For Millennials. By Millennials.

The Conners Premieres This October: Here Is What We Can Expect From It

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Just weeks after ABC cancelled the reboot of its cult show ‘Roseanne’ over its lead star Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about former Senior Advisor and Democrat Valerie Jarret, the network announced its decision to bring back the show as a spin-off sans Barr.

The new series was officially announced by ABC in early June, and a recent official announcement by the network has confirmed that the wacky, quirky whimsical Conner family is coming back to ABC on Tuesday, October- 16th, at 8 p.m. ET. Fans have all the reasons to rejoice as their favorite show is not only returning very soon, but it also still compromises of its original cast without Roseanne Barr of course. We still have Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman, Sarah Gilbert, etc. Even the child actors Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara and Jayden Rey, who debuted in Roseanne’s reboot season, have been officially locked for a comeback with the new spin-off series.

The news of the return of the Conners minus their matriarch has been received with profound skepticism and dubiety by Roseanne’s 10.3 million viewers. How will this new show look like? Will it be able to recreate the magic of the original Roseanne? There are several questions, and to address them it is essential to take a tangent away from the recent controversy. Imagine ourselves in a parallel dimension, The Conners is an entirely original concept, and not last minute arbitration by ABC network to reinstate the calamity caused when Roseanne slung a racist tweet at Whitehouse’s sacred former advisor.  An experimental concept churned out, so out-of-the-box that it might work, and still holding relevance to conundrums of contemporary era.

Abrupt Departure of Roseanne’s Character

Musing on the show’s origins differently does reflect its future from the brighter side of the spectrum; however, this unfortunately is not the case. The show will have to willingly or unwillingly write Roseanne out of her Conner family. With space being available for ‘all a dream’ or a ‘parallel world’ joke, the spin-off series has opted for a more understandable ousting of Barr’s character, which series star John Goodman has confirmed to be no less than death. An episode or two of the new spin-off series will inevitably be dedicated to the show’s transit from 20 minutes of Barr to absolutely no Barr. This sudden rebranding will hopefully pour in appreciable ratings for the opening episodes, but will also address its plot of opioid crisis, which was left at loose ends in the reboot season’s final episode, in a stricter, more tragic tone.

Once the show gets not only over Roseanne’s exit from the Conner family, there will be new horizons available to explore. Barr was objectively not the sole torch-bearer of The Conner family’s soaring success on television, if that had been the case some of the other shows, movies, and reality programs, would have fared at least equally well. Over the nine year course of its original run, audiences warmed up more to characters like Darlene, and Jackie who dished out stronger performances to the table than Roseanne ever did.

The Conners Politically Different Than Roseanne

A vague synopsis offered by ABC includes: “a sudden turn of events that will force the Conners to deal with daily struggles in a way they never have before. “The Conners’ stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter, and love,” “The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.” If we translate this synopsis to life, audience can expect a much different socio-political front for The Conners. Barr’s open support for Trump’s candidacy often put the show in headlines; now with the Republican gone, the more liberal ideologies of The Conner family can be brought to light which earlier faded away via frantic-but-loving domestic dynamics. The nation’s political divide, America’s culture of racial abuse, vexatious realities of conservative politics, and Trump’s role in the spread of racism in America, are topics ‘The Conners’ is obliged to touch upon differently. Fans will be allured into listening to the perspectives of the members of the Conner family, the perspectives that were earlier obscured by the matriarch’s control.

Some Fresh Take on It

For the series to do wonders; however, some fresh brewing is required. Fresh talent must be added to the sitcom in order to breathe life into it. In the reboot season the child actors filled for Johnny Galecki and Glenn Quinn’s truancy. Likewise, fitting in a new character in widower Dan’s life with strikingly similar traits to his late wife will allow not just more drama, but also humor. New leads with better comic timings can be introduced opposite Darlene (Sarah Gilbert) and Becky (Lecy Goranson). The unexploited potential of Michael Fishman’s performance as DJ Conner can be given more momentum, and comebacks from the original show like Martin Mull, and Tom Arnold, can hail in the spin-off series to give it a rather versatile appeal.

The scarce episode order of Roseanne’s reboot season left its fans craving for more. More attention can be given to recurring characters like Beverly (Estelle Parsons), Nancy (Sandra Bernhard), and Crystal (Natalie West) with the new spin-off series. Viewers tuned into Roseanne for its realistic takes on pressing and taboo social issues, so an understandable resolution or dissolution of Darlene and David’s marital crisis can serve the audiences’ entertainment needs. Portraying Aunt Jackie as a clumsy replacement to her late sister’s role and showcasing her struggle in directly dealing with her sister’s family will definitely lead to hilarious moments, multiplying the entertainment quotient manifold.

Things can also be spiced up by putting Jackie’s personal life in better spotlight, including the return of her son or even her ex-husband. The Conner family last child, who was removed from the picture, in the series’ reboot season, can also be added as an eccentric addition to the already whimsical, quirky family. Financial pressures and economic struggles of blue collar families, neighbor issues, break-ups and heartbreaks, workplace troubles can also be revisited in an intellectual yet jovial manner.

To be straight, the show will open and continue with a strong sense of awkwardness and malaise, it is never easy to deal with the aftermath of sudden exits of lead characters, and it is even more difficult for comedy series where even sad holes have to be filled with piquant humor. Roseanne’s absence has created a void. However, if the other elements are correctly combined, The Conners will safely fetch decent ratings for ABC. It could retain the fan base of Roseanne. The fantasy of Roseanne is over. And The Conners are coming to remind us that on the foreground socio-political rifts have to be discussed in a certain way.

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