Tag Archives: Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Destroys Her Legacy

30 Mar

Roseanne has turned into Sarah.

I truly loved the original Roseanne series. During the Bush Sr. years, 1989-1993, (Bush who raised taxes, what a novel idea. Who do I need to strangle? The current Republicans are making me defend Bush Sr.!) we were in a significant recession and jobs were hard to come by.  There were no television shows that reflected Americans struggling with issues of money, paying the mortgage, unemployment, food, birth control, race, homosexuality, abortion, and body image. Truly, Roseanne was a revolutionary.

What happened? In an era of rebooted television series such as Will & Grace and the amazing One Day at a Time, Roseanne, unlike the other two reboots, neglected to become relevant. In fact, the reboot of Roseanne only serves to reinforce a dominant narrative of wealthy white heterosexuality. Roseanne’s use of this platform to bash Hillary Clinton and support 45 serves only as an insult to people who experience poverty and nothing but vile racism, misogyny, homophobia, and classism in ways that are so overwhelming that the United States is truly experiencing what I call 45 Fatigue Syndrome.

While we did give the show a try, I was sadly disappointed. The show is relies on a great deal of nostalgia, but lacks any sense of awareness or sensitivity or poignancy. The only poignant moment is when Jackie says: “All the weight you lost was the good Roseanne,” not a truer sentence said. Sadly, Roseanne has become the soulless sycophant that is Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But even more pathetic is that the show just wasn’t funny, and that is perhaps one of the most dangerous flaws of all for a comedy.

If you want relevant television that is ground breaking and reflective, I suggest you turn off Roseanne and start watching the reboot of One Day at a Time, or watch the envelope pushing The Good Fight. These are shows that are far more reflective and resist the white supremacist paradigm of 45 and the entire GOP currently. I know that during my recuperationOne Day at a Time, The Good Fight, Will & Grace, and The Crown are getting me through.

Finally, watching the reboot of Roseanne serves only to reinforce all that is currently wrong and inequitable in our country right now–it only normalizes Trump and Pence and their collective agenda. I ask that you RESIST and not normalize hate.

Moment in Women’s History: Roseanne Barr

12 Jul

In her own words, “Welcome to Roseannadu.”  I have been thinking a great deal in the past month about how to celebrate Roseanne. The reasons are evident, but I want to make sure I do justice to a pioneer for women in television.

During the Bush Sr. years, 1988-1992, (Bush who raised taxes, what a novel idea. Who do I need to strangle? The current Republicans are making me defend Bush Sr.!) we were in a significant recession and jobs were hard to come by.  There were no television shows that reflected Americans struggling with issues of money, paying the mortgage, unemployment, food, birth control, homosexuality, and abortion.  Later during the Clinton years, television shows only gave us “I wanna be skinny like the Friends.”  Today, the recession of the late 80s looks like a merry-go-round in contrast to the never ending recession Bush Jr. started.  I reflect on my own situation and think about the fact that my husband and I are actually worse off financially now then we were 12 years ago, as many in this country are.

I don’t see the struggles of Americans being reflected in television shows in the way Roseanne was able to do with great aplomb. With the show Roseanne, we saw an overweight, strong, and independent woman struggling to raise children and pay the bills all with a sense of humor.  We also saw gay characters.  While I credit Soap with the first ongoing gay character, albeit they turned Jodie straight by the end of the show, Roseanne had two regular gay characters, breaking through stereotypes and paving the way for television to finally show a much more accurate depiction of what America looks like. We are big, small, short, tall, thin, fat, gay, straight, poor, rich, and we are all Americans.

When I look back at episodes of Roseanne, I’m also saddened by the fact that we seem to have gone backwards for women’s rights. While Maude, was the first show to deal with the issue of abortion, Roseanne did a marvelous job of dealing with the issue on her show: being pregnant at the Planned Parenthood clinic yelling at the misogynistic and idiotic protesters, “Hell no, we won’t go. Life begins when we say so.”

Another remarkable episode is when Roseanne goes with her daughter to buy birth control. Roseanne takes a very real and very intelligent approach to a sex and family planning.  If only Sarah Palin had had that conversation with her daughter. While I’m elated that we see increased visibility of the LGBT community and African-Americans, I am quite sad that we do not see greater advocacy for women’s rights, specifically reproductive rights; it is as though we, as a nation, have gone backwards.

Where does this leave us?  Where is the next Roseanne? Who will take up the cause and be a champion and role model for women?

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