Roseanne the Blaming of the Shrew #

Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, "Roseanne" turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch's script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they're missed, that's not the problem; what is, is that the episode lacks the warmth that ties the Connor family together in the face of adversity.

With:
Cast: Roseanne, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Sarah Chalke, Michael Fishman, Michael O'Keefe, Johnny Galecki, Glenn Quinn, Ashley Johnson, Ellen DeGeneres

Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s not the problem; what is, is that the episode lacks the warmth that ties the Connor family together in the face of adversity.

Main plot finds the Connors’ son, D.J. (Michael Fishman), off to his first school dance, paired with a new girlfriend, Lisa (Ashley Johnson). Shrill and bossy, Lisa cows male members of the Connor household, though Roseanne likes her just fine.Argument follows between Roseanne and hubby Dan (John Goodman) as to whether relationship is healthy. He’s against it; she figures it’s about time women started asserting themselves.

Meanwhile, Roseanne’s sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), and Jackie’s husband, Fred (Michael O’Keefe), are having problems; she drags him to a marriage counselor. In her one scene as the therapist, DeGeneres acts pretty much like the “Ellen Morgan” character on her own show — hyperactive, fluttery and jokey (“If it’s all right with you, I’d like to record the session … I kinda like to play the tapes for my friends.”). The shrink, though, is better dressed than Ellen Morgan the bookstore owner.

While DeGeneres is fine, previous “Roseanne” stunt casting — David Crosby, Traci Lords, Bonnie Bramlett Sheridan — has been far more unconventional and less obviously ratings-oriented. Gail Mancuso’s direction and other tech credits are fine.

Roseanne the Blaming of the Shrew #

(Wed. (3), 8-8:30 p.m., ABC)

Production: Videotaped in Los Angeles by Full Moon & High Tide Productions in association with the Carsey-Werner Company. Executive producers, Roseanne, Eric Gilliland, Tom Werner, Marcy Carsey; supervising producers, Kevin Abbott, Miriam Trogdon; producers, Michael Borkow, Tim Doyle, Dusty Kay, Sid Youngers, Al Lowenstein; consulting producer, Rob Ulin; co-producer, Barbara Stoll; director, Gail Mancuso; script, Lawrence Broch; lighting design, Daniel Flannery.

Crew: Editor, Joe Bella; production designer, Garvin Eddy; sound, Richard Masci; music, W.G. Snuffy Walden.

Cast: Cast: Roseanne, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Sarah Chalke, Michael Fishman, Michael O'Keefe, Johnny Galecki, Glenn Quinn, Ashley Johnson, Ellen DeGeneres

More TV

  • THE EXPANSE -- "Intransigence" Episode 309

    'The Expanse' Moves to Amazon for Season 4

    Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s […]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV Review: 'Arrested Development' Season 5 on Netflix

    Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s […]

  • Showtime Executive, Gary Garfinkle.Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS©2012

    Gary Garfinkel, Co-Head of Content Acquisitions at Showtime, Dies at 55

    Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s […]

  • KIM POSSIBLE - The cast of

    'Kim Possible' Disney Channel Movie Casts Its Dr. Drakken, Shego, Other Key Characters

    Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s […]

  • Ted Danson Remote Controlled Podcast

    Remote Controlled: 'The Good Place' Star Ted Danson on His 'Delicious' Role

    Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s […]

  • Josh Holloway Colony

    Josh Holloway on Season 3 of 'Colony' in Trump Era: 'It's Scary, the Parallels of This Show'

    Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s […]

  • Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class'

    Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class' in Showrunner Switch

    Despite the presence of Ellen DeGeneres as guest star, “Roseanne” turns in a rare, below-par episode. Good gags in Laurence Broch’s script keep the show above standards of most sitcoms, if noticeably below its own. Two members of the Connor family are absent: daughters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Sarah Chalke). Though they’re missed, that’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content