The Conners on ABC is not shying away from some difficult conversations including alcoholism, Covid, death, and now virtual learning and inequality. After talking with Sara Gilbert and Ames McNamara, who play Darlene Conner and her son, Mark, on the show, they are happy to use their voices and platform to spread the messages we need to talk about.
As a parent, it’s been hard watching my 5 children navigate virtual learning and the no-win decisions we and their teachers have had to make since Covid started. In tonight’s episode, Mark has been studying hard for an entrance exam to a prestigious school, and is stressed out. Darlene is worried about and perhaps steps in when she shouldn’t.
Ames said, “I was able to relate to everything that Mark is going through because it’s stuff that’s happening to me and so many kids across the country right now and across the world.” He adds that he has been lucky to have amazing teachers to help him navigate distance learning, but also says, “Zoom fatigue is a very real thing.” I think many kids will find this episode relatable. And amen on Zoom fatigue!
The Conners have always been a family who has been rough around the edges. Their imperfections are why America has fallen in love with them. Gilbert says she loves the show because this is obviously, “a fictional group that represents a lot of people who are very kind, smart, intelligent, funny, good people that cannot break the cycle of poverty and cannot break through the levels of how unfair things can be in this country.”
Gilbert adds that this episode “shines a light on the inequities in our country. I think we’ve all seen how people with fewer means already were struggling, but it puts a spotlight on that, and it furthered those struggles. It almost widened the divide between people who have more and people who have less.”
To some it can feel like there is always a division of the haves and have nots, and that’s why it’s so important to have these discussions and open up the conversation, so change can be made.
Ames does give some advice to the kids struggling right now. He says, “there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Darlene goes full on Mama Bear tonight and although she says she prefers to let her kids handle their schooling and situations on their own, I’m total Team Darlene on this one. Do you agree?
Watch The Conners on ABC tonight at 9:00 pm ET and sound off in the comments below!