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The Conners' Ames McNamara Talks Mark's Relationships With Logan And Harris In Season 4

Much of The Conners' relationship storylines in Season 4 have centered around Darlene's life after Ben (while also still near him in many ways), Dan and Louise's marriage, and Jackie and Neville's...Jackie and Neville-ness. But this has also been the season where the younger generation found new love, with Harris and Aldo's complicated relationship coinciding with Mark's burgeoning coupledom with Neville's son Logan. It's still early days for the two teens, to be sure, but it seems like things are going smoothly thus far, which is always a rarity within this family.

It's a pretty big step for the studious Mark to add a romantic relationship into the mix at this point, especially within this family of judgmental monsters. (Which I say in the most loving way possible.) So when I had the pleasure of speaking with The Conners star Ames McNamara, I asked how he felt about his character fully entering the dating world now, in a manner of speaking, and the normalization behind how it’s been introduced and addressed so far. In his words:

I think that it's great. I think it's great for everyone to see that on TV. And I think that it's a really interesting storyline for Mark, and also a true storyline for Mark. Because at his age, you know, people are growing up and having relationships. So it seems only normal for Mark to have a relationship as well.

While it initially seemed like Logan might be something of a negative influence in Mark’s life — and again, it’s still the early days — the fact that he’s Neville’s son and Louise’s nephew is a good sign that he’ll be around for a while, and will presumably be enriching Mark’s life in the meantime. Which is certainly an important element of growing up for some people, especially for someone like Mark who is caught between academic achievements and a vast array of familial dysfunction. 

When I asked Ames McNamara if he had any suggestive input on where things were going, he answered with:

You know, I don't know. [Laughs] I don't necessarily have a preference. Wherever our writers take it, I think they always do a great job. So I'm looking forward to see to see where it goes, definitely.

That's totally understandable, teen actors aren't usually in charge of dictating where their characters' arcs are taken. Otherwise, every show would have a storyline with a teen getting a job eating chocolate and playing video games, amirite?

Even beyond Mark's romantic evolution, the addition of Logan to the storyline brought other changes that worked in Ames McNamara’s favor. When I asked how it was working with actor Travis Burnett, he said:

Yeah, it's good to have someone sort of my age on set. And it's nice. We sort of like play basketball on the side. So that was fun. So yeah, like I said, I'm glad that I can hang out with someone my age on set.

Maybe now that Mark’s life is being explored in different ways, we’ll get to see him building up more friendships through school in future seasons, giving McNamara more same-aged co-stars to work with.

Mark and Harris calling fans on cell phone for The Conners Season 4 premiere

(Image credit: ABC)

What Ames McNamara Hopes To See For Mark And Harris

Ames McNamara and co-star Emma Kenney are neither super-close nor very far apart in age, but there’s just enough of a gap there that makes it slightly more difficult for them to share frequent TV-worthy storylines without it being a stretch for the writers. But that’s precisely something that both stars are hoping to see more of in The Conners’ future. 

During our chat, I asked McNamara if he thought Mark and Harris had the kind of close-knit relationship where he would be aware of her current sorta-homeless situation, even as Darlene believes she’s still living with Aldo. And he spoke on that as well as his hopes to work with Kenney more.

To be honest, about the relationship with Mark and Harris, that's one of the things that I would really like, just for me, to see more of on the show, because I always love working with Emma. We were just talking about this a couple of weeks ago. We were saying like, Oh, we really want more scenes to happen between Mark and Harris.' Because I think the brother and sister relationship it's such a unique relationship. And I think that it would be great to have more of that on the show. But I do think that market keeps up with what's happening to Harris, because I think he cares about her.

It is somewhat unfortunate that Mark and Harris don't have a closer bond at this point, even if there's some logical sense involved, given their distinct personalities, interests and differing loves of weed-based entertainment. But still, friendships between siblings often transcend factors like that, and such differences are what make those bonds stand apart from those formed outside of families. 

I mentioned how organic more Mark and Harris stories would be within this sitcom world, given the close (if not always harmonious) relationships between Darlene and Becky, and Roseanne and Jackie, respectively. Ames McNamara agreed and cited his real-life sister as an inspiration for the importance of the Conners' kids' connection.

Yeah, I have a sister of my own and my life every day is so impacted by my sister, and would be so different without my sister. So I think to have more of that makes Mark and the Connor family more more real.

At this point, only time will tell where Mark and Logan's relationship goes, and whether or not Mark and Harris will get an apartment together. Oh wait, did no one mention that option before now? Then I guess I'm just throwing that out there to the ethers. Come in, ethers. Over. 

Following new episodes of The Goldbergs and The Wonder Years, The Conners airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 8:00 p.m. While waiting to see where Mark's relationship goes next, head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule for all the new and returning shows on the way.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.