Growing up, even in a very Reagan/Bush conservative home, “Roseanne” was a major part of familial television watching.
Even though my parents’ politics didn’t mesh hardly at all with that of Roseanne and Dan Conner, there was enough in common between all the Boomers for my parents to enjoy the show. They didn’t really like all the pro-liberal politics that seemed to be injected into the show — the story lines about unionizing, out of wedlock motherhood, and LGBTQ equality made them squeamish — but they still watched it and enjoyed it, because at the end of it all, the Conners were good, decent people just trying to make it work.
20 years later, it appears my folks have a lot more in common with Dan and Rosie than they did before.
I haven’t had a chance to talk to my parents about the new “Roseanne” yet, but I’m sure they liked it. Their super libtarded son did too. To listen to both of the partisan extremes in this country, you’d think that only Trumpers watched the show’s return, and that it’s some kind of sign the real majority in this country are the white working class voters who were duped into voting for the Reality-TV Tyrant. You know, Trumpers.
None of that is true.
The left wants to paint the show as some sloppy blowjob for Don the Con. And while the jokes about people who want universal health care being bad at math are sloppy and stupid — per capita spending on socialized medicine is objectively cheaper than for profit medicine — it wasn’t some ham fisted handy for the tiny handed fistula. The first episode, which show writer Whitney Cummings says is the only episode that deals with politics — was a very even bash at both of the camps. It’s okay and needed for liberals to laugh at themselves, as evidenced by how great “Portlandia” is. Humans are capable of doing mock-worthy shit, and liberals are humans, so…
My advice to progressives is to watch the show.
As Jackie, Roseanne’s sister, tells her in the first episode, we need to understand why they voted the crazy way they did. I saw one op-ed from the left that argued the show sanitizes the horrible parts of Trumpism. I disagree. I think it tries to show that within the Trump movement there are people who get swept away in it all, and who may have perfectly reasoned — if not incorrectly reasoned — motivations for voting for the piece of shit. Look, at some point we on the left have to reckon with this crazy notion that not every Trumper is a Nazi. Just the ones who do Nazi shit, the rest are sadly duped, desperate people.
Maybe if we learn about them, we can bring them back to our side, because I haven’t seen too many regular Joe conservatives losing their shit over Darlene’s son wearing girl’s clothes, or Becky wanting to be a surrogate.
This show is trying to get us all to have dialogue. It seems like the writers, who are some pretty progressive comedians and writers themselves — are trying to get Americans to laugh at themselves. Both of these are noble endeavors, and I plan on watching the whole series’ run, just to see how they make the titular character reconcile who she voted for with her beautiful, modern, mixed family. It’s interesting, for instance, that the second episode dealt with Roseanne defending her grandson from bullying for his decision to wear girls’ clothes the same week the president she and the actress who play her banned transgender people from the military.
My hope is that they do in fact make Rosie’s idea of who Trump is and what he represents collide with who he really is, but regardless, none of this means that American conservatives are on target when they proclaim the new “Roseanne” as some watershed moment for conservatism. There were plenty of jokes knocking Trump. Jackie called him out for being a massive liar after Rosie went on a tirade about how Hillary was a “liar, liar pants on fire.”
“I think we all know who’s a liar and who’s on fire, Roseanne,” Jackie, played by the truly awe inspiring Laurie Metcalf, quipped so perfectly.
I actually had a fun exchange with NY Post tripe producer John Podhoretz today over his laughable column that called the show a “Wake Up Call for Hollywood.” As I pointed out in my emails, which he responded to with all the intellectual effort you’d expect from his hack ass, the ratings success of the first two episodes isn’t a boon for Trumpers or Anti-Trumpers. It’s a boon for America.
Podhoretz tried to argue that the 18 million households that “Roseanne” got was somehow on a huge order of magnitude higher than that of the recent “Will & Grace” reunion, which pulled in 15 million. Firstly, with streaming we have no idea what the real numbers are, but secondly, there were most assuredly millions of anti-Trump libtards like me watching “Roseanne,” so no, Trumpers, this show isn’t proving anything other than Americans left, right, and center were ready for a cultural icon to come back and show us her take on things again.
Conservatives would do well to remember that ultimately Roseanne is still pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ equality. Even Dan Conner’s misguided effort to butch-up his grandson was done out of a caring for his health and safety. Not that it makes Dan’s decision right, but they still had the guts to put it on the air, so that we can all discuss it. People on both sides that tend to cloister away in their own bubbles will not be happy with this new “Roseanne,” but the revival largely hits on exactly what the old show was. It was never about great acting aside from Goodman and Metcalf, it was about issues.
If the first two episodes are an indication, that commitment to examining the issues honestly and hilariously is still there, and in my stupid opinion, I think they accomplished what they did all those years ago. Here’s hoping the trend continues and we keep talking about how Hillary and Trump supporters are whining or crowing about “Roseanne.”