Roseanne: to watch or not to watch?


A scene from the new Roseanne showing pro-Trump Roseanne with her anti-Trump liberal sister Jackie.

Roseanne was one of my favorite TV sitcoms back in the day (I watched the entire series from 1988 through 1997, when it was cancelled).    It was one of the most genuinely funny shows on television, because the characters were so relatable and realistic.  Roseanne and her husband were both overweight and had health and money problems like normal people.   Their house didn’t look like a page from Architectural Digest or even Decorating on a Budget.   It looked like the sort of home most of the people I knew lived in — messy, cluttered, out of date, with lots of kitschy objects, piles of paper and magazines, and unwashed dishes and other debris lying around.   The Conners were working class — at least until they won the lottery (that’s when the show began to go downhill and become unrealistic).   They struggled with bills.   Roseanne wasn’t always nice to her kids or her husband, Dan — and the kids were far from perfect.  They talked back and could be disrespectful.  But the love between all the Conner family members always came through anyway.   I particularly loved the Darlene character — played by Sara Gilbert — who was every bit as sarcastic as her mother but still had a huge heart.


Roseanne and Darlene in the original series.  

I did not watch the first episode of the Roseanne reboot when it aired last Tuesday night.    I passed on it out of principle.  Most of my anti-Trump friends have boycotted Roseanne and refuse to watch her new show, even if they were once fans.  I knew that Roseanne Barr, who used to identify as a member of the Green Party and had very left wing views back during her series’ original run, is today a vocal supporter of Trump.  Worse than that, she’s also all-in on one of the worst conspiracy theories many Trump supporters have embraced (a guy who calls himself “Q” and sells himself as some sort of pro-Trump prophet has many faithful believers).  Right now, there’s also a picture of Roseanne circulating (taken in 2009) that shows her posing dressed as Hitler and holding a pan full of “burnt Jew” cookies (Roseanne is herself Jewish).

But I have to admit I’m really curious about the new series.   I’ve seen a few clips.  It intrigues me that Barr has chosen to focus on a family that is divided because of politics.   It’s an interesting premise for a sitcom.   Roseanne’s anti-Trump sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is back, all decked out in a pink pussy hat.  Her daughter Darlene, a lesbian in real life, is also an anti-Trumper on the show.   Harris, the premature daughter Darlene gave birth to at the end of the first series, is now a teenager and looks uncannily like her mother.   I’m curious about their relationship.   I wonder what sort of mom Darlene turned out to be.  I’d like to see the way they play off each other.

So I think I will give the show a chance even if it makes some of my anti-Trump friends mad at me.  Sure, it bugs me that Roseanne is a Trump supporter, and I don’t like some of the things she says and does,  but I feel like I have to be my own judge and at least watch one full episode.  The fact that all the original cast members have returned for the reboot series makes me feel like these people like Roseanne as a person — in spite of their politics mostly being different from hers.   So she can’t be all that bad — right?   If she were that bad, wouldn’t they have refused to return?

If I see that Barr gives the “other side” a fair shake, and it looks to me like the pro-Trump/anti-Trump conflict is played for comedy and/or for insight into the tribalism so prevalent in these history-making and tumultuous times, then that’s a good thing and I may choose to continue watching.   We could all benefit by laughing at ourselves and each other.   Better yet if Roseanne has the self awareness to see the humor of her rabid Trump support and can laugh at herself.

If, on the other hand, I feel like I’m being preached at or the show is really serving as a vehicle to peddle pro-Trump propaganda, then I will turn off the channel and never think about it again.   I want to be my own judge, not just boycott the show because other people are doing it or because it’s politically incorrect for a “woke” person to watch it.  Hell, the old Roseanne was funny!   I have to see for myself whether or not she can still be funny (even if she loves Trump) or if she completely lost her ability to make me laugh after she drank the Trump Koolaid.

If anyone has already seen the episode, please comment on your impressions of it.

27 thoughts on “Roseanne: to watch or not to watch?

