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S01.E09: Rage Against the Machine

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18 hours ago, UYI said:

I have to say that the tree still being up doesn't bother me much, because my family has always kept theirs up until close to mid-January (my sister's birthday is January 13th; she used to like having her birthday presents under the tree, too). As my mom always says, Christmas technically isn't over until January 6th because of the Epiphany! :) 

I had these gel window-sticker things on my storm door for Christmas and just took them down on my way in tonight. I still have a little metal snowman family in my window; they have some holly painted on them but they're generic-wintery enough (and I'm on the second floor so you can't see the details very well) that I'll leave them for a while longer. Last year I think I left them until March.

1 hour ago, Marley said:

Since when can someone else just do someone else’s job like that when they aren’t employed by that company? That annoyed me and ruined the whole episode for me lol.

Right? I'm friendly with the manager of a store I worked at years ago, and I still work for the company but I'm not in the stores anymore. I was there one night and jokingly offered to help out because he had had a couple people call out sick, but I'm not an employee of that store specifically so the insurance wouldn't cover me for that. (I still straighten stuff while I shop; I can't help myself.)

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8 hours ago, bigskygirl said:

And why is Dan paying for his grandson's art class while his son could lose his job because of Dan's injury and lawsuit.

Don't David and Blue both have jobs?  Can't the cost be split between David and Darlene?

4 hours ago, UYI said:

I will say that kind of bugged me when Becky said she had always wanted to work in a museum. When she decided to possibly go back to school again in season 8, she talked about how interested she was in medical school. I certainly don't expect her to be thinking of that NOW, and I know some of the things long-time viewers would remember haven't really been coming up at all this time around, but that rang more than a bit false to me.

And I guess the idea of her studying hotel management that was brought up at the end of the last season has been dropped, too! 

It makes sense to me.  I've always wanted to own a bookstore.  I've never made any effort to do that, and my actual job that I got a degree for is completely different, but I've still always wanted to do it.

I've been known to wait until the MLK day off to take down my Christmas tree.

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Honestly I think the reason they aren’t doing better is because they want this to be a show about the lower class and struggling.   So the stories are written to keep them there.  

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13 hours ago, gesundheit said:

I liked the Becky story in this one but wasn't so sure about the Dan story. It felt like his rant at the end to the lawyer was more of an audience "we hate lawyers, aren't they the worst" claptrap because, frankly, the man never PROMISED six figures, he said he thought that was possible. I thought the family was just fantasizing about what they would do if it happened, not actually making plans. As others have mentioned above, the whole thing was a bit off since Dan wasn't even an employee of the vendor company.

I thought that was just typical Dan, and the Conners in general - lots of mouth and misplaced bravado. I thought the episode was willing to place some blame on the family for getting ahead of themselves (like Dan calling out Darlene's behavior with the boss). 

With that said, they probably are going for a bit of sneering at the elites, as that's the Hollywood way of writing for the "little people." 

I did like Peter Gallagher's work in the role. He should have been cast as Jackie's boyfriend instead of Matthew Broderick. 

8 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I hate to say it but I think it speaks to the show's awareness of Michael Fishman's limitations as an actor. He has not really had a story or an episode that revolves around him. Here would have been the obvious opportunity. Instead he appeared in one opening scene and then disappeared entirely, only to have Darlene take up the reins in driving the plot. That seems like an odd choice if the story is about DJ's job. At the very least he should have been present when they went to see his employer and/or when they first spoke with the attorney. His participation on this series has felt more obligatory than anything else.

I also noticed that (yet again) he did not have a substantive scene with Geena. I like Geena and I'm glad she got more to do in this episode than just talk about being a Christian or tell the Conners how weird they are - I especially liked that she told Darlene to stop joking and get serious - but it's just bizarre to me that we get nothing of her with her husband even as she is fighting his corner with the family. 

This is one episode where at least one scene with Dan and DJ would have helped. We didn't need that much Darlene. Sara Gilbert is a better actor than Michael Fishman, but he is competent enough to pull off a little more than he got here. 

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3 hours ago, janie jones said:

Don't David and Blue both have jobs?  Can't the cost be split between David and Darlene?

It makes sense to me.  I've always wanted to own a bookstore.  I've never made any effort to do that, and my actual job that I got a degree for is completely different, but I've still always wanted to do it.

I've been known to wait until the MLK day off to take down my Christmas tree.

It's hard for a lot of people to come up with a particular dream job, as that isn't how life works. In that sense I thought it was believable that Becky mostly stuck to a childhood memory. 

I was trying to remember if this was the first time we'd ever seen a Christmas tree with the Conner family. It looked nice, anyway. 

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6 minutes ago, Pete Martell said:

 

I was trying to remember if this was the first time we'd ever seen a Christmas tree with the Conner family. It looked nice, anyway. 

 

It was in the Hold the Salt episode too.  

17 minutes ago, Pete Martell said:

I thought that was just typical Dan, and the Conners in general - lots of mouth and misplaced bravado. I thought the episode was willing to place some blame on the family for getting ahead of themselves (like Dan calling out Darlene's behavior with the boss). 

With that said, they probably are going for a bit of sneering at the elites, as that's the Hollywood way of writing for the "little people." 

I did like Peter Gallagher's work in the role. He should have been cast as Jackie's boyfriend instead of Matthew Broderick. 

