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Roseanne - Go Cubs + Netflix & Pills - Review

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The following article reviews both Episode 7 and 8 of Roseanne!

Episode 7:

Roseanne is the rebooted American sitcom, created by Matt Williams and produced by Roseanne Barr herself. It follows the Conner’s; a dysfunctional but typical American family, as they tackle all the challenges that life throws their way – including each other. In the newest reboot, we are reintroduced to a new ‘Conner’s family – the kids are grown up, the parents have retired, and everyone’s got a lot on their plates.

In this episode, Roseanne learns how to not be racist and I get what I want: more DJ content. It’s a good time for everyone!

So the episode starts immediately with Rosie spying on her Muslim neighbours, and within seconds, I’m cringing. Even the audience’s laugh sound hesitant every time Rosie jokes about her ‘terrorist’ neighbours and it’s just not a fun segment of the episode. Thankfully, she does get better later on, but oh boy. This one is controversial, to say the least.

DJ’s adorable little daughter, Mary (whose cheeks I want to pinch so badly – I love kids!) is having a sleepover at the Conner’s house tonight, and that excites the crap out of me! I wanted more content around Mary and DJ, and we’re getting it! Mary is the cutest little kid, and she doesn’t have a lot of lines in this episode, but just her presence being there for more than one brief scene makes me very happy.

Mary needs to Skype her mum, Geena (who is currently serving in Afghanistan), at 2am. Unfortunately, due to Dan’s recent job falling out, the Conner’s internet gets cut off, and Rosie resorts to borrowing internet off her neighbours. This, in turn, sparks a heart-tugging conversation between the Conner sisters and the Al-Hamaers. I mean, their youngest little boy sleeps in a bulletproof vest in order to make him feel safe at night – this whole scene made me want to cry! Rosie gets a little insight into how they feel, and how alike the two families really are, which is nice. Usually, a racist character never gets the development they need on-screen, but I like how Rosie’s mindset changed here. Later on, when Farah is getting abused while buying groceries, Roseanne backs her up without hesitation, and reports the racism. I hope Rosie keeps up that kindness towards her neighbours, and I hope that ‘check-out’ chick gets fired. (I also really love the line, “the ignorance of adults shouldn’t punish children”, it really gave me shivers. Well done, writers!)

Another controversial yet common theme that gets touched on this episode: veterans. While Mary was staying over for the night, DJ went to go see a therapist. The army refused to let him back in, and he’s struggling to adjust back to normal life again. I cant imagine life would exactly be easy for DJ right now, like most veterans – his wife is serving overseas, and he has to deal with readjusting as well as being a single parent. I’m glad he’s seeking out the help he needs, and if starting a business with Dan to restore and sell old motorbikes makes him happy, then I hope ‘Conner and Son’ really takes off. I’m happy we’re getting more of an insight into the older DJ. The main focus of the show always seems to be on either Darlene and Becky or Roseanne, so I’m glad some time was given to expand on the other existing Conner family members (I know my favourite changes every week, but I think DJ is my favourite!).

GRADE: 9/10. The whole plot line with the neighbours may strike up a chord or two with its audience, but this isn’t Roseanne if it isn’t controversial, after all! I love also that we finally get to know more about what’s going in DJ’s life – more of that, please!

Episode 8:

In this week’s episode, we’re taking a turn for the worst, as a night of ham and love reveals a scary revelation. Also, there’s sibling rivalry. As per usual.

It’s Rosie and Dan’s 45th anniversary! That’s crazy, I cant even begin to imagine being married for 45 years. And still, to this day, they love and care for each other with all their hearts. It’s so nice to see that, at the end of the day, you have someone who’s got your back, especially for 45 years. And it’s even nicer to see them celebrate their special anniversary with their children. DJ’s adorable speech makes everything just so damn happy.

The presence of painkillers and medication in this season’s plot has always been not too subtle, but not too obvious, either. It’s always been an underlying theme, to remind the audience that yes, Dan and Roseanne are old, and yes, they need pain killers. And having these occasional conversations be played on screen (like that scene where they were trading pills) becomes a nice reminder of the reality of their situation, here in 2018. It’s nice writing, and after having watched this penultimate episode, I think its also subtle foreshadowing, which I’m a sucker for.

Before we get into the climax of the episode, I want to touch on Becky and Darlene. While the show is called ‘Roseanne’, and Rosie is present in 90% of the scenes, I love that there is a second focus on these two sisters as well. I weirdly love watching siblings interact, especially because I see myself and my sisters in them. Becky and Darlene don’t always get along, but when they need to, they support each other, and I love that. Crystal (an old family friend of the Connors – I’m guessing another reoccurring character from the old seasons!) arrives and announces that she is retiring and offers her old job to the sisters. Becky is desperate to leave her job for something new (while I don’t blame her, I definitely prefer the Mexican-themed outfit more than the saloon, ‘show-girl’ style of the new job), while Darlene needs a job with full benefits to support her kids. Instead of fighting to the death (like all siblings do), Becky gives the new opportunity up, while Darlene suggests night school classes to become a restaurant manager. That double-edge sword of support (with the occasional, very mature teasing) shows how much they do put their family first, and I love that. Family is the whole point of this show, after all.

After having a sudden change of plans, Dan and Rosie celebrate their anniversary at home with a plate full of ham and a bottle of wine, which quickly turns into a bad idea. After a (very weird) conversation with a very drunk Roseanne, it’s revealed that Rosie has quite a few secret bottles of pills. Addiction to pain medication is such a heart-breaking but common issue in today’s world, and it can so easily ruin a person’s (or family’s) life. With all the other interesting themes that have been covered in this rebooted season, I’m not surprised that this came up. It’s sad but it makes sense – she takes extra pills for the pain to make up for the fact that they can’t afford the surgery for her knee. Thus, the addiction is created. That final clip of Rosie pulling pills out of her ice pack (that damn ice pack!) had me gasping out of both shock and sadness. Roseanne is not helpless, not in any sense, but everyone struggles, and she is of no exception. The whole circumstance breaks my heart, and Dan promising to do whatever he can to help her really shows how much he loves and cares for her, which is also just heart breaking. There’s a lot of feels, man!

The writing is so clever, the characters interactions are so gripping, and even Jackie’s weird personality makes me want to love this family for forever. I’m a very emotional person, if you cant tell!

GRADE: 9/10. That twist was very clever, and as we get closer to the season finale, drama is starting to ensue!

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