Sunday, April 1, 2018

What I’m Watching: Roseanne (Series Return)

Roseanne: Season 10, Episodes 1 and 2 “Twenty Years to Life” and “Dress to Impress” (B)

It’s the age of revivals, and this popular sitcom is off to a fabulous start with extremely high ratings that even Donald Trump is announcing to those who will listen. I had never actually seen this show prior to this two-part season premiere, mainly because it went off the air before I really got into television. My understanding is that it was meant to represent the working-class family when other sitcoms didn’t deal directly with that. It’s an interesting counterpoint to “Will and Grace,” a show that has used its revival to comment on the state of politics and other things in America today that have changed tremendously since it first began twenty years ago. This slightly older show has just as much to say, but its protagonist is firmly in the pro-Trump camp, to the point that there’s a whole plotline with her liberal sister coming over to the house after a long feud wearing a pussy hat and a “Nasty Woman” t-shirt. There’s definitely a slant to how this show approaches that kind of fare, presuming that Laurie Metcalf’s Jackie would be so thrown off by Roseanne’s blind support for Trump that she would end up voting for Jill Stein because she didn’t know what to do. In a reference that I understood, Sarah Chalke is playing a character who the real Becky, played by original cast member Alicia Goranson, is going to be a surrogate for, adding more opportunity for political commentary along with the gender-nonconforming grandson that gives Roseanne and Dan plenty to mull over as they face modern times. I feel like this is a show that I should be watching because it’s going to be part of the conversation both in terms of society and come awards season, but I don’t really so what’s particularly special or funny about it.