I also noticed that (yet again) he did not have a substantive scene with Geena. I like Geena and I'm glad she got more to do in this episode than just talk about being a Christian or tell the Conners how weird they are - I especially liked that she told Darlene to stop joking and get serious - but it's just bizarre to me that we get nothing of her with her husband even as she is fighting his corner with the family. 

This is one episode where at least one scene with Dan and DJ would have helped. We didn't need that much Darlene. Sara Gilbert is a better actor than Michael Fishman, but he is competent enough to pull off a little more than he got here. 

 

I have a feeling they filmed a lot more and scenes got cut out-  in fact I think that is a recurring thing.  They film a lot that connects the story and then take an ax to it so we just see little snippets versus the entire story they thought out.   

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On 1/8/2019 at 9:19 PM, Bronzedog said:

They also got money from somewhere and they all went to Disneyland.

I'd quit watching around then but I remember a lot of criticism at the time as this was seen as a sign of how Disney was blatantly using ABC to sell themselves after buying the network (I think Roseanne herself may not have liked it either, but I can't remember). 

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On 1/8/2019 at 9:44 PM, Mu Shu said:

This was stupid.  D.J. would have been fired, and the vending company would have no legal liability.  Dan has no business performing DJs job.  Affirmative defense.

is this becoming Shameless?  Depending on lawsuits to get by?  Lame.  Look, I know people living in tiny Podunk towns who are getting by pretty well.  Every member of this family is down and out in a mid sized town?  Jackie has the most nebulous job in a blue collar town, yet seems to be doing OK?

This isn’t funny anymore.  I’m sick of Sarah Gilbert.  I wish they would dump the rest of the cast and focus on Jackie and Becky.  Make them roommates, and let them have fun adventures.  This total insistence on poverty porn is old.  

I think the "poverty porn" is one of the reasons the show was brought back in the first place - for an attempt on commentary about life today. A lot of people are like the Conners in that things never really get better for them; if they're lucky, things just don't get a lot worse. There were elements of this episode which I thought expressed that well, like Darlene telling Dan that they need him to work as otherwise they won't make it. Yet the cycle is also self-aware, because the show won't know what to do once they have more money (as Roseanne started to struggle creatively when the Conners became more settled). I wouldn't compare this to Shameless, as that show is perverse, brain dead trash. I do think that there is more room to explore than just "what are we gonna do" type material that we got here, because it's just not going to register emotionally the way it might have 30 years ago. Focusing on the characters trying to make sense of their lives, the way they have with Becky this season, is the better idea. 

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4 hours ago, BeachDays said:

Honestly I think the reason they aren’t doing better is because they want this to be a show about the lower class and struggling.   So the stories are written to keep them there.  

Yeah, that's what I think as well. It has always been a show about the trials of a struggling bluecollar family. If they were financially stable then it wouldn't be unlike any of the other family sitcoms out there.

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I don’t know I know ppl who grew up with not much money and they are pretty much continuing the cycle by having too many kids and not having a great job to pay for those kids. I think it’s a realistic thing for a small town.

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Anyone else find Dan’s angry “Lawyers Suck/Don’t Let Me See You Again” speech uncomfortable to watch? I felt like it was written like we were supposed to be cheering him on. Instead, he came off as an angry bully. 

Maybe I’ve been wrong, but I always thought these types of lawyers take a percentage of the win instead of being paid upfront. At least, I assume that’s the type of lawyer they went with. In that case, getting as much money as he can for Dan is also getting as much as he can for himself. If that’s the case, Dan’s angry, “You never intended to get us more” accusation doesn’t make sense. Sure, the lawyer was looking for a quick buck, but he basically said that from the start. The settlement just wasn’t as much as they (lawyer included) wanted.

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On 1/8/2019 at 11:53 PM, Steph J said:

I'm just shocked than Lanford has not one but two life coaches in business.

I also wonder if the woman who came into the bar had any choice words for the boyfriend who is apparently just giving out his number to random women.  He seems like a real prize, no wonder she wants to hold on to him.

Exactly. That woman needs to talk to her boyfriend, not Becky.

Edited by DangerousMinds
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15 hours ago, Aliconehead said:

I agree.  I have had this happen in real life and I told the woman the same thing.  I asked, he lied, I did not know, this is on him.  After she screamed at me a few, she realized I was right and apologized.  This is a stupid trope and needs to be retired

Thank you!

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17 hours ago, RocknRollZombie said:

I was honestly waiting for Becky to shake jackie off, and go after the woman. Agree with you 100% Of Jackie to go after her instead that would have been awesome. Honestly I think i'm over the whole "oh Becky's easy" with both Darlene,and Jackie. 

Becky seeking validation from men I see it as another impact of Mark's death on her. She's so broken on the inside. But glad that Jackie is the one that will help her.

The Becky and Jackie relationship has been one of those I didn't know I needed but I'm glad it's taken such prominence. She's the closest thing Becky has to a maternal figure, but Becky hadn't been close to Roseanne in a long time, so Jackie isn't trying to fill her shoes. It's also a good chance to see some good comedy shops from Lecy and Laurie Metcalf - I laughed when Jackie told Becky she was going to have to trash her on her website.

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I have a feeling this was written when roseanne was still with the show an Darlene took all of Roseanne’s lines, hence the no mention of Becky pregnancy. This whole episode felt weird  

also, I still have my tree up. I keep it up for the 12 days of Christmas, but I’ve fallen in love with my tree this year. It’s a real tree, still “alive”. No needles falling. I flocked it with 4 cans of spray snow, white lights and red ornaments, silver beads. First time w all these colors and I can’t bear to part with it. Lol. 

