‘Roseanne’ is back (as if you didn’t know)

The return of Roseanne was… fine. There were plenty of laughs, but mainly because it was just nice to see such a lovable cast back again. Like many revivals, this was bogged down in having to catch up on too much. The first two episodes did an admirable job trying to give us two decades of background information scattered throughout the runtime.

Roseanne and Dan live together. Yeah, he’s still alive. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s good. Don’t ever watch season nine). The chemistry between Roseanne and John Goodman is as undeniable as ever. Their son Jerry, who was born in the later seasons to coincide with real Roseanne’s real pregnancy) is living somewhere on a boat.

As always, Jackie is the standout. It’s no secret that Laurie Metcalf was always the highlight of the series and she continues to prove that she can carry an entire cast throughout a bumpy scene. She is a liberal and progressive thinker who butts heads against Roseanne. More on that after I catch you up on the cast.

Darlene has to children, but “no job, no partner.” The success she was skyrocketing towards never came. David is missing in action (a.k.a. on Big Bang Theory). Her daughter is a non-player in the first two minutes, but her son Mark gets the majority of screentime and is the episodes’ driving force. He likes to wear girls clothes. Roseanne and Dan, who were always “hip with it” in the original run have turned sour toward this sort of thing. You may feel like that doesn’t make sense, but I’ve seen relatives become more staunch as the years pass.

Becky feels off. The rest feel natural, but this feels forced. Lecy Goranson’s acting is… off. Her plot is a clever way to get Becky 2 in the mix by having Sarah Chalke play Andrea, who is willing to pay Becky to be a surrogate. As for her husband Mark? He passed away. It’s a throwaway line that alludes to the actual death of the actor who played him.

DJ is… there. Barely. He was in the army and has a biracial daughter. His wife (girlfriend? baby mama? I didn’t catch it) is still overseas. Hopefully more comes from this as the remaining eight episodes play out.

Whew! That was a lot to catch up on. Now for the dreaded “Roseanne likes the 45th President” topic we all have to address.

Roseanne, like many lower-middle class Americans in the Midwest, voted for the man sitting in the Oval Office. Is there a problem with this? On some levels, yes. ABC wouldn’t air a black-ish episode that dealt with NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. It also gives a platform for someone who I consider extremely vile. But do I feel artistic freedom should let the problematic Roseanne express herself and her views? I suppose. Why? Because I have hope.

I hope a show that won Emmys in the 1990s for being creatively fresh and forward thinking can mend America in 2018. I know people who won’t even talk to one another because of their political beliefs. Friends for decades now haven’t spoken since 2016. Roseanne isn’t as fresh or forward thinking anymore. There are other family-based sitcoms that do that now. Yet, for some reason, I truly believe some good will come of this.

I may be wrong. There is a lot to be said and I haven’t read up as much as I maybe could have about the ramifications of Roseanne the creator and Roseanne the character’s actions. I’ll do that soon. But for now, I’m glad the Connors are back. Maybe it can make TV gr– wait a second. That was gross. Maybe Roseanne is exactly what America needs right now.

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