Season 2 Episode 10

Brain-Dead Poets Society

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Nov 28, 1989 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
85 votes
  • A true protayal of the woes and accomplishments of early teen life.


    Darlene has hastily written a last-minute poem for a school assignment. Darlene's only real ambition up till now is to get through school. To her surprise her teacher thinks her poem is so good that she has submitted it for "Culture Night," where high-achieving students perform for their parents, a thing completely repulsive to Darlene. She wrote the poem as a kind of afterthought so as not to get a failing grade, and she doesn't think of herself as an intellectual champion, anyway. She likes to just hang out and live life. Roseanne gently but firmly insists that she participate at Culture Night and read her poem in front of an audience. In this most memorable episode we learn of Darlene's blossoming talent as a writer and we get a real look at the extreme difficulty for most of us in transitioning from carefree childhood to the realities of "growing up."

  • A Roseanne 1989 classic

    What I really pick up from this episode is the real, homey feel. It feels like 1989 at home with your parents. This episode is wonderful. It's too bad you can't rate just the end where Darlene reads her poem in front of the assembly, with Roseanne and Jackie's reaction. I've seen this episode as a kid, and I've seen it as an adult with my own child. It covers viewpoints of both child and parent beautifully.

    To Whom it Concerns
    by Darlene Conner

    To Whom it Concerns
    Darlene's great with a ball, but guys don't watch tomboys when they're cruisin' the hall.

    To Whom it Concerns
    I just turned 13. Too short to be quarterback, too plain to be queen.

    To Whom it Concerns
    I'm not made of steel. When I get blindsided, my pain is quite real.

    What makes this episode wonderful is watching the transition of Roseanne and Jackie joking about everything from the, as Jackie says, nerds in the audience to how typical parents react embarrassing their children. The transition from laughing at Darlene's humor in the beginning of the poem to feeling the pain of your own child as Darlene reveals more deeper hurtful feelings. Jackie and Roseanne holding tissues crying. Roseanne feeling and connecting with her daughter's pain. At the end Roseanne sniffles, stands up and starts proudly snapping pictures of Darlene. Darlene just standing there after she's done with a stone face fully taking on her mom's reaction, not moving. Sara Gilbert was great in this episode! Her best episode to date. She had a great performance in the first episode of this season also, Inherit the Wind.

    What's great about these episodes is you can't write reviews for them. You have to just see it. Roseanne who wanted to be a writer, and then watching Darlene read the great poem she's written. It's interwoven wonderfully without any typical oh I'm a writer and now my child is commentary which is what you would usually see from a sitcom. Very sweet, touching, family-oriented. Darlene not wanting to read her poem in front of everybody during cultural night because it's dorky (very relatable for teenagers), and Roseanne encouraging and urging Darlene to read it because it's important that she does it. Love Roseanne in this episode, her warm, genuine, righteous pushing something I miss in the later episodes where more sarcasm pervades. Later in the show, Darlene goes to a writing school. Great continuity with this show, part of what I think makes you feel like you're watching an actual family.
  • Darlene has to read a poem at culture night.

    Crystal reveals information about Darlene and school. Darlene is picked to read a poem she wrote for English class in an All Culture Night event, which she says is for geeks and losers, but opts out. Roseanne, however, was really pround of Darlene for doing so good and in a way relating through writing with her, she also really wanted to hear Darlene's poem. Much to Darlene's dismay, she winds up on stage at the Culture Night, having to read her poem, a poem that would render Roseanne in emotions high and revealing for everyone and spreading a new light for Darlene, she is human.
  • In its odd and eccentric values portrayed in the series, this one is a personal favorite of mine.

    The episode starts off like all the others, an overworked housewife whose home life is chaotic, but average. The dysfunctional Connor family's realism strikes a cord in everyone, which had an enormous audience at the peak of its running time. This episode is a personal favorite, as both a writer and an author, I enjoyed the poem that Darlene is forced to read. It reveals her softer side, her true feelings on natural things, and really defines and broadens her as a character. Sara Gilbert is not in much these days, but looking back on her Glory Days, this is the episode in which I think she shines the brightest.