Saturday, April 7, 2018

What I’m Watching: Roseanne

Roseanne: Season 10, Episode 3 “Roseanne Gets the Chair” (B)

I don’t think it should come as a surprise to anyone that this show was already renewed for an eleventh season after its monstrously successful return last week. Though I wasn’t wowed by it, I stick by my contention that it’s going to be a talked-about series that an enthusiastic TV critic like myself really should be watching. This does feel like the definition of a sitcom, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s really so interesting to me that shows like this and “Will and Grace” can literally just pick up a decade or two after going off the air without changing anything about their formats or styles, the evolution of television in the time since then be damned. What did work well about this episode was that it was almost singularly-focused, forgetting about Becky and her surrogacy to show how Roseanne has a big problem with her granddaughter feeling entitled and like she’s better than the rest of the family. I was thinking that this Emma Kenney character is nothing compared to her rebellious teenager on “Shameless,” but then I realized that Roseanne might actually get along with her better. The laundry issue was just the tip of the iceberg, and all it took was a trip to the “Hillbilly Day Spa” to get Harris to realize just how selfish she was being, prompting her mother to side with Roseanne for once and talk some sense into her. None of these problems are permanently solved, of course, as her contributions to the family made her feel like she deserved a long and restful shower, and Roseanne getting into the shower with her probably did the trick of keeping her on her toes. I don’t know how much the chair will continue to be around, but it was a good bit of comedy for how much slower it was than Harris running down the stairs and Dan’s amazement that it actually worked when he hadn’t really tested it. This show does have some great lines, like the definition of Etsy as a yard sale online because people can’t afford yards and a vegetable brush as kind of like a hand. Dan and Roseanne pretending that there were no books about how to raise kids was funny too. Maybe this show will manage to win me over after all.

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