What if she's not that special?
That's what Darlene Conner was wrestling with during The Conners Season 3 Episode 11.
Remember when Darlene was the wise-ass whose sarcastic quips and comebacks made us laugh? In a lot of ways, Darlene was Roseanne's mini-me. So what happened?
Unfortunately, Darlene's not feeling very confident these days, and that's understandable. Over the last few years, her marriage failed, and she lost her job in Chicago and had to move back in with her parents. Then she was fired from her writing job when the magazine went under.
And I'm sure her mother dying rocked Darlene emotionally more than she'd like to admit.
Now, she's taken a job she really didn't want, but she's working hard to be a success, and she's doing it! In a short period of time, Darlene has gone from line worker to manager.
So why isn't she happy? Why is it that when she gets her shot at presenting in front of the board, she has a panic attack?
Well, first off, Robyn springing that presentation on her wasn't cool at all. Most people get nervous when asked to speak in front of people, nevermind having to do it with no notice and to the board of directors who hold your career in their hands.
Did Robyn really think it was okay to surprise Darlene like that without warning?
Between the effects of the pandemic and the Conners trying to hold onto the house, it's no wonder the stress was affecting Darlene.
I'm surprised we're all not having panic attacks.
But the moment that seemed the most genuine was when Darlene wouldn't let Becky call an ambulance. Sadly, I know more than one person who has gotten a bill for hundreds or even over a thousand dollars after an ambulance ride to the hospital.
Thankfully, Darlene wasn't having a heart attack; if she were, she might be dead by the time Becky got her help.
However, Darlene must have insurance if she was able to see a psychiatrist afterward. She needed to talk this out with someone, preferably a professional. And it was great to see Fred Savage from The Wonder Years in the role, even if it was brief.
Darlene's confidence has been badly shaken over the last few years. She's experienced set back after set back, many of them simply due to circumstances beyond her control, but that doesn't mean she doesn't feel responsible.
I thought I was a writer and I failed at that. What if I’m not a manager either? You know, I was always a wise-ass and made fun of everybody because I felt that I was superior. But what if it’s not true? You know, what if I’m not special at all?Darlene
Darlene worries she isn't good enough, and her family is suffering for it. Once again, I'm left wondering why David is such a no-show for his kids. Why must everything fall entirely on Darlene's tiny, flannel-clad shoulders?
Although I appreciated this story because it felt so real, there wasn't much humor to be gleaned from it.
And that's a problem for The Conners this season. Their stories are real, painfully so at times, but it hasn't made me laugh through the pain the way it did in previous seasons.
It's difficult to laugh in the time of Covid, which is why we need The Conners to do a better job of finding the humor in tough situations.
Jackie and Louise's arm wrestling match had potential, but it ended much too soon.
Louise: I could whip you.
Jackie: No way, I was a cop.
Louise: What, did you carry the criminals to jail?
Dan and Ben working at the hardware store had its moments.
Is the hardware store now owned by Ben's mother, or is it his? Because if it's his, then there's potential for future income if he and Dan can partner together in the venture.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Dan lost two contracting jobs because he needs hearing aids, which cost thousands and generally aren't covered by insurance, even if Dan had any.
But it was Dan admitting to Jackie that his drywall days are done that was most difficult to hear.
It’s getting harder and harder for me. They don’t make ice packs big enough to cover what hurts on me at the end of the day.Dan
There's only so long someone can do a physically demanding job, and Dan has done his for years. He wasn't expecting to have to give it up when finances were already so precarious.
But he also wasn't expecting to enjoy working at the hardware store.
You know, I really didn’t think I’d enjoy standing around talking to people all day but it’s kind of fun when you know everything and they’re clueless idiots. Maybe I am a people person.Dan
It was understandable that Ben got his ego a bit bruised when the customers flocked to Dan instead of him, but I couldn't believe that Ben spoke to Dan the way he did.
Belittling the man who is effectively your father-in-law and owns the home where you live isn't a smart idea.
Thankfully, both men were willing to admit they were wrong, although I still think it was more Ben's fault than Dan's.
And is it just me, or has Ben become more whiny as his time on the series progresses. One of the things I liked about him was that he seemed strong, confident, and was willing to stand up to Darlene when he disagreed with her.
But I suppose that was before he lost his job and ended up moving in with Darlene's family. Things have changed and not necessarily for the better.
What do you think, TV Fanatics?
- Am I being too hard on Ben?
- Should I stop harping on David being an MIA dad?
- Was Darlene's panic attack and loss of confidence understandable?
- Do you think there's a future for Dan and Ben to run the hardware store together?
- And has The Conners lost some of its magic due to Covid-19?
Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below and tell us what you think about this installment of The Conners. Then sit back and watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.