Eric McCandless / ABC
Two groups of people do not care at all about how the first episode of The conners – Roseanne without Roseanne – it was. The first group does not care because they considered Roseanne Barr the real person so personally and / or politically harmful that avoiding this project, done by a network and a team willing to work with her until relatively recently, is a matter of principle. The second group does not care because they are so offended by his dismissal, technically, by canceling the program he was in and recreating a program that is emphatically. do not From now on, it is a matter of principle to avoid this project, done as the network does and the team that continues without it.
But there are those whose interest will depend on how the program is working since the premiere, and for them I say that the answer is: right and wrong. (And I also say: here are "spoilers", so I mean the descriptions of what happened in the episode I'm reviewing).
Surprisingly, the bugs are largely found in the comedy department. There are some very awkward jokes in this first half hour as the writers try to balance the news (not really surprising) that Roseanne Conner has died with the need to get at least some laughter. The dark comedy around death was actually a strength of the old. Roseanne. (Please contemplate the greatness of Laurie Metcalf shouting "DEAD FATHER!") But here, there is an early struggle for balance: the MVP comedy is Alicia Goranson, whose adult version of the adult Becky remains strong.
The character of Geena, the DJ's wife (now played by Maya Lynne Robinson, who replaces Xosha Roquemore, once seen last season via Skype), was presented without much context. We did not see her much with DJ, so what we know about her remains more told than shown. He was quickly entrusted with making jokes about how Darlene needs to find Jesus, a scene that did not work at all. Obviously, the idea is that the family knows her, although it seems that they have spent little time with her because she is in the army, but the audience does not. And giving life to her character by having her Darlene conference on religion, with jokes that were quite watery, was not the best way to serve the actress or the story.
But Roseanne It was always more than funny; It was about family and conflict and relationships. And there, the first episode of The conners The news that Roseanne did not die of a heart attack as the family believed, but died of an overdose of opioids (the result of addiction to painkillers that the series began exploring last season) affects everyone. Nobody harder than Dan (John Goodman), who thought he had successfully cleaned the pills from the house and was discouraged when he learned that Roseanne was still receiving them, and that he was hiding them.
There is also a delicate scene between Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Jackie (Metcalf) suggesting that while they are grieving, they are also trying to forge a bond with each other. And maybe, they hope the bond is healthier than the one they once had with Roseanne. There are hints of great things to explore here about Darlene's wishes of mourning to become the best parts of her mother and to avoid becoming the worst parts of her mother. And, in fact, Jackie has always seemed too dependent on Roseanne's family to give her a personal life, and her determination to rearrange the kitchen is the right way to visualize it, although the moments when they wanted that development to be fun were, again. It is not really successful.
It is difficult to say what the future holds for this family from a narrative perspective; It is difficult to know how much of this season the writers will try to devote to pain. There is certainly enough history with these characters to make an incredible show. But it has to be more fun, or it will not survive as a comedy.