Roseanne BarrLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 4:10AM EDT
Roseanne sacrificed storytelling for temporary headline-grabbing cultural currency
ABC's Roseanne revival, says Justin Kirkland, "invented a poorly constructed vehicle designed for headlines, and it's called that creation Roseanne Conner." He adds: "The whole process started in the premiere with a politically charged episode. Roseanne's political leanings didn't track, but showrunners assured viewers that moving forward the series wouldn't rely on politics to tell the Conners' story. But for a show that argues that it would shy away from politics as the season went on, this nine-episode collection has covered the following topics: natural disaster relief, the opioid crisis, undocumented workers, racism toward Middle Eastern people, insurance coverage, elder care, divorce, surrogacy, multigenerational caregiving, physically punishing your child, genderqueer children, gun rights, the presidential election, and the lacking resources from the Veteran's Association. If you're keeping track, it's a bit mind-boggling. For any fan of the old show comparing series notes, it's full-on perplexing."
- There are two Roseanne reboots airing right now, and only one is working
- Roseanne haters don't like the "honesty" that a white woman like Roseanne Conner would shift from being progressive to a Trump supporter
- Roseanne would've been a lot more interesting to watch had it really committed to being a pro-Trump sitcom
- The old Roseanne would've stuck with its stories when it broached serious issues, rather than abandon them at will
- This season fell apart for the same reason the original's ending didn't work: they both suffer from erasure issues
- Roseanne is to Trumpian politics what a superhero movie is to nerds: a celebration
Posted Tuesday 5/22/18 at 10:30PM EDT
Why Roseanne's season finale was ridiculous, infuriating and disingenuous
"All season long," says Kathryn VanArendonk. "Roseanne has deliberately poked and prodded at some of the most tender, aching spots in the American cultural psyche. The show has danced past or lingered over topics including health care, opioids, immigration and assimilation, resentfulness, cycles of poverty, jokes about lost dreams and jokes about being in chronic pain. The message Roseanne and Dan have said aloud, explicitly, and in every episode, is clear: Things are bad, their world is unsustainable, and they’re not sure how they’ll make it. In the penultimate episode, 'Netflix & Pill,' we learn that Roseanne is addicted to opioids, and in the closing moments she locates a secret stash of pills she’s keeping hidden from her husband. The message of the show could have been – should have been – that these problems are real and they’re not going to go away with the wave of a wand." The finale, she adds, showed "Roseanne’s most cowardly impulse: to raise the specter of American desperation and then cleanly cover it all with a sudden rush of water. You could see the flood as absolution, I suppose. It could be a fresh start. To me, it looks more like a convenient way to hide some bodies."
- Showrunner Bruce Helford promises: "We will definitely be handling issues that are political hot-buttons" in Season 2
- "The only issue we discussed tackling, but didn’t have time to address, was sexual harassment," says Helford
- Roseanne Conner proved to be the quintessential Trump supporter
- The season finale was the closest Roseanne came to firing on all cylinders
Posted Thursday 5/17/18 at 2:40PM EDT
Roseanne Barr: "Press has misrepresented" ABC boss' remarks on Roseanne becoming less political in Season 2
“I think that they’re going to stay on the path that they were on toward the end of last season, which is away from politics and toward family," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said on Tuesday. Barr responded on Wednesday by tweeting: "ABC has been nothing but supportive to me and my show and all of our ideas. The press has misrepresented what ABC President said about our new season."
Posted Tuesday 5/15/18 at 10:53PM EDT
ABC upfronts cemented that Roseanne Barr is the face of ABC -- "an imperfect face"
Roseanne Barr was lavished with praise at Tuesday's upfronts. The Roseanne revival, ABC executives said, is the network's first No. 1 show in the key 18-49 demo in 24 years. Yet the upfronts showed that Barr is an "imperfect face" for the network, says Daniel Holloway. He notes that minutes after Barr took the stage, ABC sister network Freeform showed a sizzle reel containing Parkland high school documentary footage of shooting survivor David Hogg, whom Barr once accused of giving the Nazi salute. "With numbers rare to broadcast, ABC can’t be expected to not make Roseanne its hood ornament," says Holloway. "But the content surrounding Roseanne at the upfront laid bare what an odd fit the show is for that role. ABC spent years overtly linking its brand to inclusion with shows like Modern Family, Black-ish, Speechless, Fresh Off the Boat, and How to Get Away With Murder. Roseanne over-indexes in Midwestern states where Donald Trump performed well in 2017 and broadcast TV has struggled to connect with mass audiences. The schedule ABC touted at upfronts was short on similarly designed programs. The only new series it appears to have positioned to play well with Roseanne is Nathan Fillion cop drama The Rookie."
