Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Roseanne re-boot

Many have asked if I saw the ROSEANNE reboot last night. 

No.

It got huge ratings and I'm happy for a number of the writers I know who are on that show. 

But I am not a fan of hers nor her political position so I didn't watch a minute of it.   If you saw it and loved it, great.  It's just not for me. 

49 comments :

VP81955 said...

If we're going to have a Trump supporter (or at least a conservative) on prime-time TV, let's bring back Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing." I disagree with much of his politics, but he's shown he can laugh at himself and is a talented actor dating back to "Galaxy Quest." Moreover, for the past few years he's taken time off on holidays to do stand-up at benefits for the homeless at the Comedy Store. I've never met him, but respect him for that.

Bryan said...

I watched the first half hour. The politics were okay, the sisters each taking a side. The saddest part of the night was that Jenna Fischer's new show is totally unwatchable. That bummed me out.

Gary said...

Ken, you didn't miss much. The whole thing played like an extended Saturday Night Live skit. The actors were talking too loud, glancing at cue cards, and the jokes felt forced. The novelty of seeing the old cast reunited dropped off very quickly.

Jahn Ghalt said...

I never got why Rosanne Barr (and her show) was so popular. I did see her standup once which was funny in a vulgar way - but not notable.

Her widely-repeated "performance" of the national anthem didn't help.

MikeN said...

I guess I haven't been paying attention. A 5 rating is now considered a huge audience? I thought those were huge for cable.

Justin Piatt said...

My only interest in it is that I really like John Goodman. Not sure that's gonna be enough to get me to watch.

Anonymous said...

I was a fan of the show from way back. I really enjoyed the Halloween episodes and used to look forward to them with my kids. The new episodes, while interesting, probably won't hold the ratings. That being said, John Goodman is a really great character actor. I enjoy most everything I have seen him in, and Laurie Metcalf is very underrated as an actress, so it is great to see them on TV. The loud, grating Roseanne not so much. What, if anything, can you share about working with John and Laurie? Janice B.

William C Bonner said...

I watched the first 20 minutes or so, and while I smiled a few times can't say I really laughed at anything.

The left right political jokes were completely strange to me in that I couldn't tell which character was taking a side verses saying something ironically. I probably watched episodes of the original show as it aired, but can't remember many political statements from it.

michael del said...

I was never a Roseanne fan, but I watched out of curiosity and enjoyed it. The storyline about her character being a Trump supporter actually works here because it’s the same conflict a lot of working class families are going through right now. The second episode did not mention Trump and, as I understand it, it won’t be a regular topic on the show. In fact, the plot of the second episode probably turned off a lot Trump supporters. Anyway, just seeing Laurie Metcalf in a pu**y hat was worth it for me.

Aaron Sheckley said...

I ended up watching it because my girlfriend wanted to see it. I had watched the original incarnation, but dropped out long before the end (maybe around the time Dan opened his motorcycle shop).

I thought it was like a badly performed parody of the original Roseanne. Barr was never a good actress, but she has gotten a lot worse since the 80's. In general, ALL the actors seemed about as talented as the second choices at a community theater group, with the exception of John Goodman. Even Laurie Metcalf, who's always been stellar as Sheldon's mother, couldn't seem to get a handle on Jackie, a character she played for a decade. Couple that with Barr acting as a pro-Trump spokesman, and I'm definitely out.

Anne said...

Just wanted to second your first commenter's comments on Tim Allen. Couldn't remember if you'd discussed why Tim stepped away from his show? (Unless that was too personal.) And now doing stand up across the country, apparently great crowds. I didn't watch LMS but was surprised when it ended the way it did.

Anonymous said...

With overlap between Big Bang ( Laurie Metcalf, Johnny Galecki and Sara Gilbert are the last two on the new roseanne?) is there the risk of spill over from how characters are seen in the "other" show?

VP81955 said...

