope that at the end of the day, that is what any parent wishes for when think of a future son-in-law.

That is why Mark Healy is a memorable character.

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Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: David Healy

*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.

On Roseanne and The Conners, David Healy (Johnny Galecki) is not the most forceful of personalities. He can be sweet, loving and polite to those around him. He was also susceptible to being pushed around by his girlfriend/wife Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and his older brother Mark (the late Glenn Quinn).

Like many sensitive and quiet men, David often loses out on potential partners because of his personality. He also has an artistic streak, but he lacks the educational experience that others have. Having come from an abusive home, he finds an ally in Darlene’s mother, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr). Though David is often compliant, he is no pushover and will tell Darlene exactly how he feels when he needs to.

Years later, David and Darlene have married and have two children, Harris and Mark. Their marriage has crumbled and David walked away from his wife and children. He comes back after meeting another woman and wants a divorce from Darlene. Eventually, David ends his relationship to get back together with his wife, but she has moved on with her life and is ready to move back to Chicago.

To sum it up: David is a nice guy. There is a saying: “nice guys finish last”. But I don’t think David finished last. He may have messed up every now and then, but he did the best he could as a boyfriend, a brother, a husband and a father. He finished in exactly the way he was supposed to finish.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

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Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: Jackie Harris

*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 an ideal world, our lives are planned out and we easily settle into those plans. We find the perfect romantic partner, the perfect job, have children and settle down to a simple and predictable life. But life is not always ideal. On Roseanne and The Conners, Jackie Harris (Laurie Metcalf) is Roseanne Conner’s (Roseanne Barr) younger sister.

Her life is far from ideal. Over the course of both series, she went through a series of jobs and boyfriends that never lasted. Lacking in self esteem and sometimes a little too flighty for her own good, she relies on her sister, who is jokingly perceived as a tad overbearing. Married briefly in the first series, the marriage started via an unexpected pregnancy and a one night stand. It ended in divorce, leaving Jackie as a single mother.

In addition to her dealing with everything else in her life, Jackie has a love/hate relationship with her mother. Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons) is constantly harping on Jackie’s lack of romantic success and her inability to hang onto one career for a serious amount of time.

To sum it up: Jackie’s life is far from ideal. But that is what makes her character interesting. Boring and predictable does not hold the audience’s attention. Interesting and complicated not only holds the audience’s attention, but it keeps them coming back. The constant ups and downs in Jackie’s life makes her a unique character and why after 30 years, television viewers still love her.

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Roseanne and The Conners Character Review: DJ 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.

Sometimes it’s hard to be the youngest child. On Roseanne and The Conners, D.J. Conner (Michael Fishman) is the youngest of Roseanne and Dan Conner’s (Roseanne Barr and John Goodman) three children. As a child, he was precocious, curious and not as worldly as his elder sisters. His encounters with Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Alicia Goranson and Sarah Chalke) usually end with names that only come from an older sister to a younger brother.

As he matured, D.J. began to deal with the same issues that every young man deals with. Unsure on how to deal with his burgeoning sexuality and feeling initially squeamish about the opposite sex, the adult D.J. is not the simpleton he was perceived to be as a child. As an adult, both he and his wife joined the military. While his wife is serving her country, D.J. is home with their daughter.

To sum it up: Being the youngest child is tough. But D.J. gets through it and as an adult becomes a responsible and mature member of society. Though he is remembered as a chubby-faced child teased by his sister and the young man going through puberty, he is known today as also the responsible father and husband.

Which is why D.J. Conner is a memorable character.

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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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