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16 hours ago, BeachDays said:

Another line I loved-   “You think I’m pretty?  Just kidding.   I know I’m pretty.”  

Classic Becky.

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2 hours ago, TV Diva Queen said:

I have a feeling this was written when roseanne was still with the show an Darlene took all of Roseanne’s lines, hence the no mention of Becky pregnancy. This whole episode felt weird  

I would believe that.  It makes sense.  No mention of Becky's pregnancy.  No mention of Darlene's new job or new boyfriend.

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3 hours ago, TV Diva Queen said:

I have a feeling this was written when roseanne was still with the show an Darlene took all of Roseanne’s lines, hence the no mention of Becky pregnancy. This whole episode felt weird

It's an intriguing idea. We know that this was the episode ordered last and late. And I can certainly imagine Roseanne Conner's sitting next to Dan in the vending exec's office and retorting, "So wait: so, you're saying that if-only Dan had been trained, the laws of gravity wouldn't've applied?!?"  Also, delivering the parting shot about the stupid plastic cheese spread spoon.

But according to most sources, the episode was written by Jana Hunter and Mitch Hunter: co-executive producers of The Conners, writers of episode 3, and no part of last year's revival. At the same time, imdb lists the episode as co-developed by Helford, Kaplan and Rasmussen: all writer/producers from both last season's show, and The Conners. Cheese for thought.

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Regarding Becky's "flat belly," I actually appreciate that they didn't have her immediately show hugely like so many shows do.  Not everyone shows the same way and many people barely show until closer to third trimester. 

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1 hour ago, Pallas said:

It's an intriguing idea. We know that this was the episode ordered last and late. And I can certainly imagine Roseanne Conner's sitting next to Dan in the vending exec's office and retorting, "So wait: so, you're saying that if-only Dan had been trained, the laws of gravity wouldn't've applied?!?"  Also, delivering the parting shot about the stupid plastic cheese spread spoon.

But according to most sources, the episode was written by Jana Hunter and Mitch Hunter: co-executive producers of The Conners, writers of episode 3, and no part of last year's revival. At the same time, imdb lists the episode as co-developed by Helford, Kaplan and Rasmussen: all writer/producers from both last season's show, and The Conners. Cheese for thought.

When that whole thing happened with Roseanne and the show was cancelled surely writers would have already been starting working on the next season.  If not scripts at the very least story ideas.

Edited by blondiec0332
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31 minutes ago, blondiec0332 said:

When that whole thing happened with Roseanne and the show was cancelled surely writers would have already been starting working on the next season.  If not scripts at the very least story ideas.

The day it was cancelled was the day producers/writers were heading in for their first day of working on the next season.  So the story ideas everyone was heading in to pitch and hash out existed in their minds, but they hadn't yet sat down to discuss them and assign the scripts.

16 hours ago, BeachDays said:

Honestly I think the reason they aren’t doing better is because they want this to be a show about the lower class and struggling.   So the stories are written to keep them there.  

One of the underlying themes of the series has always been poking holes in the "American Dream" story.  Most media presents the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, work hard, pursue your dream, and you can climb the socio-economic ladder" stories as common, while this show explored the reality that if you are born poor, it's more typically the scenario that you will die poor. 

And how easy it is to backslide, like with Darlene having a successful career in Chicago, but a husband pulling a disappearing act when there are two kids to care for set the stage for job loss at the same time her parents were facing health issues to mean she wound up moving back "home," where her job prospects are more limited, but she has free housing and help with the kids.

Now, true, they could show this statistical reality by having one or two of them make it out (or just achieve a stable middle-class existence in Lanford) while the rest continue to struggle, rather than having everyone perpetually stuck.  Maybe they should have given Jerry a better job, so there's a success story on the spectrum, too.  Jackie seems to be, while certainly not flush, keeping her head steadily above water (like she always did before she had Andy, so if Andy doesn't exist ...).  Darlene's education and talent took her somewhere, but then life circumstances changed.  Dan and Roseanne were always stuck in an economy that just was never going to let them achieve the security their parents had.  Becky's emotional trauma meant she wasn't in a place to even try getting on a different path.  D.J. and Geena were probably doing just fine with a double dose of military pay and benefits, but Mary needed one parent to be local at all times, and D.J.'s PTSD limits his options there. 

It can be depressing to watch, sure, but I don't find it unrealistic, and that's what I always loved about the show.  Their economic situation was always a result of a combination of poor choices and institutionalized barriers.  But it was better written in the past; I think, as others have said, this version is suffering from the absence of anyone among the producers/writers who ever used to live this way themselves. 

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I’m not so sure this was the extra episode they ordered-   Yes it was the last one filmed but that was probably done to accommodate some other actors schedules (possibly Galecki) or whatever reason.  Just playing devils advocate, I really have no idea, haha.  

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Ok I just rewatched this episode and it really does seem like it was written for Roseanne and they just gave the part to Darlene.  It doesn’t at all seem to be Darlene’s personality but it does seem like Roseanne’s.   Also the part with Dan on the porch I think we are supposed to really feel for him bc he has to disappoint his grandkids, especially Mark, but it doesn’t exactly come out the way I think it’s supposed to come out.   I think one reason is it doesn’t actually feel like they are deprived normally, it seems like they are pretty much middle class usually.  

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This episode felt to me like a PSA for rich people: news flash! Poor people struggle to pay their medical bills!

