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Series / The Conners

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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, 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.

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The spinoff was renewed for a second season on March 22, 2019.

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


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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Comforting the Widow: The pilot episode sees Dan getting a lot of support, including free drinks from a bartender, as consolation to him for the loss of his wife.
  • Continuity Nod: DJ's wife Geena isn't a new character: she was mentioned in a single episode almost twenty-five years ago, where she was the little girl DJ didn't want to kiss for a school play.
  • 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: 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.
  • Downer Beginning: The series picks off from where the Conner family is still mourning Roseanne's death. Dan is taking it the hardest.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Halloween Episode: "There Won't Be Blood"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mama Bear: As the Halloween episode showcased, Darlene is one fierce Mama Bear when it concerns her kids.
  • 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.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Meta example. Unlike Two and a Half Men, who clashed with and wrote off their star 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, of course) and is often mentioned verbally as being missed and loved.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Role Reprisal: Most of the cast of Roseanne's final season reprise their roles. The most notable exceptions are Xosha Roquemore, who was replaced by Maya Lynne Robinson as D.J.'s wife Geena, and Roseanne herself. To wit:
    • John Goodman as Dan Conner.
    • Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris.
    • Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner.
    • Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy.
    • Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy.
    • Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner.
    • Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner.
    • Jayden Rey as Mary Conner.
    • Estelle Parsons as Bev Harris.
    • Natalie West as Crystal Anderson-Conner.
    • James Pickens, Jr. as Chuckie Mitchell.
    • Johnny Galecki as David Healy.
    • Sarah Chalke, Becky #2, as Andrea.
  • 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.
  • Team Mom: In the wake of Roseanne's death, Darlene and Jackie have stepped up to be the co-matriarchs of the family.
  • 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.

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