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Fans Identify The Biggest Differences Between Roseanne And The Conners

When "Roseanne" debuted in 1988, it was hailed for its honest and humorous look at the Conners, a regular working-class family with a cast that looked like people we see in our day-to-day lives. The show and cast were nominated for numerous Emmy Awards, with Roseanne Arnold winning in 1993 and Laurie Metcalf winning in 1992, 1993, and 1994. The writing was witty and original, with hot, up-and-coming writers such as Chuck Lorre and Amy Sherman-Palladino writing memorable episodes for the show (via IMDb).

When the show returned in 2018 for the 10th season, fans were thrilled. The ending of "Roseanne" — in which much of the show's canon was erased with the explanation that it had been from Roseanne's book — infuriated longtime viewers. Fans longed for a revival that would "fix" the original ending. What gave everyone hope was that writers from the original series, Sid Youngers, Bruce Rasmussen, and Betsy Borns, were writing for the renewed "Roseanne" (per IMDb). However, Roseanne Barr was fired, and the show was retooled again without her as "The Conners." Still, something seemed off, and fans think they've finally figured out the significant differences between "Roseanne" and "The Conners."

Fans think mediocre writing and a different time period affected The Conners

On one of "The Conners" subreddits, u/roseydaisydandy gave their take on the differences between "The Conners” and "Roseanne." "I couldn't figure out why I really wasn't getting into the show like I used to growing up," they commented. "Then I realize the acting is completely different. The jokes are forced, and everyone is goofier in their acting. The storyline doesn't feel real like in the old show. I feel like I'm watching a Full House version of Roseanne." Many agreed, with u/ShikWolf saying, "The [story] arcs had something to say about the state and quality of life for working-class people." The user further explained, "'The Conners' ... is less about depicting reality and more about fanservice and pop culture/current events. The relevance is superficial." 

It's also notable that fans had issues with the writing team, except for Bruce Rasmussen and Sid Youngers. New writers would be coming from a different perspective of what the TV show is about. Many fans also point out that sitcoms were different in the past versus now. Redditor u/Harleye blames both the difference in the time periods and the writers, commenting, "While I agree that culture is different now than it was 20 or 30 years ago, I still think that if the series had better writers and a tighter cast, it would be a better show." Whether better writing would improve the series, or the reason "The Conners" flopped is because it cannot live up to "Roseanne," the show is gearing up for Season 5, so it still has a chance to reach its potential.