ROSEANNE IS BACK AND IT IS AS GREAT AND RELEVANT AS IT EVER WAS
After two decades, one of America’s greatest sitcoms returned to the airwaves last night and did not seem to miss a beat.
Roseanne Barr broke the mold in 1988 when her sitcom “Roseanne” took the country by storm. What made the show so interesting was that it was not your typical sitcom with pretty people in a nice setting.
Roseanne herself was an overweight mom who did not fit the prototype of a woman you would see as the star of a primetime series at that time.
And the show dealt with real issues in real ways. Nobody gave us a better window into working class families in the Midwest than the Conners. Plus, they did it with the type of humor and humility you just could not find on network television.
This is why I was a little nervous when I heard the show was being revived after being gone for over 20 years. I was worried it would not live up to the ground-breaking work it had been known for during its original run.
Thankfully, those doubts were quickly erased and the show delivered in a big way.
One of the biggest controversies surrounding the show has been the fact that Roseanne Barr herself is a big Trump supporter.
That goes against the grain Hollywood but even more so it has been taboo for television and movies. The only “Pro Trump” characters have been major villains and certainly no sympathetic lead in a movie or series fit that description despite half the country voting for the president.
Roseanne Barr decided to make her character Roseanne Conner into a Trump supporter because t felt real to her. The character is a working class white woman from the Midwest — many of whom helped get the president elected.
Barr saw an opportunity to stay true to herself and offer a different perspective, so she took it and ran with it. She was a trailblazer then and continues to be one now.
And once agan the show delivered in feeling real in every way.
Roseanne and her sister Jackie, once close as can be, had drifted apart because of their arguments over Trump and Clinton. This is a very common family dynamic these days, but only Roseanne has hit on it yet.
Roseanne’s husband Dan (John Goodman) was part of another very authentic feeling storyline, where his grandson was dressing like a girl and he had the reaction most men in his situation would — he was uncomfortable with it, and while he still loved his grandson, he feared the reality of how other kids would treat him.
As for the cast, they were in top form as they had always been in the past. Roseanne Barr and John Goodman have an incredible chemistry that you pray for as a casting director. They play off of each other masterfully, and Barr herself has not lost an inch of her comedic timing.
Speaking of comedic timing, Sara Gilbert as their daughter Darlene was once again phenomenal as the sarcastic insult machine with impeccable delivery.
And Laurie Metcalf — who was a treasure the first time around as Roseanne’s sister Jackie and has been outstanding as Sheldon’s mother in “Big Bang Theory” since — was as great as she has ever been.
ABC aired two episodes back to back, and they seemed to fly by in an instant. It left me eagerly anticipating future episodes.
They say you can’t go home again. And maybe you can’t. But can you wake up from a 20 year nap and still have the magic touch inside of you?
I’d say the cast of Roseanne proved last night that you most certainly can.