The reviews are in! Roseanne reboot draws FIERY cheers and jeers...as Trump and political aspects of revived sitcom dominate the conversation
Love her or hate her, they can't stop talking about her.
The return of Roseanne to ABC's airwaves was all the talk Tuesday, with some hailing the sitcom for its contemporary look at working class America, others reveling in the sharp comedic soundbites, and some not able to separate the artist from their art.
The show didn't shy away from joining in on the national discussion - and division - surrounding President Donald Trump, calling the commander-in-chief 'he who must not be named.'
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To the left, to the right: The Roseanne reboot - featuring Laurie Metcalf (L) and Roseanne Barr on opposite ends of the political spectrum - sparked plenty of social media feedback Tuesday, with politics at the heart of the debate
The division was a huge plot point on the show, as it was revealed that Roseanne, on the right, and her left-leaning sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) had kept a stony silence since the 2016 election, with Roseanne proclaiming, 'She's dead to me.'
Other relevant lightning rod topics referenced in the reboot included fake news, the NFL take-a-knee protests originated by Colin Kaepernick and Roseanne, in a pre-dinner blessing, thanking the lord 'for making America great again.'
Reviews from professional critics were scattered, as some felt the show had succeeded in putting on a fresh coat of paint, while others said the nostalgia played too overbearing.
Dominic Patten of Deadline wrote that 'with the glorious exception of [Sara] Gilbert as the still acerbic but now cowered Darlene, most of the cast seem to be speed dialing in their performances.
'As if this was a Roseanne tribute and not a reunion of the original band, eyelines and attention spans are all over the place as if looking for cue cards. Additionally, the pacing misses the beat repeatedly, and jokes are launched only to land far off target.
He said that 'were it not for the fact the scripts are so indomitable, Gilbert so good and [John] Goodman so beloved, swaths of this Roseanne come off more like a time-filling Saturday Night Live skit.'
Patten noted that 'watching this revival [was] more chore than choice.'
Reviews are in: The feedback for the rebooted program was fairly positive, as Dominic Patten of Deadline singled out Sara Gilbert for what he felt was an exceptional performance
Reality TV: Tom Gliatto of People wrote that the show continues to be 'a realistic sitcom about a working-class American family'
Focused: Roseanne is the freshest revival of an old sitcom in years, the Boston Herald's Mark Perigard wrote
People's Tom Gliatto wore that Barr was shrewd in recognizing and capitalizing on the current wave of political extremes in society - using the tried-and-true formula that made the show a hit 30 years ago - but drew the line in saying that 'this new Roseanne is not an easy, cynical attempt to milk the original.
'When Roseanne started its run on ABC in 1988, it stood out as that rare thing: a realistic sitcom about a working-class American family,' he wrote. 'Now its star, Roseanne Barr, has revived the show - and once again it’s that rare thing: a realistic sitcom about a working-class American family.'
The Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson said that the program was 'at its most comfortable when it’s playing the old notes.
'The jokes are dry and scrape the surface of meanness, while never lacking warmth ... it all comes together to make this a fine comedy in parts, even good at times, and it’s a relief in many ways that it doesn’t try to be more,' Nicholson wrote.
Perhaps the highest words of praise came from the Boston Herald's Mark Perigard, who wrote that Roseanne compares favorably to the spate of other television programs that have been rebooted in recent years.
Culture war: The modern American political debate was well-reflected with Roseanne as a Trump supporter, and her sister Jackie leaning toward the left
Throwback Tuesday: The Guardian's Rebecca Nicholson said that the program was 'at its most comfortable' in rehashing the key elements of comedy and family that made it a hit initially
We are family: The dynamic between relatives was one of the show's key focal points
He wrote, 'With so many networks digging up the corpses of old hits to keep viewers from Netflix, Roseanne bucks the odds and proves if you gather the right people and let them loose, the magic can be recaptured. Unlike Will & Grace, Roseanne doesn’t pretend time hasn’t passed for the Conners.'
Many Twitter users with conservative leanings took to the site to praise Roseanne for what they felt was a realistic portrayal of the working class Americans.
'What was depicted in tonight’s episode of #Roseanne is something Folks have heard me on the radio talk about numerous time,' the user @CrazyAboutTrump tweeted. 'You can’t put Trump supporters in a box we’re a reflection of the American landscape.
'We respect people’s choices we just ask that people respect us too.'
Others on the left said that the sitcom normalized Trump's aberrant presidency and beliefs he espouses.
Left out? Many people unhappy with the president didn't seem keen on the rebooted show, in which Roseanne is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump and critic of Hillary Clinton
'For the millionth time we don’t want an inside look at everyday Trump supporters,' the user @adamcbest wrote. 'It doesn’t matter if it’s a #Roseanne reboot or a mainstream media profile.
'They let their hatred get the best of them, fell for Trump’s con and wrecked our country. There is no other story to tell.'
Another user, @maydaymindy9, tweeted that 'Roseanne being a Trump Supporter is a Perfect Example of a Lower Middle Class Struggling Family VOTING against their Interest as they cash their $1.50 tax Refund. To buy a candy bar at Walmart. Just Sayin’'
Right on: Many conservative users had praise for the reboot and felt it well represented the times
User @lauriecrosswell pointed out a decade-sold controversy, referring to Roseanne's controversial rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner in 1990 in San Diego, and the media firestorm that arose from it.
'The same people who called #roseanne vulgar and disrespectful for shooting the bird while singing the national anthem are watching her new show because she's a Trump supporter,' @lauriecrosswell wrote.
Some said that the program worked because both sides were well reflected between Roseanne and Jackie, illustrating the familial divisions that have ensued as a result on Trump's rise to political prominence.
'Can we all just take a moment and for once praise ABC for airing something that isn’t all about the left.. isn’t all about the right... #roseanne is for those of us who live in the REAL world,' user @andi_caine wrote.
Nonpartisan: Some people had the view that the show was really about the family dynamics surrounding the political disagreements as opposed to the politics themselves
Another user, @shellbelle1022, tweeted, 'The whole point of this show is that ALL families have [people] in them that move in different directions in life. We don't have control over it, but we can still LOVE them!! Some aren't getting it. #Roseanne'
The user @PettyBettyBB wrote, 'I thought #Roseanne was fascinating. They did an incredible job of family dynamics in regards to politics, health care, women’s issues, gender identity, bi-racial family & how, even with differing opinions, you can come together as family because THAT is what is truly important!'
Said @AlliePaoli: 'I don’t care where you fall politically, I have friends and family members who have a different view point than mine on every agenda. That’s life. The #Roseanne reboot depicts exactly that! If you can’t see that maybe you’re the problem...'
Exchange: After writer Nick Pappas was critical of some of Roseanne's past views, she fired back with a terse response
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