It was easy to be skeptical when this new incarnation of Roseanne was announced. Sure, all of the original cast that could return were coming back. But the fact that the show seemed to be, literally, pulled from the headlines, only seemed to add to the skepticism. After all, it's one thing to create characters that are germane to a story. It's another thing to check boxes to try and ensure relevancy.
However, a funny thing happened along the way. As this show went from announcement to reality, it was very hard not to get caught up in the excitement. There were tweets showing the cast, the original living room (well, as original as things can be in 2018), and the early footage of this show seemed like some uncovered, archeological find. The skepticism started to erode and suddenly it felt like it was the 1990s again!
And then the new episodes aired. Sure, it sorta felt like it was trying to check a lot of political boxes. However, nothing seemed forced. Nothing seemed out of character. Just like before, Roseanne tapped into the human condition like no other show EVER. I don't know what is more impressive. The fact that this show has garnered up to 25 million viewers or that it seems to have caught lightning. AGAIN.
However, Roseanne isn't perfect. It's not going to solve all the problems of the world. What it is doing is putting a mirror up to this very confused country and saying, "Hey, isn't it time we tried to make things great for EVERYBODY?" That is an idea that seems to drive the Conner family, and that is an idea that it seems anybody can get behind. Whether you are just a fan, or only here for the politics, Roseanne has something for you to watch.
It rights many wrongs.
When the show ended its first run in 1997, it left as a mess. A train-wreck of epic proportions. It was almost as if Roseanne Barr was paying all her loyal viewers back by completely screwing up this show. Characters were dying. The lottery was being won. The episodes were taking on an avant-garde flair. All of this would've been great if it had had nothing to do with Roseanne. This new version of Roseanne has none of that. It has the family (albeit older), storylines that make sense, and it appears to act, like many of us did long ago, as if the final season never happened. At least not in a serious way.
Dan is back.
This is something we knew as Roseanne went into production. Dan Conner (John Goodman), the man who died of a heart attack (this was revealed in the 9th season), was alive. There's no grand summoning. We don't open the new Roseanne with a seance. We start off with Roseanne Conner in bed, Dan appears, and the show is off to the races. Sure, John Goodman is older but so are we all, and again, we are treated to the father we all wanted. It just seemed like such a mistake to kill him off. For over 20 years, fans of the show had to live with this character being out of their lives. Well, he's back and just as great as we remember him being.
Whether you're left or right, there's something for you.
Roseanne Barr is an unabashed supporter of President Donald Trump. Roseanne Conner is a supporter as well. However, Roseanne isn't some pro-Trump show meant to turn Democrats into Republicans. Rather, this show skewers both sides and thank goodness it does. There are hard truths that we all need to hear. As was the case with All in the Family, you can be left or right, watch Roseanne, and laugh at the same thing for totally different reasons. We should be allowed to laugh at ourselves. During any time. Once we lose the ability to do that what are we but a bunch of self-serious blowhards who ultimately have nothing productive to say any way.
It tries really hard.
D.J. Conner (Michael Fishman) has a daughter named Mary (Jayden Rey) that's African American. Darlene (Sara Gilbert) has a son named Mark (Ames McNamara) who dresses like a girl. Toss in all the aforementioned politics, the references to Darlene being gay, and everything else going on with Roseanne, and there's the possibility that this show might look like it's TV clickbait. Then you watch Roseanne and all of the aforementioned plot points suddenly drive the story in a very realistic way. Roseanne has always worked best when it didn't go for schmaltzy or oddball endings. It was a show that thrived because it presented characters as they were. No grand solutions ever befell this family (ignore the lottery winning episode). Things for the Conner Family just were and that was all they needed to be. Watch and you will see...