"Season eight of Roseanne is the one where everything finally began to truly come apart. This is not to say there aren't some good episodes, but you have to really pick through episodes full of fantasy, inane slapstick, and politically correct undertones to get to the truly good blue collar slice-of-life episodes that made up the majority of episodes in prior years. WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD.
The season opener, "Shower the People You Love with Stuff", very unceremoniously returns Lecy Gorenson as Becky Conner Healy, with Roseanne taking advantage of the sudden replacement with an inside joke by remarking that it seems like Becky's been gone for four years - exactly how long Lecy Gorenson has been gone from the show. The end of the show makes fun of the switch of actresses playing Becky even more with a clever imitation of the opening theme song of 60's series "The Patty Duke Show" in which Patty Duke played twin cousins. It is a good opener to the season, but it is not typical of what follows.
One problem with season eight is that Roseanne NEVER did fantasy episodes well during any season. Fortunately, past seasons had limited doses of them. In season eight, though, we get "Halloween: The Final Chapter", "The Fifties Show", "Springtime for David", and "The Getaway, Almost". Not all of these episodes are pure fantasy. Some of them, such as "The Getaway" are more politically correct slapstick than anything. However, they all seem like outrageous and disjointed half hour comedy skits involving characters who hardly know each other rather than part of a show about a middle class family trying to get by the trials that life throws their way. It was particularly sad to see what became of the Halloween episode this year, always a Roseanne staple. Gone are the outrageous costumes and the clever pranks of previous years. They have now been replaced by a circus of the absurd and the bizarre.
Episodes that seem to have been conceived for the sole purpose of preaching political correctness are "The Last Thursday in November", which is the Thanksgiving episode, "The Last Date" with Dan and Roseanne crashing a bar mitzvah, and the most outrageous of the three, "December Bride" in which Scott and Leon get married. The odd contradiction in "December Bride" is that Roseanne, who is supposed to be so open-minded and is acting as Scott and Leon's wedding planner, has decorated the room in which the wedding is to be held in outrageously bad taste using every stereotype in the book. This episode stands out as a real waste. It had the opportunity for several interesting things to happen - for Leon and Roseanne to finally bond and also to explore the prejudices against such unions in middle America (this was 1995 in small-town Illinois after all), just to name a couple. Instead we get another outrageous slapstick episode in which the most interesting thing that happens is Leon kissing Roseanne to figure out if he actually might be straight when he gets a case of the pre-wedding jitters.
There are some good episodes sprinkled through the season, but the best episodes are towards the end starting with Darlene's unexpected pregnancy, the result of a night of passion with David during the Conners' trip to Disneyland. However, Darlene and David have a plan figured out that includes marriage. Roseanne does some fine acting here, really showing the disappointment of a woman who realizes she married the right man perhaps too soon, now also realizing that both her daughters have followed in her footsteps and she is powerless to do anything about it. "The Wedding", which features David and Darlene's wedding, is much better viewing than the one featuring Scott and Leon. There is a great father-daughter moment between Dan and Darlene where Dan apologizes to Darlene for being angry at her and gives her a key to a bank box with some extra money. When Dan tells her not to put off her dreams because some day she'll realize that time and her dreams have passed her by, you realize Dan is really talking about his own life. Mark and David also have a great moment when David says that he wishes their parents were there. Mark suddenly comes out of the village clown mode he has been in since 1993 and wisely tells David that their parents really had no right to be there because they had never behaved as parents. The Conners had done what their own parents should have, and really were, in fact, their parents by action if not genetics.
Unfortunately, there is another life altering event that occurs that day that shatters the newlyweds' plans - Dan's heart attack. This is the subject of the last two episodes. Dan survives his heart attack, but when he comes home from the hospital he finds it impossible to change his ways. The season ends with Dan and Roseanne having a huge fight over Dan's resistance to a healthier lifestyle that concludes with a miniature Godzilla crashing into the Conners' television screen - a fitting metaphor for season nine."
Cut up again?
