Monday, June 26, 2017

Roseanne - Season 4

I continue to plug away at my Roseanne DVDs, and today I bestow upon you my review for season four of one of my favorite sitcoms (s4 excerpt). Click here for my previous reviews of the first three seasons for those who desire to catch up. Without further ado, here are my key takeaways from season four…

-I think I need to kick off these bulleted lists with a job status roll call for the season. As I alluded to at the end of season three, Dan (John Goodman) and Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) decide to take a second mortgage on the house so they can open up Dan’s dream bike shop. Dan hires Becky’s (Lecy Goranson) boyfriend Mark (Glenn Quinn) on as his mechanic. A lot more scenes this season transpire at Dan & Rosie’s workplaces than usual, and it served as a better variety of scenery after three seasons of scenes mostly happening at the Connor household. I loved the dynamic of the Connors in the bike shop as many times family life would carry over into the family business. Things do not look up for the business at the end of the season, which is odd because I want to say I remember the bike shop being more of a constant throughout Roseanne’s run.

Roseanne helps out at the shop, but still primarily works at the café in the mall with Bonnie (Bonnie Bramlett) and their boss Leon (Martin Mull). I love this trio’s chemistry on screen as they seem to have a mutual love/hate relationship by the end of the season and it was nice of the Connor family to have Leon over for one of Dan’s poker nights. Roseanne’s run in the café as the worst waitress ever constantly had me cracking up, with the highlight being where she was having back pain in one episode so she had the customers start doing her job for her, and the customers being all the willing made it stand out even more! It was a bittersweet moment to see the café close up at the end of the season, but this was probably the catalyst for what I remember being Roseanne, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and Leon working at a more traditional diner later on in the series. Becky lands her first gig as a supermarket cashier to save up for a car and finally, Jackie takes up a new career path as a trucker.

-One of my favorite episodes this season features Roseanne getting hooked on bingo after Krystal (Natlie West) takes the gang out on a Bingo night. I can kind of relate to this as I progress into my 30s that Bingo has been an entertaining outing to partake in every couple of months. That episode also saw Krystal announce having her second kid during the show’s run. Krystal is an awesome character and I feel awful for completely forgetting about her before starting to relive the DVD seasons several months ago.

-Old school videogame fans will like that the then newly launched Super Nintendo is prominent this season when it is DJ’s (Michael Fishman) sole demand for his birthday. It is in the background throughout the season thereafter to the point where Rosie warns DJ not to waste his life playing games…I wished I would have heeded her advice.

-Shortly before he started work on ER, George Clooney reprised his role as Booker and made his final appearance on the show’s history in this season’s annual Halloween episode. Roseanne explains in a commentary for the Halloween episode that she had to battle to bring back Clooney as the writers kept coming up with excuses not to have him on. Barr said she is a huge fan of his and she had to fight for three years to get him to come back for one episode and then Barr stated that Clooney appreciated it but said it was probably for the best to move on.

-In seasons three and four, Roseanne gets awesome neighbors that she does not hit it off with and it was a pleasure to see their rivalry escalate. It was another bittersweet moment this season when they wrote them off the show towards the end of the season and had them move, but at least they had a hilarious exit where the Connor family gives them the five-star shoulder treatment when she wishes them farewell.

-Finally, season four sees Darlene (Sara Gilbert) go through a metamorphosis as she embraces her slacker/emo character I remembered her the most for in the show’s run. The show kind of overkills it at the beginning of the season where Darlene dresses in all black and confines herself primarily to her room for most of the season. I think the writers realized they went a little too off the wagon in this direction and they gradually weed her back into the family’s everyday happenings by the end of the season, but she is now a complete 180 from her outgoing/tomboy character she was in the first two seasons. Season four also sees Darlene starting her relationship with David (Johnny Galecki). I did not realize until this season that David is Mark’s brother and I lost it at his debut this season when Becky was suppose to watch DJ but she wanted to run off with Mark so they brought over David, who was a stranger to everyone else in the Connor family until this point, to watch him instead.

-There are a handful of extra features in season four. There are two short interviews. One is a five minute interview with Barr about Roseanne hitting its stride that season and the other is with Fishman and Goranson having random backstage anecdotes about the show, with the highlight being about how Goranson overcame management’s objections to her wanting to a haircut. Finally, Barr provides video commentary for the Halloween and Thanksgiving episodes this season and there is a handy factoid ticker that helps elucidate on some of Barr’s commentary and questions she raises. I dug these commentary tracks and hope the remaining seasons has more of them with more cast members!

-Oh hey, I almost forgot, since I recapped season three a couple months ago ABC announced they are resurrecting Roseanne this coming January! Badass! I highly doubt it, but in my moment of glee I will take a modicum of responsibility for my season recaps being helpful with the frothing demand to bring that show back! As long as it is better than the return of Arrested, Development! See you all soon with my season five recap!

Past TV/Web Series Blogs

2013-14 TV Season Recap
2014-15 TV Season Recap
2015-16 TV Season Recap
2016-17 TV Season Recap
Adventures of Briscoe County Jr: The Complete Series
Angry Videogame Nerd Volumes 7-9
Mortal Kombat: Legacy - Season 1
OJ: Made in America: 30 for 30
RedvsBlue - Seasons 1-13
Roseanne – Seasons 1-9
Seinfeld Final Season

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