The Good

This show brought real family problems into real family homes

The Bad

I am used to these Roseanne ad>

Roseanne: The Complete Fifth Season was an interesting one that saw a lot of changes befall the Conner household. As this season took place in 1992 and the US was in the midst of a recession, the 25 episodes in this set deal with what a lot of Americans were going through at the same time (we just couldn't have all our problems solved in 30 minutes or during a season). Dan Conner (John Goodman loses his business), Roseanne becomes the only breadwinner, family friends reveal their different sexual orientations, Becky runs off and marries Mark, Darlene has some growing pains of her own, and DJ is starting to be curious about girls.

I haven't reviewed a season of Roseanne yet that I thought was bad. I might have wanted more in the supplemental materials department, but I have never come away from these season sets feeling like there are major untruths being put across. In fact, it is this show's ability to have such frank discussions about family, that make Roseanne the kind of show that I put on the same level as All in the Family.

Features

Roseanne Answers the Top 10 Questions by Her Fans

This is an odd featurette to write about because I didn't really think about the questions on this disc before I heard Roseanne talking about them. Now, I am left in a quandary because if I discuss these questions, I feel like I am giving away something to the fans that have yet to watch this portion of the DVD. So, without giving too much away, just know that Roseanne answers some questions that I think are interesting, and others that maybe should have been revised.

Video Commentaries with Roseanne

Roseanne is on hand to discuss this show and offer insights. What I find interesting, as that we're watching her as she's watching the show, and it genuinely seems like she is discovering various things about the episodes. I never got the impression that she had done a great of homework, and on top of that, I think that even she was impressed with how engaging the episodes for Roseanne were.

Video

Full Screen. These shows looked really good on DVD. In fact, they had a glow and a brightness to them that I don't recall the other season that I reviewed having. Don't get me wrong, I didn't feel like I was watching these shows in HD, but I have to give Anchor Bay credit for the work they did on compressing these shows.

Audio

Dolby Digital Stereo. The one thing paying attention to the audio does make me realize is how great and effortless the writing on this show seemed. Yes, I know that each screenplay for each episode was put through it's paces, but I think this speaks to how good this cast was that they were able to work with the material as easily as they did. Also, over the 25 episodes, which comprise 575 minutes, I didn't notice any problems with the way the sound was compressed.

Package

Once again, Dan and Roseanne are the featured attractions on this front cover, with a film strip of episode sequences underneath them. Other than their clothes, the biggest change is the aqua-colored background. The back of this DVD holder has some more shots from various episodes, a description of this show, a Special Features listing, and technical specs. The four discs are neatly housed inside two plastic cases, which contain more artwork from the show, episode listings and descriptions. Simple packaging, but I think Roseanne would like it that way.

Final Word

When I think of Roseanne, I am saddened that I didn't watch this show more when it aired on TV. I knew that it was on, I was familiar with the subject matter, but I didn't really pay attention to this show. I had sadly developed an elitist attitude toward TV and during the 1990s, I missed out on a lot of it. It has honestly only been in the last year or two that I have come to realize the error of my ways. That said, I am playing a game of catch-up but I am starting with shows from the 1950s as well.

I bring all this up because I am realizing the importance of TV and sitcoms. We need shows like Roseanne because they set examples for us. They show us our lives in ways that we can deal with ourselves, without having to feel like people are coming down on us. In watching Roseanne: The Complete Fifth Season, I feel like I am brought back to a time that is still somewhat here, yet I have the tools and know how to deal with it.

Sure, I bring a lot to that equation, but I think the Conner family, the Bunker family, the Cleaver Family, etc., all have something to do with it.