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.
13. Rear Window: A geriatric couple with a penchant for nudity has moved in next door.