I loved ‘Roseanne’ but I won’t be watching the new show and here's why

The revival of "Roseanne" premieres on ABC Tuesday, March 27. But are working-class families ready to see their lives mirrored back to them on prime time or would they rather stick to inspirational shows like, "The Voice?"

I loved ‘Roseanne’ but I won’t be watching the new show and here's why

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I loved ‘Roseanne’ but I won’t be watching the new show and here's why

I’ve been reading about the reboot of “Roseanne” for months now.

How amazing that it’s back on TV after 21 years with the original cast? 

I mean, Laurie Metcalf, recently Oscar nominated for her role in “Lady Bird” is returning. And John Goodman and Sara Gilbert, who will produce the show, are no slouches in the world of entertainment either.

Credit: Giphy

Roseanne is Roseanne.

She is controversial — she voted for Trump, both in real life and on the show, which has dominated the headlines. But she can deliver a line that makes you forget any real-life antics.

The show initally aired from 1988-1997. The ABC revival returns to television Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Simply put, the show made me laugh.

I still remember certain lines to this day.

Credit: Giphy

If I must go deeper and explain the cultural implications of the show, I would say it reflected the reality of my own family life.

The Connor family is every family

The Connors and our family shared:

  • An alcoholic in the family. (For the Connors it was Bev, Roseanne’s mom.)
  • A gear-head father, who owned his own shop.
  • Kids with college aspirations and no idea how to pay for it.
  • A young daughter with an unplanned pregnancy.
  • Constant financial worries.
  • TV as the dominant entertainment and no extravagant trips.
  • Sarcasm, instead of hugs, as the primary form of affection.
  • A lot of laughs, primarily at their own idiosyncrasies.
  • A plaid couch that never changed as the decades passed.
  • A strong, loud mom who was fierce when it came to standing up for her family.

“Roseanne” made me a little less sheepish about what went on within the four walls of my own family’s household.

The show was as relatable as “Friends” was aspirational.

During its nine seasons, in which it won four Emmys, “Roseanne” also covered domestic violence, infidelity, depression and gay issues.

Roseanne Barr has said the show will continue to tackle the problems for middle-class households that still struggle to pay the bills. Among them: The opioid crisis, caring for aging parents and the healthcare crisis.

A USA TODAY reviewer says: more of the same. Same fat jokes. Same shabby house. Same character chemistry.

Catch it while you can: In an empathetic moment, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr), right, comforts Darlene (Sara Gilbert), who's raising two kids, as they sit on a replica of the iconic couch in the new season of "Roseanne."

Credit: Adam Rose/ABC

The skinny on the new show is this:

Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (John Goodman) find a houseful of boomerang kids. (Yes, Dan is alive and not dead like in the awful 9th-season series finale.)

  • Daughter Darlene (Sara Gilbert) lost her job and has moved back in with her two children.
  • Son DJ (Michael Fishman) has returned from a stint in the Army with his daughter while his wife remains overseas.
  • Becky, played by the original actress is Lecy Goranson, is a widow and is also back.
  • “Second Becky” Sarah Chalke has returned as a different character.
  • Aunt Jackie is Landford’s “leading life coach.”

When I decided to write a column on “Roseanne,” I knew I was going to touch on my abiding love for the original show. But when I asked myself was I eagerly awaiting its return to prime time? The answer was no.

Maybe it’s a little too real

It’s not that my life — married with three kids of my own — is so vastly different from the Connors’ middle-class existence. Our family still worries about money. We still have addiction issues in the extended family.

The new show may have Roseanne driving an Uber because she has no retirement savings and looking at my 401K, I suspect I will be too.

Credit: Giphy

But I don’t need reality reflected back to me anymore the way I once did. Now thanks to social media and my Apple news feed on my iPhone, I have it mirrored back to me 24/7.

I see people around me falling to the opioid crisis. I see people just like me struggling to pay their medical bills for simple procedures. I also see people so unlike me when it comes to political views— like Roseanne and Jackie disagreeing in the first revival show —  I wonder how we breathe the same air.

So when I choose to watch something, it’s changed.

I seek escape. I seek inspiration.

I want to watch “Wonder Woman” charging through No Man’s Land. I want to watch “Stranger Things” with my kids just because when we’re in the Upside Down we’re in the middle of someone else’s angst and horror.

Credit: Giphy

If I’m watching prime-time TV at all, it’s “The Voice,” because my kids and I want to feel the excitement of seeing someone’s dreams coming true.

I’ll be watching “Roseanne” from afar, hoping for its success because I love the Connors. They were there for me when no one else in TV land was.

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