Remember when The Conners first began and the naysayers said it wouldn’t last, or it wouldn’t be any good if it did. Boy, were they wrong on both counts.
The Conners Season 2 was ABC’s highest-rated comedy, and it gifted fans with some extraordinary character development and best episodes of the series.
So let’s dive in and break down the best, the worst, and everything in between before we give The Conners Season 2 a final grade.
“Throwing a Christian to a Bear” was the best and the funniest installment of the season.
The Conners Season 2 Episode 10 managed to honor Americans’ love of football while poking fun at its sometimes ridiculous, over-the-top obsession with it.
For The Conners, their love of the Chicago Bears was what pulled them together and gave them the strength to get through the dark times. It’s why Dan worked so hard to turn his grandson into a fan.
Mark: I have something to tell you, Grandpa, and I hope you’ll still love me afterward. I don’t care about football.
Dan: Give me a minute, Pal. I do still love you but everything’s different now. I understand this gay thing but this is a choice.
The love and loyalty the family feels towards the Bears was why Becky’s new boyfriend, Wyatt, showing up in a Green Bay Packers cheesehead hat, was both so shocking and hilarious.
I just want you to know that I’ve been caught drinking beer, making pot cookies, and selling stolen goods but not one of those things has made them as upset as they are right now.Harris
But Wyatt’s problem wasn’t just that he had rooted for the wrong team but that he looked down on Becky’s family without getting to know them.
Yes, the Conner family can be tough, but Wyatt never realized how much they do for one another, which was why Becky kicked him to the curb, literally, and from his own luxury vehicle no less.
“Slappy Holidays” The Conners Season 2 Episode 7 gave us the best drama of the season.
Darlene’s resistance to giving Jackie and Becky a chance to make the Lunch Box a reality came to a head when Jackie called Darlene out for thinking she knew best while she was making a mess of her own life by sleeping around and neglecting her kids.
Jackie: You think you’re the almighty decision-maker around here? You think you can replace Roseanne as the mom of this family? What a joke.
Dan: Jackie, that’s enough.
Darlene: You want to talk about my mom. Let’s talk about her because she spent her entire life trying to fix you and every time she picked you up you fell down. You know why? Because you’re a loser and you were the bane of her existence.
Angry, hurtful words were spoken, ones that viewers won’t soon forget, as Jackie was reduced to tears after slapping Darlene.
It reminded us how Roseanne's death is still an open wound for much of the family and how that pain is always just below the surface.
“The Icewoman Cometh” had the most shocking revelation.
We all knew that Grandma Bev wasn’t the kindest woman on the planet. She seemed to revel in tearing down Jackie and never really had a nice thing to say about anyone.
But purposefully using her money to drive a wedge between Darlene and her son, Mark on The Conners Season 2 Episode 17 was low even for Bev.
If Bev was so determined to make her own decisions concerning the building that used to be the Lunch Box, she shouldn’t have handed over power of attorney to someone else.
That she gleefully tortured her granddaughter and great-grandson was vile even for Bev.
It’s what made it so gratifying to see Darlene kick her out of the house and even funnier that somehow, Bev thought that Dan would come to her aid.
The Most Disappointing Character Award goes to Darlene. First, she cheated on Ben by sleeping with David, all while leading David on to make him think she’d broken up with Ben.
Darlene didn’t stop her hurtful, irresponsible actions even when Harris called her out on it.
To make things worse, she allowed Harris to get away with bad, sometimes reckless behavior so that she’d keep her mother’s secret.
Darlene spent so much time sneaking around between Ben and David that Harris fell in with Odessa and started selling pot brownies at school.
Instead of owning her faults as a person and a parent, Darlene tried to blame her father for not watching out for Harris, and if Dan had kicked her out for that jibe, I wouldn’t have blamed him.
Although Darlene eventually started to pull herself together, she failed Harris as a role model and a parent, and she deserved to lose both David and Ben.