Agree about the money, though. I had one friend who was perpetually broke, and when he did have a little money he'd go out and buy himself the latest TV-watching gadget (new TV/VCR/DVR/etc.). I thought it was a mistake, but at the same time I understood that at least that way he got some respite from the grind and then after all you can get a lot of use out of a TV if you watch as much as he did.

There's also a lot of peer pressure involved. I won an award once, and everyone kept asking me what I was going to do with the cash. When I said I was going to put it in a tax-sheltered savings account they were really disappointed. Why didn't I spend it on something I really wanted? Because one thing I really want is the knowledge that I'll have some money 30 years from now...

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1 hour ago, Bastet said:

One of the underlying themes of the series has always been poking holes in the "American Dream" story.  Most media presents the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, work hard, pursue your dream, and you can climb the socio-economic ladder" stories as common, while this show explored the reality that if you are born poor, it's more typically the scenario that you will die poor. 

And how easy it is to backslide, like with Darlene having a successful career in Chicago, but a husband pulling a disappearing act when there are two kids to care for set the stage for job loss at the same time her parents were facing health issues to mean she wound up moving back "home," where her job prospects are more limited, but she has free housing and help with the kids.

Now, true, they could show this statistical reality by having one or two of them make it out (or just achieve a stable middle-class existence in Lanford) while the rest continue to struggle, rather than having everyone perpetually stuck.  Maybe they should have given Jerry a better job, so there's a success story on the spectrum, too.  Jackie seems to be, while certainly not flush, keeping her head steadily above water (like she always did before she had Andy, so if Andy doesn't exist ...).  Darlene's education and talent took her somewhere, but then life circumstances changed.  Dan and Roseanne were always stuck in an economy that just was never going to let them achieve the security their parents had.  Becky's emotional trauma meant she wasn't in a place to even try getting on a different path.  D.J. and Geena were probably doing just fine with a double dose of military pay and benefits, but Mary needed one parent to be local at all times, and D.J.'s PTSD limits his options there. 

It can be depressing to watch, sure, but I don't find it unrealistic, and that's what I always loved about the show.  Their economic situation was always a result of a combination of poor choices and institutionalized barriers.  But it was better written in the past; I think, as others have said, this version is suffering from the absence of anyone among the producers/writers who ever used to live this way themselves. 

All of this. Thank you. The family being stuck in this cycle reads very realistic to me. My family's been through numerous financial struggles over the years, and we've had a few decent periods, but for the most part, we're very much lower-class. My dad being sick and later dying, while it happened eight years ago, did have an effect on my family's finances that took us a while to get through as well. We're not in the kind of dire straits we were back then, thankfully-we haven't been for a number of years now. But we're still nowhere near any sort of middle class life. 

19 hours ago, mamadrama said:

I grew up the same way. My mom was highly educated and had a good job for the area (one of the poorest parts of the country) but one thing after another (some things her fault, some not) meant that we scrimped by my whole childhood. There were several times growing up when we'd get a "windfall" (never more than $3,000) and it would get spent on something frivolous. It was mostly for our morale. When you're rolling pennies for gas money,eating pasta and potatoes every night for dinner, wearing hand-me-downs from the people around you, hanging out at your mom's job until 2am because the electric bill was late and it was too cold to go home, etc. then things can feel pretty damn bleak. Hard to dream big or see your way out when your mother can't even take you to a public park or hiking trail because you don't have the gas to get across town. 

Bolded for emphasis. Indeed, sometimes a fun purchase can be a much needed pick-me-up. At the very least, it can be a good distraction from the struggles you're dealing with, and an opportunity to feel relatively normal for a time. When my dad was sick, we had cable in our home. It made our finances, which were already incredibly tight, that much tighter, but my dad was unable to walk around on his own for much of his illness, and I was staying home and taking care of him because no way in hell could we afford any sort of home health care. The TV allowed my dad to have something to focus on that wasn't his illness for a few hours, and it gave me a break from the stress of watching my dad struggle and constantly go to the hospital and whatnot. These are the things about being poor/working class that a lot of people don't talk about or think about enough, and I think that stuff really needs to be addressed more. 

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In context of the show, though, we're talking about several adults who don't seem to be able to get it together. Between Becky, Darlene, Dan, DJ, and even Jackie (hard to tell how she's doing), it's odd to me that they're in no better place than they were 20 years ago. At least in my case, living that way made me mega-motivated to do MUCH better for my family. I've worked my ass off doing several jobs at once to try to put us in a better situation than what I grew up with. But perhaps the Conners just don't have that ambition. It's a fictional family, but it would be difficult to judge anyway. I grew up with others in the same situation that I lived in and we're all doing pretty well these days. The Conners were self-aware,especially the kids, so I am having a hard time buying that they are STILL in this dire of a situation. I just keep reminding myself that they have to be or else the context of the show wouldn't make sense. 

I don't know if it's that they don't have ambition-some of them have tried to do better. But when you live in a small town that offers very little in the way of opportunities and you don't have the money or means to move to a bigger city that might allow for better options, or, in the case of Darlene, when you do move to the city and life circumstances still knock you back and force you to return to a depressed town, I think that can knock some of the wind out of your sails and make you wonder if you'll ever get out of this life. Plus, with a lot of jobs nowadays, you need all sorts of degrees or experience in this and that to be hired, and if you don't have that stuff, that limits your options a lot, too. Never mind the fact that these people are smart and could probably settle into a lot of possible jobs out there with the right training. It's hard to get experience if you don't get hired, but you can't get hired if you don't have experience. It's frustrating, and having to deal with that constant issue on a job hunt can be demoralizing. 

