The message from The Conners Season 2 Episode 12 may have been that democracy only works if get off your butt and vote, but damn if they didn't make me laugh as they got that point across.
Not to mention, they did it live!
Just to be clear, I watched the east coast broadcast and the cast performed this episode live once again for the west coast, so if you see something slightly different when it comes to jokes about the live New Hampshire primary, that's probably why.
Before we get to the politics, I have to mention DJ stealing the cheese powder from the mac and cheese to add it to his nachos.
That was cheesy in the worst way and absolutely brilliant all at once, so much so that I saw my husband's eyes light up at the thought of it.
Now I've got to go hide my mac and cheese to make sure we don't end up adding Chinese condiment packets to plain elbow macaroni one day like The Conners.
But enough about the cheesy goodness and back to the politics.
Marc was tasked with writing a report on the primaries and went at it with all the young idealism you'd expect from him.
Which left the rest of the family to thrust upon him the crushing reality of politics...
The early primaries are exciting. That’s where you get to see the candidates with integrity and vision right before the rich ones swoop in and crush them with their corporate campaign dollars.Darlene
But Marc was undeterred as he believed that our government was there for us and tried to prove it by calling the White House, although I don't know what calling a switchboard really proves.
When Darlene panicked about Marc's call getting the family put on some No-Fly list, it was Becky's response that made me laugh out loud because all I could think was, when was the last time any of the Conners could afford to fly?
Darlene: They’re going to trace this back to us and put us on the No-Fly list.
Becky: When was the last time any of us flew? If they ever put us on the No-Bus list then we’ll have a problem.
Let's face it, the Conners are a cynical bunch with humor that goes from sarcastic to downright caustic at times, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that no one was openly embracing any one candidate.
Marc: Sanders is doing well. Some of the experts think if he wins there’s a chance he might stop yelling.
Ben: Oh, it doesn’t matter. Bloomberg just bought the state and renamed it New Bloomshire.
Harris' apathy towards voting, even though she'd turned 18 and could vote for the first time, wasn't a surprise. Harris doesn't care about much unless it directly affects her.
But the one thing the rest of the family did take seriously was the opportunity to vote, even when the choices weren't ideal.
Harris: All politicians are the same.
Becky: No they’re not. Yes, some of them are terrible but if you do some research you’ll find that some of them are really, really terrible. If you vote, you’ll be proud that you helped elect somebody who’s just terrible.
During the live broadcast, the Conners encouraged viewers to go to Iamavoter.com to check if they are registered to vote because as Darlene pointed out, you can't make other people feel stupid about their choice if you don't get out there and cast your own vote.
That the whole family assumed that Marc would vote for Buttigieg because they're both gay could have been offensive but there was also a note of truth in it even as Marc tried to prove otherwise in this The Conners quote:
Marc: He’s not necessarily my candidate just because he’s gay. Did all black people vote for Obama?
Ben: Yeah, pretty much. About 96%.
But it wasn't the stereotyping that was bothering Marc, it was his sister walking out on him.
I've been complaining about David being missing during Harris' story arc but I never thought about how Harris moving out would affect her younger brother.
Marc was furious and rightfully so. He and Harris have been through a lot together, between their parents' on-again-off-again relationship, to being uprooted from Chicago to move in with their grandparents in Landford, and the death of their grandmother, none of this has been easy on these siblings.
So when Harris bailed, Marc felt abandoned, and this was the first time he'd been able to yell at his sister for it.
To Harris' credit, she tried to make it right.
Marc: You know you’re just doing this because I made you feel guilty.
Harris: That’s the only reason anyone does anything good.
And she gave Marc some great advice about his boyfriend, Austin. "Dump his ass."
As much sympathy as I have for Austin growing up in a family who doesn't accept him for who he is, that isn't an excuse to ignore, make fun of, and generally treat Marc like crap.
Unfortunately, Austin probably won't be the first person to take their issues out on Marc, and it's best if he learns to stand up for himself now.
Thankfully, he had his sister there to tell him that.
Admittedly, Marc and Harris' argument was the one scene that reminded me that The Conners was airing live because it felt just a little bit off, as though they needed another rehearsal or two to get it perfect.
But I can't fault the two young actors for it because the rest of the cast are such seasoned pros at what they do that every one of their live scenes felt as though they'd had the opportunity to do it numerous times and choose just the right take.
But the most impressive drama didn't come from politics or Marc and Harris or even the show airing live.
The real turmoil took place between Dan and Louise.
Darlene's plan was to get her father drunk enough that he'd admit he was in love with Louise.
What could go wrong with that?
And as if on cue, the plan crashed and burned spectacularly.
First off, Darlene was assuming that Dan is indeed in love with Louise, and I'm not convinced that's the case.
Dan is lonely and missing his wife. He's feeling so guilty for pseudo-dating Louise that he went to speak with a priest about it.
For Dan, that's a big deal.
Personally, I don't think Dan is ready to move on yet, and as much as his kids don't want him to be alone, pushing him into a relationship isn't the right move either.
Dan and Roseanne were together for over 40 years! This is a huge adjustment for Dan, and sometimes I don't think his kids realize just how difficult that is for him.
For now, he seems to have convinced them to give him some breathing room.
Dan: Go to your rooms.
Becky: We are not children.
Dan: You want to pay rent?
Darlene: Go, Becky, go!
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.