Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the Season 5 premiere of The Conners, so be warned!
As The Conners returned to ABC for its fifth season, it re-introduced viewers its latest pair of newlywed couples: Darlene & Ben and Jackie & Neville, with the latter duo clearly not suffering from a lack of libidinous energy. The premiere also laid out the new living situation going forward, with Becky and Beverly Rose moving in with most of Darlene’s crew. It was a relatively calamity-free installment, save for Mark’s second experience with mind-altering substances, so does that mean these characters should get accustomed to such brighter pastures?
When CinemaBlend’s Sarah El-Mahmoud spoke with Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goranson ahead of “Double Honeymoon and Seeing Double,” she asked about what fans can expect to see from Darlene and Becky early on in Season 5, and it actually does sound like everything everything is on the up and up for both of the Conner daughters. Which only serves to sow suspicion in my mind, but let’s keep things optimistic for now.
Sara Gilbert On Darlene And Ben's New Home And Early Marriage
When asked about how Darlene and Ben’s new home will compare to the iconic TV landmark that is the Conner family home, Sara Gilbert shared that things will be comparatively modest, and that fans shouldn’t expect anybody to start avoiding the main abode. In her words:
Dan shared some automatic gripes whenever Harris voiced her wishes to stick around the main house instead of hopping into the new one with the rest of her fam, as he thought he was finally granting Louise her wish for peace, quiet, and privacy when at home. So for his sake, I’m hoping when Gilbert says Darlene & Co. will be spending “a lot” of time there, that refers to the points when Katey Sagal’s character is on the road playing gigs. (Where, perhaps ironically, it’s much better to have a packed house.)
Considering Ben and Darlene’s relationship has gone from wildly tempestuous to slightly less tempestuous over the past few years, we asked Sara Gilbert how positive-minded and/or impulsive they’ll remain in the first chapter of their lives as a married couple. And while things obviously won’t be perfect, she doesn’t hint at anything volcanic on the horizon, saying:
But the phrase “calm before the storm” exists for a reason, and on a show like The Conners, a streak of non-devastating vibes is a good indicator that the other shoe is going to drop pretty hard at some point. Which isn’t to say viewers should expect Darlene and Ben’s marriage to go belly-up or anything, but the creative team knows how to make things tragic without necessarily crushing the characters themselves.
The Conners’ showrunner Bruce Helford previously confirmed Season 5 wouldn’t focus on home renovations or anything of that nature before having the characters settle into their respective homes. So one can assume that we won’t have to worry about Darlene falling through any more ceilings, leading to further spontaneous life changes for her and Ben, nor any major fights about how the house should look. Just normal married-people fights.
Lecy Goranson On Becky's Early Season 5 Journey
Becky was the only adult character on the show who didn’t go through some kind of personal marital issues in Season 4, if we’re counting D.J.’s marriage being impacted by AWOL Geena again following her return in Season 3’s finale. Which isn’t to say Lecy Goranson’s character didn’t have her own struggles to cope with, but more than ever before, Becky’s life is on an upswing for the time being. When asked what the character’s situation is during Season 5’s early episodes, here’s what the actress said:
I think we can all expect to see some ups and downs when it comes to Darlene and Becky living under a different roof together, especially if Darlene is the one who gets to make the rules. (Suck it, Ben.) After watching the newly married couple get so stressed out over hearing Jackie and Neville having sex in the same cabin, I can't wait to see how they react whenever Becky brings someone home for naughty-time.
One of Becky’s ongoing character anchors is her past with alcohol abuse, and her current path of sobriety. As it often goes in these cases, she’s stumbled along the way, but Lecy Goranson doesn’t seem to think Becky will be tripping up soon, even with a big life change such as moving, and instead makes it sound like she’s using the dark times to inspire a brighter future.
Of course, when I talked to showrunner Bruce Helford last season around the time the finale aired, he hinted that Becky’s drifting nature would lead to complications. Though I suppose complications don’t necessarily imply outright disasters. It’s hard to shake the ominous feelings about what’s coming soon for the Conner family, but I’m happy to wallow in their tentative joy while it lasts.
The Conners airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET, with episodes available to stream the next day with a Hulu subscription. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.
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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.