Tuesday, November 20, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Conners' - Becky Delivers Surprising News While Darlene Gets a New Job in 'Miracles'

ABC's The Conners - Episode 1.05 "Miracles"

Life-changing news lands in the Conner household when a member of the family makes an announcement that no one saw coming. Dan is suspicious that Becky isn't sticking to her end of the deal when it comes to her drinking. Darlene continues her job search. Jackie offers English lessons to a Casa Bonita busboy in need.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of ABC's The Conners.

"Miracles" was written by Liz Astrof and directed by Bob Koherr

This creative team absolutely loves the idea of Becky being pregnant but not necessarily keeping the baby. That was a significant story throughout the Roseanne revival season. It caused tension between her and her mother because Roseanne didn't want her grandchild being raised by someone outside of the family. Becky at least wanted to know that she could still get pregnant and have a family. She believed that there was still time for her to do this. And now, her efforts are rewarded. It's a sudden shift in her story. This season already established that she was trying to get sober. She made a deal with her father to stop drinking. Now, she will have to commit to that path for her baby's health. However, it also introduces the conversation of money. Becky wants to do this by herself. She doesn't want to worry about who the father could be. She ultimately learns that it's just a busboy at the restaurant who doesn't speak English well. Jackie offers him help which immediately sets this up as an ongoing story. It's mostly introductory here though. And yet, there is also a new element of Becky having a small breakdown in front of her friends who have also been trying to get pregnant. This lesbian couple actually thinks that it could be great to adopt Becky's baby while ensuring that Becky remained in their lives as well. That immediately presents as a solution. However, it also feels a little too convenient without ensuring that this is a significant change to Becky's life. It takes a little bit of the personal responsibility away because the show is already a step too far ahead in planning for the future. Of course, Dan is going to have a strong opinion about all of this as well. He supported Roseanne in the initial disagreement with Becky. And now, he causes her new stress by firing her from the job because a pregnant woman can't be at a construction site. He still wants to protect her. This is her step towards growing up in a new way. But she is slowly dealing with the realities of her choices as well. Elsewhere, the show still has some problems with tonal focus. It still aspires to give every character something to do each week. That means there are significant stories here that have absolutely nothing to do with Becky's pregnancy even though that's the most life-changing news that the family receives here. Instead, a significant portion of time is spent on Darlene's job search as well as her new romance. However, it's just odd that the show introduced Justin Long as a new love interest for her only to quickly replace him with Jay R. Ferguson. Moreover, the reason why she breaks up with Neil doesn't even have anything to do with him. Their relationship is so empty and hollow. Sure, it highlights how she is bossy and making the same problems that ruined her marriage to David. And yet, that's mostly explained to her by Dan and Jackie instead of her realizing in the moment that she is causing Neil pain. That makes this another example of the show somewhat being removed from the consequences the characters face because of their actions. Moreover, her new boss doesn't really have any defining characteristics either. He just isn't as much of a pushover as Darlene is used to dating. Plus, their story is mostly about the workplace interaction instead of exploring something more romantic.