Sounds Like The Conners Is Giving Darlene More Of A Love Life After Ben

With Dan and Louise's wedding now a disaster-laden event of the past, The Conners will place some of its focus on Katey Sagal's character moving into the iconic TV household, with some more Roseanne references on the way. But they're not the only characters that will be enjoying romantic tingles on the ABC sitcom, as it appears as if Darlene will also go back on the dating market in a pretty big way. And no, those dates don't necessarily involve Ben, which I'm sure he's going to be completely comfortable with. (Or not at all.)

Many fans of The Conners are likely wondering what will happen next with Darlene and Ben's "Will they again?/Won't they again?" storyline, but it sounds like the creative team will give Sara Gilbert's character more potential suitors as Season 4 goes on. It's obviously unclear whether or not this is all just meant to bring things back around to Jay R. Ferguson's Ben, but here's what showrunner Bruce Helford teased to Entertainment Tonight:

She is going to explore some other romantic relationships beyond Ben.

I don't think anyone should count on Brian Austin Green's Jeff counting as one of those relationships, however. While it's certainly possible, it seems clear that the drug-favoring dimbulb was more of a stop-gap friend to help Darlene get over the hump of her old friend's death coinciding with her doomed marriage proposal. Even though they went to the wedding together, that whole scenario likely put her off of seeing him as any kind of boyfriend material. That's what he would deserve for attempting to go to a wedding via scooter through tornado-forming storms. 

At this point, it's not at all clear who else might step up to the plate as far as romantic relationships go for Darlene. The longtime fan in me is always going to root for Johnny Galecki's David, although he messed up enough times to not deserve placement on the list. (Though I'm still keeping him there.) Methinks fans will be hearing more casting news soon. 

Now, some fans may be wondering why the show is going to give Darlene more relationship options after she and Ben shared that moment at the end of the wedding episode. After Mark ripped his mom for allowing her strife with Ben damage others' connections with him, the two exes allowed their defensive sides to crumble for just a moment. They both mentally approached the concept of "getting along for the rest of the family's sake," with Ben copping to still having feelings for Darlene, even if he didn't exactly want to. 

To that end, executive producer Dave Caplan hinted that Darlene and Ben's attempts to keep things calm and sane would be fodder for the future. In his words:

She has to deal with the fact that Ben has become part of the family. Trying to figure out the status quo [will result in] some interesting stories.

I'm totally foreseeing a bottle episode situation where Darlene and Ben are forced to be in the same room together for an extended period and have to work out their issues instead of just muting them. But however it goes, I'll be watching, and rooting for Darlene. And also rooting for Jason Alexander to return, though not so much as Darlene's boyfriend. Maybe she should look up some of her old high school buddies, since that has worked well for Becky so far.

The Conners airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 9:00 p.m. ET, with the next new episode airing on October 27. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

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.