Course, even people who do have experience or degrees struggle, too. Back when my dad was sick, my mom was looking for work. She'd been an assistant manager at various stores in the past, she'd worked in various areas of retail, so she knew how to handle selling different types of items and such, and she had years of office experience as well. You know what she managed to get? A part-time job at Target that paid minimum wage.

I also think some areas of the country might allow for more opportunities than others, for a whole host of reasons, and that can be a factor, too. I don't know about other parts of the country, but there are definitely a lot of small towns here in the Midwest that have fallen on some hard times. 

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We are currently paying off more than $95,000 in medical bills. That's more than what we have left on our mortgage and my husband's student loans combined...and it's down from even higher. (And we even had insurance at the time.) There are few things right now that will turn you upside down like medical bills.

Ugh. I'm sorry. You have my sympathies. My family went bankrupt because of my dad's medical bills. I wish you luck as you deal with that whole mess, and hope you can get it all sorted out and settled as soon as humanly possible. 

Your last sentence is painfully true. It's been said that most families in this country are one medical issue away from falling into serious financial problems. 

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2 hours ago, Annber03 said:

 

I don't know if it's that they don't have ambition-some of them have tried to do better. But when you live in a small town that offers very little in the way of opportunities and you don't have the money or means to move to a bigger city that might allow for better options, or, in the case of Darlene, when you do move to the city and life circumstances still knock you back and force you to return to a depressed town, I think that can knock some of the wind out of your sails and make you wonder if you'll ever get out of this life. Plus, with a lot of jobs nowadays, you need all sorts of degrees or experience in this and that to be hired, and if you don't have that stuff, that limits your options a lot, too. Never mind the fact that these people are smart and could probably settle into a lot of possible jobs out there with the right training. It's hard to get experience if you don't get hired, but you can't get hired if you don't have experience. It's frustrating, and having to deal with that constant issue on a job hunt can be demoralizing. 

Course, even people who do have experience or degrees struggle, too. Back when my dad was sick, my mom was looking for work. She'd been an assistant manager at various stores in the past, she'd worked in various areas of retail, so she knew how to handle selling different types of items and such, and she had years of office experience as well. You know what she managed to get? A part-time job at Target that paid minimum wage.

I don't want to get off topic, but I was also thinking about this and how it pertains to the Conners.I live in the mountains in a place that frequently gets rated as one of the top 10 poorest counties in the entire country. Our county has fewer than 3,000 people. Our town has less than 500 people. There are no big box stores, no factories. Your basic career choices are healthcare or teaching. I frequently hear people saying that those who live there and struggle should "just move." With what money? If you apply for a job in a bigger town, you're up against people who have experience. You can't even get retail experience in my town (you can, but it's difficult). And IF you manage to talk someone into hiring you and taking a chance on you someplace else, few lack the resources that it takes to move. Moving is expensive. You generally need the first month's rent and then either the last month's or a deposit. Then there's the Uhaul and paying people to help. Theoretically, you're meant to get back your current deposit and that's meant to help. In reality, it doesn't always happen. So you do get stuck in this cycle. College is pretty much the only surefire way of "getting out" of here, but right now college educated people are struggling, too. I have two BAs and a MA. My husband has a MA. There isn't a place in my county that would hire either one of us. We are self-employed so it's not a huge problem for us, but it is for others. We're now pushing trades and apprenticeships here, which might help. 

 

When they were talking about Dan's medical bill, I DID wonder why they didn't talk to the hospital admin about financial assistance. Our local hospital offers some assistance through the government. At the very least, most will help bring the bill down if you talk to them and in most cases you can get on a payment plan. Neither one of those things are super helpful, but it's better than nothing.

 

Darlene isn't going to find a high-paying job in Landford with her degree and experience. However, as a freelancer she might have a lot of luck going out on her own. Before my own books started paying our bills, I was a ghostwriter for other people. The job was completely virtual. 

 

Lastly, the joke about how she can "keep thinking" about a real college bothered me a little. Their current cycle will continue with their kids unless someone starts offering them some helpful mentoring. A diploma mill won't help Harris because you need more than just a degree on paper these days. Harris will be graduating soon. They should be helping her look at scholarships, talking to her about trade school or college options, etc. While they may not have the money to send her to a good school, there are other steps that could be taken to ensure that she has the best chance possible. I mean, the joke was funny and all, but as bad off as the Conners are from time to time, I'd be working my butt off to ensure that my daughter didn't fall into the same holes. 

 

I get it, though. I realize that they're playing the whole middle America thing. Many of my friends took out government loans to cover "buildings by the interstate" schools, just so that they could use the residual money to live on.I know that the Conners are still in this situation because they're trying to show the various struggles that many lower middle class families face. But sometimes it just feels so bleak. 

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20 hours ago, Pete Martell said:

I did like Peter Gallagher's work in the role. He should have been cast as Jackie's boyfriend instead of Matthew Broderick. 

I was expecting there to be a scene where they got together.

5 hours ago, Bastet said:

Maybe they should have given Jerry a better job, so there's a success story on the spectrum, too.

Isn't he supposed to be on a fishing boat?  That can be some good money.

I'm actually surprised DJ didn't learn a trade.  Even apprentices can make decent money.

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42 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

Lastly, the joke about how she can "keep thinking" about a real college bothered me a little. Their current cycle will continue with their kids unless someone starts offering them some helpful mentoring. A diploma mill won't help Harris because you need more than just a degree on paper these days. Harris will be graduating soon. They should be helping her look at scholarships, talking to her about trade school or college options, etc.

