The Connors is one of my favorite shows on television. I have been a fan for decades, starting from the first airing of the original Roseanne show. I was thrilled when I heard that the show was returning with a new generation of Connors, and a whole slew of great story lines to showcase life in America today.
“The Conners” follows America’s favorite family as they continue to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford. Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. will continue to grapple with parenthood, dating, financial pressures and aging in working-class America. Through it all – the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.
There are so many issues that the series is dealing with that reflect today’s society, it is important for diverse groups to see themselves reflected in this huge medium. From Mark coming out as gay, to Becky dealing with alcoholism and having a baby with an illegal immigrant, to the interracial marriage of DJ (to a woman in the Armed Forces) which has given us the character of his mixed race daughter, Mary Conner, and a transgender character. All of these are issues we see in America, and everyone needs to learn acceptance for all of them. The show presents them with poignancy and humor. Several of these lifestyles are part of my family life, so I am extremely grateful to see how well this is handled in The Connors show.
And after all these years, I got to interview Darlene Connor! I watched her grow up on the original Roseanne show! Via Zoom, we interviewed Sara Gilbert, and Ames McNamara who plays her son Mark , on the show.
We are in season three of The Connors and this interview was about tonight’s episode:
Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Mark (Ames McNamara) deal with the realities of virtual school. In this upcoming episode (airing Wednesday, April 21 at 9/8c on ABC), Mark is stressed and exhausted from studying for an important entrance exam so Darlene steps in to help, but her plan backfires. Both Sara and Ames have dealt with these issues firsthand in their personal lives as well,
Every parent in America, and the world, has been dealing with distance learning in virtual school. In fact, after a rocky start, my own son did virtual learning in Summer school, and then after the Fall quarter was able to take advantage of the situation and graduate high school early. He is one of the lucky ones. Many kids across America have difficulty with this method of attending school, and we get to see how Darlene and Mark deal with it this evening!
Here is Darlene advocating for her son, something I did often for mine, especially in elementary school! The income and status inequity is made clear in this episode, people with money and access to tutors have a leg up on poorer people who do not have that additional assistance, and that support helps to keep the income inequality gap in place. It’s great that this show is dealing with real world issues, it is what has made the show a success for multiple decades.
And both actors spoke from personal experience. Sara is the mom of several children, all different ages, and has had to deal with Zoom school for all of them. Like most parents, we often get stumped by the subject matter, and cannot even help our kids. From high school to elementary school, Sara’s personal experience is part of what she is acting about on the TV screen. I love how she shared she was trying to help her one of her kids with history, who figured out the school problem before she did! And as Sara reminds us, we are lucky to have this technology, glitches and all, to get us through.
And Mark is a teen who is also dealing with virtual school issues, not just acting them out on TV. He shared that in real life studying language (French) was most difficult to do with on-line learning. Plus, like any teen, the missing component of being able to socialize is not good for anyone, which Sara reiterated for her six year old, it is even tougher to keep that age group engaged with remote learning.
My favorite takeaway from the interview was learning that Ames had the same on-set tutor that Sara had when she was originally on the Roseanne show! How’s that for continuity!
Lastly, both actors were asked who their ideal guest star would be. Ames shared that his is Lin-Manuel Miranda (the show has done musical episodes in the past!), and Sara shared hers is Lisa Kudrow. Although, having Candice Bergen on the show as Ben’s mom is already a guest star coup!
I loved discussing these issues as it affects all of us, no matter if one is renting an apartment in NY, or a famous TV actress and producer. We are all trying to figure how to do Zoom school, how to keep our kids motivated, how to make sure they are staying on task, and how to make sure they are learning what they need to, to advance to the next school year! We are all in this together, and I love seeing how The Connors deal with these issues that I and all of my friends are dealing with as well!
And here is my celebrity selfie, via Zoom, with Sara Gilbert and Ames McNamara of The Connors!
And the group selfie via Zoom with Sara, Ames, and my favorite bloggers who I miss in real life!