Anyone who has watched the “Roseanne” re-boot, “The Conners,” has seen the beloved and beleaguered working-class family beset by tragedy. The show’s former namesake, Roseanne, is no longer with the family. Her onscreen family struggles to find their place in the world without her. It is likely that television executives would like for “The Conners” (as in the show) to find its spot among viewers.
The show’s new premise is that Roseanne Conner became addicted to opioids after battling chronic pain. The last episodes that featured Roseanne Barr, who also starred in the 1988 original, found her character in need of surgery.
After she was fired from the show for making racially insensitive remarks about a former White House aide, Valerie Jarrett on Twitter. Barr’s attempts to apologize or explain away the comments came a little too late and were too unbelievable for most fans and critics. First, Barr cited popular sleeping aid, Ambien for her actions, then, she claimed she didn’t know Jarrett was black. Swiftly, (some are now arguing too swiftly) Barr was fired from the show that bore her name. Just as suddenly, “Roseanne” became “The Conners” without the family’s matriarch and namesake.
Roseanne Barr responds to her former show’s reboot
In what probably isn’t much of a surprise, Barr is not happy about what has happened to her character. However, the demise was one spoiler she let fly in comments in an online interview after her firing. Sources such as the A.V. Club, CNBC and others reveal that Barr did not want her character to die in the way she has on the show. In her words, the way the title character has died is both “cynical and horrible.”
In a comment that sounded more like the Barr the public was expecting, Barr took to Twitter to exclaim, “I ain’t dead, bitches!” A Reuters report states that Barr also released a statement which read: “We regret that ABC chose to cancel “Roseanne” by killing off the Roseanne Conner character. That it was done through an opioid overdoes lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.”
Some people who have seen the original episodes of “Roseanne” will no doubt find the comments less than genuine. “Roseanne” has featured its share of death, break-ups, and generalized low-feeling. It has not always been a “happy family show.”
Critics are not sure what kind of point Barr is trying to make. The motivation could be jealousy as the actress watches the show move on without her, or anger for the same reason.
At any rate, The Conners, for better or worse, have gone on. Somewhat. A still picture from the new season shows a distraught Dan looking believably aggrieved as his daughter Darlene appears to be taking care of his financial matters. Regardless of what the actress is doing in real life, on “The Conners” Roseanne’s absence is a force that has to be dealt with.