Especially with what happened with Becky - none of them knew shit about college, so it seemed simple, that if you get good grades you can go.  So they all thought Becky would just trot off to college.  But then they spent her college fund and weren't quite poor enough to qualify for enough financial aid to cover tuition, and Becky imploded.  There wasn't anyone in her family with the experience/knowledge to walk her through her options - in her mind, college was off the table - so couple that mindset with Mark's job offer in Minneapolis, and off she went.  Darlene found her way into school and a way to pay for it, so she should be more proactive with Harris, talking to her with what kinds of things she might like to study, where she might like to go, etc. and then the three of them (assuming David keeps his promise to get involved in his kids' lives) working with the school's guidance counselor (if that's even a viable resource at Lanford High) and researching on their own what Harris's options realistically are.

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10 minutes ago, Bastet said:

Especially with what happened with Becky - none of them knew shit about college, so it seemed simple, that if you get good grades you can go.  So they all thought Becky would just trot off to college.  But then they spent her college fund and weren't quite poor enough to qualify for enough financial aid to cover tuition, and Becky imploded.  There wasn't anyone in her family with the experience/knowledge to walk her through her options - in her mind, college was off the table - so couple that mindset with Mark's job offer in Minneapolis, and off she went.  Darlene found her way into school and a way to pay for it, so she should be more proactive with Harris, talking to her with what kinds of things she might like to study, where she might like to go, etc. and then the three of them (assuming David keeps his promise to get involved in his kids' lives) working with the school's guidance counselor (if that's even a viable resource at Lanford High) and researching on their own what Harris's options realistically are.

Yes, I agree. And there are plenty of ways that they could go at this storyline without losing the context of the show. They could show Harris looking at majors that seem to have actual job openings right now, show her trying to decide between a "fake" diploma mill (because it's cheaper) vs a mid-size college that's pricier but might give her better options, etc. They could have her discover that if she applies for a $25,000 loan and her college is only $15,000 that the difference is given to her as a residual and see how she, and the family, react to that. (As I said, I have friends who literally live on their residuals. They have zero intentions of graduating. They just keep signing up for loans and online universities. They'll never pay any of this off.) A lot of people do fall in that gray area of not poor enough to qualify for aid yet not rich enough to be able to pay for it, but things have gotten slightly better since D&B were graduating. Since so many people with degrees are even having trouble now, they could look at trade schools and talk to her about the pitfalls of graduating with student loans and no job prospects. 

Lots of angles there. :-) I hope they go somewhere with it. 

Becky's implosion has always been one of the most interesting arcs of the show for me. They were all so sure that she was going places. She was the "smart" one. Once she got offtrack, though, she never quite found her way back. Sad, but realistic. 

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When that whole thing happened with Roseanne and the show was cancelled surely writers would have already been starting working on the next season.  If not scripts at the very least story ideas.

My guess would be since this was the last episode produced of the season, it was written without reference to the continuing storylines so the producers could move the episode around as needed without creating continuity issues. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:50 AM, Aliconehead said:

I agree.  I have had this happen in real life and I told the woman the same thing.  I asked, he lied, I did not know, this is on him.  After she screamed at me a few, she realized I was right and apologized.  This is a stupid trope and needs to be retired

Agreed.  Becky wasn't "the other woman" because she didn't even know any other women existed.  They didn't imply that she would or would not participate in such an arrangement either.  

9 hours ago, librarianbeck said:

Regarding Becky's "flat belly," I actually appreciate that they didn't have her immediately show hugely like so many shows do.  Not everyone shows the same way and many people barely show until closer to third trimester. 

I thought she looked thin also, but it didn't surprise me.  She has quit drinking, and that is a great deal of empty calories.  Plus she clearly had morning sickness in a prior episode, so I would expect her to lose weight before she started to gain.  I do wish they would let us know how she is getting prenatal care, and whether they will address the repeal of the ACA in the future.  

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22 hours ago, Pete Martell said:

I'd quit watching around then but I remember a lot of criticism at the time as this was seen as a sign of how Disney was blatantly using ABC to sell themselves after buying the network (I think Roseanne herself may not have liked it either, but I can't remember). 

She didn't. The very next episode had David working for an amusement park that behaved like a cult, indoctrinating their employees. It was a BLATANT middle finger to ABC for being forced to have a Disney World episode as if this show was fucking Full House or Step By Step. 

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Yeah, when they did the Disney World episode (which they sort of had to do, sort of were "hey, a free trip and we can do some stuff about staying in a nice hotel for the first time after a lifetime of Best Western being fancy travel"), and got a far more behind-the-scenes look into the employee indoctrination situation/overall craziness than the average attendee does, they were freaked the fuck out and crafted the "David is employed by a cult masquerading as an amusement park" episode in response.

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Regarding Harris and college, I think the plan is that she will go-  again this ep feels SO OFF for me bc Darlene was so out of character.   She is the Conner who went to college and got a good job and has always been aware of how “the other half” lives-  meaning it’s not her style to find a lawyer being advertised at a gas station.   She would be the one on her laptop doing the research and finding the very best option.  But moving past that, in an earlier episode David mentions Blue will be there when they take the kids to college.  In another episode Harris mentions her good grades and high ACT score.   In this one she knows she has the option to go to a trade school or community college or whatever that building by the freeway she referenced is-  but wants to be able to go elsewhere.   

