As The Conners heads into its Season 4 midseason hiatus, the ABC sitcom is keeping things hectic for the titular family and everyone surrounding them. And few things in Lanford could create more hectic chaos than the matriarch of the midwest herself, Roseanne Conner. The character’s legacy and influences have popped up a bit more in Season 4 thanks to Dan and Louise’s marriage, as well as Darlene’s crisis of faith, relationships, and motherhood. And so long as there are legitimate reasons to recall Roseanne’s glory days, fans are going to see them.
CinemaBlend spoke with The Conners’ showrunner Bruce Helford and executive producer Dave Caplan ahead of the Season 4 winter finale, and when I asked if there were any narrative areas they wouldn’t want to call back, they both agreed that everything is feasibly on the table. According to Caplan:
As Dave Caplan put it, The Conners has been bringing in references to Roseanne Barr’s iconic character not just through Dan and Louise’s marital status and their furniture decisions, but also through the narratives for the younger generations. Becky is likely just as appreciative for both of her parents’ guidance over the years during her sobriety struggles, even if we didn’t see her directly dig into those reflections like Darlene did. Maybe we’ll even see D.J. having some kind of childhood nostalgia issues along the way where he’ll also be taking a personal look back to how he was raised. Which was probably on a diet of Darlene insults and ham around that iconic kitchen table.
Showrunner Bruce Helford carried on that same train of thought in saying that references to Roseanne the show and the character are considered as they’re brought up during the creative process, as opposed to somebody’s predetermined motive to try and shoehorn as many callbacks as possible. In his words:
While things were obviously awkward early on in The Conners‘ standalone existence after Roseanne Barr’s exit, that was years ago, and it only makes sense for this family to want to cling to more youthful memories as the characters themselves get older. Even if those memories involve couches and chairs that almost definitely house their own ecosystems at this point.
Of course, part of this show’s draw is the generation-spanning lore that has been brought to life since Roseanne premiered back in 1988. And when I asked if there was an added layer of creative interest in looking back at past moments through a current-day lens, Bruce Helford said:
Joining lots of other shows hitting hiatuses going into the holiday season, The Conners airs its winter finale on ABC on Wednesday, December 1, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out all of the shows debuting in early 2022!
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn’t sound like that’s the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.