Newfound Appreciation for Roseanne

I am one of the people that Susan McLeland described who was not impressed when watching Roseanne on television as a kid. She explains this idea that many children did not like the show Roseanne because the kids in the show were “pills.” Not only were the children on the show were hard to relate to, but they were also older than me and going through challenges and difficulties that I had not yet experienced. I did not feel that I could relate to the show. I also did not like to see Roseanne and her husband, Dan, argue so viciously with one another.

However, after reading the chapter and watching the episode of Roseanne, I have an appreciation for how progressive and realistic Roseanne was. The sitcom simply depicts everyday life for many Americans. The challenges that the children face and the relationship between the parents is simply something that reflects American life today for many people. I think it’s fascinating that the show essentially took the idea of the “American Dream” and flipped up on its head. I commend Roseanne Barr herself for making the show depict real life America as she saw it. She was not shy to express her struggles and this is depicted in the show. After watching this show now, I have become a fan of it. Rather than thinking it is too crude or almost depressing at some points, I now understand and appreciate how truly progressive it was at the time. I’m sure many of you have also come to a similar appreciation.

-Emily Elliott

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2 Responses to Newfound Appreciation for Roseanne

  1. marymdalton says:

    So excited to read this post! You are thinking about the series in a new way, interrogating your preconceptions, and thinking about the cultural implications! Brava!

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with everything you said here and I also saw Roseanne to be quite similar to The Cosby Show in this way. Specifically, the way that Roseanne puts forth a new idea of what it means to be living in America (i.e. not in the traditional way that had previously been depicted on television) seems to be highly similar to the idea put forth in The Cosby Show: you don’t have to be white and wealthy to live a happy and successful life. Granted, the two shows depict quite different circumstances, but I saw some similarity underlying idea as they put forth revolutionary, progressive ideas that had not previously been shown in sitcom shows.

    – Jake Moross

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