The Roseanne spinoff seems to be doing fine, despite falling to a season low last night. "Nevertheless, it is missing something," says Melanie McFarland. "Now that something is not Barr — no, not at all. If the relative success of The Conners in the first half of this 10-episode run tells us anything, it’s that Darlene, Becky, Dan, Jackie and the rest can be watchable, entertaining and relevant to broad audiences without their cackling mother throwing bitterness into the recipe." She adds: "We know these characters as they exist in relationship to Roseanne. Even Darlene, the one many presumed would step into the space left behind by her mother’s death (in the opening credits sequence, she’s the one sitting beside Dan), was at her best as a deadpan counterweight to her mother’s lunacy. "Without that foil, Gilbert’s performance can only do so much to hold our attention. Darlene is too level, too perfectly deadpan."