“Roseanne” returns to ABC on Tuesday with its entire original cast — including John Goodman’s character Dan Conner.
But how could that be? After all, the show’s lovable patriarch died of a heart attack in the 1997 Season 9 finale, to the shock and dismay of “Roseanne” fans.
In the case of the revival, ignorance may truly be bliss for all involved as the show is ignoring most of what happened in the Season 9 finale, retroactively altering the fate of its characters — including Dan.
The series ended just more than 20 years ago with Roseanne working on her memoir, and revealing to the audience that Dan actually didn’t survive his heart attack suffered at the end of Season 8. They didn’t win the lottery. In fact, it came out that most of the entire ninth season was just Roseanne coming up with crazy scenarios to deal with her grief.
As we’ve seen in the trailers for the “Roseanne” revival, the new season will begin with the titular matriarch and Dan in bed, and Roseanne telling her husband “I thought you were dead,” as he abruptly wakes up wearing an oxygen mask.
“Why does everyone always think I’m dead?” Dan asks her, to studio audience laughs.
And (spoiler warning), that’s the only reference to his death in the revival’s entire premiere episode.
“Roseanne” fans will have to suspend disbelief — and perhaps keep from going down a story arc rabbit hole of doubt — when it comes to a few other specifics. If Dan never died, other revelations depicted in the Season 9 finale may not have happened either.
Season 9 revealed Dan cheated on Roseanne — which, according to the aforementioned finale, never really happened because he was supposed to be dead. But if he wasn’t dead, did he really cheat on her?
Darlene gives birth to Harris in Season 9. Now a teen girl, Roseanne’s granddaughter does appear in the revival.
Yeah, it could get confusing. Thankfully, Season 9 is widely regarded by fans as the worst season of the series, so ignoring a few events while keeping what worked will likely rest well with the audience.
“Roseanne” airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m.