The Conners: how does Roseanne survive without Roseanne Barr?
The retooled sitcom brings back the cast that surrounded the disgraced star for a competently realized, if formula-reliant look at suburban life without a matriarch In the wake of Roseanne’s cancelation last May, following racist tweets sent out by star and producer Roseanne Barr, many observers took to the site of her downfall to joke about looking forward to the show’s eventual return under the new title Dan. Those jokes proved to be pretty on-the-money, although the latest iteration of the series is called The Conners. It brings the rest of its cast back intact – John Goodman as the gruff-but-loving patriarch Dan; recent Oscar-nominee Laurie Metcalf as aloof Aunt Jackie; Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goranson as night-and-day sisters Darlene and Becky; Michael Fishman as the constantly ignored DJ; and the various newcomers and guest stars (including Johnny Galecki, Juliette Lewis and Mary Steenburgen) that make up their various kids, partners, exes, friends, neighbors and co-workers – as well as its trademark brand of character-driven humor suffused with working-class melancholy. It also retains its interest in issue-driven storylines (the two episodes screened early for critics, one and four, deal with addiction, sex, sexual orientation, healthcare and job security), while this time avoiding any explicit mention of current controversies and figures (ie there’s no mention of Trump). Like