The sitcom Roseanne was never perfect. The original series ran out of steam and plummeted in the ratings, barely cracking the top 20, and it fizzled out all together after a slightly funny, but mostly confusing and maligned journey of the Connor’s antics after winning the lottery, and ended with a dramatic monologue by Roseanne, the gut punch that Dan Connor had died of a heart attack, and a ponderous TE Lawrence quote.
The Roseanne show always meant a lot to me. Darlene Connor is one of the most authentic and real depictions of a teenager ever. One of the benefits of a sitcom is that the actors play true to their real age, unlike dramas where the “teens” are in their twenties. Darlene explored atheism, her writing, went through a major depression that helped me with my own, and blossomed in her relationship with David. This romance wasn’t something that happened offscreen but was built up in front of the viewer’s eyes from the first kiss to an eventual wedding.
Despite the drama of the whiplash recasting of Becky, and the return and departure again of the original actress, the oldest daughter eloped as a teen after lashing out at Dan for ruining her life by failing to make a go of his beloved bike shop. Seeing Becky run off to get married was one of the most shocking things I’d ever seen on TV.
So being a mega fan, who has a complete box set that survived a DVD purge, it felt like a miracle to have new episodes of the show. But I approached the new season with cautious optimism. Roseanne doesn’t have a good track record. (Does anyone remember her attempt at a talk show? It had a cool set that revolved from a living room set to a kitchen, and even had Oprah as a guest. But it quickly crashed and burned.) I unfollowed her from Twitter because of her over the top support for the 45th POTUS and all his misdeeds.
I was weary when I read that Roseanne Connor would also be a rabid supporter of the president, but I justified this with it made sense that a working-class family from the American heartland would vote for a candidate that promised jobs.
Roseanne Barr persisted on Twitter with her disheartening rhetoric, and got the show canceled, and I’ll never find out what became of the Connors, but my curiosity is not worth Roseanne Barr having a platform for her vile racism.
Roseanne has sunk a promising reboot for the cast, crew, and the fans. While I would like to see the Connors continue on minus Roseanne, I question the people that thought it was a good idea to turn the Roseanne character back into the hands of Roseanne Barr.
Here’s the quote that ended the original series finale, “Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.” What? How does this encapsulate the lives of the Connor family? It doesn’t.