The Conners Kills Off Roseanne With a Shocking Twist; But Did Anyone Watch?

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In May of this year, Roseanne Barr's outspoken racism got her fired from her own show.

Fortunately, the rest of the cast, crew, and production team were saved when ABC confirmed a Roseanne spinoff, The Conners.

As you can see in this clip from The Conners premiere, they killed off Roseanne's character. Here's how:

The Connors premiere screencap 01

On Tuesday, October 16, The Conners premiered.

There, viewers learned that Roseanne -- the character -- has died.

At first, the Connors simply believed that her cause of death had been a heart attack. That is the simplest way to kill off a character of her age.

She fell victim, writers and producers decided, to an opioid overdose.

As the family grieves, they remark on odd things that anyone who's lost an immediate family member has noted -- like the custom of bringing food to those who are in mourning.

(Note that while Roseanne may have died, that cringey laugh track remains)

Roseanne Flips Out

Obviously, no actual Roseannes were harmed during the filming of this episode.

Dan -- John Goodman's character -- was particularly upset to learn that she had died of an overdose.

He had personally flushed her pain pills following her knee surgery, fearing that they might be misused or fall into the wrong hand.

In his quest to find someone to blame, he targeted the woman whose name was on the pill bottle.

But he learned that it wasn't so simple -- Roseanne had stashed pill bottles from multiple sources all over the house.

John Goodman on The Connors

Beyond this, the episode covered the Conner family trying to figure out how to exist with their new normal.

Part of that simply meant performing tasks that Roseanne herself used to do.

Dan assumed the role of someone to whom people come to talk, so it was to Dan that Mark came out as gay.

(Dan did a good job, saying that he just wished that Mark had felt comfortable telling him sooner)

In the mean time, Jackie spends the entire time trying to fill in for Roseanne around the house, but it's really because she's not prepared to say goodbye to her late friend.

The Connors premiere screencap 02

The episode ends with the family sitting around the table.

There isn't the usual laughter, but they're all happy.

It is also revealed that Dan has been sleeping on the couch since Roseanne's overdose, but he finally returns to his bed.

Honestly, that's a very realistic struggle for people who are grieving.

And grappling with an unexpected opioid overdose is an all too real struggle for Americans.

Roseanne Barr Cackles

The Connors' premiere ratings were reportedly steady with the finale of Roseanne.

(And that's an incomplete sample of viewers -- think of how many people have yet to watch the episode on their DVRs)

Some reviewers went ahead and wrote that The Conners is exactly the sort of revival that ABC should have aired last year.

This show, many viewers agree, has more of the spirit of the original series.

Too much of that lone revival season of Roseanne felt like a betrayal of what the show had always represented.

The Connors premiere screencap 03

In the end, plenty of people who would never have tuned in to the Roseanne revival would happily watch The Conners.

Similarly, plenty of people who watched the Roseanne revival because they wanted to cheer on a fellow Trump supporter are boycotting this series.

So far, it appears that the ratings are evening out. We hope that they remain strong.

When Roseanne was canceled, it left hundreds of people suddenly without jobs -- people who hadn't been looking for a new production job because Season 2 was already a sure thing.

If nothing else, we're glad that The Conners is keeping those people employed for another television cycle. And perhaps, for many more.

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