Judge Patrick Bromley is the third Becky.
Our reviews of Roseanne: The Complete First Season (published December 7th, 2005), Roseanne: The Complete Second Season (published January 25th, 2006), Roseanne: The Complete Third Season (published April 19th, 2006), Roseanne: The Complete Fourth Season (published July 26th, 2006), Roseanne: The Complete Fifth Season (published November 29th, 2006), Roseanne: The Complete Sixth Season (published October 26th, 2012), Roseanne: The Complete Sixth Season (published January 24th, 2007), Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season (published May 23rd, 2007), Roseanne: The Complete Eighth Season (published September 5th, 2007), and Roseanne: The Complete Ninth Season (published January 9th, 2008) are also available.
"Welcome to Roseannadu."
Roseanne was and is one of the best TV sitcoms of all time. Conceived first as a vehicle for the stand-up comedy of its star, Roseanne Barr, and then marketed as TV's first "blue collar" sitcom (ignoring most of the output of Norman Lear in the 1970s), the show quickly found its voice as a brilliant portrayal of marriage, family and the American working class. It was serialized at a time when a lot of sitcoms weren't, meaning fans got to watch one long story that evolved over the course of nine seasons instead of a bunch of 24-minute one-offs. It also blended genuine drama with comedy in a way that few sitcoms were doing in the late '80s and early '90s; it's no surprise that Amy Sherman-Palladino, who would go on to do the same thing with her own show Gilmore Girls, was a writer on the show from seasons three to six—arguably the peak of the series.
Here are the 25 episodes that make up Roseanne: The Complete Fifth Season:
• "Terms of Estrangement, Part 1"
• "Terms of Estrangement, Part 2"
• "The Dark Ages"
• "Pretty in Black"
• "Looking for Loans in All the Wrong Places"
• "Halloween IV"
• "Ladies' Choice"
• "Stand On Your Man"
• "Good Girls, Bad Girls"
• "No Place Like Home for the Holidays"
• "Crime and Punishment"
• "War and Peace"
• "Lanford Daze"
• "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home"
• "First Cousin, Twice Removed"
• "Lose a Job, Winnebago"
• "It's a Boy!"
• "It Was Twenty Years Ago Today"
• "Playing With Matches"
• "Promises, Promises"
• "Glengarry, Glen Rosey"
• "Tooth or Consequences"
• "Daughters and Other Strangers"
Season Five is one of the best in the series' history, throwing huge obstacles in the Connors' path and not shying away from tackling some dark subject matter. It introduced a number of changes on Roseanne. The Connors lose their bike shop. David moves in with the family. Becky and Mark get married. Story lines about abuse are introduced. This is also the last season for Lecy Goranson as Becky; she would be replaced by Scrubs' Sarah Chalke, who I like a lot but was never as good as Becky as Goranson. Of course, Goranson would eventually return and essentially share the role with Chalke. The Becky Confusion would become one of the show's running jokes.
All the seasons of Roseanne were previously released on DVD by Anchor Bay, so if you want a detailed breakdown of the series you're best off reading Judge Jennifer Malkowski's fantastic coverage. Those original DVD sets had two problems: they were too expensive, especially as the prices of DVDs started coming down (but these sets never really seemed to), and they contained the syndicated versions of the episodes with approximately two minutes cut out of each show. These Mill Creek discs address both of those problems, offering the uncut episodes at a very low price. The episodes themselves appear in their original 1.33:1 full frame television ratio. They don't look great—especially because Mill Creek has put all 25 shows on three discs, and compression affects the video quality—but they're certainly acceptable, especially for the price. The 2.0 stereo audio tracks are on the thin and tinny side, but also function just fine.
The big issue with the Mill Creek DVD sets is probably the packaging. Though the set comes in a standard amray case, there are no plastic hubs inside to house the actual discs; instead, the three discs are in paper envelopes stuck inside. If that's the tradeoff for the low retail price (seriously, they can be found in some stores for as low as five bucks a season), I'll take it.
Bonus features have been carried over from the Anchor Bay DVDs, and they include Roseanne Barr answering a collection of fan questions and some disinterested video commentaries. Neither one is very good, but it's nice to get any bonus features at all on an inexpensive reissue.
Season Five is one of the very best in Roseanne's impressive nine-season run. The show would eventually jump the shark in a big, bad way (once the Connors win the lottery, all bets are off), but this was still the series at its peak. Anyone fans of the show who didn't already invest in Anchor Bay's sets would be crazy to not pick up these Mill Creek editions; the quality isn't always top-notch, but you'll get the uncut episodes of one of the best sitcoms ever for incredibly cheap.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
• Video Commentaries
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