 

I think it’s ok to show setbacks and whatnot but I think they should stay true to the characters.   This one, and the one where Darlene was yelling at the principal, felt like they basically were giving her Roseanne’s role, but she isn’t Roseanne.  

Also regarding Landford, anyone else feel like it’s actually not that economically depressed?  Mark’s school seems awesome , they have nice modern coffee shops, Trader Joe’s, I think Whole Foods was also referenced, I know other areas can have all these things but it just seems like a typical middle class suburban town. 

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10 minutes ago, BeachDays said:

Also regarding Landford, anyone else feel like it’s actually not that economically depressed?  Mark’s school seems awesome , they have nice modern coffee shops, Trader Joe’s, I think Whole Foods was also referenced, I know other areas can have all these things but it just seems like a typical middle class suburban town. 

My guess is that there are a few really nice areas primarily occupied by the "richer" (relatively speaking, most likely) people/families in town, while the rest of it is considerably more lower-class and depressed. Kind of a town divided between the right and wrong side of the tracks.

Of course, this often depends on the episode; there are other times when it seems like the whole town is in dire straits (the old show seemed to go back and forth on this, too; sometimes it seemed like a place that had a lot going on, other times, to borrow a quote from Becky in season 8, it made it seem like the best job in town was "setting the pins at the bowling alley"). 

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1 hour ago, BeachDays said:

In another episode Harris mentions her good grades and high ACT score.

But in this episode she'd rather get the flu than take a test. I never got the impression that she's particularly intelligent. She thought she'd get away with selling stolen goods on Etsy. Darlene at that age already knew that she wanted to be a writer and was secretly applying to art schools. Harris is just a brat who complains about her life but isn't proactive about improving it.

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I think we can assume she is getting good grades and did score well on her ACT-  otherwise Darlene wouldn’t have said “it doesn’t matter how smart you are” -  having said that, she is definitely interested in boys and her friends and living that rebellious teenage life too.  

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I'm from a family who always struggles with money, so episodes like this really hit home for me. I wish Dan would have gotten the money from the vending machine incident, to be honest.

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20 hours ago, mamadrama said:

I don't want to get off topic, but I was also thinking about this and how it pertains to the Conners.I live in the mountains in a place that frequently gets rated as one of the top 10 poorest counties in the entire country. Our county has fewer than 3,000 people. Our town has less than 500 people. There are no big box stores, no factories. Your basic career choices are healthcare or teaching. 

I'm curious. Are  you in Appalachia? I lived in Coal Creek, WV in the late 1980s, and, after my middle-class upbringing, had know idea that poverty like that existed in the US. I moved there after living totally broke in Spanish Harlem, and it was still an incredibly eye-opening experience. Urban poverty and Appalachian poverty are two completely different entities.

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Their economic situation was always a result of a combination of poor choices and institutionalized barriers.  But it was better written in the past; I think, as others have said, this version is suffering from the absence of anyone among the producers/writers who ever used to live this way themselves. 

It also suffers because we aren't sure how much of the original series we are supposed to pretend never happened. Did they never open the Lunchbox? If so, what happened to it? Didn't Dan ever get a job helping to build prisons? If so, what happened to that job? It's one thing to say they made poor choices but clearly we are supposed to ignore a lot of things that went right for them too. And that's what makes it so frustrating. The show asks us to "just go along with it" instead of explaining it, because they don't want to bother. And that? Is just lazy writing.

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I wonder how Dan would feel as a self employed person being sued if one of his workers had a family member get injured on a job “just filling in.”  At this stage in his life he should be wiser than this.  

Darlene can take several seats as well.  You have kids, you suck it up and keep the job with benefits.  She is so on my nerve.  Quit bitching!!!!  You are under your dad’s roof with your kids, why are you / they asking him to pay for art class?? And $500?  Was that correct?  Because if so, not realistic at all.

Becky and Jackie cracked me up.

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On 1/9/2019 at 9:19 AM, bigskygirl said:

What the heck with Dan covering for DJ on his route. He had no business doing that and then expecting to win a lawsuit against the company. I also doubt his medical expenses was around $30,000 with $6000.00 after Medicare took care of things. And why is Dan paying for his grandson's art class while his son could lose his job because of Dan's injury and lawsuit. Harris can get off her lazy whining behind and get a job, loans, scholarships and grants to pay for college. I love it when DJ's wife pointed out no one in the family was thinking about DJ. The reason why Dan is still paying off two mortgages was the fact he and Roseanne did not think when it came to buying the motorcycle shop leading to a second mortgage, quitting his city job, and only getting the one prison job because of his minority friend Chuck. Add the fact Darlene quits a half way decent paying job with benefits and expects to win a lawsuit after Dan was doing a job he had no experience doing. Sorry Darlene and Dan, your stupidity once again cause you to fail.

Exactamente.  Unless it was a family business and substitute workers would be covered under the company's liability insurance, the vending company had no obligation to pay for Dan's medical bills.  This would be covered under Workers' Compensation (and no, it's not Workmen's Compensation anymore) and since Dan Conner isn't an employee, he isn't covered.  There is a thing about the vending machine not being bolted to the wall properly though.  Perhaps that's why the vending company head honcho agreed to pay for half of Dan's medical bills.

On 1/9/2019 at 9:27 AM, Snow Apple said:

I'm glad others mentioned Dan doing DJ's job. I'm sure the company would pay them off if Dan was a customer putting coins in, but now they can claim he was tampering with a machine he knows nothing about. They're lucky the company didn't counter sue.

