81. "A Stash from the Past," Roseanne (1993)
Welcome to the “100 Best Sitcom Episodes of All Time,” a countdown for winter 2012. Each episode will get a separate blog post, counting backward toward No. 1. A list of the programs revealed so far is here and an introduction to the project is here.
This post is late and short, and unfortunately it's not because I found a bag of pot in my closet and decided to relive my early 20s. (If I had, this might be one 3,000-word paragraph.) I just had too many errands that couldn't be put off and too much other work, plus I made the unwise decision to watch an episode of 30 Rock that lasted an hour but felt as long as back-to-back M*A*S*H finales.
But most of you know this episode, and it's not the last entry in the Top 100 countdown that features characters who are high, drunk, or heavily medicated, so we'll get to talk more about that sitcom tradition.
Dan: Were we really ever stupid enough to enjoy this?
Roseanne: Yes, we were, Dan. But that was a very different time. There was a war going on. Everything was a lot more fun.
Roseanne is referring to Vietnam, but there's always a war of some kind going on, we're always looking for temporary escapes, and we always suffer pangs of regret when we find them. It's true of drinking and drugs, but it can also be true of neglecting other duties to spend all your time at the gym.
Dan's "we'll never, ever do this again" is an echo of George Costanza's "I am never doing that again" in Seinfeld's "The Contest" a year before this episode, and we all know how that turned out. So enjoy this episode. Despite whatever ABC claimed when it first aired, it's not really a buzzkill.