With "Preemies, Weed, and Infidelity," The Conners Season 2 Episode 1 produced the biggest mystery of Season 2.
Why would Becky name her beautiful baby girl after her evil grandmother? I get wanting to honor family, but this had me at a total loss.
But that wasn't the only mystery of the season.
Where Was David? This turned out to be our frequently asked question over several episodes.
David had supposedly moved back to Lanford to be there for his kids, so where was he for the majority of The Conners Season 2?
Did he get bored and leave again? Was he only interested in sticking around when he had a girlfriend or was sleeping with Darlene?
Because as soon as David used their therapy session to break up Darlene, he disappeared from both her and the kids' lives. It was clear that David was nowhere to be found as Harris faced multiple mishaps and needed both her parents there, whether she realized it or not.
What made it all the sadder was that when David chose to be involved, as in The Conners Season 2 Episode 2, "A Kiss is Just a Kiss," he proved he could be a great Dad.
What’s important is that someone wonderful will eventually come along. I think the hard part is that you know who you are at a very early age and that’s great, but until the rest of the kids catch up it might be a little lonely.David
The Most Heartwarming Moment belonged to The Conners Season 2 Episode 3 when Becky and the baby moved back home.
“The Preemie Monologues” had our hearts breaking as new mom Becky felt like a failure at every turn.
Becky: The baby’s coming home Friday.
Darlene: Oh, that’s fantastic. Right? I mean, that’s great. Your face isn’t saying it’s great.
Becky: My face just read this letter from Assistance For Needy Families. I was approved and then they said I made too much because of my tips at Casita Bonita. I failed at being poor.
But renovating the basement so that Becky and Beverly Rose had a safe place to call home was the perfect answer, and as a bonus, it meant that Becky got to interact more often with both Dan and Darlene.
Surprisingly, the Best Line of the season wasn't funny but painfully poignant...
David: Darlene, by controlling the relationship you’ve always kept me at arm’s length and I think I’ve known that for a long time but until I came here I was too weak to ask for what I needed. I needed partnership. I needed true intimacy. I needed to be heard.
Darlene: I heard you.
David: I don’t think you’ve heard me since I was 15.
For those of us who had been witness to David and Darlene since they were teenagers, "I don't think you've heard me since I was 15," from The Conners Season 2 Episode 4 was a gut punch because it spoke the truth.
The Worst Storyline easily belonged to The Conners Season 2 Episode 14 with Jackie's foray into having a "thrupple."
Jackie deserved a real relationship, which was what made this plot so depressing, and it was a waste of its two talented guest stars, Jennifer Grey and Clark Gregg.
The only highlight was that it ended in under two episodes.
Honorable Mentions go to:
- The frustration and heartbreak when Harris got into college but couldn't pay for it on The Conners Season 2 Episode 11.
- Becky and Dan’s relationship. Dan made sure Becky and Beverly Rose had a safe place to land, while Becky was Dan's sounding board when difficult, emotional situations arose, such as when his father died.
Dan and Louise taking it slow but moving forward. No one was sure Dan could move on after losing Roseanne, not the fans, and certainly not Dan, but taking things slow proved to be the winning strategy.
By the time Dan and Louise officially got together during The Conners Season 2 Episode 19, we were completely on board.
The Conners is consistently an outstanding show because it realistically portrays what it's like to live on the edge. Unlike most other TV shows, no one lives is huge apartments or drives fancy cars, and kids don't automatically get to go away to college.
With the Conner family, bills go unpaid because there's never enough to make ends meet, and many Americans can understand that struggle because they're living it.
But The Conners is brilliant because even when we're connecting with the family's sense of desperation, it can still make us laugh.
The Conners Season 2 gets an A-. Despite a few missteps, we enjoyed the heck out of it and would be happy to watch it all again.
But now it's your turn, TV Fanatics! What grade would you give The Conners Season 2?
Then hit that BIG, BLUE, SHOW COMMENTS BUTTON down below and let us know your thoughts about the season.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.