The Conners broadcast went live on ABC on Tuesday night to react in real-time to the New Hampshire primary, and pessimism about the Trump administration was the opening theme as the live studio audience reacted to banter about the “awful politicians” running for president.
As is typical with the sitcom, the show started its political commentary on a cynical note. Not only did we hear from Becky (Alicia Goranson) that politicians are either “terrible” or “really, really terrible,” but the series star and producer, Sara Gilbert (as Darlene Conner), said that the early primaries are exciting before cracking wise about their actual results.cn
“That’s where you get to see the candidates of integrity and vision right before the rich ones swoop in and crush them with their corporate campaign laws,” Darlene said.
Gilbert’s Darlene also jumped to snatch away her gender-bending son’s (Ames McNamara) cell phone for calling the White House because Trump will put them on a “no-fly list” for daring to call.
The episode also followed the trials and tribulations of family patriarch Dan (John Goodman) as he fumbled around dating his new girlfriend, Louise (Katy Sagal).
In the show’s first segment, the Conner family delivered a few slaps at the Democratic candidates. Several jokes noted that not all gays intended to vote for former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg just because he is gay. In another jab, Becky said that Warren’s campaign is floundering and “needs a boost,” and joked that Sanders said if he won the New Hampshire primary he “promised to stop yelling.”
During one of the election results updates, it was announced live that tech expert Andrew Yang announced the end to his quixotic campaign for the nomination. But it was the last segment that was most cynical.
Aunt Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) called Harris (Emma Kenney) and Mark (McNamara) posing as Hillary Clinton in a get out the vote call. After the kids catch Jackie in the act of impersonating Hillary on the kitchen phone, Jackie launches into a monologue about how important it is to vote to get free stuff from the government.
“Harris just vote,” aunt Jackie says. “Because these people are trying to help you,” she says of the Democrat candidates.
“Warren and Sanders want to pay your college tuition,” Jackie continues. “Yang wants to give us a thousand bucks a month. And Biden wants to decriminalize marijuana.”
“Wow,” Harris says in reply. “Well, if I ever get to college, I am gonna need some weed and some spending money. OK. I’ll vote for them,” she says, showing that she still does not get what the primaries are all about.
The last line of the show belongs to Laurie Metcalf’s aunt Jackie.
“This country is doomed,” she deadpanned.
Finally, before the last segment, the Conner family also participated in a commercial for I am a Voter, a purportedly non-partisan voter registration group.
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