Follow TV Tropes

Following

Series / The Conners

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/p15661268_b_v8_ab.jpg
Advertisement:

The Conners is a 2018 domcom on ABC, and an aftershow spinoff of the long-running Roseanne. The series focuses on the Conner family's efforts to get by in the wake of their matriarch Roseanne's death. Most of the remaining cast of the previous series, including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and Sara Gilbert, return for this continuation, with one notable absence — Roseanne herself.

The series was ordered by ABC after the previous series was abruptly cancelled following racist remarks made by its star, Roseanne Barr, about former Obama Administration staffer Valerie Jarrett. As a second/eleventh season of Roseanne had already been planned and paid for by the network (and valuable ad time - based on the first/tenth season's gangbuster ratings - had already been sold), it was decided to Retool said season into The Conners, with Barr being paid a one-time fee in exchange for relinquishing any and all ownership of the show and its characters; as a result, the show is being produced without any involvement whatsoever from Barr — creatively, financially, and otherwise.

Advertisement:

The spinoff was renewed for a second season on March 22, 2019. The initial order was for 13 episodes, but all parties agreed to an extension to 19 episodes, nearly a full season's worth; in fact ultimately 20 episodes would air. (The original Roseanne averaged 25 episodes per season.) The show was renewed for a third season on May 21, 2020.

This show's character sheet is shared with its predecessor over here.


Advertisement:

Keep on Tropin'

