‘Roseanne’ Shows ‘Will & Grace’ How To Do A Reboot [Opinion]

Astrid StawiarzGetty Images

Say what you want about Roseanne Barr’s support for Donald Trump — and people have been saying a lot. Barr especially upset many of her fans while supporting Donald Trump in a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmell.

“A lot of us, no matter who we voted for, we don’t want to see our president fail. Because we don’t want Mike Pence. Are you f**king kidding me? You want Pence? You want Pence for the freaking president? Well then, zip that f**king lip,” the actress is quoted as saying by People.

While Trump bashers may have valid criticisms of our current president, they shouldn’t ignore the new reboot of Roseanne, especially because it’s not a right-wing show. It’s not a left-wing show either. Roseanne is actually what it was in the 1990s — real. Although the humor seems somewhat canned (especially in the first episode), the show deals with the real divide that has occurred in America, especially after Donald Trump’s election.

The most interesting part of the first episode, “Twenty Years to Life,” is the conflict between Roseanne, who voted for Trump, and her sister Jackie, an absolute Trump hater who considers Roseanne a “deplorable.” It ends up that Jackie, like so many others, voted for Jill Stein and now regrets her decision. What makes it even more real is that Jackie, like many of us who voted for Jill Stein, doesn’t have a clue what Stein stood for. But it’s too late. And Jackie blames Roseanne for turning her away from Hillary Clinton, who lost the election.

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman can still make us laugh after all these years.Featured image credit: Astrid StawiarzGetty Images

The conflict between Roseanne and Jackie is real, but some of the writing isn’t. The opening scene that makes a joke about Dan’s death in the final 1997 episode is cringeworthy. However, much of the writing and acting is improved in the second episode, “Dress to Impress,” — one of the best episodes of any television series this year.

Those who think Roseanne has gone completely right wing are proven wrong by this episode, which deals with Darlene’s gender-nonconforming son Mark. And it’s a tearjerker for those of us who have been picked on at school for being different, even if for other reasons.

It’s obvious that the big fear of the family isn’t so much that Mark wears dresses and other clothes young girls like to wear; it’s how his classmates will treat him. And their fear is warranted, even though Roseanne takes Mark to school and warns the kids that she is a “white witch.” The scene where the heartbroken Darlene has “that talk” with Mark and tells him that his classmates will eventually accept him is poignant, touching, and something everybody should watch — Trump supporter or not.

The best thing about the Roseanne reboot, when compared to another one like Will & Grace, is that it doesn’t need to try so hard. Roseanne feels like a continuation (although not of the last awful 1996-97 season), and it barely matters that the characters are older. And the writers, aware of current times and attitudes, don’t stoop so low like Will & Grace does when they body-shame female celebrities, such as Madonna, whose body was compared to that of Iggy Pop in the second episode this season (they also called her a “dinosaur”).

While Will & Grace has shown some promise in the last few episodes, one can’t help think about how much hard work it is to keep the show going. All the characters feel like they are phoning in their lines, even when the writing is good. Roseanne just feels a lot more natural. The reboot of this 1990s classic show really shows a lot of promise, especially with the second episode. You don’t need to agree with Roseanne Barr’s politics to be touched by the show. Those who are boycotting Roseanne are missing out on some of the best television moments of 2018.