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The Conners' Noticeable Character Absence That Has Fans Curious

Despite the title, fans of "The Conners" may think this is about Roseanne's departure from the show she helped put on the map, but it is not. Within the context of "The Conners," the family matriarch, played by Roseanne Barr, dies after succumbing to her opioid addiction, which was a simple way of addressing the real-life controversy surrounding the actor. "The Conners" is actually a retooled version of "Roseanne," and focuses on the remaining members of the hard-working and often hilarious family.

"The Conners" features a robust cast that has alumni from "Roseanne," but also new faces as well. This is on account of the individual families of the children from "Roseanne," now all grown up. Not only is there a new generation of Conners in the show, but there has also been some recasting or sharing of original roles, like that of Becky Conner. Originally played by Lecy Goranson, Sarah Chalke took the reins of the character for a couple of seasons before Goranson returned to the role.

With all those actors in one series, it's inevitable that some of them would be barely featured — or not featured at all — from time to time. As such, it appears as if there is another character that fans of "The Conners" are wondering about, as viewers aren't sure why they haven't seen them for long stretches of time.

Fans are wondering why Mark Conner-Healy is absent for a couple of episodes at a time

Moseying over to the subreddit r/TheConners, fans of the show pointed out the absence of Mark Conner-Healy (Ames McNamara) with u/rygelski asking, "It seems like he's disappeared with no explanation. Not my favorite character, but noticeably absent for several episodes now. Why?" McNamara's character of Mark is the son of Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) and David Healy (Johnny Galecki) and is named after his uncle Mark Healy (the late Glenn Quinn).

u/CPAAlfred likewise wondered where young Mark has been for several months, while u/Cohoitz said they have also noticed, but don't generally care about the character. However, it seems as if u/bhind45 had a probable answer for McNamara's spotty attendance, and said, "in-show and off-show, I'm assuming school-related things, he's usually absent for a few episodes here and there in the later half of the seasons, but more so in this one." This potential theory is probably the reason why McNamara tends to miss a few episodes every once in a while, as it isn't explained on the show why he sometimes isn't featured.

McNamara's age prevents him from appearing in every episode

According to IMDb, Ames McNamara was born in 2007 and he appears in many episodes of "The Conners," but there are spans where he is credited in name only and does not make an actual appearance. Considering his age, he probably needs to take the time to catch up on academics and his own childhood, though as noted above, it really isn't clear why he has missed some time on the show. In any case, the real challenges that today's students face amid the COVID-19 pandemic have already been explored on "The Conners."

In an interview with Mama's Geeky, McNamara brought up the topical issue of virtual learning created by the pandemic, and how those with less money were far less able to adapt to this change. McNamara applauded this story in "The Conners," and said, "It's not like these inequalities did not exist before, but [the pandemic has] widened the gap, in a way, and also brought more attention to it, which I think is a good thing." 

Virtual learning is indeed something McNamara is familiar with, as he also told Mama's Geeky that he was able to relate to his character's struggles due to his own experience taking classes away from the conventional classroom setting.