The Third Season
Roseanne was a popular sitcom from the late eighties and its cast has been given numerous awards for their performances. The series is about a lower class family living in Lanford, Illinois who is struggling through that odd thing we call life. The show has an intrinsic cast and they are a hard family not to like. Roseanne looks at some of the most common daily situations from the home and the work place. In most cases these situations turn out to be funny. However unlike some sitcoms that rely on slapstick comedy to make ordinary situations a riot, Roseanneuses witty dialogue to get laughs. All in all, I like this show. For more background information about the series please refer to my reviews of season one and season two.
Now, I don't know if it is because I was just in the mood to watch Roseanne or what, but I couldn't stop laughing all throughout season three. There was just something about this season I enjoyed more than past seasons. It seemed to be funnier and a lot easier to follow. While the first and second seasons weren't awful to sit through (they were pretty fun), season three was just better.
The season begins with "The Test", an episode about a serious matter that could dramatically affect the entire casts' lives. Of course, the way Roseanne and company handle it is a blast to watch. Roseanne believes she might be pregnant again. She takes a pregnancy test and has to wait ten minutes to find out whether or not she is pregnant. The course of the episode focuses on Roseanne dealing with her own emotions while at the same time dealing with Dan, Jackie, the kids, and Crystal's feelings about the matter. The cast really pulled together nicely in this episode and made such a serious event a lot of fun.
The solid moments of fun continue throughout the rest of the season with the Conner family dealing with many of lives daily problems. Some of the more important issues involve Jackie being a cop, getting injured, and her boyfriend Gary making her choose between him and the job in "Goodbye, Mr. Right".
There are also quite a lot of stories about the teenage girls and that little thing called sex. In "Like, a Virgin", Roseanne gives Becky the sex talk, but doesn't realize it is Darlene who needs the talk more. "Becky, Beds and Boys" is a silly episode where Roseanne and Dan disapprove of the roughneck bad boy Becky is dating. This introduces Mark Healy (Glenn Quinn), who later becomes a reoccurring cast member and the love interest for Becky and a big headache for everyone else.
"Dream Lover" is a simple story about something you should probably never tell your spouse if it happens. Dan begins dreaming about a mysterious woman and when he tells Roseanne, she isn't grinning ear to ear. "PMS, I Love You" is another good episode about Dan and Roseanne's relationship. In this episode, Roseanne gets PMS on the same day as Dan's birthday. It makes for a miserable day for Dan, but some great laughs for us!
Midway into the season something big happens that sets the Conner family in confusion. Dan's father announces his engagement to Roseanne's good friend Crystal in "The Courtship of Eddie, Dan's Father". In the following episode "The Wedding", they get hitched. Of course, Dan does not react to well to the situation. It is a serious and dramatic episode, but of course, Roseanne and company handle the situation daftly and make this very sticky situation a bundle of fun.
This season also features Becky slowly turning into an adolescent. In "Becky Doesn't Live Here Anymore" she runs away to live with Jackie. In "Her Boyfriend's Back", she and Mark take Dan's motorcycle without permission. And if you have ever seen the family oriented sitcom when the kid takes the car out, you know it doesn't come back in one piece.
Overall I enjoyed watching season three of Roseanne quite a bit. I felt the comedy was a better than the past two seasons, which is not to say they weren't bad. They just weren't as good. Regardless, I had a good time watching season three and can't wait for season four to hit DVD. If, by chance, you haven't started collecting the Roseanne season sets yet, season three is good a place as any to start.
1. The Test
2. Friends & Relatives
3. Like A Virgin
4. Like A New Job
5. Goodbye Mr. Right
6. Becky, Beds & Boys
7. Trick Or Treat
8. PMS, I Love You
9. Bird IS The Word
10. Dream Lover
11. Do You Know Where Your Parents Are?
13. The Courtship Of Eddie, Dan's Father
14. The Wedding
15. Becky Doesn't Live Here Anymore
17. Valentine's Day
18. Communicable Theater
19. Vegas Interruptus
20. Her Boyfriend's Back
21. Troubles With The Rubbles
22. Second Tiem Around
23. Dances With Darlene
24. Scenes From A Barbecue
25. The Pied Piper Of Lanford
The first season release came with syndicated episodes (not originally network airing, missing footage). This was a concern some had with additional season releases. However the episodes in season three are the uncut original network episodes.
The video is given in its original television aspect ratio 1.33:1 full frame color. Overall, the picture looks decent. The transfer is a little dirty with a noticeable grain and other imperfections (minor aliasing, rough edges, and compression artifacts). It is an acceptable transfer and shouldn't ruin the viewing experience.
The audio track included with this release is English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The sound quality is good with dialogue consistently audible. It is an average TV on DVD track. It is dialogue driven and as a result remains pretty flat and has very little distinction with channel separation. This release does not come with subtitles, but it is closed caption enabled.
The extras included in this season release are similar to the past season releases, except different actors/actresses are featured in the bonus content. The first two items are interview featurettes. They include "Laurie Metcalf Interview: The Sister That Never Leaves" (8:49) and "Lecy Goranson Interview: I Was A Teenage Becky" (7:40). They respectively include Metcalf and Goranson talking about their characters on the show and other related stuff. Next there is "The Best Of Season Three" (7:05), which is a season three montage of various fun clips and there are some pretty fun highlights included. Finally there are some trailers for Rockin' With Roseanne, 3rd Rock From The Sun, and Grounded For Life.
I have enjoyed getting to watch the first three seasons of Roseanne on DVD. It is rich sitcom with some clever dialogue and likeable characters. While I have enjoyed the first two seasons, I haven't been in love with them. They are fun and worth watching, but not great. This third season is quite different. Perhaps I was just in the mood for some Roseanne, but I found I really enjoyed this season a lot more. It comes recommended.