From what I understand, "Last Man Standing" was not renewed by ABC. Perhaps the network suits thought the series had run its course after six seasons or was now deemed too expensive an endeavor, especially in the Friday night ghetto ABC hasn't cared about since the heyday of "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch." (Tim has said he thinks his political beliefs played into it, though I don't know if that's true.)

And the "Roseanne" 2.0 debut drew about 18 million viewers, positively huge by recent network TV standards. For comparison, my favorite current sitcom, "Mom," rarely if ever cracks the 10 million mark.

Donald Benson said...

As I understand it, "Last Man Standing" was produced and owned by Fox. Fox has its own network where they could easily have slotted the show if they thought there was any money left in new episodes.

As I understood it, back in the day fairly few shows would turn a profit on network runs -- production companies would take a loss to stay on a network long enough to accumulate enough episodes for syndication, where the real money was. When a long-running show cruised past that number and the stars became increasingly expensive, I can see where a production company would choose to pull the plug unless the network upped the fees enough to make it worthwhile.

Mr. Holloywood said...

Never thought Roseanne was funny. To me, her type of humor doesn't work. I have never met the woman (thank God), but I know many people who have worked with her and know her. Not one person I know has anything good to say about her.
Would I ever watch the show? NOOOOOOOOOO! I find it ironic that now TV is emulating the film business, recycling shows that were on years ago, like films and their remakes.
Original ideas kids. Let's move on.
P.S. -- I like John Goodman, excellent character actor. But not in this show.

kent said...

Roseanne is back on?

Mike Doran said...

Question (maybe even a Friday Question):

Did Last Man Standing reach 100+ episodes?
And could that be the principal reason that the producing entity (whoever that may be) decided to fold the show?

I've done a bit of reading up on things like this, and there seems to be a feeling among certain producing entities that some formats can only be dragged out so far - sitcoms are particularly subject to this kind of thinking.

Sometimes, a successful show is deemed to be too expensive to continue - the star has gotten one raise too many, or the long-time writing crew wants a major cash infusion of its own, or the network suddenly develops a case of austerity, or any other excuse you or I can come up with.

I never watched Last Man Standing, and so I do not know whether all the above spec is so much moonshine.
If anyone reading this knows, now's the time ...

Covarr said...

I would never not watch a show based on the creator's political position unless the show explicitly endorsed said politics, but I cannot bring myself to support her work based on the stories I've heard about how she treats her staff.

Edward said...

@Mike Doran

"Last Man Standing" produced 130 episodes.

The show probably got too expensive for Fox to produce and ABC was not going to pay more money to license the show based on its ratings.

Also, Fox probably figured out that the syndication market was not that interested in a routine family show, and it was not going to recoup any accumulated losses.

Angry Gamer said...

Ken

Murphy Brown just had a baby as a single mom... and you are pulling a Dan Quayle

I know you believe in your own self righteousness.... but ya might want to pull your head out take a look around the times are a changin

jean satzer said...

Nope. Two words.
Mark Harmon.
*Mic drop*

Loosehead said...

"Criticise the work, but keep the person separate" is how Woody Allen and Roman Polanski continue to find paid employment. What the heck, its your blog, you can say waht you like (and I don't disagree), and lord knows I'm no particular fan of the woman, but I do detect a little inconsistency.

D McEwan said...

"Angry Gamer said...
Ken
I know you believe in your own self righteousness.... but ya might want to pull your head out take a look around the times are a changin"


Spoken like a true Fascist warning the Jews.

McAlvie said...

Never cared for that show even on the first run. I come from rural blue collar people, and nobody in my family is anything like that. I cringe to think that millions of people actually believe now that blue collar means loud mouthed, ignorant white trash. Never mind the show, how does anyone sit through a half hour of that screeching, whiny voice?

Someone mentioned Tim Allen and Last Man Standing. I liked that show, too. I liked his character. I can disagree with someone's politics and still like them; and I think Allen and his character probably are more representational of most Republicans I know, who certainly have more in common with that character than they do Roseanne.

McAlvie said...

