The Seventh 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, struggling through that odd thing we call life. The show has an intrinsic cast and they are a hard bunch 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. For more background information about the series please refer to my reviews of season one, season two, season three, season four, season five, and season six.
In season seven, Roseanne has several dramatic story arcs about the family and their relationships, such as Jackie-Fred, Darlene-David, Becky-Mark, and of course, Roseanne-Dan. There are also fun episodes with D.J., some of which are quite serious. As an overall season, it is pretty enjoyable and has solid content that fans will appreciate. However, it is worth noting that the humor is not quite as strong as the past few seasons.
The Jackie-Fred relationship is once again at the fore. In season six, Jackie and Fred had a baby and got hitched. In this season, their relationship is on the rocks. Jackie dates another guy and hides it from Fred. The truth comes out when Dan accidentally finds her with the other guy. Following, the couple realizes that their love may have been rushed due to the baby. Fred and Jackie split up, and Roseanne and Dan take it upon themselves to patch things up. One of the better episodes revolving around this relationship is "The Blaming of the Shrew", which guest stars Ellen DeGeneres as a marriage counselor.
The Darlene and David relationship also hits rock bottom. While Darlene is away at school and David at home in Lanford, she realizes that she wants to see other people. She dates a boxer/ballet dancer named Jimmy (Danny Masterson). At first, David is okay with there being another guy, but gets some sense and forces Darlene to pick him or the other guy. She picks the other guy. A fun episode from this situation is "Follow the Son", where David tries to convince Jimmy to breakup with Darlene by pretending to be Darlene's "friend".
David, being single, mops around the house and forms a bond with stepsister Becky. They both have a lot in common. The new relationship rubs Mark the wrong way, especially how Becky stops spending time with him. But in the end, it only makes them closer. Mark and Becky also decide they want to have a baby and move out of the house. To Roseanne and Dan's dismay, they move into a trailer. The latter takes place in the hilarious episode "Happy Trailers". Simply how Roseanne and Dan react to their children's new home is a riot.
As for Dan and Roseanne, they have a lot to deal with this season. In the beginning of the season, big news comes to the Conner household when Roseanne learns she is pregnant. "Maybe Baby" is a serious episode that ties into their unborn child. Dan and Roseanne prepare for bad news from the doctor and consider what they will do if their baby has birth defects. On the fun side of life, they get an eye-opener when the new neighbors move in. In "Rear Window", a senior citizen couple moves in next door who love to be in the buff.
As for other fun episodes, D.J. finds himself in the center of several. In "White Men Can't Kiss", D.J. gives the Conners a shot of reality when they find out their little boy is a racist. D.J. refuses to kiss a girl in the school play because she is black. "The Parenting Trap" is a hilarious episode. D.J. is having problems in class, and his teacher thinks he's stupid. It turns out he is just embarrassed; D.J. say thank you to puberty. In "The Blaming of the Shrew", the Conners are shocked when D.J.'s first girlfriend Lisa (Ashley Johnson) turns out to be just as bossy as Roseanne.
Overall, the seventh season has several good episodes, but the humor is not quite the same as the past couple seasons. It is lighter with more drama surrounding the relationships. It is still pretty fun and will appease fans of the show, but it is a clear indication that the material is going downhill.
1. Nine Is Enough: Roseanne's unexpected pregnancy threatens to put a strain on an already crowded living situation.
2. Two For One: On top of Dan and Roseanne's pregnancy jitters, Darlene is having an affair.
3. Snoop Davey Dave: Darlene's recent break up and drug use are the source of turmoil in the Conner house.
4. Girl Talk: Roseanne attempts to give Mark and Becky sex advice to save their relationship.
5. Sleeper: David's fantasies about one of the Conner women creates a great discussion.
6. Skeleton In The Closet: An innocent prank at Halloween brings some things to light about Fred and everyone's past.
7. Follow The Son: Concerns are raised when Roseanne has trouble with the fact that D.J. is growing up, and David is upset that Darlene is moving out.
8. Punch And Jimmy: Dan tries to protect D.J. from the town bully, while Roseanne and Jackie pay a visit to Darlene's new boyfriend.
9. White Men Can't Kiss: When D.J. won't kiss a black girl in the school play, Dan tries to figure out where his son's racist attitude is coming from.
10. Thanksgiving 1994: It's a typical Conner Thanksgiving with football, feasting, flaring tempers, a surprise guest, and unexpected complications.
11. Maybe Baby: Waiting for prenatal results leaves Dan and Roseanne in a panic.
12. The Parenting Trap: D.J.'s fallen behind the learning curve at school and may require "special" classes.
13. Rear Window: A geriatric couple with a penchant for nudity has moved in next door.
14. My Name Is Bev: Bev's thrown in jail for drinking and driving, and it's up to Roseanne and Jackie to bail her out.
15. Bed And Bored: Feigning illness for preferential treatment, Roseanne claims the doctor has ordered a week of bed rest.
16. Sisters: Fred's unhappy that D.J.'s spending all his spare time at Aunt Jackie's house.
17. Lost Youth: Jackie is restless and complains to Fred that their sex life is predictable.
18. Single Married Female: After discovering Jackie cavorting with another man, Dan makes the difficult decision to tell Fred.
19. The Clip Show - All About Rosey One-Hour Special: In this unusual episode, we blast to the past and flash to the future to learn "all about Rosey." A pre-adolescent Roseanne and Jackie glimpse future events through a fortune teller's crystal ball.
20. Husband and Wives: Roseanne attempts to get Jackie and Fred back together.
21. Happy Trailers: Roseanne and Dan secretly attempt to financially help Becky and Mark after they move into a shabby trailer.
22. The Blaming Of The Shrew: Dan disapproves of D.J.'s first date, a domineering young girl he's escorting to the school dance.
23. The Birds And The Frozen Bees: When D.J. reveals that he can bring frozen bees back to life, Jackie decides to conduct a few experiments of her own, and Darlene realizes she still wants David.
24. Couch Potatoes: It's the final months of Roseanne's pregnancy, and she's on a home improvement rampage.
25. Sherwood Schwartz - A Loving Tribute: Dan's dream of building a boat leads to an episode full of fantasy and fun -Gilligan's Island style.
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.
There are no extras included with this season set. I thought this was a shame, because past seasons have had extras that have ranged from commentaries to featurettes.
In Roseanne's seventh season, the series continues with the mix of comedy and drama. As for the former, there is less than previous seasons and more drama. The situations the family deals with include a new baby, relationship break-ups, puberty, and more. As an overall season, it is fairly strong and comes Recommended for the fans.