Growing up in the 70s and 80s, when my favorite TV shows ended that was it. There was a finale that provided some closure for viewers and the actors went on and either made movies, starred in other shows or faded away into obscurity.
We now live in an age of reboots and revivals. Some could argue it’s because Hollywood has run out of ideas. That’s an argument I’ll save for another day. Today I want to talk about the resurgence of Roseanne. In the past few years, we’ve seen reboots of Will & Grace, Full House and Boy Meets World.
I watched all those shows when they were in their prime, but full disclosure I have not become a dedicated viewer of any of the updates. I didn’t catch any of Will & Grace. I only saw a few episodes of Fuller House but I did watch more of Girl Meets World. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I did watch all those episodes with my tween daughter.
Roseanne, however, was a must for me to watch. Reflecting as I write this it remains in my top five all-time favorite sitcoms. I will admit the final season in 1996/97 was a letdown and the finale disappointed me. That’s why I think I was so excited to see an update 21 years later.
I watched when Roseanne premiered the first time in 1988. I was a sophomore in high school and struggling with Geometry. I was doing so bad that I had a tutor who would come to our house on Tuesday nights. That, of course, was Roseanne night. I tried watching over his shoulder before he’d turn off the TV and get my attention. No DVR back then, but I had a VCR rolling in the living room.
Back to the new series. I love how the show opened with Roseanne telling Dan she thought he was dead. That joke coupled with the two Beckys meeting at the bar provided an extra laugh for fans who watched the original series. I like how life hasn’t changed much for the Conner family and once again they’re dealing with real-life issues on the show.
I believe there are families around the country that are split on the election of Donald Trump. There are debates around the kitchen table and at family gatherings. The struggles the family faces with grandson Mark and his comfort in ‘girl clothes’ is another hot topic these days. I don’t mind shows using real life in stories as long as they’re not beating me over the head with it. I watch to escape that. But Roseanne didn’t bash viewers over the head with it, just like the original series.
I also like the storyline of Becky being a surrogate. My wife Lisa was a surrogate for two different families. Her story is different from the TV storyline, as she did not use her own eggs for the process. But the family reaction to the news is not uncommon among women who make the decision to be a surrogate.
I don’t know how many new episodes we can expect. But I enjoyed the first two and I’m glad these familiar faces and new characters are back in prime time. I will continue watching in syndication and the new shows on Tuesday nights. What do you think of the return?