A Few Thoughts About the “Roseanne” Reboot

The Curmudgeon was a sometime-watcher of the old Roseanne sitcom and, after some hesitation, decided to watch the first episode of the revival.  Now, a few observations:

  1. Maybe it’s just the weight loss, but John Goodman looks frail.
  2. Roseanne, on the other hand, looks great.
  3. The Curmudgeon loves the conflict between Roseanne and Jackie about President Trump and has no problem at all with Roseanne being a Trump supporter.
  4. He also forgot how incredibly annoying Jackie can be.
  5. He finds it awfully disappointing that Darlene never made anything of herself.
  6. Becky’s 43 years old!
  7. It usually doesn’t matter if child actors can’t act so long as they’re cute or appealing in some way.  When they’re adults, though, and still can’t act, it burdens every scene in which they appear.   On this show, that means a lot of burdened scenes.
  8. Speaking of acting, 21 years off the air and Roseanne Barr couldn’t bother taking any acting lessons?

The verdict:  Roseanne Barr’s awful acting has always dragged down this show and the passage of more than two decades hasn’t changed that.  Of course, The Curmudgeon has that same problem with other stand-up comics who star in sitcoms (yes, he’s looking at you, Jerry Seinfeld, at you, Ray Romano, and even at you, many moons ago, Margaret Cho, and there are almost certainly others he’s forgetting at the moment).  But in the new Roseanne that bad acting is multiplied by several more bad actors who don’t get a free pass anymore just because they’re kids. Having John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and the vastly under-rated Sarah Chalke, who are all so very good, isn’t enough to overcome that.

In the end, though, tv comedy is about being funny. The old Roseanne understood that always remembered that its top priority was to bring the funny, even when it was trying to deliver a message. The new Roseanne, though, unlike the old, doesn’t bring the funny, so The Curmudgeon is booting this reboot and won’t be watching again.

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