Normally I don’t review a show until the season ends, but thanks to Barr’s racist tweeting, Roseanne is gone (much to the outrage of some conservatives). And Hulu’s pulled the shows that already aired. So here we go.
I enjoyed the original show back in the day (though it ran out of steam too long before it ended). In the first place, it was funny. And Barr’s take on motherhood defied the usual formulas: she’s a very, very imperfect mother who isn’t infinitely patient or perfect and that’s rare. Goodman’s Dan, conversely, was a good dad, which is unusual for TV’s blue collar fathers (an article once pointed out that blue-collar dads tend to be clueless, white-collar dads have their shit together). And a solid cast.
I was not optimistic for the new series because revivals rarely work that well. But I found it worked. Not in the first episode when Jackie and Roseanne are arguing over Jill Stein vs. Donald Trump. But otherwise. While I’m dubious Archie Bunker could still work today, Roseanne in some ways works better. As more and more of the economy flows into the pockets of the upper brackets, I feel much more conscious of how much everyone else has to struggle. And I’m very well aware of how much harder things get as you get older. The family’s coping with buying meds, taking meds, having the kids and grandkids move back in, Roseanne driving for Uber and having trouble going up the stairs … it’s a lot of stuff TV usually doesn’t deal with on a regular basis. And yes, still funny.
Had it come back in the fall, I’d have watched. But I have no problem with ABC sending the show to an early grave.
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