The online community is abuzz with news that key players are on board for a Roseanne revival and, at first glance, the idea of bringing Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, and the rest of the cast back together is an exciting idea. Roseanne had it’s comedic highs and lows, but it also took a good long, sometimes harsh, look at the struggles of America’s low-income families. The series was unique for telling the truth in no uncertain terms, right up until its fantastical series finale. Now, generations after fans have had time to digest that ending, Roseanne is threatening to unravel all of that with a new season.
After 20 Years, How Will Roseanne Approach the New Face of Society
As The Hollywood Reporter shares, the revival of Roseanne brings back some familiar faces, even though casting isn’t nearly complete for the proposed Netflix limited series event. A little change behind the scenes brings Sara Gilbert on board as an executive producer, joining the return of series creator and showrunner Roseanne Barr. Tom Werner and Bruce Helford also return as producers on the series revival.
During it’s run, Roseanne was the highest rated sitcom and reached a peak during its 1989-90 season with its 1997 series finale pulling in over 17 million viewers. Netflix has been building an entire fanbase on the revival of old shows from the 80s and 90s, so it may well have just been a matter of time before Roseanne was offered the reboot treatment.
In the 90s, Roseanne had a charm of its own, partly from the brash, brutally honest truth, usually delivered through Roseanne Conner’s unrestrained commentary. Since that 1997 series finale, there have been many changes. The series ended long before the 9/11 attacks, the resurgence of social and political activism, and political correctness that has been taken to an unsavory extreme in many circumstances.
While the current troubled times would seem to be the perfect climate for a Roseanne reboot, one has to wonder if Roseanne Barr’s brash dialogue will be as readily accepted today as it was 20 years ago. Or, perhaps, the world needs a big heaping dose of off-color humor, Roseanne style.
A Roseanne Revival Raises One Question: Did Season 9 Really Happen?
As Bustle reports, Roseanne ended the show with a finale that negated much of what had happened in the preceding season. It turned out that Roseanne had invented everything to deal with the death of her beloved husband, Dan (John Goodman), including that twist in which the family had won the lottery. Even some of the characters’ most endearing quirks were the result of Roseanne’s talented writing.
While the ending left a sour aftertaste, fans of the series eventually came to accept it for what it was and even came to embrace it, knowing that there was a sense of closure in it.
Now, news of a revival suggests that much, if not all, of Season 9 will have to be either ignored or, in taking a page from another classic sitcom (Newhart), revealed as a fevered dream. In either case, Season 9 of Roseanne never happened.
Even if it’s explained that the Conner family burned through millions of dollars through the past 20 years, John Goodman’s return will be harder to explain. If Roseanne picks up with the season finale having really happened, might not Goodman return only as Dan’s ghost. At the end of each episode, Roseanne Conner might be seen communing with Dan’s ghost and seeking advice on how to relate to Darlene (Gilbert) or her sister, Jackie (Metcalf).
There’s no Roseanne without John Goodman and the actor recently revealed that he would be the first to sign up for the revival, so regardless, Dan’s death will have to be faced.
“Oh, hell yes… if we could get everyone together,” shared Goodman. “The big ‘R’ (Roseanne Barr) and I did a pilot about five years ago that didn’t go anywhere…but we were very happy to work together.”
[Featured Image by ABC]