‘The Conners’ Producer Opens Up About Dan’s Survivor’s Guilt Over Roseanne

by Lauren Boisvert

Dan recently got remarried on “The Conners,” and the show took some time to recognize the loss of their matriarch. Dan has been struggling with the idea that he can actually move on; he’s been hanging onto his guilt and grief.

“The Conners” executive producer Bruce Helford spoke to Pop Culture about Dan’s survivor’s guilt. How does that affect his new life with Louise? “We spent many, many episodes getting Dan over the fact that he could move on. He felt guilty. He had all kinds of, of issues,” Helford said. “Emotionally, he finally got past that, was able to marry the woman he loved and accept that he deserved a good life beyond what it had been.”

Helford went on, “And likely, he felt very lucky to have had a good marriage to Roseanne and the long one. But things come up from time to time, getting rid of the furniture, getting certain kinds of changes.”

After getting married, Dan and Louise are dealing with how to move Louise into the Conner house. They’ve decided to change their bedroom furniture, and leave the living room and kitchen exactly the same. Sort of like a tribute to Roseanne’s life.

“So things do come up,” Helford continued. “And we just kind of go with what we would feel if we personally had experienced this, and we try and keep it honest to the family.”

Helford said that the writers and producers go with their gut when deciding where to reference Roseanne. “Her passing wouldn’t go away in a year or two or three. It’s always kind of there. And so, we just kind of gut it out. It’s when we feel that it’s appropriate, and we do from time to time, we all just kind of say, ‘You know what? They would definitely mention Roseanne here.’ And we try and do it in a way that’s respectful for the memory of Roseanne.”

‘The Conners’: Darlene’s Personal Journey

With Dan making changes in his life on “The Conners”, Darlene is also going through some pretty big personal shifts. She and her boyfriend Ben broke up last season after he refused her marriage proposal. He claimed she wasn’t mature enough to handle marriage, and that she still needed to work on herself.

She’s doing just that on “The Conners” this season. In the upcoming episode, Darlene is going to go on a profound personal journey; she’s working on boosting her confidence in life and love. She’s going on a bit of a spiritual journey of self-improvement.

“Darlene’s on a spiritual journey to find herself and make herself into the person she wants to be,” said “The Conners” executive producer Dave Caplan. “And that’s all in the wake of her breakup with Ben, that she knows a good amount of that was her own self-sabotage. She’s trying to figure out how not to make the same mistakes again in her life and how to move forward. And she’s looking for a way to kind of connect to something bigger in her life.”