  1. I won’t give this pro Trump agenda an audience. As Trump said “this show is us” . I’m pretty sure all the sheeples will watch. I will be hoping it is cancelled for lack of interest pronto.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ll watch it one time. Don’t be mad at me! If it’s really pro Trump propaganda — I will certainly boycott it after that.
      I do remember Trump’s “this show is us” comment. But as narcissistic as he is, he probably took all the attention put on him in the show as a compliment, even if it isn’t all complimentary (from the other characters). Any sort of social commentary would pass right over his head. So I’ll judge for myself. You could well be right though — it might be a huge waste of time.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I hear you about not boycotting the show just because other like-minded folks say to do it. I remember when Wiccans and Pagans led a boycott of the movie, The Craft, on grounds that it have a distorted picture of Wicca. Years later, my partner and I saw it and were amazed at how many realistic things were in the movie.

    What I don’t want to see in Roseanne is a lot of slander about Democrats running sex slave operations. Which I read was in the premier episode. If Roseanne wants to talk about why she thinks Trump is a good president, fine. But a sit com should not be a vehicle for malicious slander.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Dear LuckyOtter and Friends, the politically-correct dogma is everywhere – in the movies, and even in country music; i get so sick of the non-stop same-old, same-old pc-sermonettes. When by myself ;), the first thing i do is shut off that noise. Movies and pop-music are for entertainment; if i want to be preached to, i’ll go to or and hear real sermons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t help much on this one because I quit TV entirely years ago, and sit-coms long before that. Actually, the last sit-coms I really watched were “Soap” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”, and occasionally “Cheers”. The thing that I am curious about, which will not likely be explained in the series, is Rosanne’s personal flip of political world view. She doesn’t seem to be alone in that and understanding it could be important.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I’ve noticed too how so many people flipped from one political extreme to the other when Trump came along. In fact, many Bernie supporters decided to go ahead and vote for Trump over Hillary and are still supporting him now. I don’t get that at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I get part of what happened to the Bernie-to-Trump people. A huge effort on social media went into stirring resentment and mistrust between Bernie and Hillary supporters, and that came after the GOP had spent almost 30 years demonizing Hillary. And, a lot of people were ready to support anybody they saw as a disrupter of a system they felt (and still feel) wasn’t working for them in a confusing world of rapid change.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t watch. Honestly I thought the original show was horrible so I never watched that one after the first episode either. My son watched, and gleefully told me on the phone that it was irritating to hear the conspiracy theories held out as ‘real” while Jackie was played as “too stupid to breathe”. I’m not sure what exactly he meant by that but I am not curious enough to actually watch what i consider to be “probably dreck”. I tend to watch PBS or BBC……..and haven’t watched anything “mainstream” since 1982.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder how much longer we’ll actually have PBS here…since this is on the hit list of projects the GOP wants to defund. I hope corporate and individual donations can keep them going for awhile.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I might watch if/when I get around to it, but mostly because I don’t like people forming my opinion for me. That goes for either side of the issue.

    Once I’ve had a look, I can decide whether I like it or not.
    There’ll be no financial windfall for the Dark Side from my watching one episode – or even two, if I should find the first so-so. Neither will I lose sleep if I end up not catching any episode because somewhat more interesting happens to be on elsewhere.

    What I do find interesting is the hype over this. The gleeful “This is us!” with tears of joy streaking down Trumpist cheeks, and the indignant “Boycott!” cries from the other aisle. It’s a TV show.
    Really, I’d rather know where we stand with Mr Bolton right now, and can I boycott him?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, and I almost feel like the whole Roseanne argument is a deliberate distraction to keep us from thinking too much about the very unsettling fact that John Bolton is Trump’s new security advisor. It’s the closest to world war III/nuclear war we’ll ever be. I hope and pray it doesn’t happen.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I am not a trump fan at all but I watched the show. I thought it was funny and enjoyed the show. Roseanne is still funny even if she’s a trump fan. I’ll watch the show again for sure

    Liked by 1 person

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