Roseanne Reboot

Chrystal Savage, Staff Writer | 

Roseanne Barr is best known for her role as Roseanne Conner on the television series “Roseanne,” which first began airing in October, 1988 and continued through May, 1997 for nine consecutive seasons. The show was recently picked up again by ABC and premiered for the first time since it’s final episode, 20 years ago, on March 27.

In her time away from the show, Barr became an activist with political aspirations, entering the 2012 presidential race as the Peace and Freedom ballot nominee, after losing the Green Party candidacy to Jill Stein, a physician from Chicago. Barr came in sixth out of seven candidates, losing to Barack Obama in his second term election. Barr ran on policies encouraging the legalization of marijuana and protein consumption from nuts and other seeds in an effort to combat global warming. Barr encouraged Democrats and Republicans alike to register as members of the Green Party, to send a “message to all of Washington D.C. that Americans are tired of the corrupt two party system” (CNN). Barr insisted that her intention was never to take votes away from Obama, but rather to expose that the minds of liberals were “owned” by the Democratic party (YouTube).

The reboot focuses on this political dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party, to the delight of the current administration. Donald Trump has, in a roundabout way, taken credit for the ratings the show has received at an event he attended in Ohio. According to the President, he called to congratulate Barr on her success, which she confirmed in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on his late night show.

Roseanne, both on the show and in real life, voted for the current president of the United States, despite the fact that the political divide that currently presses the nation is at the center of the show’s season, and it still refuses to neglect socio-political issues. Conner’s grandson Mark, played by Ames McNamara, 12, is an elementary-aged male who prefers to dress in women’s clothes. Additionally, the family gained a fraction of diversity by the addition of Conner’s African-American granddaughter Mary, played by Jayden Rey, 8.

The show is also going to great lengths to reflect diversity even further, by accurately depicting the racial demographics of Lanford, IL, the town where the series is set. The region was predominately Caucasian 20 years ago; however, today 60 percent of the community is Hispanic. Furthermore, the producers wanted to make clear the modern day struggle of the middle class, by considering statistics that factor in issues of lower wages and greater financial output, due in part to inflation, depicting a social class that is widely unhappy with the previous socio-economic and political landscape of this country.

So, while it may seem that “Roseanne” seeks to “rock the boat,” the shows producers would argue that, in actuality, they are just drawing attention to a demographic that has recently “lost their voice” in America. Many would point out that, for centuries, nearly all other minorities were robbed of this basic right. Nonetheless, the cast, producers, fans, and the commander in chief all insist that the show will inspire a much needed and currently absent dialogue, in hopes of reaching some sort of common ground.

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