About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Christmas in July 2022: Roseanne (1992)


Merry Christmas in July! It is Day #19 of the month-long celebration of Christmas entertainment. As announced before, each day this month I will be sharing brief reminisces about Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a IT'S A WONDERFUL SUMMER attitude. Yes--this month I'm sharing brief essays about TV adaptations of the 1946 movie "It's a Wonderful Life" along with TV programs with significant references to the movie. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released soon).


Darlene and David are watching "It's a Wonderful Life" at his house.

Today's discussion is on the episode "It's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" from the sitcom Roseanne. In this fifth season story, Christmas Eve delivers a snow storm that prevents the Conner family from being home to watch the movie It’s A Wonderful Life on TV together. Becky and Mark are snowed-in out of town. Roseanne and her sister Jackie are stuck at the restaurant with their mother Beverly and grandmother Nana Mary. 


Roseanne, Jackie, Beverly, and Nana Mary are watching "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Lunch Box restaurant.


Dan is at home with his son DJ, awkwardly entertaining family friend Nancy and her new girlfriend Marla. And, Darlene is forced to stay at her boyfriend David’s house where she witnesses the Healy family’s dysfunction firsthand. Although everyone is miserable, the family members bond with those they are with, while watching the emotional 1946 Christmas movie.


Marla, Nancy, DJ, and Dan are stuck alone at the Conner house.

One of the highlights in this episode is how Roseanne and Jackie “decorate” Nana Mary after she falls asleep in a chair. They wrap her in Christmas lights and place a star upon her head!

Under the closing credits, viewers can see a sleeping Nana Mary "decorated" for Christmas.

The cast includes Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner, John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie, Sara Gilbert as Darlene, Michael Fishman as DJ, Johnny Galecki as David Healy, Estelle Parsons as Beverly, Shelley Winters as Nana Mary, Sandra Bernhart as Nancy, Morgan Fairchild as Marla, and Sally Kirkland as Barbara Healy. 


It's a Wonderful Life--always on in the background.

While this episode's story in NOT an adaptation of the 1946 holiday movie, it does center around the Conner family's experiences of watching It's a Wonderful Life--their annual Christmas tradition. In most of the scenes, viewers can hear the movie playing on television in the background, while the characters are talking to each other. It's a Wonderful Life is the glue that holds the whole episode together.

Merry Christmas in July!

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for an upcoming release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

1 comment:

  1. A good way to show how movies and specials can be traditions for families, even when they can't be together.