Sara Gilbert (Darlene) is one of the executive producers of the show, yes. And I've talked about this here before, but considering that she grew up in a big Hollywood mansion (I think in Bel Air), with family connections that--other than her half-siblings Melissa and Jonathan Gilbert, of course--includes her grandfather Harry Crane, who created The Honeymooners? Yeah, no, she doesn't know a thing about the lower middle class. (And Melissa's Little House co-star, Alison Arngrim, wrote in her book Confessions of a Prairie Bitch about how going over to visit Melissa at her house was such a culture shock, since she grew up with struggling actors for parents who were ALWAYS trying to find work and keep the roof over their heads.)
Watching this episode, I could see things from Becky's side AND Darlene's side--Becky DID more or less help Darlene get this job, because Darlene wouldn't have known about it without her, and she certainly didn't WANT it once she found out about it, either, whereas Becky SHOULDN'T be taking long breaks talking to her baby when she's on duty (and you would think her being a single woman with no kids for as long as she was would mean she would know better about trying to invoke parental privilege, but I guess not).
And Darlene did finally see the value of her job because of what it affords her to do now, and I can see how she would try to get into management based on that.
But really? I'm just left annoyed that they are laying waste to Becky's character like this at Darlene's expense. Whatever happened to her after Mark's death, the fact that she has a strong work ethic and the will to survive however she can seemed to be two things she's always hung onto, going back to when she was a teenager. So I'm really just left pissed off and angry by all of that and wanting to root for Becky by default. I'm stubborn like that sometimes.
(I also hold the somewhat unpopular opinion that Lecy Goranson was in many ways a MUCH better actress on the original show than she often got credit for, and was pushed aside WAY too much in favor of Sara Gilbert--and after proving at the beginning of this show that she is just as good as Sara, maybe even better now, that seems to be happening AGAIN--but that's a rant for another day.)
I do two positive things to say, though (yes, really! lol):
1. While Neville needs to back. the. hell. OFF. from Jackie, I will always applaud any signs of an older woman/younger man relationship, especially when it's the younger man pursuing the older woman. I like younger men, too, so I appreciate it, lol.
2. The closing credits tag didn't end on a jarring note this week! It felt just right! It finally happened! HUZZAH!
And yes, I too liked the mock interview between Harris and Becky as Darlene, and agree with Harris that Darlene made it sad by imitating Becky. She...does that a lot these days, it seems. -_-
But like Harris also said, Becky made it funny again by imitating Darlene at the end, so that was good. :)
In a word...no. She always had her quirks, but she was always very cool--a single woman with a job and her own place, with plenty of friends and an active dating life--but starting in season 5 and ESPECIALLY in season 6, she started to turn into Wacky Jackie, a female Don Knotts (with Laurie Metcalf evidently getting pointers from the REAL Don Knotts--and I loved Don Knotts, may he rest in peace, he deserved all five Emmys he won for playing Barney on TAGS--but Jackie didn't need to be Don Knotts). And this is clearly deliberate on Laurie Metcalf's part, because she CAN still play Jackie as she used to be every once in awhile, and based on what others have said about her in other roles, she can still bring it, too--and in a way, that makes it even MORE frustrating, knowing she CAN still play the old Jackie, and has shown signs of her here and there even on The Conners, but she so rarely gets the chance to, and may not even be all that interested in doing so at this point.