@Edward - I suspect that the real reason it was dropped is that it had run its course. I know there was noise about it being politically motivated, but that's just silly. The premise was a guy surrounded by women: a wife and 3 daughters. When the show ended, the two oldest daughters had married, and the youngest was college age. Even keeping the youngest around for an extra year was stretching it. I liked the show and even I could see that they couldn't keep it going much longer.

James Van Hise said...

I was surprised how much like the old show the new version is. The characters are older and things in their life have changed but it is still the same show, except in 2018 just as Will And Grace is the same show but doing things in 2018 they couldn't have done in 1999. If Trump fans tuned in and stayed through the second episode which is a positive story about a 9 year old boy who is gender fluid, and which ends with the boy wearing a skirt, I think they would have been horrified. Conservative this show is not.

Roger Owen Green said...

Loosehead- Ken has also told horror stories from her series' 1st iteration. In any case:

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Julie said...

Never mind the show, how does anyone sit through a half hour of that screeching, whiny voice?

Fran Drescher was on THE NANNY for six years, and you can ask that question?

Bradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry Traylor said...

I'd rather have root canal done than watch her.

Terrence Moss said...

bottom line is that if abc wanted to keep it, they would have.

i maintain that it was about his politics -- especially since it was their second most viewed comedy behind "Modern Family". And neither are fully owned by ABC.

Terrence Moss said...

"last man standing" was their second most viewed comedy behinf "modern family" -- and on a friday night.

his politics were definitely a fsctor

Terrence Moss said...

the ratings were quite solid -- especially for a friday night.

and it had just reached syndication and was doing quite well with that.

the unwarranted cancellation was definitely political -- and a mistake on the part of abc.

Terrence Moss said...

it had just entered syndication at the time of its cancellation and was doing quite well.

Terrence Moss said...

allen and polanski are quite different than roseanne

Terrence Moss said...

no broadcast network has ever cancelled a show with solid ratings just because it may (or may not have) creatively run its course.

Aaron Sheckley said...

No one here is shutting anyone out, Bradley. I watched two episodes of the show, and I found it to be as annoying as I did back in the 80's when I'd had enough of Roseanne Barr and tuned out after a few seasons. That may well coincide with the point that she exercised so much creative control over the show that her voice became unfiltered by other writers, and what you got was pure Roseanne. Pure Roseanne is a lot like a punch in the neck without a boxing glove.

You think it's damn funny, and that's great for you, because you have something new to watch and enjoy. I don't think it's funny, and for you to do that "please keep watching and I'm sure you'll come around to my point of view" is as silly as if I told you that if you keep watching, you'll hate her as much as I do. There are plenty of people who didn't like Roseanne back when it was on (especially the post "we won the lottery" seasons), and for those people, this new incarnation is more of the same, only with even less quality in the acting. I don't dislike the show BECAUSE she's a Trumpist, but that, coupled with just more of the things I didn't like about the old version of the show, was all it took for me to say "no thanks".

Tim Allen is funny. Michael J Nelson is one of the funniest men alive. So it's certainly possible to enjoy watching a Conservative oriented comedian. But for me, as last night's incarnation proved once again, it's not possible to enjoy watching Roseanne Barr.

Bradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy Rose said...

I agree with McAlvie. I grew up in a conservative small town when Roseanne was at its peak, and the only character on that show that seemed even vaguely similar to people I knew was Dan Conner. And there wasn't enough John Goodman on that show to make it worth my while. The Middle is a far more accurate representation of middle America from my experience.

Mike Doran said...

What I don't care for about Roseanne Barr is her whole manner: voice, appearance, material.
These things would be the same if her politics were as far to the Left as they are to the Right.
(And I'm sure any and all of you could come up with more than a few Left-wing comics who are just as annoying ...)

