Back in the fourth season of the shows original run, Roseanne’s oldest daughter (original Becky not Becky from Scrubs) decides to talk to her mother about birth control.
It wasn’t until this past Fall when I was sick with a cold and baby-sitting for a demogorgon masquerading as a cat that I happened to catch this episode on TV.
Becky’s original plan was to go to a clinic and get a prescription, but after talking with her Aunt Jackie, she decides to ask her mom to take her to the gynecologist. Roseanne holds it together while Becky is in the room, but then she totally freaks out when she leaves.
But like that’s good. I mean who wouldn’t freak out when their kid asked them for birth control for the first time? It’s good that she does this with her sister instead of her kid. And when Roseanne hears her friend’s baby crying in the next room, she realizes she can pull herself together and help Becky. It’s really a sweet episode where Roseanne perfectly encapsulates a healthy amount of compartmentalization, struggling privately with her shifting mother-role while expertly support her daughter when she needs her most.
Oh and by the way, this episode was written by Amy Sherman-Palladino, so it’s possible I am just an Amy Sherman-Palladino fan and not an original-run Roseanne fan…but I’m still very, very mad about the Gilmore Girls revival.
So I actually wasn’t allowed to watch Roseanne as a kid because it was too crass. But I did catch a few re-runs in high school and thought it was pretty funny. This, friends, is not a funny episode.
It opens with Darlene and Roseanne telling DJ that their grandma is in a mental institution. Then we learn from Dan that she’s had multiple breakdowns over the years because Dan’s father was “abusive.” And by “abusive” I mean he traveled for work a lot.
Dan gets really drunk decides to go over to his Dad’s new wife’s house and tell her that she’s in a bad marriage. Only, she isn’t actually in a bad marriage. Actually, Dan’s dad is a nice guy and his mom had been in and out of mental institutions long before she ever met his father. Depressing enough yet?
Well hold on, it gets worse. Dan’s father has just been letting Dan blame him for his mother’s problems forever so that Dan wouldn’t think less of her. But like now he just has a mom who is in a mental hospital and hates his father for no reason…so how was that a good idea???
So then Dan and his dad makeup once Dan knows the truth. Omg. This was sad for no reason. Today is just a sad day all around. I’m going back to live streaming Prince’s music.
Very Special Lesson: I don’t think alienating your children is ever the right solution to someone in your family having a mental illness, but that’s just me.