Roseanne Conner’s death is having a heavy impact on the remaining members of the Conner family.
In a clip released by ABC following the Tuesday premiere of Roseanne spin-off series The Conners, the matriarch’s onscreen daughter Darlene and Becky discuss their recent loss and deal with the aftermath of their mother’s death from an opioid overdose.
“I cannot believe how far past due they are on some of these,” Darlene says in the clip as she and Becky scour over piles of various bills which resulted from Roseanne’s surgery and death.
“Well, I’m tired of crying,” Becky says after the two joke about how their mother frequently joked that she had died in an attempt to ward off the bill collectors. “And laughing inappropriately is what mom taught us to do.”
The lighthearted conversation quickly turns to something that is much more somber as the weight of their loss dawns on them.
“I still can’t believe she OD’d,” Darlene says.
“You know what, I can’t do bills right now. I’ve gotta finish my split shift at the restaurant,” Becky says as she rises from the table, avoiding the conversation.
“Look, maybe you can handle this. I can’t. I went through it when Mark died. I don’t want to do it again,” Becky explains when Darlene points out that they can’t keep putting this task off and that dumping it on her isn’t fair.
Darlene and Becky are not the only family members affected by the loss. In the series premiere, Roseann’e husband, Dan, was shown coming to terms with his wife’s death after learning that she suffered from an opioid addiction. After taping a sign that reads, “Thank You Marcy Bellinger for the pills that killed my loving wife Roseanne" to his car, the final scene showed Dan getting into bed and pulling the covers back on Roseanne’s side as well.
The way in which Roseanne Barr’s character was written off was controversial among fans and Barr herself. Following the premiere, Barr, in a joint statement with her rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, stated her disappointment, claiming that the death “was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show."
The Conners executive producer and showrunner Bruce Helford stated that he wanted a “respectful sendoff” for the character that “could inspire discussion for the greater good about the American working class, whose authentic problems are often ignored by broadcast television.
The Conners airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.