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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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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'd say it's split about 50-50. 

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On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 1:52 PM, funky-rat said:

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

The other trend is keeping the youngest character "young" way past their sell-by date. So the poor kid has to act like s/he's seven despite being twelve (Beaver or Dennis the Menace or Cindy Brady), which is super creepy.  See also Dewey on "Malcolm in the Middle."

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16 minutes ago, Tom Holmberg said:

The other trend is keeping the youngest character "young" way past their sell-by date. So the poor kid has to act like s/he's seven despite being twelve (Beaver or Dennis the Menace or Cindy Brady), which is super creepy.  See also Dewey on "Malcolm in the Middle."

Good point.  I never much watched the show "The Middle" but their youngest kid (who reminded me a lot of Dewey) was forcing a squeaky voice long after his natural voice changed (ala Steve Urkel).

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1 hour ago, Tom Holmberg said:

The other trend is keeping the youngest character "young" way past their sell-by date. So the poor kid has to act like s/he's seven despite being twelve (Beaver or Dennis the Menace or Cindy Brady), which is super creepy.  See also Dewey on "Malcolm in the Middle."

Jennifer Keaton agrees.

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One thing Sara Gilbert never did was play young. Back to her and Darlene, please. 

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I think my favorite seasons with Darlene was season 3 (where she started getting interested in boys, awkwardly trying to impress a boy, and battling between being a tomboy and going to her first dance)... I hated the show turning Darlene into a morbid Wednesday Addams wannabe (I recall that the reason for Darlene's change in season 4 was because one of Roseanne's daughters in real life entered a more morbid/wearing only black stage in real life).  And the other season I liked Darlene in was in season 5 where she had a good balance between the season 1 through 3 Darlene and the more morbid season 4 Darlene.  It is a shame that the show turned Darlene into a harsh person from season 6 through 9. 

Imagine my surprise in the revival that Darlene was back to being more like original recipe Darlene with a slight touch of the morbid Darlene of season 4. (i.e closer to season 5 Darlene than season 6 through 9).

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On 9/29/2018 at 4:46 PM, JAYJAY1979 said:

I think my favorite seasons with Darlene was season 3 (where she started getting interested in boys, awkwardly trying to impress a boy, and battling between being a tomboy and going to her first dance)... I hated the show turning Darlene into a morbid Wednesday Addams wannabe (I recall that the reason for Darlene's change in season 4 was because one of Roseanne's daughters in real life entered a more morbid/wearing only black stage in real life).  And the other season I liked Darlene in was in season 5 where she had a good balance between the season 1 through 3 Darlene and the more morbid season 4 Darlene.  It is a shame that the show turned Darlene into a harsh person from season 6 through 9. 

Imagine my surprise in the revival that Darlene was back to being more like original recipe Darlene with a slight touch of the morbid Darlene of season 4. (i.e closer to season 5 Darlene than season 6 through 9).

I tend to agree with your assessment of Darlene EXCEPT.....I see more of  Seasons 1-5 with more emotion in the revival. I've seen her in a few spots on dramas and I think she does quite well. With everything going on in Sara's life I hope Darlene and The Conners do her well.

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I love the character of Darlene and Sara does such a great job with her-  I was especially impressed last season to see her as a mom and struggling.  I think Sara Gilbert has such a streak of sensitivity and that comes through Darlene.   I’m super excited to see her in The Conners.  

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Sara Gilbert is a real back stabber. Rosanne hired Sara with almost no experience and made her a household face and name. Then Sara scabbed rather than standing up for her mentor. On her other show the Talk, which she only got because of the fame Rosanne provider her, she threw co-host Julie Chen under the bus. Sara is quick to throw stones at others imperfections, especially when considering what a glass house Sara lives in.

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9 minutes ago, CherryAmes said:

  She didn't really need to be on Roseanne to have her chance at fame and fortune.

Well for that matter it was because of her that Roseanne Barr had her chance to get back on TV.  From what I've read it was Gilbert who was behind the reboot - so if anyone should be pissed off about being stabbed in the back here it's Sara Gilbert not Roseanne Barr!  Unless they can pull it off (and I'm rooting for them but not holding my breath here) The Conners won't last long.

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2 hours ago, BlossomCulp said:

Well for that matter it was because of her that Roseanne Barr had her chance to get back on TV.  From what I've read it was Gilbert who was behind the reboot - so if anyone should be pissed off about being stabbed in the back here it's Sara Gilbert not Roseanne Barr!  Unless they can pull it off (and I'm rooting for them but not holding my breath here) The Conners won't last long.

Is there a place to show that is the case?  Because of Sara Gilbert Roseanne got a chance to be back on tv?  I'm honestly shocked it's her but love to read where it was Sara.  Never heard anything about Sara being behind Roseanne getting her chance  to get back on tv.  I mean Sara isn't even on a major show to have that kind of pull.  Does she?

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https://ew.com/tv/2017/09/06/sara-gilbert-roseanne-reboot-right-time/

 

This is an old article that came out well before the original reboot went on the air.   It says in it:

Quote

She is now poised to not only star in but also executive produce the reboot.  Gilbert tells EW that she spearheaded the upcoming revival of the sitcom, but that it was “ripe to be spearheaded.” When she approached the original cast members, they all said ‘yes’ in what she calls a “magical” experience.

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16 hours ago, Crucial said:

Is there a place to show that is the case?  Because of Sara Gilbert Roseanne got a chance to be back on tv?  I'm honestly shocked it's her but love to read where it was Sara.  Never heard anything about Sara being behind Roseanne getting her chance  to get back on tv.  I mean Sara isn't even on a major show to have that kind of pull.  Does she?

She's an executive producer of The Talk. She's been in a few movies and was re-curring on the hit CBS show The Big Bang Theory.

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Sara's family is very well known. Her Grandfather was  Harry Crane and created the Honeymooners. I've seen her do many guests spots in drama throughout the years. I remember her first commercial as a Kool Aid kid. 

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2 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

She's an executive producer of The Talk. She's been in a few movies and was re-curring on the hit CBS show The Big Bang Theory.

Wasn't she in a movie with Drew Barrymore?

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21 minutes ago, MrsEVH said:

Wasn't she in a movie with Drew Barrymore?

Two actually. Poison Ivy and Riding in Car with Boys.

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On 7/11/2018 at 3:53 PM, funky-rat said:

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.

I didn't mind David, but I thought she became unbearably bitter within that time frame, and it got worse and worse. The balance of earlier seasons was gone. 

At least the balance is now back, even if it took 20 years. 

The idea of her betraying Roseanne Barr or Julie Chen I don't agree with in any way, shape or form, and that's probably the nicest way I can put it.

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