As easy as it is to have politics hangover and just exhaustion, I have managed to keep sane by keeping the news cycle merry go round as sane as possible. I admit that I have a nostalgic place in my heart for the show Roseanne. As an immigrant a portrayal of an “average” family was enticing to me. These people were very different than me but they cared about each other. I always felt like those characters while flawed always felt more multidimensional than other TV families. So when news came of the reboot I was curious. Over the years Roseanne Barr went from just a character on TV to someone that I really did not care for. Her politics were all over the place, and I also found that she was not only half Mormon but also I knew someone that had met her. I also knew that 17-year-old Roseanne Barr gave up her daughter, Brandi Brown, for adoption in 1970. The two later reunited, and Brown worked as a production assistant on Roseanne. She is the perfect example of someone that might be not all good, but not all bad.
When I heard that Trump called Roseanne to congratulate her for her ratings, and her history of being another celebrity wannabe president, I was almost tempted to not watch the show at all. But in the spirit of giving people a chance I watched. And surprisingly, I enjoyed it.
First I will tell you what I hated. John Goodman was probably one of my favorite characters in the show previously, but this interaction of the character feels as one that is pretty flat. His delivery is not what I am used to from such a good actor and at times took me out of the spirit of the show. The same can be said about Lecy Goranson who felt over rehearsed and just delivering everything a little too forcefully. I also did not remember Laurie Metcalf being such a caricature, but I might be wrong on this. I would have to go back and watch the old show, she seemed way too animated and way too extreme in her delivery as a Hilary supporter. Last thing that I kind of disliked was that the younger generation of characters feels quite like pandering, or token characters. I am interested in how those are addressed.
Putting those things aside, you can hate Roseanne Barr as a person but she is masterful at that character. She plays someone that is not just believable but also someone that can capture the essence of what it is to be the head of a household. My favorite character played by Sara Gilbert is still the great. Not sure that I quite agree with the joke of her being gay (she is in real life, but presumably her character is not.) Her being now a caring mother and a better version of Roseanne was refreshing. Rosanne was never the perfect mother, but she was caring and at least in the first couple of episodes it seems like Sara’s character takes that one step further.
The handling of conflict in the show seems realistic. While some of the characters are a little exaggerated for humor the window into what many families are having to deal with in today’s political atmosphere is on point. I don’t hate Roseanne for being a Trump supporter, in fact she truly encapsulates the reason so many people ended up voting for him. Reasonable people ended up voting people people need jobs and change to the status quo.
The content of the show seems a lot more political than it probably should be, but it dances with it. From the fact that respecting the military is a theme, to the fact that responsible gun ownership is at times an afterthought. It does not shy away from making humor, or being honest about the reality of some of those issue. I did not feel like I was being talked down to even if Laurie Metcalf was kind of a liberal cliche. I think it is time that we start looking for things that makes us all laugh, and I think that Roseanne accomplished that. Her politics aside it seems like the show will make for good entertainment. And I think it is time that we all take a step back and see that not every show for entertainment out there has a political agenda (left or right.) At times it can be just artistic expression that we can all see, enjoy and maybe get a sense of how other people see things.