  • Absentee Actor: Several of the billed actors have been absent in various episodes, making it a cast roulette on who will show up on a given episode (one episode only had Dan in its stinger). The main constants episode to episode generally are Becky, Darlene, and Jackie.
  • Aftershow: One of Roseanne.
  • The Alcoholic: Becky slowly realizes she's become one over the course of the season, starting with when she begins working for Dan's construction company — Dan chews her out for bringing vodka to their construction site, and she realizes she's gotten to a point where she can't go one day without drinking. Her father gives her six weeks to get over the habit, or she's fired (he ends up firing her anyway due to her pregnancy). Then after she becomes pregnant, she catches herself about to drink an alcoholic beverage and reacts in horror, tearfully confessing to Darlene later on that she's become a drunk.
  • Ascended Extra: DJ's wife Geena was seen only occasionally in season 10 of Roseanne, as she was still stationed overseas and could only communicate with the family through video calls. She's back home in this series, and is thus bumped up to supporting character.
  • The Baby Trap: Becky attempts this with her restaurant manager Ramon, since he was the richer of the two men she had sex with. Thankfully, Ramon had a vasectomy.
    Becky: Normally that would be music to my ears...
  • Blame Game: The pilot episode "Keep on Truckin'" has Dan and Marcy Bellinger arguing over who is to blame for Roseanne's demise after Dan first blames Marcy: Marcy for giving Roseanne the pills, or Dan for failing to afford the medical bills for Roseanne's ailing health.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Becky and the family are shocked (albeit pleasantly) to find out that she's pregnant, as her doctor had previously told her that her eggs were too old.
  • Casting Gag:
    • In October 2019, ABC had a network-wide "Cast from the Past" week where sitcoms featuring a particular cast member had an episode featuring actors from a prior work of that cast member. This series' contribution, "The Preemie Monologues", featured Dan Aykroyd as Buddy, a poker player friend of Dan's. Aykroyd and John Goodman had starred in Blues Brothers 2000 as Elwood Blues and "Mighty Mack" McTeer, respectively.
    • Katey Sagal as Louise, Dan's new love interest after Roseanne's death. Sagal is best known for playing Peg Bundy on Married... with Children, which was largely considered to be Roseanne's direct competitor during the latter series' original run. In fact, Roseanne Barr was the original choice for the role of Peggy, opposite Sam Kinison as Al. (Both turned it down: she wanted a project where she had more creative control, he wanted to become a movie star.)
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Jackie's son Andy continues to be conspicious by his total absence or lack of mention. When Becky goes through the exact same situation Jackie did in Roseanne (pregnant after a one-night stand, will have trouble supporting the baby but doesn't want the father involved), Jackie curiously doesn't bring up how much this resembles her own past situation with either Becky or (after he finds out) the baby's father. Showrunner Bruce Helford admitted the writing staff have considered retconning Andy away as part of the "dream period", even though he was born in season 6 and his cousin Jerry - whose continued existence has been established - was born two years later in season 8... but see immediately below.
    • Roseanne and Dan's youngest child Jerry seems to have joined his cousin Andy in limbo. Although fleetingly mentioned in the revival of Roseanne, he was a no-show at his mother's funeral without any comment from his father or any of his siblings (when even his sister-in-law managed to fly home from Afghanistan, albeit a bit late) and hasn't been seen or mentioned since.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • DJ's wife Geena, carrying over from the tenth season ofRoseanne, isn't a new character; she was mentioned in a single episode of the original series almost 25 years prior, where she was the little girl DJ didn't want to kiss for a school play.
    • Roseanne's addictive personality was explored in several episodes in the original run, as well, including the episode where she started smoking and her addiction to bingo.
    Thank God for birth control!
    • David breaks up with Darlene again by telling her he needs to be in a relationship where both parties are partners, and that she's been more or less dominating their relationship since day one. To illustrate this, a clip of the two of them from the original Roseanne is shown, in which she does just that.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the show is still billed as a comedy, with the family still dealing with the aftermath of Roseanne's overdose hanging over their heads, the show is a lot more somber than its previous series.
  • Death by Racism: Interesting Meta-Twist on the trope, as it is the racist behavior of the Actress Roseanne Barr (who is still alive) that directly causes the death of her Character at the hands of her show's Writers and Producers.
  • Demoted to Extra: Carrying over from season 10 of Roseanne, DJ plays a significantly smaller role these days. Also, Harris, a key character in the revived Roseanne, plays a far less prominent role in The Conners, going off to "Not Important to This Episode" Camp for several episodes at a time.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Darlene attempts a grand gesture to make things up to Ben for cheating on him with David. She signs the divorce papers in front of him, but he's surprised that she and David were still married the entire time. Signing the papers does make Ben feel better, but then Darlene lets it slip that David dumped her first and that she had been going to couples counseling with him. Yeah, it goes poorly.
  • Downer Beginning: The series picks off from where the Conner family is still mourning Roseanne's death. Dan is taking it the hardest, initially refusing to even sleep in the bed he shared with her. DJ, oddly enough, is never depicted as being affected by what's happened (then again, he's a bit of The Ditz in this series).
