I was not surprised by the revival’s success. I had watched the show during it’s first run. I had seen Roseanne on Johnny Carson and I found her amusing. I was too young to get a lot of her humor. As time went on I like most of the country soured on her and her show, and that was that.
The quality of the show deteriorated a bit, the distracting cast changes, John Goodman’s disinterest as he started a burgeoning movie career as a solid supporting actor. There was something else. Roseanne the star became bigger than the show.
I remember the tabloids and the marriages and the off screen battles with the producers. When revisiting the show in syndication I was blown away by how good it was, and is. A real masterpiece of working class life.
As everything plays out now, we must view the reboot of the show under the prism of Trump. Both Roseanne and Trump were products of the 80’s and revered by media outlets. Then during the 1990s both were attacked by the same media, Trump for his business and marriage issues, Roseanne for her difficult reputation and her dramatic offscreen fights with husbands and family. There was something else at work though, something that escaped me some 20 plus years ago.
Roseanne was attacked because she was unconventional, and spoke the truth. She was savaged for her work in She-Devil with a level of vitriol I was not sued to from critics. Almost a ‘how dare she try and do film.” The media outlets that praised her and Trump started to make them punch lines. The national anthem debacle led the nightly news for weeks. I could not see it then, but now see how the machine tried to grind her up. Now she is back as a major star on a major network with a show supporting President Trump. We are lucky to have her.