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Roseanne (DVD) Review

Nominated for 25 Emmys and 14 Golden Globes, including three for Best TV Series - Comedy/Musical, Roseanne forever transformed the television landscape when it premiered in the Fall of 1988. Following on the heels of the upstart Fox network's 1987 sitcom Married With Children (which Fox created with Roseanne and Sam Kinneson in mind), Roseanne took the traditional TV portrayal of a functional and happy American family and literally turned it on its head. The brainchild of Matt Williams, creator of Home Improvement (1991) and writer for such hit series as The Cosby Show (1984) and A Different World (1987), Roseanne broke the mold of the traditional sitcom family and replaced it with the quintessential ideal of dysfunction. Attempting to portray a more realistic version of the American nuclear family, Roseanne instantly struck a chord with television audiences, and the series skyrocketed up the ratings - remaining a regular in the Nielsen Top 10 for the first seven of its ten seasons… Roseanne follows the lives a lower middle-class family living in a small Illinois town. The very definition of dysfunction, the Conner family is headed by quasi-trailer trash couple Dan (John Goodman) and Roseanne (Roseanne Barr). As Dan and Roseanne live out their less-than-ideal (yet loving) marriage, they struggle to deal with a host of problems such as lack of money, bad family relationships, and conflicts with friends and neighbors.

Along the way, they deal with the typical growing pains that accompany the adolescent growth of their three children - Becky (Alicia Goranson, later replaced by Sarah Chalke of Scrubs fame), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), and D. (Michael Fishman). Roseanne's younger sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), is also a regular on the show, and she provides added comic relief as she struggles to balance her myriad career choices with her search for the right man… The early years of Roseanne are sitcom entertainment at its best, and the writers and cast alike, issue superb performances. However, the show probably lasted a season or two longer than it should have, which is sad.

It's like watching an old sports hero play just a few seasons past his prime… The Roseanne DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the series premiere "Life and Stuff" in which television viewers are first introduced to the Conner clan. Roseanne must meet with Darlene's teacher in order to discuss a problem of grave concern - Darlene's incessant barking in the middle of class… Other notable episodes from Season 1 include "Dan's Birthday Bash" in which Dan's ideal night out is thwarted by a thug who picks a fight with Dan while he's playing pool, and "The Slice of Life" in which Roseanne must deal with her guilt in having yelled at Darlene after Darlene is rushed into emergency surgery for appendicitis… Below is a list of episodes included on the Roseanne (Season 1) DVD: Episode 1 (Life and Stuff) Air Date: 10-18-1988 Episode 2 (We're in the Money) Air Date: 10-25-1988 Episode 3 (D-I-V-O-R-C-E) Air Date: 11-01-1988 Episode 4 (Language Lessons) Air Date: 11-22-1988 Episode 5 (Radio Days) Air Date: 11-29-1988 Episode 6 (Lovers' Lanes) Air Date: 12-06-1988 Episode 7 (The Memory Game) Air Date: 12-13-1988 Episode 8 (Here's to Good Friends) Air Date: 12-20-1988 Episode 9 (Dan's Birthday Bash) Air Date: 01-03-1989 Episode 10 (Saturday) Air Date: 01-10-1989 Episode 11 (Canoga Time) Air Date: 01-17-1989 Episode 12 (The Monday Through Friday Show) Air Date: 01-24-1989 Episode 13 (Bridge Over Troubled Sonny) Air Date: 01-31-1989 Episode 14 (Father's Day) Air Date: 02-07-1989 Episode 15 (Nightmare on Oak Street) Air Date: 02-14-1989 Episode 16 (Mall Story) Air Date: 02-21-1989 Episode 17 (Becky's Choice) Air Date: 02-28-1989 Episode 18 (The Slice of Life) Air Date: 03-07-1989 Episode 19 (Workin' Overtime) Air Date: 03-14-1989 Episode 20 (Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore) Air Date: 03-28-1989 Episode 21 (Death and Stuff) Air Date: 04-11-1989 Episode 22 (Dear Mom and Dad) Air Date: 04-18-1989 Episode 23 (Let's Call It Quits) Air Date: 05-02-1989.


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