Season 6 of Roseanne is when the tone really changed, and the setup to The Conners started to make sense
By - Ok_Journalist_6810
I don't usually think about these things, but if I re-watch it, I will look for that shift in tone. The Becky character definitely shifted, not just who was acting, but the entire character seemed to change. So you may have a point. But from the angle of Rosanne herself, since this show is so much the actual person, and the lines between acting and real life sometimes blur, I wonder if things changed in Roseanne's personal life around that time that ended up being reflected in the show.
I believe your analysis is spot-on. There was a major shift in Roseanne's character at the beginning of Season 6 which was rendered even more apparent by the noticeable changes in her physical appearance. Behind all of that were the real-life changes in Roseanne Barr's life, namely the disintegration of her marriage to Tom Arnold. In some ways, i think the divorce gave her a creative spark that saw her through to the end of the series. Unfortunately, it also served to transform Roseanne Conner into an at times unbearable shrew.
I agree, and one thing that still messes with me about this period is the fact that a new, wooden, untalented and badly cast actress stepped in as Becky. The writers desperately tried to move her story along, but to me, it was like her character's trajectory just froze and didn't go very far, even through to the end of the series. But I agree with you on most of your assessment.
I love the stove episode. It is also the one where DJ finds religion....so many laughable lines.
One of my all-time favorites from any show came from this episode! It was something when DJ asked what religion they were so he could tell his new friends. Roseanne:Well, tell them that we're just good people. Dan: Yes, but we're not practicing.
OP: You are spot on-season six was when it got bleak... Loved it! Love dark, cynical-real!!
Sideline: Jackie and Fred - Fred's a good guy. Jackie's a good person. Things didn't work out. Okay. But it's not comedic. I watched A LOT of sitcom characters divorce (Barney Miller, Margaret Houlihan, Cleveland, Frazier, etc. etc.) Y'know what? IT'S NOT AMUSING, it's not funny, it's not comedic. If you're seeking to entertain, would you NOT put us through that grinder? Dramadey is legit, but divorce is simply sad.
I agree. I loved Fred’s dry humor. So great! I was very bummed to see them call it quits.
I also think this is spot on. Tom Arnold was on Howard Stern this week and really mentioned how the show took a different direction in 1994 (season 6). Their divorce began in November 1994.
He left the show around this time and in his eyes the show took a turn for the worse, but I disagree. It got more gritty.
I agree, Roseanne the character became angry, mean-spirited and abrasive, a far cry from the kind and caring character from the early years. I blame Roseanne Barr’s ego. She called Becky and Darlene “you little bitches” around this time, had annoying, freakish little tantrums and in general became lame and unbearable. Simply put, the first four years had heart, by the end it was all about Roseanne Barr herself trying to look strong and empowered at the expense of her character and the show’s legacy.
I agree. I also didn't like it, and the last four seasons, even with their occasional wonderful moments, are almost unwatchable.
Really nicely explained, OP!
For me, the shift started a little bit in season 5 and really hit hard in season 6, around the time Sarah Chalke showed up. It also suddenly felt much more like the focus was on Roseanne even to the point that she seemed to get most of the really good jokes and other characters mostly just set up her lines.
It was also, from what I remember, around this point that the mean jokes about being lazy and stupid because they were poor started. The Conners joked about money in the early seasons, but the jokes were never derogatory like they were in the last four seasons. In fact, the initial seasons were wonderful in part because they showed a working class family as literate and hardworking. The later jokes were less complex, played more on stereotypes, and just ugly. I definitely did not like this turn.
Wow talk about overanalyzing a tv show. Damn. Lol