REVIEW: The Conner Family is Back and Better Than Ever in ABC’s New ‘Roseanne’ Revival!
This is a spoiler-free review of the upcoming ABC revival series Roseanne:
When a classic television series is remade or rebooted, there’s always speculation from the die-hard fans that the new production won’t live up to the perfection that was the original. Especially nowadays with reboots becoming commonplace, recreating the original magic that made that series great in the first place can be a huge challenge but, sometimes, a production just gets it right. Thankfully, the folks over at Roseanne were able to rekindle that magic and bring a solid and funny sitcom back to life on ABC!
In just a few short weeks, the iconic comedy will be making its highly-anticipated return to television and this series remake could not be more perfect. The limited revival series will feature the original cast members Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie) and Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Michael Fishman (DJ) and Lecy Goranson (Becky). Sarah Chalke, who also played the role of Becky in the later season, will appear on the series as Andrea, a woman who hires Becky (Goranson) to serve as her surrogate. In addition to starring in the series, Barr and Gilbert will be executive producing along with Bruce Helford and Tom Werner.
The fictional Conner family is best known for dealing with their everyday, working-class struggles and, in the 2018 revival its much of the same. Darlene (who has just lost her job) and her teenage daughter and preteen son (who prefers to wear skirts to school rather than traditional “boys clothes”) have moved back home to Lanford, Illinois to help care for her aging parents. Becky works as a server in a restaurant and harps on her unfulfilled potential in life while D.J. returns home with his daughter after serving a tour in the Army while though wife still remains overseas. Jackie still lives close by and is just starting up yet another new career, this time as a Life Coach. And, lastly, Roseanne and Dan are still living in the same house which looks to be frozen in time in the 1990s. They are now retired, on Medicare and enjoying their time together just as much as ever.
The series tackles some heavy topics in the first few episodes including the recent Presidential election, gender fluidity, drug addiction and more. Like many other reboots have tried to do, Roseanne establishes itself in the modern day world by bringing politics to the forefront of its first episode. We learn that Roseanne (a Trump supporter) and her sister Jackie (not a Trump supporter) have not spoken for quite some due to their difference of opinion over the 2016 Presidential Election.
Now, the mere mention of politics might be enough to turn some viewers off from watching the series but, let me assure you, get past that minor detail because the rest of what the show has to offer is outstanding. Roseanne has always had a “tell it like it is” type voice which still very much exists in the new season as well. Also just like the original series, at its core, the new season is still all about family values, heart and love. It’s a format of comedy that makes you nostalgic for the great sitcoms of the 90s while still being able to secure the series’ place on television nearly 20 years later. The jokes are spot on. The characters that we all remember and loved from the original series have returned and matured and, all in all, the new season is just simply a fun time.
Fans of the original run will love this tenth season. I hope that new viewers can see the charm of the revival season but, one thing is for sure, we’re all in for a very special ride with everyone’s favorite Illinois family, the Conners.
Roseanne returns with a special 2-episode premiere on Tuesday, March 27th at 8 PM EST on ABC. Will you be tuning in?
— Michael Fishman (@ReelMFishman) March 5, 2018