‘Roseanne’: Every Confusing Contradiction from the Final Season
Roseanne had a whole lot of success in its brief return to television. It brought in a lot of viewership (and plenty of controversy), thanks to its unique brand of blue-collar commentary. The family is basically the same as it always was, with the brash and unforgiving Roseanne Conner at the top with her husband, Dan, and three prominent children — Becky, Darlene, and DJ.
But not everything is the same. Roseanne’s fourth child, Jerry, has only been briefly mentioned. Dan’s death, which was an extremely controversial twist in the series finale, has been adjusted to be just a plot point in a book Roseanne was writing. Let’s take a look at a bunch of other notes from the original series that are a bit inconsistent with the reboot.
Where is Jackie’s son?
You’ll recall that during the original run of the show, Jackie got pregnant with a baby boy named Andy. She would later marry the boy’s father, Fred, only to divorce around a year later. Andy would make semi-frequent appearances on the show, and given the established timeline and his general age in the Season 9 finale, he would be around four years older than Harris. Since it has been established that Harris is three years away from being 18, Andy would be around 19 or 20.
So, where is Andy? If he were off at college, that might’ve been mentioned at some point. In a recent episode of the reboot where Jackie adopts a dog, it’s strongly hinted that she has nobody in her life. Are they retconning further back than Season 9, eliminating Jackie’s family? Until we get a mention of Fred or Andy, we’ll continue to wonder.
Next: A surprise pregnancy that never happened?
Wasn’t Becky pregnant?
In the final episode of the original series, Mark reveals (to only the viewing audience) that Becky is pregnant. At no point does anyone in the family find out, because Becky doesn’t want to overshadow her sister, Darlene, who just brought Harris home. Fast forward to the reboot, and Mark has died without Becky ever having had any children.
So, what happened with that pregnancy? The easiest explanation is that she may have had a miscarriage, but there was no mention of it in the episode that discusses Becky’s infertility. That would’ve been the most obvious way to bring it up, so it appears that we’ll never know whether Becky’s pregnancy in the finale was real or just part of Roseanne’s book.
Next: Two characters and their confusing sexuality
Neither Jackie or Bev are gay
It’s revealed late in the original series that Beverly, Roseanne and Jackie’s mother, is a lesbian. Both women find it hard to believe and accept, thinking it as a way for Bev to garner more attention. For the most part, the storyline fades to the background. But during the finale, when Roseanne’s monologue is explaining her creative choices in her book, we find out it that it was actually Jackie, not Bev, who is gay.
So, which is it now? Apparently, neither woman is gay in the reboot. Actress Laurie Metcalf has confirmed that Jackie isn’t gay, and the fifth episode of Season 10 revealed that Bev was kicked out of her old folks home for her amorous tendencies. The sixth episode even revealed one of her boyfriends, who is played by Christopher Lloyd.
Next: Just forget about that little flip-flop
What about the couple switch?
Another shocker that’s dropped in the finale is that the pairing of Becky with Mark and Darlene with David was all in Roseanne’s head. It made more sense that way, she mused, because the couples just fit together better. So, she did what any good mother would do — she fixed it. The reality was that Becky and David were a couple, as were Darlene and Mark.
So, who married who? Again, we’re supposed to just ignore this inconsistency from the final episode of Season 9. Nothing is ever directly said about this, but it’s clear that we’re to assume this plot point went the way of Dan’s death. It’s all just a part of Roseanne’s book.
Next: What, exactly, did happen with Dan?
Dan never had that affair
As part of a way to briefly write John Goodman (Dan) out of the show, Season 9 sent Dan out to California to spend some time with his mother. He returned briefly, but Jackie overhears a phone call between Dan and his mother’s nurse. Roseanne’s husband was having an affair — kind of. He makes it clear that “nothing happened,” meaning that the relationship hasn’t gotten physical. But Dan has feelings for another woman.
Roseanne kicks Dan out, but eventually, he returns home and she forgives him. Apparently, this was all a part of the book too. There was some question about whether it may have actually happened, but the Season 10 episode “Darlene v. David” made things clear. Dan gives a rousing speech about how real men don’t walk out on their family. If that whole California thing had been true, that would’ve made Dan a major hypocrite.
Next: Forget about the money
The Conners never won the lottery
In the second episode of Season 9, the Conners ceased to be a blue-collar family. Roseanne won the Illinois State Lottery, transforming them into millionaires overnight. It was a controversial plot point, which a lot of viewers found a bit insulting. Roseanne was all about the lower-middle-class family, struggling to make ends meet. And now they were suddenly in the 1%?
But that was all a part of Roseanne’s book, as well. Season 10 opens with the house the same as it always was, with Dan alive and Roseanne working as an Uber driver. If they were going to go back on a whole bunch of these plot points, that’s fine. But what might’ve been more appropriate would’ve been the family winning the lottery, instead of having absolutely blown their windfall like 70% of lotto winners.
Next: Hard to keep it all straight
What was real and what wasn’t?
Because of the nature of the ninth season of Roseanne, it’s hard to draw the line between what is and is not real. In the finale, for example, Roseanne claims that the couples were switched, Dan had died of his heart attack, and that they never did win the lottery. But while the first two were changed back the way they were, the final one wasn’t.
The point of the reboot was to return things to how they were, but that came with more confusing subtractions from the story than we realized. Jackie’s son and sexuality have been just kind of glossed over. Just about everything that happened with Dan is up in the air. For the purposes of watching the reboot, it seems that the only thing that you should remember from Season 9 of Roseanne is the birth of Harris.
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