Let’s quickly get one thing out of the way. I am not writing this piece to defend Roseanne Barr, who regularly shares outlandish conspiracy theories, has described herself as mentally ill, once ran as a liberal green third-party candidate for president, and even maybe-ironically dressed as Hitler and pretended to eat “Jew-cookies” once. Yes, really. Her politics are entirely incoherent and often genuinely offensive, and I see no reason to take them seriously.
That said, Barr did show some real insight when she predicted the show’s relevance in the age of Trump, saying,“As soon as I saw the election results, I knew we’d be back.”
I’m a little young to be nostalgic for “Roseanne” since it went off the air when I was three years old, but Amy Zimmerman of The Daily Beast praised it as having “changed television for the better, featuring a realistic American family, relatable financial troubles, believable gay characters and overweight protagonists who weren’t written as punchlines.” In comparison to the more aspirational sitcoms I remember from that time, like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Full House”—or even “Friends,” in which the characters’ finances are more of a punchlinethan a genuine source of anxiety—I can certainly understand why an honest look at a blue-collar, working-class, Midwestern family could be groundbreaking.