David Kahoun | Canton, IL USA | 08/09/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I thought "Complete Season" meant just that, COMPLETE! Why are we still getting butchered versions that we can see on TV? First episode they cut the whole ending off. No Patty Duke Show ending? They play that part on Nick at Nite! Then on the Direct to Video episode they cut a theme song that ruins the entire joke. The family is watching TV while Roseanne is out of the room and Dan says "You know, this was the 'Friends' of the 70's". The joke doesn't work on the DVD because it is not the theme song they originally played. They played the Three's Company theme song and on the DVD it is some generic 70's sounding song with no lyrics. How much could it possibly cost to get the rights to use a couple of seconds of an old TV theme song? I know these companies can afford it. Speaking of money, I'm sick of paying $25 or more for butchered TV shows I can see on regular TV. If this had been uncut I would have given it 4 stars but cut up only gets a 2 star rating. Although there are some very good episodes included in this season I cannot give more than 2. I thought we were done with cut up versions after the first season. What happened?"
I WANT MY MONEY BACK!
E. Zzyzzx | 09/09/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I thought the package says "The COMPLETE 8TH Seaon"
Its all edited!!! RIP OFF!!!!!!
Well I have been a HUGE HUGE HUGE Roseanne fan since the very begginging. I actually remember being 17 years old and sitting on the floor and seeing the pilot. So naturally I was thrilled beyond belief when they came to DVD. The first season DVD was totally flawed as the episodes were cut. I heard it was the fault Anchor Bay. Well here is season 8 all totally cut!!!! I am a HUGE fan of this show, and still am and always will be, but today I buy the season 8 DVD and find the first episode, "Shower the People You LOve With Stuff" RUINED!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the ending tag with Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke (the two Beckys) doing the Patty Duke gag! OMG I thought that was classic! I actually couldnt breath when I first saw it, I laughed so hard! And was so exited to see it here, but I see its been CUT all we get for our money is a black screen and credits... That made me say I WANT MY MONEY BACK.. As for the rest of the season, its great, but yes you do kind of get the feeling the show is getting tired. But most shows do by their 8TH season. But you kinda didnt care as Roseanne STILL pushed the envelope, and thought "outside the box". But back in 1995-96 when the 8TH season first aired I still watched every week as I did up to the very end. I would tell people to look at "GEORGIOU DEMETRIOS"'s reveiw of this DVD and I would high five him, cuz I couldnt have said it better. My beef is not with Roseanne, or the show, its that I just spent my hard earned money on this DVD and Im really dissapointed, as Georgiou said all these great episodes are edited. SO I rated the DVD with 1 star, not the show, as I feel (being my favorite TV series) that its iconic. You would think that a show as realistic and revolutionary as this we would get our moneys worth......."
You know you're in trouble when...
John Jones | Chicago IL | 09/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...your favorite show starts using a laugh track. Throughout season 8 you can hear the same recorded male laugh at different moments, and for good reason: for the first time in 8 years, "Roseanne" wasn't hilariously funny. Sure, each episode has at least a good joke or two, and "The Last Date" and "Construction Junction" are even good for several repeat viewings. But some episodes just aren't about anything.
In "Out of the Past," Nana Mary meets baby Jerry, and Leon and his husband play poker with Dan and his buddies...and THAT'S IT. Then Jackie and Roseanne drive around and chat in "The Getaway, Almost." Luckily, "Another Mouth to Shut Up" comes along late in the season and provides some of the edgy family comedy that made for some of the classic episodes from seasons 5-7. But ultimately season 8 shows a creative powerhouse running out of steam. People always talk about the bizarre 9th season, but at least the lottery plot, though deeply flawed, was never boring. Season 8 frequently is."
a reviewer | CA USA | 10/07/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"They have fooled us again, though not as bad as Season 1 (which I still haven't bought in hopes they will actually release it uncut!!!). This says complete season. It has been edited. One glaring omision... they cut out the end credits on the first episode. This is the one where they sing the "Beckys are two of a kind" with a parody on the Patty Duke Show. Instead we get a black screen with credits. Unforgivable, especially since the trivia inside the case for the disc mentions the scene! There is another episode where it blacks out the end credits as well. They should at least be honest if something is cut out! Here's hoping the ninth season is complete."