A counter-suit would not have gone very well because the company was negligent in not bolting the vending machine to the wall properly, which leaves anyone vulnerable to injury or death if it falls on them.  The fact that Dan was wrangling (I'm guessing) with the machine was partly his negligence in doing the job of an employee without the employer's knowledge and consent.

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On 1/9/2019 at 1:25 PM, iMonrey said:

I hate to say it but I think it speaks to the show's awareness of Michael Fishman's limitations as an actor. He has not really had a story or an episode that revolves around him. Here would have been the obvious opportunity. Instead he appeared in one opening scene and then disappeared entirely, only to have Darlene take up the reins in driving the plot. That seems like an odd choice if the story is about DJ's job. At the very least he should have been present when they went to see his employer and/or when they first spoke with the attorney. His participation on this series has felt more obligatory than anything else.

This, plus by the way, DJ has been in therapy for the past two years, per Geena.  DJ touched on his "problems" after coming back from the war zone, but the show didn't put much into that.

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On 1/9/2019 at 6:08 PM, janie jones said:

Don't David and Blue both have jobs?  Can't the cost be split between David and Darlene?

It makes sense to me.  I've always wanted to own a bookstore.  I've never made any effort to do that, and my actual job that I got a degree for is completely different, but I've still always wanted to do it.

I've been known to wait until the MLK day off to take down my Christmas tree.

Oh yeah....!  Does David pay anything for the support of his children?  Good thought there.  Darlene should've been all over that by telling Dan (not Mark because he's the child) she will ask David to help pay for Mark's art school.

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:20 AM, Meushell said:

Anyone else find Dan’s angry “Lawyers Suck/Don’t Let Me See You Again” speech uncomfortable to watch? I felt like it was written like we were supposed to be cheering him on. Instead, he came off as an angry bully. 

Maybe I’ve been wrong, but I always thought these types of lawyers take a percentage of the win instead of being paid upfront. At least, I assume that’s the type of lawyer they went with. In that case, getting as much money as he can for Dan is also getting as much as he can for himself. If that’s the case, Dan’s angry, “You never intended to get us more” accusation doesn’t make sense. Sure, the lawyer was looking for a quick buck, but he basically said that from the start. The settlement just wasn’t as much as they (lawyer included) wanted.

You're correct, it is called a contingency fee case (or contingent fee) where the attorney takes a percentage of the settlement or jury (or judge's) verdict.  The client still has to pay for expenses though, such as court filing fees and costs.

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On 1/10/2019 at 9:51 AM, Pallas said:

It's an intriguing idea. We know that this was the episode ordered last and late. And I can certainly imagine Roseanne Conner's sitting next to Dan in the vending exec's office and retorting, "So wait: so, you're saying that if-only Dan had been trained, the laws of gravity wouldn't've applied?!?"  Also, delivering the parting shot about the stupid plastic cheese spread spoon.

But according to most sources, the episode was written by Jana Hunter and Mitch Hunter: co-executive producers of The Conners, writers of episode 3, and no part of last year's revival. At the same time, imdb lists the episode as co-developed by Helford, Kaplan and Rasmussen: all writer/producers from both last season's show, and The ConnersCheese for thought.

Please either make that cheese softer or the red paddle cheese spreading spoon harder.  Idiots!!!  :D

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On 1/10/2019 at 1:45 PM, wendyg said:

This episode felt to me like a PSA for rich people: news flash! Poor people struggle to pay their medical bills!

Agree about the money, though. I had one friend who was perpetually broke, and when he did have a little money he'd go out and buy himself the latest TV-watching gadget (new TV/VCR/DVR/etc.). I thought it was a mistake, but at the same time I understood that at least that way he got some respite from the grind and then after all you can get a lot of use out of a TV if you watch as much as he did.

There's also a lot of peer pressure involved. I won an award once, and everyone kept asking me what I was going to do with the cash. When I said I was going to put it in a tax-sheltered savings account they were really disappointed. Why didn't I spend it on something I really wanted? Because one thing I really want is the knowledge that I'll have some money 30 years from now...

Good for you!  You won't regret it.

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1 hour ago, CrystalBlue said:

Oh yeah....!  Does David pay anything for the support of his children?  Good thought there.  Darlene should've been all over that by telling Dan (not Mark because he's the child) she will ask David to help pay for Mark's art school.

  

The interesting thing to me was when Mark said he entered and won the contest and Darlene knew nothing about it-  I wonder if he told his dad and David encouraged him to enter.  

Im assuming David is contributing money now.   He is trying to be a good dad now-  you can see his face that he was torn that he had to work instead of being home with the kids for the weekend.   But back to the point at hand- I’m not sure how much he is able to contribute.  I actually looked up what Trader Joe’s employees make and their chalkboard artists make about $5 more per hour than regular employees- it’s not a lot but not terrible.  

So funnily enough there was a line cut out of the Hold the Salt episode where Blue was talking to Darlene about presents for the kids and she said David feels guilty so will get the kids some expensive gifts if that’s ok with her and Darlene says it’s ok if they get her something expensive too.  

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2 hours ago, Mu Shu said:

And Dan working construction at 65+ is just asinine.  He has social security, and should be able to get a part time job to make ends meet. 

Once you take social security your income is set at that level. If you continue to work, your benefit is reduced by $1 for every dollar you make at your "retirement job."  It would, however, provide him with medicare. That would only provide for his health care, not the health care of his offspring.

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