The Sixth 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, and season five.
Season six has several changes and events for the cast. Most notably, this season marks Sarah Chalke's first appearance on the series (replacing Lecy Goranson as Becky). Additional big happenings this season deal with the Becky-Mark relationship, the Darlene-David relationship, Jackie's pregnancy, Leon and the Lunchbox, and other things. Overall, season six makes for a great addition to the series. Fans will appreciate how well this series handles dramatic situation and produces laugh after laugh.
In the beginning of the season, Roseanne's life undergoes a rather big change and she loses another daughter. Darlene, who was accepted to college in season five, prepares to leave for Chicago to start her new life. Roseanne is unhappy to be losing another child (recall Becky left in season five to be with Mark). David is also not excited about the matter and he tries to convince Darlene to stay, which ends with the pair splitting up. The Darlene-David relationship comes back over and over again throughout the season as they move into together and later face Dan and Roseanne's wraith when they find out Darlene and David were living together. The storylines offer very dramatic storylines that are complimented by Darlene's sarcastic personality. It works quite nicely.
Also in the early episodes stemming from Roseanne's household shrinking, she decides to wants to have another baby. She and Dan try, but eventually give up when Jackie announces she is pregnant. Roseanne then focuses her efforts on Jackie's coming baby. The pregnancy introduces a new reoccurring character, Fred (Michael O'Keefe) as the estranged father. O'Keefe is a solid addition to the cast. His character has a great dynamic with Roseanne and Jackie. Lots of laughs.
While Becky moved out in season five to live with her newlywed husband Mark, they return to the Conner household after Mark loses his job and they run into a major financial setback. They become permanent faces in the house once again. There are some decent stories dealing with them, which include Roseanne and Dan (despite their best wishes) trying to patch things up between them after a major spat and Becky getting a job at Bunz (a Hooters like restaurant). Also, as previously mentioned Sarah Chalke replaces Lecy Goranson for the role of Becky. I had mixed feelings about the cast change. Chalke works with the rest of the cast, but lacks the same chemistry Goranson had developed with them over the years.
There are many other big happenings this season: Bev upsets Roseanne's world by selling her share of the diner to Leon--Leon and Roseanne's love-hate relationship is a fun dynamic that works quite well this season, Dan faces his past and comes to terms about his mother's condition when she is admitted to a mental hospital, DJ gets into trouble on more than one occasion, which includes a lesson about masturbation, stealing the family car, and going to church, Roseanne visits a gay bar with Nancy, and in one of the funniest stories of the season, Roseanne learns about Bev's sex life.
Overall, season six of Roseanne offers one strong episode after another. The season does a fantastic job producing hilarious storylines with a touch of drama. While this season featured the first cast change of a major role, the cast still works nicely together with a fun dynamic. In the end, this season is great and should not be missed.
1. Two Down, One To Go: Roseanne is forced to say goodbye to another daughter going away to college. David is in hope that Darlene will stay, so he decides to propose to her.
13. Suck Up Or Shut Up: DJ is going through problems at school because Roseanne joins a women's group to increase the traffic at the diner.