The Conners does what the Roseanne revival did best, without the politics
ABC, which has been keeping a lid on the Roseanne spinoff in advance of Tuesday's premiere, screened two episodes for critics on Friday with the agreement that they "not discuss, imply or in any other way reveal what happens to the character of Roseanne Conner." According to Daniel Fienberg, "Roseanne's exit from the series is handled in a way that's far more dignified and honorable than Barr-the-producer's exit from the show." He adds: "What The Conners evolves into almost immediately is what it really was at its best last season and probably always was at its best: a blue-collar family sitcom that has become a blue-collar sitcom about an interestingly varied blue-collar family composed of several generations and a selection of exes and only-occasionally-present spouses all just trying to make the best of a messy situation in a midsize Illinois town. The idea that Roseanne was the only comedy on TV tackling blue-collar issues was already a ridiculous piece of myopia that ignored One Day at a Time, Shameless, Speechless, Superstore and several other great pieces of TV. This is but one blue-collar comedy on TV, and it's a decent one. The emphasis that Roseanne put on politics in several early episodes last season is basically gone, but everybody involved with the show last year tried to emphasize that Roseanne was not now, and never really was, a show about politics. It's absolutely still a show about ideology or world-view, but it's that without ever saying 'Trump' or 'Clinton' or 'Democrat' or 'Republican' once. The questions are about how you pay for medical bills or how you raise children or how you handle difference."
- The Conners is lackluster, mostly unfunny and rather draining to watch -- Roseanne Barr haunts the show like a laughing ghoul
- What The Conners lacks most of all is a bit of the crazy -- it's like Two and a Half Men without Charlie Sheen
- The Conners has a familiar look and pace, and it's better than might be expected after an emergency "star-ectomy"
- The Conners writers struck what felt like the perfect balance between darkness and light
- The Conners makes a solid case for itself, but there's no escaping Roseanne Conner or Roseanne Barr
- Without Barr, there is an ease and lightness to The Conners that harkens back to the original show's heyday
- John Goodman and his character Dan seem a little adrift in this new normal -- he has to adjust to no longer being Roseanne's backup
- The Conners is able to live up to the original series that was overshadowed by the Roseanne revival's Trump slant
- It's a low benchmark, but The Conners makes the case that it's the best new comedy -- if you can call it a "new comedy"
- Roseanne Barr blames anti-Semitism for her ABC ouster
- Roseanne was the most popular show of 2018, yet it's not on anymore
- The Conners seems to be missing something -- and it's not Roseanne Barr
- ABC shakeup: Entertainment president Channing Dungey is leaving