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The Conners Fans Point Out An Ugly Detail About Bev

Beverley "Bev" Harris (Estelle Parsons) is a bit of a terror. This is a fact that both "Roseanne" and "The Conners" have acknowledged frequently regarding the mother of Jackie Harris (Laurie Metcalf) and her late sister, Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr). Bev has a gift for saying the wrong thing and a tendency to belittle her children's pride and accomplishments. It's something Jackie and Roseanne push back against often. An example: "Do not call her mom!  You may call her Bev," Jackie snaps in "Roseanne," Season 7, Episode 15. "Or: Sea Hag." 

Even though Bev is largely an unwelcome presence in her children's households throughout the run of "Roseanne," some members of the Conner clan do appreciate her influence on their lives. For instance, Becky Conner-Healy (Lecy Goranson) eventually names her daughter after Bev, much to the horror of her self-sacrificing Aunt Jackie, who had been hoping to receive that honor.

But there's one specific detail about Bev that really bothers fans of both shows. It's a pretty ugly notion, something that has followed her character since she was first introduced. Fans on a subreddit dedicated to "The Conners" have pointed out that flaw, and once you notice it yourself, it's pretty hard to ignore.

Bev is far too cruel to Jackie

It's probably not shocking that fans have a major bone to pick with the way Bev treats both of her daughters. But they've also definitely noticed that Bev tended to favor Roseanne over Jackie when the former was alive.

"Every time Jackie expresses hopes and dreams, there's Bev ready to squash them and make Jackie feel small," noted u/SageThistle on a Reddit thread about the dynamic. They pointed out that Bev has a tendency to presume that if Jackie is devoted to any particular subject or profession, she will soon fail at her chosen aim. She was the first person to mock her daughter after her appearance on "Jeopardy!" went wrong, and the first person to poke fun at her failed relationships and ever-shifting professions. And let's not talk about Jackie's struggles with The Lunch Box.

But as u/crystalconnie pointed out, there was a time when Bev used to view Jackie as her child with the most promise. That led u/Blue_Skidoo to suggest that part of the reason Bev treats Jackie so harshly might be because she's so disappointed in and disillusioned by the choices her one-time favorite daughter has made. This ultimately "makes [Bev] twice as critical and all the more disappointed when she feels like Jackie is squandering her potential." Multiple fans noted that over the course of "Roseanne" and "The Conners," Roseanne evolves into Bev's golden child, while Jackie — who isn't blessed with a strong sense of self-esteem — can never do anything right.

Some fans think there could be a reason for that. "I think Bev is a narcissist,"  one Reddit user argued. Fellow commenter u/reminyx agreed, adding that this is probably why the Conner/Healy family has a dour, sarcastic worldview. "They learned to deal with constant criticism through unhealthy coping mechanisms and lots of low self esteem," they said.

The show's producers hope to bring Bev back

Perhaps in light of the fact that Jackie often ends up being something of a victim of her own worst instincts — and fate's cruelest twists — the show decided to finally give her a break in the form of a nice romance with veterinarian Neville Goldufski (Nat Faxon), whom she married during the Season 4 finale of "The Conners." 

"We feel like we finally had to give her a good, healthy relationship," co-producer Bruce Helford told TVLine in September 2021.  "Jackie's got a guy who adores her. She's still not sure how to accept that, because she doesn't adore herself... but her love life is good."

But even though Jackie seems to have a thriving love life and an improving business, speaking with TVLine in May 2022 about Jackie and Neville's wedding, among other topics, Helford expressed interest in bringing Bev back. He also revealed what kept Estelle Parsons from reprising her role in Season 4: the unexpected passing of her husband. "We're hoping that she'll come back to make Jackie and Neville miserable," Helford quipped. Hopefully, the upcoming fifth season of "The Conners" will shed some more light on Jackie's future and her ever-troubled relationship with Bev.