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‘The Conners’ debuts with a premiere episode killing off Roseanne Conner

True story: I’ve been so depressed since my favorite tennis player, Juan Martin del Potro, suffered a devastating injury in Shanghai that I have barely been watching tennis. It’s my usual way of decompressing and ignoring the day-to-day crap of Trump’s America. So instead of watching tennis or watching the news, I’ve been watching old episodes of Inspector Lewis. That’s what I was doing last night when The Conners premiered on ABC. The Conners is the reboot of the Roseanne reboot. Roseanne Barr was dumped from her eponymously-named show earlier this year, when she had a series of racist Twitter meltdowns which suddenly could not be ignored by the network. ABC decided to rework the show, writing out Roseanne’s character, and just focusing on everybody else in the family, thus The Conners. So how did they write off Roseanne Conner? They killed her with an opioid overdose.

ABC’s Roseanne Barr-less Roseanne spinoff The Conners officially debuted Tuesday night, putting to end months of speculation on just how the Disney-owned network’s sitcom would handle the loss of its controversial star.

The episode, titled “Keep on Truckin,” picked up three weeks after the season 10 finale of Roseanne. The Conners, gathered around the kitchen table, believe Roseanne Conner died in her bed at home of a heart attack following knee surgery — only the Coroner’s Office autopsy reveals that the family matriarch overdosed on opioids. Dan (John Goodman) initially refuses to accept it, as he believed his wife was only on pain pills for two days after her surgery. Instead, he thinks she stopped breathing after her body couldn’t handle the surgery with all of her other health issues — and given the fact that he flushed all of her remaining pills. He quickly comes around after Becky (Lecy Goranson) presents Dan with another bottle of pills that she found in Roseanne’s closet, while Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) found a stash in the kitchen freezer.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Roseanne Barr said in an interview a few months ago that she disagreed with the decision to write the character off with opioids: “But I was never going to have Roseanne die of an opioid overdose. It’s so cynical and horrible. She should have died as a hero or not at all.”

After the episode aired, Roseanne and her rabbi Shmuley Boteach released a joint statement saying that the death was “an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show. Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society. The show brought together characters of different political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds in one, unified family, a rarity in modern American entertainment.” Yeah… no. Racists and Deplorables don’t need to see themselves fictionalized on network television in the name of “directly addressing the deep divisions.” They ARE the deep divisions. Roseanne also had this to say:

Charming. Almost as charming as all the butthurt Deplorables on Twitter, screaming and crying about how ABC is cancelled. I missed all of it because I was knee-deep in posh British crime drama. Sorry not sorry.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.

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