The Conners Risks Series Future By Neglecting The Next Generation Of Characters

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Highlights

  • The Conners’ focus on older characters like Dan and Jackie risks sidelining the younger generation like Mark, Harris, and Beverly-Rose.
  • Neglecting young characters could harm the series’s longevity and prevent any potential spin-offs from matching the success of The Conners.
  • Fans miss seeing depth in characters like Darlene’s son Mark and daughter Harris and wish for more exploration of the younger generation.


While The Conners, the reboot of Roseanne, is popular, some have criticized its failure to correctly utilize its younger cast.

In season 6, The Conners shedded some cast members, but it didn’t stop the ABC comedy from neglecting its younger characters even though they had room for more storylines now. Fans of the show, which began life as a ’90s sitcom about a working-class mother, have noticed that the lives of the younger characters are rarely explored.

Instead, The Conners focuses on established characters like Dan and Jackie rather than younger characters like Mark, Harris, and Mary. This could damage the show’s longevity in the long run and stop any future spin-offs from having the same level of success as The Conners.

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In the following, we take a look at why The Conners focusing on older characters could be a poor decision and how it differs from the way things were done with Roseanne.



Why The Conners Neglecting Younger Characters Could Be Bad For The Series

The Conners
Via ABC

Roseanne centered on the titular character and her struggles as a working-class mother. The Conners has never focused on one character, instead following Darlene, Dan or Jackie through their work and personal lives. Despite not having a lead character or actor, this spinoff still struggles to find enough screen time for all cast members.

Every episode of season 6 has left out at least one major character. Beverly-Rose, Harris, and Mark were noticeably absent from most proceedings, feeling like they have been sidelines in favor of the old castmembers. Fans feared this would happen when it was announced that Mary would not be returning to season 6 after her father, D.J., moved out of Landford.


To maintain its legacy, the show needs to focus on Mark, Harris and Beverly-Rose, the next generation of the Conner family, like Roseanne did Becky, Darlene, and D.J. once were. If The Conners wants to have a future, it’s important to start getting viewers invested in these young characters.

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Focusing on Jackie and Dan over Harris and Mark in The Conners season 6 risks ruining the show’s own legacy. Despite the faults of the season 10 revival of Roseanne, the show did highlight the generation gap between the lead protagonist and his grandchildren.

If The Conners want to continue the legacy of Roseanne, it needs to understand which characters should be pushed to the forefront of the plot.

Mark, Harris And Beverley- Rose Get Little Screentime In The Conners Season 6

Emma Kenney and John Goodman in The Conners
Via ABC

Mark, Harris, and Beverley-Rose have gotten less screentime in season 6 of The Conners than they deserve. The show has already struggled to find enough time to explore every character and their arc properly.


In The Conners season 6, the ABC show struggled to find screen time for Darlene’s love interest, Ben, Jackie’s husband, Neville and Dan’s second wife, Louise, as well as the younger generation of characters. With so many characters and relationships, mostly those outside of the core family, it’s almost impossible for a 30-minute show to balance everyone. This means many supporting players aren’t seen for numerous episodes at a time.

What Happened To Darlene’s Son?

Darlene’s son Mark didn’t appear in the sixth season of The Conners until the fourth episode, despite playing a significant role in the show’s fifth season finale. His storyline, where he tries to hide his college struggles from Darlene, had fantastic untapped potential, with many viewers wishing they could learn more about him. By moving him onto campus and away from the family, the writers allowed him to be sidelined from the main plot.


Darlene’s Daughter Is Pushed Aside, Despite Becoming Part Of A Huge Storyline

Darlene’s daughter Harris was the focus of the season 6 premiere after she inherited a manager position at The Lunchbox, but she has been sidelined since the opening episode. The show had the potential to turn around her historical aimlessness after Jackie gifted her The Lunchbox. Yet, the sixth season has yet to give Harris the opportunity to showcase her maturity and ambitiousness despite giving the characters the opportunity to do so.

In season 6, episode 6, “Hanging in Dorms with Boys and The Secret Life of Men,” Harris admits to Darlene that she sometimes wishes she went to college, something that was a complete change from an earlier Harris who lacked any focus or goals. It came a season after Harris’ miscarriage, which only happened an episode after she decided not to terminate her pregnancy, Harris gets so little screen time to explore big topics and character devel


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This happened in season 5 when Harris briefly dated the drifter Kai. Not only did Kai appear in just one episode, but Harris’s unexpected pregnancy storyline was similarly short-lived after this brief relationship. Harris opted not to terminate her pregnancy but suffered a miscarriage only one episode later, a decision that limited the story’s potentially strong emotional impact. This plot should have been devastating for viewers, but it was so rushed and received so little screen time that the story instead seemed like an afterthought. Harris’ character and the audience deserved better, particularly where such a sensitive topic was concerned.

Becky’s Daughter Deserves More Screen Time

Beverly Rose, Becky’s daughter, is slowly introduced into the story, but the writers appear to be unsure of what to do with her. All her plots revolve around the adult characters, never adding anything to her character development. In episode 2 of Season 6 titled “Valentine’s Day Treats and Credit Card Cheat” Becky decides it’s time to introduce Tyler to Beverly Rose, but she is skeptical about their bonding technique.


In episode 4, Becky gets into an argument with Beverly Rose’s music teacher. In both episodes, Beverly-Rose is sidelined in favor of spending more time with her mother.

The Original Roseanne Series Made Sure Viewers Cared About Becky, Darlene And D.J.roseanne darlene and david

The Conner family has been on television since 1988 because the show always explored the entire family dynamic. Fans loved watching Roseanne’s kids grow up, following Becky’s relationship with Glen and Darlene’s romance with David. The revival may not have been so successful without setting these characters up throughout the 1990s.

Darlene was instantly a fan favourite, thanks to her caustic humor and rebellious nature, but fans saw her soften and grow over the years. She was a bold contrast to her sister Becky, who was a little more preppy and girly. D.J. was a little more naive than his sisters but his innocence made him incredibly likable. Throughout the nine seasons of the original run, audiences saw the kids turn from kids to adults with their own careers and families.


In contrast, The Conners season 6 feels like it is slowly writing out the younger characters from the series, spending no time with them and refusing to follow their growth. This could be an issue in the future if they want audiences to check back in on Mark, Harris, and Beverly Rose as they did with Becky, D.J. and Darlene.

As The Conners hits 100 episodes, executive producer Dave Caplan understands the importance of the characters to the show’s legacy.

“We’re very proud about how we’ve been able to extend the legacy of the original show. We’ve been really true to the characters and have helped see them through their entire character arcs as they go on, while reflecting America as we know it.”

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