April 28, 2017

The return of "Roseanne."

Not just the delightful comedienne, the Lucy of the 90s. The actual sitcom, with the whole original cast (at least for 8 episodes).

What will the characters be up to after all these years? Perhaps what Roseanne herself sketched out on her website in 2009:
Roseanne and Jackie opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in Lanford; Dan reappearing alive after faking his death; DJ being published; Mark dying in Iraq; David leaving Darlene for a woman half his age; Darlene coming out, meeting a woman and having a baby with her; Becky working at Walmart; Arnie befriending the governor of Illinois and remarrying Nancy; Bev selling a painting for $10,000; Jerry and the grandsons forming a boy band; and Bonnie being arrested for selling crack.

41 comments:

Jake said...

Sounds delightful. Certainly better than Bill Nye's sex junk.

Quayle said...

Another show about nothing.

Hi hum.

J. Farmer said...

It is going to be particularly difficult, since the finale episode essentially rewrote the histories of the characters of the last several years. The family had not won any money, Roseanne's mother was a lesbian, the daughters married each other's husbands, and her husband had died of a heart attack a couple of years earlier. Watching Roseanne in its entirely is an interesting snapshot of the culture wars that would come to help define the 1990s. When the show started, the premise was a blue-collar, lower middle-class family in the midwest. As time went on, though, the reliable father figure of Dan Connor was turned into a useless buffoon, essentially a fourth child for the matriarch, who was turned into a powerful superwoman capable of leaping tall buildings. It became increasingly cartoonish in its later seasons, the last of which was all but unwatchable.

campy said...

No transsexuals?

H8rz.

Sydney said...

Agree with J. Farmer. It was good initially then went down hill fast. Can the remake get any lower than the original?

vanderleun said...

Include me out.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Given that the remake is almost certain to contain more smug hectoring than the original, a certain failure. Everything has it's time but very little thrives outside of it unless it was of great quality to begin with. Don't think Roseanne meets that standard.

Todd said...

Oh rats! Yet another network show I won't miss not watching!

ddh said...

Yuk.

gadfly said...

Roseanne Barr believed that 9/11 was an inside job. Is that part of the comedy on her new "Roseanne" laugh-a-thon?

She also thinks that "votes don't matter as the system." The system, she says, is "fixed" just like "wrestling."

Then again she was neutral between Trump and Clinton - until she wasn't. "I think we would be so lucky if Trump won," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "Because then it wouldn't be Hilary."

John said...

Darlene coming out, meeting a woman and having a baby with her

So a sci-fi show?

I thought men were required? Even if only as sperm donors. That's in real life, anyway.

Did I miss something last night as I lay sleeping?

John Henry

Pianoman said...

Roseanne must not have invested her filthy lucre properly.

Reminds me of when Jason Alexander started doing KFC Popcorn Chicken ads.

'TreHammer said...

Maybe Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco could make a guest appearance.

J. Farmer said...

@Pianoman:

Roseanne must not have invested her filthy lucre properly.

What makes her lucre filthy?

Also, the regular income stream from the syndication rights alone are likely more than enough cash than she needs. There are reasons people work besides money. Look at Warran Buffet. He has more money than his grandkids could spend, but he still gets up and goes to work every day in Omaha.

Reminds me of when Jason Alexander started doing KFC Popcorn Chicken ads.

To be fair to Alexander, the Seinfeld cast (other than Jerry) were paid fairly small sums until the last two seasons of the show.

n.n said...

Puff the hallucinating dragon. Check.

A woman, a female guardian, and a disenfranchised father. Typical female chauvinism.

50 shades of transgender conversion therapy targeting prepubescent and adolescent children.

The old time social liberalism pursuit of underage boys and girls.

Everything but social justice adventures, trials by sodomy, CAIR, [class] diversity, baby hunts, baby trials, and clinical cannibalism.

Also, not even a shout-out to the Profits of CAGW.

Very progressive.

Jeff Teal said...

Don't care.Did not watch the train wreck then won't watch it now.

MountainMan said...

Jeff Teal beat me to it, my sentiments exactly. Too many good shows now: Fargo, The Americans, Bosch, to name a few.

MountainMan said...

Oh, almost forgot, Better Call Saul. Anyone who liked Breaking Bad should be watching it.

Earnest Prole said...

I watched an episode of the original Roseanne show recently and was surprised how well it held up. And the same goes for Frasier -- I had forgotten what a fine comic actor David Hyde Pierce is.

tim in vermont said...

I hope it doesn't put her over her stated limit of how much money a person should be allowed to have! I think the amount was a little bit more than her own net worth.

It was a cute show though, but the new one is likely to be hectoring politics.

Paddy O said...

The Middle is one of the better working class shows on television now or ever.

Funny and definitely hits home for those of us who didn't grow up in Modern Family neighborhoods.

J. Farmer said...

@Paddy O:

The Middle is one of the better working class shows on television now or ever.

I agree with that, and The Middle is the closest interpretation of a Roseanne-style sitcom airing today. It's actually quite startling how working middle-class life has all but disappeared from the television screen.

Paddy O said...

Did they say which Becky they'll have?

Be funny to have both: Lecy Goranson for episodes 1-5 and 8, then Sarah Chalke for episodes 6-7.

