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Picks and Pans Main: Tube

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What’s going on with Roseanne? The most resolutely blue collar of sitcoms is becoming like Night of 173 Stars. First Morgan Fairchild was brought on for several episodes as Sandra Bernhard’s lesbian lover. In the past month both Loretta Lynn and Joan Collins have been guest stars. The living room at the home of the Connors, who are supposed to be a lower-middle-class family in a small Midwestern town, is starting to look like the VIP lounge at LAX. Finally last week, dropping all pretense, the Connors loaded up the clan in an RV and headed out to Hollywood, where they mingled with (no surprise here) the star of The Jackie Thomas Show, Tom Arnold. All these famous cameos are distracting and contrived and rob the show of its greatest asset: a gravy-stain air of realism. Could you imagine what it would have done to The Honeymooners if Jackie Gleason had started inviting the likes of Jack Benny, Jayne Mansfield and Milton Berle over to the Kramden flat?