Entertainment

‘Roseanne’ Is Revived — and It Crushes Records, Delights Viewers

Familiar yet fresh, political yet palatable, the reboot of the '90s-era sitcom hits the right buttons for today's audience

Though it first aired 30 years ago, everything about ABC’s reboot of “Roseanne” on Tuesday night felt at once contemporary, nostalgic and relatable. And perhaps even more importantly — it’s funny.

It did all that without alienating conservatives or liberals — and without running away from politics altogether, either.

On Wednesday night’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham and EWTN News Managing Editor Raymond Arroyo shared their take on the sitcom’s success.

In her opening monologue, Ingraham praised Barr as a true innovator. “‘Roseanne’ shows us that Trump voters — they’re not monsters, they’re not deplorables, and no, they’re not stupid,” said Ingraham about the content of the first two episodes.

“This is not straight-down-the-middle conservatism, but that’s what made it work,” said Arroyo later in the program. “It resonated with Middle America,” he added.

“Middle America … feels turned off and tuned out to what’s happening in the popular culture. It doesn’t reflect who they are,” Ingraham said.

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The show’s namesake character is unapologetically conservative. Her sister Jackie, Roseanne’s foil, is portrayed is unapologetically liberal.

And it all works.

That doesn’t mean everything is puppies and roses in the fictional Conner household. Far from it, as a matter of fact.

And that’s why it works. It works because that is reality in countless American households that are divided along political, cultural, or social lines.

Related: ‘Roseanne’ Revival Wins by Examining Trump and America Honestly

They fight, they tease, they get angry — but in the end, they love and support one another despite it all. Not unlike the Conners.

America’s hardy embrace of the new program was proven out when viewership numbers were finalized. Television watchers were treated to a double dose of the show on its Tuesday night premiere. The show boasted 18.2 million viewers during the 8 p.m. hour, and averaged a 5.2 rating in the all-important 18-49-year-old demographic, Deadline reported.

“Funny what can happen when Hollywood makes programming that’s not condescending toward half the country,” said Ingraham, referencing the incredible ratings.

Longtime fans of the series were instantly drawn in by the familiar, inside jokes that harkened back to the original show, which ran from 1988 to 1997. Straight out of the gate, they comedically grappled with Dan Conner’s season 9 death (he’s back for the reboot).

“Funny what can happen when Hollywood makes programming that’s not condescending toward half the country.”

Both Beckys are back — one as Becky (the oldest Conner daughter) and the other as a woman who is hiring Becky as a surrogate. In one scene, the original Becky delivers this luscious line: “Look at us! We could be the same person!”

Roseanne’s novel even makes an appearance, bringing everything full circle.

Whether you’re new to the series or a returning fan, “Roseanne” is a show that can serve up a laugh for almost anyone. “Millions of TV viewers are voting with their eyeballs, and they’re looking forward to seeing where Ms. Barr takes this working-class narrative. Maybe right up to 2020,” said Ingraham.

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Of course, there’s no pleasing everyone. Some on the Left took the reboot as an opportunity to take a jab at their political rivals. And in other news, ice is cold.

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: ABC)

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