5 Reasons The Conners Season 6 Can’t Bring Back Roseanne

While The Conners season 6 could technically bring back Roseanne’s titular heroine, this would be a terrible idea for the spinoff. Roseanne was a popular sitcom throughout the ‘90s until the show’s ninth and final season. When the series was revived in 2017, Roseanne season 10 immediately retconned all of the critically abhorred season 9. The Roseanne revival was popular among audiences and brought back many of the memorable characters that made the original series so successful. However, Roseanne season 11’s existence was jeopardized when series star Roseanne Barr tweeted racist comments about Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor to Barrack Obama.

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Roseanne was swiftly canceled, and The Conners was born. The Conners covered up Roseanne Barr’s exit by killing off Roseanne in the pilot episode. The series then focused on the rest of the Conner family left behind after Roseanne’s death. The Conners soon proved popular with audiences. Now entering its sixth season, The Conners has moved past Roseanne’s demise and expanded its scope to focus on Roseanne’s children and grandchildren. Thus, while The Conners season 6 technically could bring back Roseanne, there are many reasons that this would be a bad idea.

5 The Conners Season 6’s Roseanne Return Is Unrealistic

roseanne fired from the conners

In the universe of The Conners, Roseanne is definitively dead. Previously, dead sitcom characters have come back via fantasy sequences, dreams, pre-recorded video messages, and other unlikely plot contrivances. However, The Conners is a grounded, realistic working-class sitcom, not a meta-textual, self-referential deconstruction of the genre. Roseanne’s return might make more sense if the show were more like Community or 30 Rock. The Conners is not a show that plays with the tropes of its genre, and as such, a surreal twist like Roseanne’s revival would feel misjudged in the recognizable suburban milieu of Lanford.

If Roseanne were to somehow return, this would inevitably dominate the events of The Conners season 6. This is part of whyThe Conners didn’t bring back David Healy in later seasons, since the presence of Johnny Galecki’s Roseanne character would have distracted from the character development of the main cast. This problem would be markedly worse in the case of Roseanne’s return since her comeback would have to occur via some fantastical plot twist. Even if Roseanne were just to appear in a dream, this would undo all of the years that the Conner family spent slowly getting over her untimely death.

4 The Conners Bringing Back Roseanne Is Desperate

Roseanne and Darlene from The Conners

It was already a little desperate when Roseanne season 10 retconned all of season 9 to bring John Goodman’s Dan back from the dead. However, it would be immeasurably worse to repeat this with Roseanne. As Family Guy proved with Brian’s temporary demise, reviving dead characters is a sign of desperation for any sitcom. The Conners already uses Roseanne’s supporting characters for its most emotionally charged storylines, an approach that can make it feel like the sitcom is not confident with its new characters. This problem would be significantly worsened if The Conners season 6 opted to focus on a dead character over its living cast.

3 The Conners Season 6 Has No Role For Roseanne

Roseanne in The Conners christmas photo

On the subject of the living characters in The Conners, the spinoff also has too many important figures for the show to begin focusing on a forgotten former star. Darlene has effectively replaced Roseanne as the main character of The Conners. The series already struggles to give its large cast sufficient screen time, and Jackie is just now starting to get the story focus that she richly deserves. The Conners season 6 would be better off focusing on Jackie’s travails than trying to find a role for Roseanne when the series already provided her with a fitting exit. Jackie’s story is more compelling than any new Roseanne-related plot.

2 The Conners Is A Better Show Without Roseanne

Dan in The Conners Season 5 & Roseanne in Season 10

Roseanne season 10 relied on hackneyed jokes about generational differences and political correctness. This carried into season 1 of The Conners before the show wisely dropped this approach. However, judging by her latest critically derided stand-up special, Roseanne’s return would likely mean more from this tired perspective. The Conners season 5 finale featured a moving, funny story that integrated every member of the eponymous family, while in contrast, one of Roseanne season 10’s episodes saw the titular antiheroine dunk her grandchild in a kitchen sink for talking back to her. This unwelcome tonal shift shows that Roseanne’s absence is no loss for the dramedy of The Conners.

In the years since the show killed off Roseanne, The Conners has leaned away from the reactionary humor that defined Roseanne’s season 10 revival. In the process, the sitcom has gotten closer to the tone of Roseanne’s first nine seasons. Roseanne’s original run didn’t feature many storylines centered around reactionary topics like cultural appropriation, and The Conners abandoning these themes in later seasons left more room for the show to focus on its main characters. Mark’s struggles to pay for college feel more like a classic Roseanne story arc than his school banning a Fortnite Halloween costume for being “too violent,” and Roseanne’s return could ruin this.

1 The Conners Season 6 Has An Opportunity To End Roseanne’s Story For Good

beverly conners

Beverly’s death could tie together the stories of Roseanne’s 10 seasons and the six seasons of The Conners. This would be a moving, fitting end to the overarching story of both shows and trying to shoehorn in a return from Roseanne would put that at risk. Particularly when The Conners season 5 set up a tragic end for Beverly, bringing back Roseanne would only complicate this straightforward story. Beverly’s ailing memory provided Jackie with a moving opportunity to forgive her abusive mother, a story that would never have worked while Roseanne was still alive.

Jackie’s ability to stand up to Beverly and her subsequent realization that Beverly was struggling with dementia was a plot that centered on Laurie Metcalf’s underrated supporting character. While Jackie did get some chances to shine in Roseanne, this storyline could not have worked in the earlier series. Since Roseanne was the title character, it would have been her relationship with Beverly that dominated the proceedings. Instead, Jackie was the episode’s focus, and the plot was stronger for this. As such, when it comes time for The Conners season 6 to kill off Beverly, it should be Jackie and not Roseanne’s returning heroine who is the focus of this final storyline.

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