Sometimes it’s hard to remember what a force of nature Roseanne was as a TV series. Roseanne’s off-camera life was an overwhelming weirdness. Remember when she and then-husband Tom Arnold were going to marry another woman on TV? Before Season Seven, Rosanne Arnold (who started the series as Roseanne Barr) dumped Tom Arnold and sliced her name in the opening credits to just Roseanne. She was like Cher and Liberace. Not that losing her last name made things anymore calm in the supermarket tabloids. This media whirlwind forced the show to do stuff that wouldn’t be blown away by her reality. What headline would have been as shocking as Roseanne pregnant? Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season and Eighth Season packs quite a few shockers including new cast members and a body shifting daughter.
“Nine Is Enough” seems like a normal family episode when Dan (John Goodman) gets sick of having his house turned into Grand Central Station. He can’t get into his own bathroom. He’s ready to boot out Becky (Sarah Chalke) and Mark (Glenn Quinn) out of the house. However his dream of making space in his house gets flipped when Roseanne breaks the news that she’s pregnant. “Two For One” gets wild when Darlene (Sarah Gilbert) has a fling with another guy. David (Johnny Galecki) seems kinda cool with the arrangement, but it gets to him. When he asks her to choose, she doesn’t pick him. This plot twist has worked well for Galecki since it seems to be the normal emotional state of her Leonard character on The Big Bang Theory when Penny is with other guys. Don’t panic too much since David was such a well liked character so that he isn’t shuffled off to Chip Cunningham heaven. “Snoop Davey Dave” has David perform a last gasp bit of revenge when he tells Rosanne that Darlene was doing drugs in college. Can she send her kid away to become an art school junky? Another bit of tension building is Dan’s desire to not go through with another kid. He asks his wife to consider an abortion.
“Sleeper” gets David a bit wild when he confides to Becky that he’s had an erotic dream about hooking up with a Conner woman that isn’t Darlene. “Follow the Son” brings on Traci Lords as the new gal at the Lunch Box. The ending of the episodes goofs around with Traci’s early cinematic career. DJ (Michael Fishman) steps up in his role as the son as Becky and Darlene get less screen time. “White Men Can’t Kiss” puts DJ in a pickle when he won’t kiss a girl in a school play. Things get nasty since the girl is black. There’s a threat of bigotry in his reluctance. “All About Rosey” is a special about the series featuring tributes for legendary TV moms: Barbara Billingsley, June Lockhart and Isabel Sanford. “Happy Trailers” moves Becky and Mark into a mobile home. Their new neighbor is Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct). “Sherwood Schwartz–A Loving Tribute” is the pop culture highlight. The cast get wrapped into a fantasy of being on Gilligan’s Island. The twist comes when the reality kicks in with Bob Denver, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, Sherwood Schwartz and Dawn Wells.
Not to be too spoiling, but Season Eight opens with Roseanne still pregnant. But there is a different face in her house. Alicia Goranson returns to play Becky leaving Sarah Chalke to only make a freaky cameo. It’s more confusing than the Darren swap in Bewitched. Roseanne plots how to get a $400 crib in “Shower the People You Love with Stuff.” It’s a genius idea except will her friends like the scam when it’s exposed? “Roseanne in the Hood” puts a scare at the Lunchbox when a rival opens nearby. The new place has Pat Harrington Jr. as their celerity guest. How can Roseanne compete with the star power of Schneider from One Day at a Time and the voice of the Inspector. Proving that Roseanne holds the record for the longest TV pregnancy, she has her second Halloween with a bump during “Halloween: the Final Chapter.” This is also when she finally gives birth to Jerry Garcia Conner. “The Fifties Show” throws the show into the black and white world. Can the family survive in the Father Knows Best universe? “We’re Going to Disney World” gets the Conners ready for their big vacation except is it really a good time? To add to the odd timing, Sarah Chalke returns once more to play Becky. Why did the family go to Disney? Cause Disney bought ABC and wanted their shows to pimp the park. “The Wedding” hooks up David and Darlene. But Dan has an issue that messes up the fun. Even more traumatic is that Lecy Goranson shows up for “Heart & Soul.” When will this body swapping end? “Fights and Stuff” wraps up the season with Roseanne and Dan’s marriage seeming to wrap up.
While there would be a ninth season, Roseanne completely changed the fortunes of the family by making them major lottery winners. Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season and Eighth Season mark the end of the struggling Conner family. The long delayed baby isn’t that nasty of a tease. These two seasons were able to bring enough issues to the Conner family that overshadowed headlines of Roseanne’s personal life. At least she didn’t have a daughter in real life that kept swapping bodies.
“Nine is Enough,” “Two for One,” “Snoop Davey Dave,” “Girl Talk,” “Sleeper,” “Skeleton in the Closet,” “Follow the Son,” “Punch and Jimmy,” “White Men Can’t Kiss,” “Thanksgiving ’94,” “Maybe Baby,” “The Parenting Trap,” “Rear Window,” “My Name is Bev,” “Bed and Bored,” “Sisters,” “Lost Youth,” “Single Married Female,” “All About Rosey” (Parts 1 & 2), “Husbands and Wives,” “Happy Trailers,” “The Blaming of the Shrew,” “The Birds and the Frozen Bees,” “Couch Potatoes” and “Sherwood Schwartz: A Loving Tribute.”
“Shower the People You Love with Stuff,” “Let Them Eat Junk,” “Roseanne in the Hood,” “The Last Date,” “Halloween: the Final Chapter,” “The Fifties Show,” “The Getaway, Almost,” “The Last Thursday in November,” “Of Mice and Dan,” “Direct to Video,” “December Bride,” “The Thrilla Near the Vanilla Extract,” “The White Sheep of the Family,” “Becky Howser, M.D.,” “Out of the Past,” “Construction Junction,” “We’re Going to Disney World,” “Disney World War II,” “Springtime for David,” “Another Mouth to Shut Up,” “Morning Becomes Obnoxious,” “Ballroom Blitz,” “The Wedding,” “Heart & Soul” and “Fights and Stuff.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers will allow you to tell when they swap Beckys on the screen. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. The episodes are Closed Captioned.
Video Commentary on “The Fifties Show”, “Disney World War II” and “Springtime for David” lets Roseanne and Michael Fishman watch the show and chat about it on camera. They sit in the corner of the frame giving insight on the black and white episode that pays tribute to the original family sitcoms.
Roseanne: Working Class Actress (8:14) has her account how she wanted to make sure the character had real jobs and not goofy get rich quick schemes. Although on season nine, she wins the lottery.
Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season and Eighth Season features the world’s longest TV pregnancy. Perhaps this show also represents a warning that when a cast member leaves a show, don’t let them back in the role. It confuses the audience.
Mill Creek presents Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season Starring: Roseanne, John Goodman and Johnny Galecki. Boxset contents 25 episodes on 3 DVDs. Released: March 19, 2013. Available at Amazon.com
Mill Creek presents Roseanne: The Complete Fifth Season and Sixth Season . Starring: Roseanne, John Goodman and Johnny Galecki. Boxset contents 25 episodes on 6 DVDs. Released: March 19, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.