Sara Gilbert & Ames McNamara Talk Schooling In The Conners!

Hey All!

On Monday, I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Sara Gilbert  (Darlene Conner) and Ames McNamara (Mark Conner-Healy) from the hit ABC TV show “The Conners”. In case you’ve never watched the show, it’s a spin-off of the hit show Rosanne and follows America’s favorite family as they continue to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford. I love the show and it’s nostalgic for me as I grew up watching the Rosanne show.

I love that Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. are back and continue to grapple with parenthood, dating, financial pressures and aging in working-class America. It’s great to see through all the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails to this day.

The series stars all your favorites including John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy, Jayden Rey as Mary Conner and Jay R. Ferguson as Ben. I was thrilled to jump on a zoom chat to speak to Sara Gilbert and…

Ames McNamara (who plays her son on the show) about the upcoming episode of the show. In the next episode, airing tonight, their characters, Darlene and Mark deal with the realities of virtual school and getting into the best schools.

This issue on the show is one that has affected both Sara and Ames personally, so I had to ask how they both dealt firsthand with the same issues that their characters experienced in the recent episode regarding schooling. They were kind enough to share some of their own experiences with me.


So I know for myself, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of virtual school and it’s inescapable the problems with virtual school so, it’s really not the same as in person school, but it’s the best that we can do right now.  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. Obviously this technology is amazing, and it’s so amazing that we’re all in this Zoom call from all different places right now. But it’s not perfect and there are some glitches, and stuff like that. But I feel personally lucky to have had amazing teachers who have helped me through my virtual school experience and really made it still engaging, which can be a problem sometimes. You know, Zoom fatigue is a very real thing.


I agree. I feel fortunate that I’ve just had meetings and I have more breaks than what my kids were dealing with, but there were definitely times like, my computer’s not working right, or my charger’s not working right, and then, you know, missing school and particularly for my youngest, I think he checked out a decent amount because being six years old, sitting on a screen all day, it’s exactly the opposite of what we try to do for our kids. You know, we use it when we’re in a pinch, but we don’t like them sitting on screens all day. So, it’s definitely been a struggle, but I’m happy to see things slowly returning back towards what we think of as normal, um, for that and obviously a multitude of even more serious reasons.

This episode also had to do with helping your child getting into school and studying. Sara and Ames we’re asked “What are you guys hoping your audience takes away after watching the episode?”. I thought their answers for this question were interesting and wanted to share them here with you today. I was only able to ask one question, so I’m going to share a few of the interesting answers they gave to other’s who were also on the zoom call.


I guess I would say I hope that the audience takes away, I’m sure many, many people in the, in the audiences, the viewers who will be watching this, will already know that this is a problem, but I think our episode helps to illuminate more of the problems, and it shows also how it doesn’t just effect the kids, but it effects the everyone in the family.  I think that that’s something that we do in this episode really does a good job of portraying.


Yeah, I agree with you Ames. I think it shines a light on the inequities in our country. I think we’ve all seen how people with less means already were struggling, but it put a spotlight on that and it furthered those struggles, so it almost widened the divide between people who have more and people who have less. So they didn’t always have tablets or computers, or Wi-Fi access, and so their kids would be falling further behind. And so what I really like is that this episode talks about how unfair that is, and that it’s really not a level playing field, and how much stress that causes a parent who just wants the best for their kid.

The episode is covers such an important topic that parents are dealing with in this country and around the world. Sara and Ames were so amazing to chat with and said the following message to us and to all who watch.


I just say thank you, all. Such thoughtful questions and it really allowed us to talk about the importance of shining a light on the inequality in this country and I’m happy that we can have a small voice in trying to help make things better.


I definitely second what Sara said, but also I think this episode was fun for me to film because I always love to have scenes with Sara. I think, you know, she’s an amazing scene partner, and I think this episode felt very natural to film, in a way, because everyone has dealt with these problems.

It was the perfect note to end the interview. I highly recommend you check out “The Conners”! It airs WEDNESDAYS (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET) on ABC!

Check out this sneak peek clip from the episode tonight below as well:

I love that the show covers topics people really deal with. It’s relatable, insightful and fun all at the same time. I hope you tune in and support the show!

Follow “The Conners” (#TheConners) on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

You can find more our favorite shows and interviews HERE!