Roseanne broke a lot of unwritten rules when it began airing in the fall of 1988. Unlike most television couples in history, Roseanne and Dan Conner were overweight. They had money problems. They screamed at their kids. In the famous first episode, Roseanne even joked that she understood why some animals eat their young. This is a far cry from The Cosby Show and Leave It to Beaver, but the grim reality presented by Roseanne really touched a nerve with the American public. The Conners seemed like a real family, and the show was absolutely hysterical. The two leads became stars, and the world was introduced to a young Tom Arnold. The final season (ultimately revealed to be a fantasy) is best forgotten, but every time a rerun comes on TV we see why this show generated so much attention.