For its first ten seasons, the boss DA on Law & Order was Steven Hill, playing a character based on Manhattan's everlasting Democratic DA Bob Morgenthau.
Steve Hill played for laconic wit; we all loved to watch him wrap up a scene with a well-placed one-liner.
Politics were used as context, nothing more or less.
Pause for Hill's retirement, followed by a two-year interregnum with Dianne Weist.
Dick Wolf (identified as a registered Republican) brought in Fred Thompson as a post-911 DA who came to shake things up - and did so, with his low-keyed countrified manner.
And all of us L&O fans loved that too, whatever our own political crotchets happened to be.
The eternal reruns of the whole twenty year L&O run bear this out.
So There Too.

Johnny Walker said...

Interesting question: If Annie and Jon were offered a high up position on the writing staff of ROSEANNE, and they came to you for advice, would you recommend they take it?

bbison said...

Laurie Metcalf has 3 Emmys, a Tony and and Oscar nom. I'd say she's properly rated!

Dr Loser said...

I'm foreign. I watched the original Roseanne shows in disbelief. Even I know that this was never a true representation of a blue collar American family. (It was probably the way that network TV saw blue collar families, though, which is dispiriting.)

If they really, really, had to bring it back, why not bring back the John Goodman Show? Funnier, more subtly acted, better delivered lines, and I would go so far as to say, with far more potential to show what a blue collar American family looks like. And of course with equal star power.

Then again, perhaps the networks still think that the Roseanne Show truly represents blue collar America. Even more dispiriting.

Laurie Metcalf is a comedy goddess and is exempt from anything I have just said.

blogward said...

The original Roseanne was a hit because of John Goodman, not Roseanne. He stole every episode without breaking a sweat.

Diane D. said...

Dr Loser
I’m not foreign, but I also watched the original Roseanne in disbelief. Indeed it was not an accurate representation of a blue collar American family. It was much more vulgar, crass, and tawdry than the real thing. Add to that Roseanne’s horrid, screechy voice, flat delivery, and inability to act, and I never understood how anyone could watch that show. Although mildly curious about the reboot, I couldn’t take the risk of having my senses assaulted in that manner again.

Jeff Baldwin said...

It’s a sitcom (or even more basic than that a fictional TV show), of course it isn’t a true representation of a real, middle america, blue collar family. Just like Night Court was not a true representation of our judicial system, and Hawaii 5-0 is assuredly not even on the same planet as real HPD.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I was never into ROSEANNE - but then, I generally am uninterested in family shows - but I do know people who saw her as a hero when she was doing that show. That said, I'd seen some episodes, and I checked into the reboot. On this basis: the late, great, progressive journalist Molly Ivins advised journalists, "Read widely among things you disagree with." I think the same applies to sampling popular culture, particularly in an era where things are so polarized that so many people refuse to talk to those they disagree with.

That said, I'm aware that one of the showrunners is Whitney Cummings, and can imagine the appeal that has for Ken.

wg

Diane D. said...

There is probably no better advice than “to read widely among things you disagree with”. I’m not sure that applies to popular entertainment, but sampling Roseanne was the only way a person could know if she/he hated it or loved it. I sampled it and hated it. I can’t think of any reason a reboot would need to be sampled. The passing years have not improved Roseanne’s diction or voice quality.

JB, Everybody Loves Raymond may not have been an accurate representation of middle America, but it was funny, well-acted, and elegantly written.

Johnny Walker said...

Shame to hear the lack of appreciation for the original ROSEANNE. Despite what people here seem to want to say, it was a sitcom where the stars where blue collar (to borrow an Americanism) and the stories revolved around appropriate issues for them: Namrly the stresses of running a family with little income, little time, and crappy, unsatisying and unsteady work. It may not have been a documentary on the typical mid-Western blue collar American family, but it was closer than anything else on TV then... or now.

Even as a British person, I related to their family. I saw my own in it. No, it wasn’t 1:1, but then again you’re never going to meet someone as dumb as Coach Pantusso in real life. It’s a COMEDY.

I think the dislike for the person has overshadowed people’s memories of the show. Roseanne (the character and the show itself) was a colossal hit, and they deserved to be: They were smart, funny and had heart.

I think if Roseanne the person had never done an interview (and never sailed the show into the choppy waters of the later seasons), that’s how we’d remember things.