Etienne said...

Fuck me in the heart...

Hollywood wouldn't produce a new idea even if the actors all wore yellow stars of David on their coats and smelled of Zyklon B.

Static Ping said...

It's interesting, I guess. Whenever they do these reunion shows, I am generally only interested if I was still watching the show when it went off the air or if I gorged on the re-runs. Roseanne had lost my interest well before the last couple of mediocre seasons. This isn't something like Firefly that was gone too soon or MASH that was still good when it ended or the original Star Trek that was screwed by the network. Roseanne had its time and place and it was good, but I don't miss it. It was never great. And it's not like the actors later endeavors entice me either.

Kathryn51 said...

George Clooney was is in the first few episodes (maybe the entire year?) in a recurring part as Jackie's kinda boyfriend. If he returned, I might watch. Probably not, but I might.

Gahrie said...

Are you fucking kidding me?

Paddy O said...

J. Farmer, indeed it's hard to find a good working class show. Television is an expression of the experiences or ambitions of those who go to Hollywood. It's also skewed by the experiences of those who are successful and thus gatekeepers. People either don't want to remember or have never really had a working class experience, so there's just not many shows dealing with it. And working class folks often want escapism, not reflection.

What I like about the Middle is that it's really, for the most part, really honest and balanced in family life. Another new show that gets this is Speechless, which combines a working class family with a handicapped experiences. Usually well-written. Though deciding to set the show in Newport Beach, CA makes utterly no sense to anything. There's no way I can see that family could buy a house in that area. But, they don't dwell on Orange County extravagance as much as day to day family life, so mostly avoid the incoherence.

I get tired of the sitcoms that are really mostly about people yelling at each other all the time, which is probably why I never liked Roseanne (and Everyone Loves Raymond, and All in the Family, etc.)

J. Farmer said...

@Static Ping:

And it's not like the actors later endeavors entice me either.

I don't know. John Goodman as Walter Sobchak, the polish Catholic turned shomer Shabbos, ex-Vietnam bowler, in the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski was a pretty f'ing good character.

J. Farmer said...

@Paddy O:

I get tired of the sitcoms that are really mostly about people yelling at each other all the time, which is probably why I never liked Roseanne (and Everyone Loves Raymond, and All in the Family, etc.)

But how did you feel about Married With Children?

Paddy O said...

Farmer, it was subversive, but not particularly funny to me. The premise was a nice change of pace, to be sure.

Paddy O said...

Which is, I guess, to say that I'm not a fan of the angry-working-class shows, but I suspect that it's what got to Roseanne. She was funny when she was talking out of the working class, but then got quite wealthy and began despising it.

I'm still a fan of The Simpsons, which is a working class show of sorts.

J. Farmer said...

@Paddy O:

Which is, I guess, to say that I'm not a fan of the angry-working-class shows, but I suspect that it's what got to Roseanne.

Interesting point. Roseanne was a much less angry show in its early years, but it had changed in tone completely by the early to mid-90s.

She was funny when she was talking out of the working class, but then got quite wealthy and began despising it.

Perhaps. I think the show was a victim of its own success. As the show grew in popularity and ad revenues, Roseanne Barr began asserting a lot more creative control than she would have been permitted in the early years, and I think the results show. She was in serious need of an editor, but everyone at the network and production company seemed too scared to edit her. There were even horror stories about the writing staff having to wear shirts with numbers on them so that she could identify them by their number as opposed to remembering their names. And never mind handing executive producer credit to her husband, whose contribution seems limited to engaging in coke-addled fights with his wife on set.

I'm still a fan of The Simpsons, which is a working class show of sorts.

I remember when that first aired as a short on The Tracey Ullman Show, one of Fox's primetime debuts, alongside Married with Children.

SukieTawdry said...

I had forgotten what a fine comic actor David Hyde Pierce is.

Pierce is currently playing Horace Vandergelder to Bette Midler's Dolly on Broadway. I hear the show's a knockout.

MadisonMan said...

I'd rather see a Knots Landing miniseries. With Donna Mills, of course.

robinintn said...

Donna Mills! Those glossy lips and gigantic shoulder pads!

Paddy O said...

I remember the earliest Simpson's too, though wasn't a regular Tracy Ullman watcher.

It's probably a mix of both. She got more creative control even as she really lost her creative perspective. I'm thinking of her pre-show standup, which was the dumpy housewife making jokes act. Fit the early seasons. But she left that world behind pretty quickly and her experiences became that of a shockingly privileged diva. The show lagged behind her personal developments but eventually got pulled along and into the vortex.

J. Farmer said...

@Paddy O:

The show lagged behind her personal developments but eventually got pulled along and into the vortex.

Plus the nagging inevitability of time. When you start a show with teenage children, the family stories are going to be exhausted pretty quickly. I think it's why so many sitcoms tend to descend into cartoons near their finish. Even the estimable Seinfeld started going very broad in story ideas by its last couple of seasons.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

So, working class white Americans, will they now all be Trump supporters?

Birches said...

But how did you feel about Married With Children?

The "Habib" episode is still one of my favorites.

epador said...

It sucked then, Its gonna suck more now.

Only worth it if you are only interested in blow jobs.