Halloween Countdown: Roseanne: Tricks & Treats
About 11pm last night, (don't ask me why) I decided that the ceiling in the living room that I started to paint last February needed to be finished. I had already had quite a long day, and I don't know about you but sometimes I get an idea in my head and can't get it out. I know myself well enough to know that if I did not start painting I would not have let the idea go. As luck would have it my step ladder was at my brothers so it was a acrobatic dance on milk crates to finish the job.
Now, when I begin any job the first task to find the perfect DVD to put in. I want something that will make the time fly while at the same time something I don't have to pay too too much attention to. My copy of Roseanne, Tricks & Treats was sitting on my kitchen table, still in the plastic it arrived from Amazon with. Roseanne is one of those shows I sometimes think was brilliant and other times think was garbage. The truth is it was both. Although Roseanne herself could never admit it, the show had about 3 really great seasons, 2 pretty good seasons and 4 pretty bad ones. Most (again, except Roseanne herself) agree the cutting edge lower middle class family drama lost most of it's street cred with it's horrid final season. Spin all you like Roseanne, that final season SUCKED!
I separate Roseanne's good or bad years basically down to whether Lecy Goranson was playing Becky. Lecy's Becky hit the right note of annoyance and self absorption most teenage girls exhibit. Sarah Chalke's Becky was never really written for, she was just arm candy and an excuse to legitimize keeping Johnny Galecki and Glenn Quinn on the show. Shortly after Lecy left, Sara Gilbert too reduced her work load for school and the show needed a sister at home so the Healy brothers could continue to live with the Connors without it being just weird.
Now the quality of the show is certainly not connected directly to who was playing Becky (frighteningly it seems more connected to Tom Arnold's presence) but as the show went on and Roseanne got more control the show got worse and worse. With actors like John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Estelle Parsons, it was still capable of delivering laughs, but everything that made the show click in season 2-5 were abandoned in the latter seasons.
Tricks & Treats follows my theory pretty much by the book. (the exception being the Skeleton in the Closet Halloween episode about whether Fred is gay is pretty hilarious) As the DVD progressed (and my painting arm got more tired) the quality of the episodes declined at a rapid pace. Sadly I was still rolling away on the ceiling at around 1:30a.m when the final episode, one with commentary by Roseanne, began to play. I like a delusional celebrity like the best of them but Roseanne really takes the cake. She takes credit for everything good and places blame for anything bad. According to Barr, there really were no Halloween themed episodes prior to her fighting with the network to get hers made. Although Roseanne cannot be bothered to remember (or research) the names of most of her more talented co-stars she does remember to pretty much take credit for George Clooney becoming famous...
My recommendation for Roseanne Tricks & Treats is to skip buying the DVD. Look for the good ones in repeats, most of them play every year around this time. Just a warning, if you find yourself with the Halloween/Scrooge combo themed offering, TURN THE CHANNEL!