She'd been on "Scrubs" for eight years or so before I realized I'd known her for much longer than that.
Sarah Chalke. The second Becky from "Roseanne." Sarah Chalke. Ditsy, adorable, blonde Dr. Elliot Reid on "Scrubs."
She was family.
As an extreme devotee of "Roseanne," which ran on ABC from 1988 to 1997, I knew nothing could go wrong with such a strong ensemble cast. Roseanne (Barr, Arnold, whatever) in the title role; hubby, John Goodman; sister, Laurie Metcalf; mom, Estelle Parsons.
When I watch the re-runs (which is often, on Oxygen, TVLand and Nick at Nite), I'm continually surprised about the talent that little show packed. George Clooney played Roseanne and Jackie's boss at the plastics factory in the late '80s and early '90s. Fred Thompson, ditto. Bert Parks, the ancient, original "Miss America" emcee, was a judge one season. Leo DiCaprio was cast as one of Darlene's school friends.
Bob Hope played himself on the show in the early '90s. Neil Patrick Harris took a turn as Dr. Doogie Howser. Raven Symone, Joan Collins, Chris Farley, Sharon Stone, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Springer. I'm still awestruck at the talent that modest, working-class sitcom could cram into 22 minutes every week.
Then there were Roseanne and Dan's kids. I'd always liked Michael Fishman as DJ, although he started to wear a little thin when his voice changed and he hit teenage-hood. Sara Gilbert played Darlene in all her moods, and did a damn good ~ and hysterical ~ job of it.
But Becky ~ characterized by Lecy Goranson for six seasons ~ always bothered me. Until Sarah Chalke ~ the "new" Becky ~ came along, that is.
Goranson was just so whiny. And her younger sister, Darlene, seemed so much more "with it." According to Web accounts (back in the good ol' "Roseanne" days, of course, I had no Internet to keep track of all this), Chalke stepped in when the first Becky decided to go to college.
The change, I think was perceptible. Chalke's Becky could handle Darlene. Heck, she could handle Roseanne. And when Mark entered the picture, she seemed to be beyond his equal, too. I grew up, in a sense, when Becky Conner did.
When "Roseanne"celebrated its final season in 1997, I moved on, too. I took up with a new sitcom, a new ensemble cast, four years later, with "Scrubs."
For years, I just couldn't put my finger on why I liked Elliot so much. And I only figured it out last year. I guess it was because I'd welcomed her into Casita Scribe once before. She was already a member of my sitcom family.