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Roseanne ends up dying of an accidental opioid overdose.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Roseanne dies of opioid overdose having taken so many pills as she erroneously assumed the more she took, the quicker her knees would heal.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Bev's actions in "The Icewoman Cometh" get Darlene so mad that she wants to abuse her power of attorney to get Harris some needed money. While the others are onboard, Harris objects to this. Subverted in that Harris says she intends to play the long game, get in Bev's good graces to get into the will, and then take her for a wheelchair stroll near Lake Michigan.
  • Everything Is Racist: In "There Won't Be Blood", Mark gets harassed by his school principal for dressing up as Frida Kahlo, claiming that a white male such as himself should not dress up as a Hispanic woman as it is apparently insensitive and therefore cultural in-appropriation. Doubles as Hypocritical Humor because the principal is discriminating against Mark for being a white male categorizing him as far too privileged to know what it's like to be a woman of color.
  • Family Title: Reflecting its change in focus from Roseanne Conner to the general Conner family.
  • Five Stages of Grief: After Roseanne dies, Dan works through the grieving process, but his relationship with Louise hits a snag because he struggles with the fifth stage. He feels guilty having the kind of fun with another woman he was supposed to have with his wife. Becky says she understands, that it was easier to act like Mark was just away instead of never coming back.
  • Halloween Episode: "There Won't Be Blood" (season one), "Nightmare on Lunch Box Street" (season two).
  • Hate Sink: Jackie's brief boyfriend, Peter, who proves that Jackie's luck with men doesn't seem to have changed much in the past twenty-something years. He's a condescending, unbearably dull, stuck-up, jobless, broke, Know-Nothing Know-It-All mooch who makes Jackie not only pay for his schooling, but makes her participate in a school project of his where they both have to live like ancient Nordic people (which means Jackie does virtually everything, while Peter sits on his ass) and has her add him to her bank account despite having no money of his own, talks down to Dan when he gets called out on his behavior, and seems to be liked by a total of zero people in- and out-of-universe. After she catches him having an affair with another woman — and after he implies, to Jackie's face, that she's the reason why — she promptly gives him the boot.
  • Heroic BSoD: Most of the Conner clan have this reaction to Roseanne's death, even three weeks after her funeral. Dan initially can't bring himself to sleep in their bed (he ends up doing so in the tag), while Jackie goes crazy rearranging the kitchen all day because she can't bear to leave the house, feeling that doing so would mean leaving her sister. Jackie would show no further signs of grief until the end of the season where she has a drunken nervous breakdown at a restaurant that used to be The Lanford Lunch Box.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: When Becky expresses fear that her various screw-ups will cause her daughter to not love her, Dan reassures her by telling her with some stories of how he and Roseanne screwed up with her. The topper is them using a beat-up stroller found in an alley that ultimately folded up on baby Becky; both Dan and Roseanne laughed at this because they were high at the time.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine:
    • As noted above, Dan Aykroyd (John Goodman's costar in Blues Brothers 2000) appears in an episode as one of Dan's poker buddies.
    • Noel Fisher was cast to play Dan's long-lost half-brother Ed Conner, Jr., and naturally (given the show's fondness for Lampshade Hanging) gets to share a scene in his debut appearance with his Shameless costar, Emma Kenney, who plays Harris. Harris flirts aggressively with him only to be shut down when Dan tells her they're family. (He's her half-great-uncle.)
  • Insult Backfire: When Harris gets caught making pot cookies, Darlene chastises her but also Dan for somehow never noticing the smell. This leads to a brief argument over who managed being a working parent better, with Darlene finally saying Roseanne mostly raised the kids, not Dan. Dan simply retorts that they both know it was really the TV.
  • Irony: In the first episode, Becky and Darlene are going over the massive bills. Becky suggests just telling the collectors that Roseanne died, but Darlene points out that Roseanne actually tried that claim in the past.
  • Killed Offscreen: Dan's father in season 2.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility:
    • In season 1, Becky tried donating eggs only to be told she's too old for it. Then she gets drunk and has a one night stand with a busboy, believing she couldn't get pregnant. Afterwards, she discovers to her surprise that she did manage to get pregnant with her baby daughter Bev.
    • In "The Conners" season 3, after having no luck trying for a baby with Ben and seeing him being friendly with Becky and help her with her baby, Darlene lashes out at them due to jealously. After calming down, she reveals to Ben that the real reason she was angry was because she went to the doctor and was revealed to have scarring, meaning it would be little chance for her to have a baby with Ben. Ben assures her that if Becky could get pregnant after being told her chances were impossible, Darlene could too.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Becky mentions in "The Icewoman Cometh" that Dan has been working on the motorcycle in the garage since 1988 (the year Roseanne premiered).
  • Live Episode: “Live from Lanford” in season 2, with a subplot built around the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary.
  • Love Triangle: Darlene ends up in one with David and Ben for the first half of season two. Ultimately, both end up breaking up with her — David because he's been seeing a therapist who helps him realize their relationship is more or less dominated by her, and Ben because he found out about Darlene seeing David when he and the latter both showed up to change her tire while on the road.
    • In Season 2, Jackie finds herself entangled in an arranged love triangle with a polygamous husband and wife.
