Revivals are a mixed bag. Sure, they provide a chance for us to reconnect with stories, characters, and actors we love. There’s also a chance (*cough*Gilmore Girls*cough*) that the revisit will force us to realize that time hasn’t been kind to the thing we love. Now, there’s a new revival being shopped around Hollywood, and I think it’s one of the rare shows that genuinely deserves a revisit. I’m talking about the feminist, blue-collar 1990s classic, Roseanne.
According to Deadline Hollywood, “an eight-episode limited series revival of the hit ABC blue-collar family comedy Roseanne is in the works with the key cast members reprising their roles, including Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Sara Gilbert, with Laurie Metcalf and others in the process of joining them.”
The seeds of this revival were planted when John Goodman and Sara Gilbert recently staged a mini-Roseanne revival in a video filmed during Goodman’s visit to CBS’ The Talk, which Gilbert created, co-hosts and executive produces. Check it out in the video above. It’s pretty funny!
The revival is not only reuniting the original cast, but also original series EPs Tom Werner, Roseanne Barr (obvi) and Bruce Helford on Executive Producer duty alongside Gilbert and Whitney Cummings, who will be co-showrunning with Helford. Currently, several networks are bidding on it, including original Roseanne home ABC, and Netflix, which has basically become the home of revivals of 1990s-early 2000s shows.
[Sidebar: This show was also one of Joss Whedon’s very first writing jobs! Part of me hopes he gets asked to write an episode, and a part of me knows that it’s probably not a good idea.]
So, why do I think this deserves a revisit? Roseanne was a great show, not only for it’s comedy, but for the way it represented average Americans, women, and progressive issues. It was a groundbreaking show in so many ways, from having a fat, middle-aged woman as its protagonist, to dealing with the nitty-gritty of money, health, and family from a working-class perspective, to dealing with LGBTQIA+ characters in a way that is both funny and honest.
If they did all that in the 1990s, I’d be very curious to see how these characters (and these writers) have evolved in the intervening decades. How would the Conner family be dealing with Trump’s America, for example? After all, they are exactly the kind of “Real Americans” that the Republicans love talking about. Yet something tells me that the Conner family would’ve been “With Her.”
May 20th will mark the 20th Anniversary of Roseanne‘s final episode. I’m looking forward to seeing the next chapter. What about you?
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