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Roseanne - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: August 30, 2005 (Anchor Bay Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: approx. 505 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Bloopers, Roseanne on "Roseanne": A New Candid Interview, Season 1 Highlights, Wisdom from the Domestic Goddess, and Interview: John Goodman Takes a Look Back (total approximate run time: 38 minutes)


In what TV Guide calls "One of the greatest shows of all time," Roseanne has finally come to DVD. Roseanne was full of blunt honesty, attitude and hilarity. In 1988, no other series before it had even come close to what Roseanne did to impact television. In this ground-breaking debut season, we get to meet the working-class, blue-collar Conners of Llanford, Illinois. Roseanne Barr stars as Roseanne Conner, a bluntly honest, wife, mother and even domestic goddess, she's surrounded by her husband Dan (played by seven-time Emmy nominee, John Goodman), her outrageous sister, Jackie (three-time Emmy winner, Laurie Metcalf) and her three kids, straight-laced Becky (Lecy Goranson), darkly dramatic Darlene (two-time Emmy nominee - Sara Gilbert) and young D.J. (Michael Fishman). All 23 episodes are included on this set as well as hours worth of bonus material that is sure to leave you laughing.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The first season of "Roseanne" included many memorable episodes that go down as many viewers’ favorites. The first one that started it all, "Life and Stuff" deals with Roseanne confronting the complaints from teachers that Darlene barks in school. "We're In the Money" in which Dan and Roseanne agree not to spend any of Dan's $500 advance on them, neither can resist the temptation. "Lover's Lane" was about a night at the bowling alley has Roseanne checking out Becky's new boyfriend Chip and Booker making a high-stakes bet with Jackie. "The Memory Game” is where Roseanne discovers that Dan had a one-night stand with her high-school nemesis years ago. "Dan's Birthday Bash" in which an unruly bar patron gets into a fight with Dan. "Bridge over Troubled Sonny" in which family friend Crystal struggles to cope with the death of her husband, while Darlene decides to take up smoking. "Father's Day" is where Roseanne referees a battling Dan and his father. "Mall Story” is the one Roseanne takes her family to the mall. "Becky's Choice" in which Becky wishes her dinner party with Chip and his parents would end. "Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore" in which a tornado spins through Llanford and Jackie goes missing. And finally, "Death and Stuff" is about a door-to-door salesman drops in and drops dead in the Conner kitchen. Of course, there are many more memorable episodes.

Some special guest-stars throughout the first season were George Clooney, who played the recurring "Booker" and Fred Dalton Thomas.


The packaging has a yellow striped background (like rays from a sun) and features a large cutout of Roseanne and Dan, with the logo, and then screen shots from the series underneath the logo. There are two individual cases in the box that include the FOUR discs available for this set. The individual cases are different than the cover (but the background stays the same). The first case has a picture of the Roseanne from season 1 in a box along with two cast shots (one of the whole family, minus Jackie and one with just Roseanne and Jackie). On the second case, it's the same design but has different pictures and the main picture is Dan as well as one of the three kids in a promo shot for the series. The back of each case has episode descriptions, titles and air-dates. Now for the discs themselves, all four discs are red in color and has a single picture shot of the cast members and the episodes on that disc (Disc 1 has Roseanne, Disc 2 has Dan, Disc 3 has Roseanne and Dan hugging and disc 4 has the kids plus Jackie). The first case holds discs one and two and Disc One has episodes 1-7 while Disc Two has episodes 8-14. The second case holds disc three and four, and Disc 3 has episodes 15-21 on it while Disc 4 has episodes 22-23 as well as all of the bonus features available on the set.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu looks exactly like the main cover art, it's just animated. The picture of Roseanne and Dan is there, the background is the same and the logo is now on top and has a scrolling set of pictures (looks like the main box art). The season one theme music plays in the background and when it's done, it loops. On each disc there is an "Episodes" selection and a "Play All" selection. I can't find anything for languages or subtitles. The "Episodes" selection takes you to another screen that lists the episodes on that disc. It looks exactly like the actual disc (same red background and same picture of whoever is on that disc). What's nice about when you select an episode to watch, it takes you to yet another screen and displays a longer description of the episode than what the box offers. You can then play the episode. It's a nice feature but to me, there are a lot of menus to have to go through. It's nice though. Disc One has several previews for upcoming (or already out) DVD releases, such as "3rd Rock from the Sun" and "Grounded for Life".

Video and Audio Quality:

The video can be grainy at times, but overall, the colors are nice and for episodes from 1988, the quality is really good. The audio is crisp and loud and clear, so no problems there. I would say that the biggest problem would have to be the edited episodes. Each episode runs 21-22 minutes in length (see the episode run-time list below). I'm not sure what the exact run-time for unedited sitcoms was back in 1988, but I would think each episode would last longer than 21 minutes. They should be more like 23-24. Anchor Bay has confirmed that these indeed are edited episodes. Carsey-Werner has some explaining to do because they are the one supplying these episodes. First The Cosby Show, now this is edited. And there is a chance 3rd Rock was edited, too, but I can’t confirm that. At least the James Earl Jones intros were chopped off for that set. Other than that, for this set, I would say the episodes are problem free. As I said, this set has great (although grainy at times) video and great audio, a good job in that respect. Each episode has a chapter skip, as do the special features. There are no subtitles or languages, but there is closed captioning available.

