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Roseanne Returns, With a Pro-Trump Argument

TV's famous mom, and her real-life counterpart, are supporters
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2018 1:19 PM CDT

(Newser) Roseanne returns to the airwaves Tuesday night after signing off in 1997, and the reboot is getting lots of attention for more than the usual reasons of nostalgia. The show, especially the premiere that airs at 8pm Eastern on ABC, will have a distinctly Trumpian theme, reports the AP. It seems that Roseanne Barr's namesake character, Roseanne Conner, voted for Donald Trump, a decision that has caused serious friction with sister Jackie, played once again by Laurie Metcalf. A look at some of the coverage:

  • Her argument: In the show, Roseanne explains her vote thusly: “He talked about jobs, Jackie. He said he’d shape things up." When Jackie tells her to watch the news because things are now worse, Roseanne shoots back, "Not on the real news." It's the most "overtly political exchange" not only in the episode but in all nine of the new episodes to come, writes Joanna Weiss at Politico. She talks to executive producer Bruce Helford, who says the show will aim to get polarized families talking again, to "put the whole discourse out in the open."

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  • In real life: Roseanne Barr is a fervent Trump supporter in real life, and she talks to the New York Times about why she thinks it's important to reflect the views of his supporters on TV. However, she says that's only one part of the rationale for the reboot: "There’s an arc in this season, and it’s the closest I’ve been to doing what I want to do," she says. "It’s about everything in our country. It’s about opioids and health care. How we deal with whole new issues that we didn’t even have before, like gender-fluid kids. How working class people—how and why they elected Trump."
  • Not a sermon: The show is not a "pro-Trump screed," writes Todd VanDerWerff at Vox. It's "more nuanced" than that, and Trump's critics shouldn't avoid it if they fear being lectured. In fact, once the show finds its groove, "it feels tuned in to its world and its country in a way few sitcoms are anymore."
  • Still works: In fundamental ways, the show hasn't changed too much, writes Jen Chaney at Vulture. It's still funny in the same way it used to be, with many of the jokes dealing with the issue of class. Sure, it's "reinvented itself a little for the current moment," she writes. "It may not be quite as good or as groundbreaking as the original, but it holds up."
  • Tom Arnold: Roseanne's ex, who was famously fired as a writer-producer from the original, reviews the reboot for the Hollywood Reporter. If you're expecting vitriol, you'll be disappointed. He thinks it's worth watching, particularly for Metcalf.
  • Resurrected: Romper notes that the show has one odd issue to deal with: John Goodman's character, Dan, died in the 1997 finale of a heart attack, but he's back in fine form for the season reboot. It's not clear how the show will handle it.
  • The kids: The cast is back, and Biography provides a quick recap on their new lives: DJ (Michael Fishman) is a military vet, Darlene (Sara Gilbert) is a single mom back living with the folks, and Becky (Lecy Goranson) is a widowed waitress hoping to make money as a surrogate mom. Expect to see Johnny Galecki, now of Big Bang Theory fame, back as David in some fashion.
(Read more Roseanne Barr stories.)

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