HomeTelevisionThe Roseanne Revival is as Honest and Uncomfortable as the Original

The Roseanne Revival is as Honest and Uncomfortable as the Original

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Rose

It’s hard not to develop opinions about the Roseanne revival before watching it. Prior to its debut, this season of Roseanne was overshadowed by the fact that Roseanne Barr is an extremely vocal Trump supporter. Depending on how you feel about the president, you either wanted to boycott the show or were thrilled that someone just like you will be represented on TV.  Once you start watching the first episode, it’s easy to forget your preconceived notions.

While the show is heavy handed with politics on both sides, it stays true to the original. Roseanne has always been a representation of the blue-collar working class, who did vote for Donald Trump. Therefore, it makes sense that her views would change toward the right side of the spectrum where self-reliance and gun rights are valued over universal healthcare and a woman’s right to choose.

For balance, her sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is a hardcore Hillary Clinton supporter still wearing a “Nasty Woman” shirt and a pink pussy hat a year after the 2016 election. Jackie is so upset at Roseanne’s political beliefs that they hadn’t spoken for a year.

If that didn’t make it perfectly clear, this is not escapist TV. Roseanne is very much rooted in the uncomfortable reality that families have been torn apart and many of us are no longer interested in trying to understand the other side.  

Over the course of the first two episodes, the Connor family comes to terms with their differences. Dan (John Goodman) and Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) feel old and can’t afford all their medications. Jackie rejoins the family, swearing that Roseanne will never make her doubt herself again. Darlene (Sara Gilbert) moved back home with her daughter, Harris (Emma Kenney), and her son, Mark (Jayden Rey), who dresses in girl’s clothing.  And Becky (Lecy Goranson) decides to become a surrogate, which her parents aren’t happy about.

By the end of the hour, Jackie accepts her reality. Dan and Roseanne come to terms with the fact that Mark is who he is and is unashamed of his fashion choices. And Becky makes progress in her journey to have another woman’s child.

After watching Roseanne, you realize the show isn’t about trying to convince viewers to change political parties. It’s trying to bring everyone together. It’s a shame that the show fails at that lofty goal by focusing on our differences than our commonalities.  

Rating: 7 out of 10

The Roseanne Revival airs Tuesday nights on ABC. The series is also available on Hulu. 

Allison Lips
Allison Lips
Anglophile, Rockabilly, Pompadour lover, TV and Music Critic

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