Home Feelz Op-Ed: How ‘Roseanne’ Reboot Basically Destroyed My Childhood

Op-Ed: How ‘Roseanne’ Reboot Basically Destroyed My Childhood

written by Quinzel Lee April 2, 2018
portrait of the Conner family in Roseanne

 Roseanne is one of many shows that are making a comeback. Nostalgia is taking over and proving to TV producers that it will bring in the big bucks. While people want 90’s TV shows to come back, I’m hoping they will leave the jelly shoes in the 90’s where they belong. Some of these reboots are pretty entertaining. Others, however, need to stay in the past, just like jelly shoes. The Roseanne reboot was definitely one that fell short. Let’s look at the ways it flopped for me.

Political Cat Fights

Jackie wears pink nasty woman shirt in Roseanne Reboot

Showing two complete opposites and how they interact is a common formula in many series. From The Odd Couple to the reality TV show Wife Swap, we apparently enjoy watching conflict. Also, the more tension between the characters, the better (why else was Jerry Springer so popular back in the day?). However, it was excessively overdone this time. While making obvious references to Trump and Hillary, I felt this was a repetitive, overly dramatic skit where the writers (a.k.a probably Roseanne Barr) said, “I’d like to make references to our political climate. How can we add this to every conversation my character has?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a sitcom can’t talk about politics. What I am saying is that the way it was presented in the first episode didn’t seem authentic to the Roseanne I grew up with. While Roseanne was often sarcastic and would rarely back down from a fight, she isn’t the type of person to rattle off common phrases, such as adding “Make America Great Again” into a prayer. They pushed the family to be these conservative, closed-minded people. In reality, the Conners have been used to being the outsiders, different from the rest of society, and they don’t try to blend in or care what other people thought. To play devil’s advocate (not that he needs one), if Roseanne and Dan did support Trump, it wouldn’t just be a rattling off of the same five phrases and certainly wouldn’t end Roseanne and Jackie’s relationship. Those two have been through far worse.

“Jackie, would you like to take a knee?” I don’t know, Roseanne, would you like to stay on key for the National Anthem? Think we forgot about that?

Tonight, on a Very Special Episode of ‘Roseanne’…

I loved a good “very special episode” in a 90’s sitcom. In fact, I could probably reenact that overly dramatic “I’m so excited” scene from Saved by the Bell in my sleep. From drug use to stranger danger, 90’s sitcoms were full of “let’s talk” moments.

Again, this is another way the Roseanne reboot really overdid it. I imagine that in the writers room, they said, “How many serious topics can we fit in one episode?” while throwing darts at a wall with topics written out on post-it notes. So apparently those darts landed on gender identity, opposing political views, and traditional family roles. While these are all important topics to tackle, Roseanne clearly just wanted to let us know that boys should dress like boys and that surrogacy is a sin against nature.

How Roseanne and Dan reacted to their grandson shocked me a little bit, encouraging him to dress less feminine because of what the other kids might think. Again, the Conners are outsiders and don’t give a shit what people think, and they certainly aren’t going to change who they are because of it. While I can see them being slightly uncomfortable at the sight of pink leggings, I also felt like pre-reboot, they would have accepted him a lot faster.

So, again, it was a lot crammed into one episode and, yeah, I just don’t believe Roseanne and Dan would have reacted that way to those situations.

Coulda Been a Different Show with the Same Couch

You couldn’t have a Roseanne reboot without featuring that brown couch with the crochet blanket. So to see that in the opening scene was pretty thrilling. As the show progressed on, however, I felt as though I could have been watching a completely different show that stole that couch from the TV studio 20 years ago. Nothing felt like original Roseanne. While I’m glad that Dan isn’t a cheater anymore and that I wasn’t just hallucinating different versions of Becky, I just want to conclude this op-ed by saying that the Roseanne reboot isn’t Roseanne.

It wasn’t all bad though. D.J.’s daughter is exceptionally adorable and I need to see more of her.

jayden rey plays DJ's daughter in Roseanne Reboot

Did you watch the Roseanne reboot? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments!


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