Family TV: Kid-tested, parent-approved
A look back at TV shows that brought family into focus.
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'Roseanne' (1988-1997)( Chris Pizzello / AP )
Who are they: The Connors are a working-class family who live in Lanford, Ill. Roseanne (Roseanne Barr), the quick-witted matriarch of the family, and Dan (John Goodman) try to keep a little order in the family and not be too hypocritical, since they were rebellious in their youth as well. Darlene (Sara Gilbert) is the independent daughter following her own path; Becky (Alicia Goranson) the "I wanna be popular" older sister; and D.J. (Michael Fishman) was the little accident, growing up in something of a wacky household. Darlene's boyfriend David (Johnny Galecki) later moved in.
What the kids like: The snark. Darlene is the talk-back master and bane of her little brother DJ, a relationship many older sisters/younger brothers have. And Darlene is the antithesis of older sister Becky, also a staple of many older/younger sister relationships. Besides DJ, what unites them is the idea of getting something over on mom. Later, they may have liked the fact that Darlene's boyfriend David was allowed to move in.
What the parents like: That the kids could not get anything over on Roseanne. As the series progressed, she even allowed Darlene's boyfriend to move in, helping him out because of a rough home life, but also to keep an eye on them. She rules the family with an iron and ironic fist, with dad Dan putting his foot down when needed, but mainly following her lead (after an argument). They struggle financially sometimes, but generally keep it all together using humor.