    • In season 3, Darlene fears this is happening between herself, Ben and Becky. Turns out she was wrong as Ben was just helping Becky with her baby.
  • Mama Bear: As the Halloween episode showcased, Darlene is one fierce Mama Bear when it concerns her kids.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Jackie is mistaken for a lesbian by Becky's daughter's paternal grandmother and aunt due to her short haircut. This is a minor Call-Back to Jackie revealed to being a lesbian in the original 1997 series finale before it was retconned.
    Tia: That one's a lesbian.
    Becky: She's not a lesbian. It's just her short haircut.
  • The Mourning After: This is the others' concern about Dan in the early episodes, as he puts on a brave face but never appears to deal with what he's feeling. "The Separation of Church and Dan" sees him go to a support group at the others' insistence
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Dan and a neighbor suffer this—Dan when he realizes he called out the wrong person for Roseanne's death and the neighbor for accidentally causing her death.
    • Jackie after slapping a drunken Darlene during their argument.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Meta example. Unlike Two and a Half Men, which made a big joke out of killing off their main character (rather viciously, at that) after clashing with the actor under similar (but apolitical) circumstances, the series portrays utmost reverence for Roseanne the character. Her death has affected the characters in several ways (particularly Dan and Jackie, of course) and is often mentioned verbally as being missed and loved.
  • Oh, Crap!: Darlene has this reaction when both Ben and David show up to help her change a flat tire while she's out on the road. In fact, her having this reaction is what helps Ben realize that she's been seeing David behind his back, leading him to break up with her.
  • One Drink Will Kill the Baby: Becky starts to take a sip of an alcoholic drink she's made herself, before suddenly remembering she's pregnant.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Bev, now that Roseanne is dead.
    Bev: No mother should ever have to bury her own child.
    Jackie: Mom, you're 92. You're gonna see all of us die, and then you're gonna get buried by a robot.
  • One True Threesome: Jackie/Ron/Janelle in their polygamous threesome relationship.
  • Parting Words Regret: Harris struggles with how most of her interactions with Roseanne before her death was constant fighting.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: The main premise of "There Won't Be Blood".
  • Rearrange the Song: The 10th season arrangement of the famous Roseanne theme song gets an update for this series.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Barr's ousting from Roseanne led to that show's cancellation, but ABC later walked it back and ordered The Conners to replace it.
  • Replacement Flat Character: Darlene's first love interest is Neil, a sensitive, quiet fellow quick to do whatever she says. Upon meeting him, Dan remarks Darlene simply got herself another David.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Roseanne’s death by opioid overdose has been a major problem in the real world and only started being addressed in 2018.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Dan discovering a hidden pill bottle has him raging against Marcy Bellinger, the woman who gave Roseanne said bottle. Ultimately Marcy turns up at his doorstep begging him to end the smear campaign, but he refuses, fully convinced Marcy was his late wife's dealer. When Darlene shows him a second hidden bottle belonging to someone else, he learns Roseanne was going to all kinds of people looking for painkillers. He softly tells Darlene to drive Marcy home.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Geena.
  • The Scapegoat: In "Keep on Truckin'", Dan turns Marcy into one for Roseanne's death attributed to drug overdose because it turns out that Marcy gave Roseanne painkillers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Darlene's first major love interest is Neil, a passive, sensitive guy quick to do whatever she tells him to. In other words, he's a new version of David, which Dan lampshades upon meeting him. It becomes deconstructed as Darlene realizes she's just repeating a pattern that led to a failed marriage, so she breaks up with him. This motivates her to look for someone different, and she ends up with Ben, David's polar opposite.
  • Team Mom: In the wake of Roseanne's death, Darlene and Jackie have stepped up to be the co-matriarchs of the family.
  • Three-Way Sex: In Season 2, Jackie takes her "thrupple" relationship with Ron and Janelle (guest stars Clark Gregg and Jennifer Grey) to the "next level" albeit being nervous.
  • Threesome Subtext: Nothing happened sexually between Jackie, Ron and Janelle yet but the husband and wife polygamous duo spoil Jackie with gifts, money and spa trips.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: "Nightmare on Lunch Box Street" ends with Jackie so mad at Bev that she finally kicks her out. Bev immediately goes over to Dan's house and refuses to leave, much to his horror.
  • Time Skip: Roseanne's death occurred shortly after the knee surgery she was preparing to have at the end of the revival. This series begins three weeks after that.
  • Wham Line: Dan in season 3 when he reads a letter and drops this: "They're foreclosing the house".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Dan's father dies in season 2, prompting the appearance of a fully grown "Little Ed", who mentions his sister but does not mention his mother Crystal or half-brother Lonnie at all, despite her having already appeared in the series.
    • Jackie's son Andy hardly gets any mention in the series other than a reference to college.
    • Jerry is mentioned once having a fishing business trip.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • At the end of Season 1, Jackie learns Peter has been cheating on her. She has a major emotional breakdown over it.
    • A storyline in Season 2 sees Darlene sleeping with both David and Ben behind the other's back, unable to choose between them. Compounding it is how she never formally divorced David. The truth ultimately comes out, and they both dump her. Darlene focuses on getting back together with Ben.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report