Over 18 million people tuned in for the reboot of Roseanne Tuesday night and what many of them saw looked eerily familiar. From a family struggling to get by to siblings at each other's throats over politics, Americans all across the country could relate to a storyline that encapsulated many of the issues we've all been dealing with for the past few years. With a combination of humor and balance, Roseanne managed to touch on topics in the first two episodes that some sitcoms won't go near.
Many in the media are trying to portray the reboot as a "pro-Trump" show, but that's a lazy mischaracterization of the premiere. Roseanne is a Trump voter but other characters are not. That's why this works. Most families, including my own, have a mix of political views and dealt with heated debates leading up to the 2016 election. Many are still working through some of those differences, as we witnessed during the show. That Roseanne wasn't afraid to represent both sides is in stark contrast to much of what we see on television but is also a more realistic example of what many Americans experience. Even the banter back and forth between Roseanne and Jackie (a Hillary supporter) was emblematic of what many of us still hear to this day.
Politics wasn't the only way Roseanne managed to replicate the lives of millions of viewers. From kids moving back home because of financial issues to the soaring prices of prescription drugs to bullying in school, those who watched were likely to find a moment they could directly relate to. Generational differences between parents, kids and grandkids played out on the show just like is happening in households all across the country.
Having said that, let's not overemphasize the importance of the show. From headlines reading "Can She Save America?" to Twitter threads on the deeper societal implications of the premiere, at the end of the day this is simply a funny show that touched on topics we can all identify with. Take the humor away and it's not as good. Take the issues we can all relate to away and it's not as good. What made Roseanne so good was that it had the right amount of both. Let's hope the rest of the season sticks to that formula so we can spend a half hour each week laughing about stuff that normally drives us crazy.
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