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Darlene Conner-Healy/Sara Gilbert: Mother Goth

It's funny, I always thought Darlene was the popular Conner and that young girls in the audience looked up to her (as a guy, what do I know?), but based on the comments on the Roseanne board, that wasn't true, there were a lot of Becky fans out there!  Next thing I'll learn is that actually Jerry was the favorite Conner. :)

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On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 8:19 AM, Tom Holmberg said:

It's funny, I always thought Darlene was the popular Conner and that young girls in the audience looked up to her (as a guy, what do I know?), but based on the comments on the Roseanne board, that wasn't true, there were a lot of Becky fans out there!  Next thing I'll learn is that actually Jerry was the favorite Conner. :)

I liked her until she hooked up with David.  Her character changed at that point, and I just didn't care for her anymore.  Before that, she was a tomboy, with a snarky personality, but all around good kid.  I do know teens change their personality (sometimes several times) but it was too much too fast, and it ruined the character for me.

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2 hours ago, funky-rat said:

I liked her until she hooked up with David.

I would agree.  I think that came after Roseanne's marital troubles.

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I liked Darlene until she moved to Chicago; when she came home for visits after that, she was an unbearable ass.  And then her decision to marry and have a baby did not ring true to me, so I could not connect with her during that storyline (I also found Sara Gilbert a bit awkward of an actor at that stage, which did not help).  But I liked her again in the revival, so I suspect I will like her in the spinoff. 

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Darlene was never a goth. She was a Holden Caulfield wannabe.

Edited by peacheslatour.
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I recall reading an article in a magazine when I was in high school (late 80's/early 90's).  It was in a teen magazine, but more like Seventeen than Tiger Beat.  It lamented that TV shows had a bad habit of starting with a female character who was awkward, nerdy/brainy, chubby, or a tomboy and then having them become suddenly popular, or boy crazy, or forcing them to lose weight, costing many girls someone they could look up to despite society's "norms".  They specifically mentioned Carol Seaver from "Growing Pains", Becca Thatcher from "Life Goes On", Samantha Micelli from "Who's The Boss?", and Jennifer Keaton from "Family Ties", and likely some others I'm missing, and the article was right.  And I specifically look for that now when I'm watching characters develop on a show.  And while they didn't turn Darlene in to some prom queen, they did change her personality quite a bit from her earlier personality (wisecracking tomboy, but still a good kid), which I found much more relatable than her later incarnations, like her comic book phase, her vegetarian phase, her protester phase, etc.  And they just turned her downright mean - she had been a smart alec, but they turned her in to snarking mean person who snuck around, lied, etc.  As I said before, teens personalities do change, but there was something just "off" about how they frequently changed her character, and then she ended up pregnant and getting married, which was another complete 180.  Just "off".  Like she was almost a parody of what they were trying to convey.  I think I'd have liked her better on the re-boot if she hadn't turned in to an apathetic parent who didn't want to work and didn't seem to care much about the bad behavior of her kids.  Even going back to the days when I didn't like her character, she had been motivated, getting her GED so she could leave high school, which she hated, and go off to college.

Edited by funky-rat. Reason: Continuity
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I really liked Darlene until the episode “Darlene Fades To Black”.  I think it was supposed to show Darlene battling depression or something but those episodes made me actually take Becky’s side which I never did.  

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On 7/11/2018 at 6:25 PM, Bastet said:

  And then her decision to marry and have a baby did not ring true to me, so I could not connect with her during that storyline (

I go back and forth on this. I really think in real life, Darlene would have gotten an abortion. But at the same time, she was pretty much pro-animal rights, so maybe she thought it would have been wrong?

I did like the spark that Darlene was starting to show again at the end of the first revival season, especially in her banter with Becky.

I also liked the realism that Darlene probably had a little success, but it wasn't enough to sustain a career and now she's swallowing the bitter pill of having a degree but working as a waitress. (With benefits but still a waitress.)

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On 7/13/2018 at 4:52 AM, funky-rat said:

I recall reading an article in a magazine when I was in high school (late 80's/early 90's).  It was in a teen magazine, but more like Seventeen than Tiger Beat.  It lamented that TV shows had a bad habit of starting with a female character who was awkward, nerdy/brainy, chubby, or a tomboy and then having them become suddenly popular, or boy crazy, or forcing them to lose weight, costing many girls someone they could look up to despite society's "norms".  They specifically mentioned Carol Seaver from "Growing Pains", Becca Thatcher from "Life Goes On", Samantha Micelli from "Who's The Boss?", and Jennifer Keaton from "Family Ties", and likely some others I'm missing, and the article was right.  And I specifically look for that now when I'm watching characters develop on a show.  And while they didn't turn Darlene in to some prom queen, they did change her personality quite a bit from her earlier personality (wisecracking tomboy, but still a good kid), which I found much more relatable than her later incarnations, like her comic book phase, her vegetarian phase, her protester phase, etc.  And they just turned her downright mean - she had been a smart alec, but they turned her in to snarking mean person who snuck around, lied, etc.  As I said before, teens personalities do change, but there was something just "off" about how they frequently changed her character, and then she ended up pregnant and getting married, which was another complete 180.  Just "off".  Like she was almost a parody of what they were trying to convey.  I think I'd have liked her better on the re-boot if she hadn't turned in to an apathetic parent who didn't want to work and didn't seem to care much about the bad behavior of her kids.  Even going back to the days when I didn't like her character, she had been motivated, getting her GED so she could leave high school, which she hated, and go off to college.

The characters on the 1980s shows were changed to broaden their appeal and boost the show's ratings. What follows ratings is revenue. It's not personal, it's business.

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