I love sitcoms but I don't have a great sense of their history. These are my thoughts while I work through a few classic sitcoms from the '70s to the present.
Friday, 27 April 2012
Roseanne and bowling
"Bowling" was kind of a weird episode of Roseanne. It initially seemed like a redo of season 1's "Lover's Lane," but after the first scene, the bowling storyline was continued only by Dan and Arnie. Meanwhile, Roseanne, Jackie, and Nancy see a friend's show, while Roseanne is jealous of Jackie and Nancy's new friendship. But the episode as a whole felt quite lopsided, with little time given over to any character based storylines like Roseanne's jealousy or Arnie's desire for a baby. Instead, much of the episode is devoted to the bowling tournament, which is as low stakes as these things get: Dan and Arnie's team has to win to stay out of last place... then they do. Dan and Arnie get into a fight in the meantime, but it's resolved just as flippantly. Similarly, the episode promises a trip to the skating rink early on where tensions are sure to flare, but instead Roseanne's conflict gets barely wrapped up at a scene at the bar, then is given a final nod during the episode's tag. The show kinda just... ends. The conflicts are resolved, but not in any meaningful way. If I didn't know better, I'd say this episode was the first part of a very boring two-parter. Even Mark's brother David (Kevin here), someone who will become very important to the show later on, is introduced with a shrug during the tag. And Crystal appears at the concert only to ask if the band is still playing. I know I've had issues with a lot of Roseanne episodes, but at least their failure wasn't for lack of trying. "Bowling" just seems lazy to me. It's filler the likes of which the show hasn't used before.