01 - Life and Stuff (approx. 21:49 minutes)
02 - We're In The Money (approx. 21:46 minutes)
03 - D-I-V-O-R-C-E (approx. 21:50 minutes)
04 - Language Lessons (approx. 21:48 minutes)
05 - Radio Days (approx. 21:49 minutes)
06 - Lovers' Lane (approx. 22:14 minutes)
07 - The Memory Game (approx. 21:50 minutes)
08 - Here's To Good Friends (approx. 21:50 minutes)
09 - Dan's Birthday Bash (approx. 21:48 minutes)
10 - Saturday (approx. 22:30 minutes)
11 - Canoga Time (approx. 21:50 minutes)
12 - The Monday Thru Friday Show (approx. 21:48 minutes)
13 - Bridge Over Troubled Sonny (approx. 21:48 minutes)
14 - Father's Day (approx. 21:49 minutes)
15 - Nightmare On Oak Street (approx. 21:50 minutes)
16 - Becky's Choice (approx. 21:49 minutes)
17 - Mall Story (approx. 21:51 minutes)
18 - Slice of Life (approx. 21:49 minutes)
19 - Workin' Overtime (approx. 21:52 minutes)
20 - Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore (approx. 22:24 minutes)
21 - Death and Stuff (approx. 22:20 minutes)
22 - Dear Mom and Dad (approx. 21 minutes)
23 - Let's Call It Quits (approx. 22 minutes)

Special Features:

- Introductions by Roseanne:
The episode "Lovers' Lane" starts off with an introduction from Roseanne, where she discusses how this episode was the first time she really started having fun, and it wasn't just about "delivering a line." Episode 10, "Saturday" also starts out with an introduction from Roseanne, who says it was one of her favorite episodes from the first season because her first ex-husband Bill plays Dan's buddy who whacks his head on the hood of Dan's truck. Roseanne comments that Bill was famous for always hitting his head. Episode 21, "Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore" has a Roseanne introduction where she says it was the cornball special effects show and how it took forever to set up the shots, such as the mailbox flying through the window. Roseanne also says this is the first and only episode where DJ's full name (David Jacob) was revealed. Episode 21, "Death and Stuff" has another introduction by Roseanne and she says it was written by her ex-husband Bill.

- Roseanne On "Roseanne": A New Candid Interview (approx. 9 minutes)
A brand new interview that has Roseanne discussing things such as how much fun she had working with John and Laurie; how she mothered the kids; how she made demands on the producers to get the show to be what it was today. How she grew as an actress over the first season and how the show would touch on spots no other sitcom would go. It was a really brief, but good interview with Roseanne.

- John Goodman Takes A Look Back (approx. 7 minutes)
Basically the same format as the Roseanne interview. It has John talking about the scripts, how they were real, how no one in America expected such a "real" couple. He loved the episode where he worked pretty much solo with Laurie Metcalfe (I believe the episode from the final season where Dan's affair is coming to light and it comes out that there was an attraction between Jackie and Dan). It was another good interview.

- Wisdom From The Domestic Goddess (approx. 5 minutes)
A clip fest--it is clip after clip of some of Roseanne's finest and hilarious quotes throughout the years. At the end, there is a list of the "Top Five Pearls of Wisdom from the Domestic Goddess". Are you curious to know what they are? Head out and buy the set!

- Bloopers (approx. 11 minutes)
Just what it says it is, bloopers. Probably every blooper or outtake from the first season (although, looking at it again, it seems other seasons are included, too) is all right here for your viewing pleasure. Bloopers are always fun to watch, so enjoy.

- Season One Highlights (approx. 6 minutes)
Basically what it says. This clip fest highlights some of the funniest moments from the first season. Not much else can be said about it.

Final Comments:

I do have to start off with, that yes, the episodes are edited. I reiterate, each episode runs around 21-22 minutes in length, when I would assume it would be around 23-24 minutes. There has to be stop to all these edited sets. Carsey-Werner should be ashamed they treated a show like Roseanne like this. Other concerns have the discs themselves starting off problematic. It could just be my player, but the disc freezes for a few seconds before the Anchor Bay opening logo appears. It's like this on all four discs. Now, to the good parts -- the bonus features are all really nice and help make up for the edited episodes. I'm a big fan of including bloopers in any release and I loved seeing all the bloopers from Roseanne. I'm sure there's even more where that came from. The menu is really nice and flows well with the box art but it can be kind of a pain to go through several menus just to play an episode. A solution to that is to just "Play All." Overall, I would say Anchor Bay did a really good job with this release. It's a shame the episodes are edited, but overall, it's a good release and I do recommend purchasing it, when it becomes available because the bonus materials are high class.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 08/05/2005.

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