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The Conners Season 4 Episode 7 Has A Roseanne Problem

Once again, The Conners has come up with a plot that unintentionally reminds viewers of Roseanne’s absence from the sitcom and it is a problem that could have been easily avoided on the show. The Conners is a retooling of Roseanne that began airing back in 2018, shortly after Roseanne Barr was fired from the original series due to racist remarks. Essentially “Roseanne sans Roseanne,” The Conners has struggled with Roseanne’s exit for some time now, but occasionally the series does itself no favors by focusing on nostalgic plotlines.

For example, a season 4 episode with a subplot centered around the Conners deciding what furniture to give away to make room for Louise’s belongings inevitably brought up memories of Roseanne, only for the show to never actually mention its former star. When John Goodman’s Dan told Louise he would make room for her belongings, his screen family soon started arguing over what would and wouldn’t stay. It was then that The Conners proved Roseanne’s shadow still looms large over the show.

Related: The Conners Wrote Roseanne Out In The Best Possible Way

To be fair to The Conners, despite the episode title, “Let’s All Push Our Hands Together For The Stew Train and The Conners Furniture” (season 4, episode 7) only focused on the house’s furniture on one subplot. Since Dan and Louise’s wedding on The Conners, the show has mostly avoided mentioning Dan’s late ex-wife, and most of this episode was no exception. The main plot was taken up by Darlene’s new love interest and her fight with her daughter, a story that worked well. However, the scenes that saw the titular family struggle with throwing away old furniture since they all have sentimental attachments to the pieces made it feel jarring that none of the family mentioned their late mother while specifically recounting childhood memories.

The conversation did prompt some solid gags, like Becky remembering reading Dickens novels and hoping she would someday have a life "as nice as those orphans”. However, the scene’s premise was predicated on talking about the childhood of the Conners, so it was bizarre that no one mentioned their larger-than-life mother in the process. Ben and Darlene’s relationship proved The Conners could pull off moving, funny, and surprising plots that weren’t reliant on Roseanne. However, “Let’s All Push Our Hands Together For The Stew Train and The Conners Furniture”’s B-story was exactly the sort of nostalgia-centric setup that The Conners should either avoid or accept the need to mention Roseanne in.

Instead, the episode did neither and was weaker for it as a result. As strong as some of the jokes and character work are on The Conners, the series still brings up Roseanne-era events too often for it to feel like it has escaped the shadow of its predecessor. Focusing on the present would help, particularly since The Conners missed out on Young Sheldon’s cleverest move by not switching to a single camera setup after retooling the show. However, The Conners talking about the past of the characters when Roseanne was still around will do nothing to help the series move on.

More: The Conners Killed A Roseanne Character Off-Screen

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