Some end of the week observations from in front of the small screen(s):
ONE SAD SEASON FINALE: Tuesday’s episode of The Connors was about the bleakest half-hour of a sitcom I’ve ever seen – even sadder than that time Buffy and Jodie on Family Affair got Uncle Bill and Mr. French to play Santa in July because their little friend was dying and wouldn’t live till Christmas.
The Conners has outperformed expectations and has been terrific all season, getting better since Roseanne Barr was booted off the re-boot of her own show last spring. The writing and acting have been electric and audiences have responded both in the US and Canada. The Conners was in the Canadian Top 5 the week of Jan. 7 to 13 with just under 1.8 million total CTV viewers across Canada.
Tuesday’s season finale, however – SPOILER ALERT – was quite a downer. First we learn that Jackie’s beau, played by Mathew Broderick, is a cheating bastard. Really? Ferris Bueler a grey-haired old creep? Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) hits the bottle hard and, in a crying jag of a scene, was eventually dragged out of a Chinese restaurant By Dan and Darlene. This series has never been afraid to peer into life’s darkest corners, but this this family took a blue collar beat down Tuesday.
Then it got worse. The father of Becky’s child turns out to be a prince of a guy – then he’s deported. The series went for it, with Emilio (Rene Rosado) getting picked off for being in America illegally. The Trump wall hit too close to home for this American family, some of whom showed sympathy for the president during those early, Roseanne episodes. The writers, we suspect, had a less sympathetic message to deliver.
Finally, Darlene (Sara Gilbert) turns down an offer from her beau, Ben (Jay R. Ferguson), to move in with him in Chicago – partially because her ex, David (Johnny Galecki), suddenly wants to reunite. Hey, Galecki s terrific and will be available next season with Big Bang wrapping up for good this spring. But just when Darlene seemed to be finally getting a break…
The good news? Dan (John Goodman), didn’t have a heart attack and join Roseanne in the big Taco Bell in the sky. The Conners will have a lot to resolve next season, which should keep loyal viewers hooked. But while we know life is sometimes like that, did everything bad all have to happen at once?
GOOD NEWS: On that same week’s ratings, two CBC shows cracked the Numeris million mark: ever popular Murdoch Mysteries (No. 19 with 1,216,000 total viewers) and the new Monday night drama Coroner (No. 23 with 1,051,000 viewers). Hockey Night in Canada (No. 30 with 936,000 total viewers) was the only other CBC show on the list – and the Saturday night draw is not really even a CBC show anymore.
TIDE’S OUT ON COACH BREAUX: Enough with the Tide Pods guy. Maybe it’s because Breaux sounds a little too close to Brioux, but this coach should be put in a corner. On every commercial break during every hockey broadcast, he’s a stain on my screen.