It's not impossible to make a funny episode about a tragedy in someone's life. Anyone who's gone through the pain of losing a parent will recognise a lot in this special episode of Roseanne. There's the confusion as Darlene experiences it, not quite knowing how to react and feeling guilty over a lack of tears. There's Jackie's meltdown, which can easily lead to absurd and darkly funny scenes. (Quite a few funerals end in laughter.) Beverly remains stoic, angry even, but you sense that she's experiencing conflicting emotions. Dan's sarcastic remark about the undertaker's attempts to make Jackie buy an expensive coffin hits the mark perfectly. John Goodman's portrayal of a loving husband who tries to comfort and help Roseanne and Jackie switches effortlessly from touching to hilarious. Despite the heavy subject, all these scenes are funny. The fun stops when Roseanne gets involved. The scenes with the mistress and Roseanne speech at the end bring the episode down to the level of a soap opera. In the past the show has been able to deal with serious subjects in an interesting way. These scenes fall flat, however. And it gets very embarrassing in the final (post-credits) scene when Roseanne once again tries to boost the ratings of her husband's sitcom.
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