‘Roseanne’ Is Like Catching Up With Old Friends [REVIEW]
I've been a Roseanne junkie for years, so I had to take this opportunity to give my personal review of the show.
I remember, when I was a kid, my mom wouldn't let us watch Roseanne. It was too risqué - too many adult topics. Birth control, drugs, homosexuality, domestic violence, financial strain, etc. So, of course, when I was "of age," I watched the show in its entirety to see what all the fuss was about.
The show in its original form was light years ahead of itself. Sitcoms in those days were wholesome; the Cosbys, Full House, etc. So rarely did a show take on serious topics that applied to everyday Americans. But Roseanne went there, and they stayed there. And they're still there.
I loved the show last night. Yes, politics included. It was no surprise that the show had a political spin on it; hell, Roseanne ran for President herself in 2012. I think it reflects the current state of our country to a fine point. My family was split down the middle by politics during the 2016 election, and there are a few of us who haven't spoken since. I think, if you're going to take on politics, you have to show both sides equally. And I felt like the writers of the show achieved that perfectly last night.
The reboot had to make concessions, obviously. In the series finale, Roseanne reveals that the last few seasons were based on a book that she wrote, and Dan had in fact passed from the heart attack he had at Darlene's wedding. Also, the actor who played Mark, Glen Quinn, passed away in 2002. So, in the reboot, Dan jokes about how everybody "thought" he was dead, and one of Darlene's children is affectionately named Mark. It's also insinuated that Becky's husband has passed away.
Maybe this is my radio side talking, but the show could've moved a bit faster as far as pace, and a little slower on storylines. They packed a LOT into two episodes - Becky being a surrogate, Jackie and Roseanne's political tiff, Darlene moving back home with her kids, grandson Mark wearing girl's clothing, etc.
But overall, they didn't reinvent the wheel, and I love them for that. We didn't want a show that had changed completely; the characters aged with us, and that was it. The Conners still live in the same house, with the same furniture, the same jar of pickled eggs in the pantry, same afghan on the couch, and the same financial and family struggles that they've always had.
The chemistry is a bit rusty, but I have no doubt that will improve as the show marches on. You can tell who's been acting consistently and who hasn't - Sarah Chalke, the "second Becky," appears as the woman who is using Becky as a surrogate, and she's obviously one of the actors who has been working nonstop since Roseanne went off the air. Which makes me laugh, because when she WAS Becky, she was one of the most inexperienced actors on the show. To be honest, Roseanne seems to be the rustiest. But again, I have no doubt that these things will improve with time.
Overall, I'm in. If you look at the list of writers, executive producers, etc, you can tell that ABC is putting their money where their mouth is - Whitney Cummings, Wanda Sykes, Norm MacDonald. Some heavy hitters in the comedy world are putting their two cents into this, and I've got high hopes for it.
And did anybody else notice that they put the "old fridge" in the garage? Time marches on, and Roseanne has marched with it.