- Darlene’s fate in the Roseanne revival is so tragic, especially for a character once seen as a ray of hope
- ABC says one in ten Americans watched the Roseanne revival premiere
- Roseanne succeeds because it's not overtly political -- it engages people based on who they are, not how they vote
- John Goodman will be the voice of ABC News' new "Straightforward" campaign
Posted Wednesday 5/09/18 at 10:52PM EDT
Roseanne's Muslim neighbor episode draws mixed responses
Some felt that Roseanne falsely thinking her Muslim neighbors are terrorists isn't even funny. As Lorraine Ali notes, "the Roseanne Muslim panic episode, as it's now been called, isn't the next progressive leap in demystifying an entire faith and people. It's a throwback to the bigoted rhetoric of Archie Bunker, but as offensive as many will find it, it serves a purpose. Ignorance, not hatred, underpins Roseanne's suspicions about her hijab-clad neighbor Fatima (Anne Bedian). And that's a distinction that matters, as evidenced by another big moment across TV on Tuesday — also the result of a rebooted story line involving rogue Muslims with weapons of mass destruction."
Posted Wednesday 5/09/18 at 10:52PM EDT
Rosie O'Donnell and Roseanne Barr are still friends, despite their sharply contrasting political views
“We have 100 percent conflicting political views and we are very close friends,” says O'Donnell. “She’s like a big sister to me. She will always be my big sister and I will always love her and defend her. There are people with varying degrees of opinions and I don’t think she and I could be any further apart and I love her, and that’s just two complicated thoughts that exist in one.”
Posted Tuesday 5/08/18 at 9:08PM EDT
How do you square Roseanne Barr with her fictional counterpart on Roseanne's Muslim neighbors episode?
The revelation that Barr inspired tonight's episode "invites a slew of reactions," says Kevin Fallon. "There’s the egregiousness of a public figure who has used her platform to promote an agenda directly harmful to the immigrants she is referencing, producing an episode in which a fictional stand-in is absolved of her offensive opinions in a heartwarming episode," he adds. "Then there’s the content of the episode in the first place, and the message it eventually does send. The message could be viewed independently of the actress delivering it. Or maybe for some there is power in that it is Roseanne Barr, of all people, whose mind is changed from bigotry to tolerance."
Posted Monday 5/07/18 at 12:30PM EDT
This week's Roseanne Muslim neighbors episode was Roseanne Barr's idea
“She wanted to get a comeuppance for her own bias,” co-executive producer Dave Caplan says in a Roseanne interstitial for Tuesday's episode, adding: “that was her idea.”
Posted Wednesday 5/02/18 at 4:40PM EDT
Tom Arnold: Laurie Metcalf and I had a brief romance while filming the Roseanne pilot
"The night we shot the pilot, yes, Roseanne (Barr) was in the front seat getting romantic with John Goodman," Arnold told Howard Stern this morning. "I was in the backseat. Roseanne looks back and I'm holding hands with Laurie Metcalf and then we're having a great time." ALSO: Arnold says his agent has something to do why he's unlikely to return to Roseanne.
Posted Tuesday 5/01/18 at 1:51PM EDT
Roseanne Barr defends her Trump support to Jimmy Fallon: "I don't give a f*ck"
“You know, everybody chose that, so I’m not going to put anybody down who didn’t vote like me," she said on The Tonight Show. "This is America, it’s a free country, and when you weigh it all together, I just felt like we needed a whole new thing. All the way. Bottom to top.”
Posted Monday 4/30/18 at 6:42AM EDT
Michelle Wolf's White House roast denounced by person who booked her for her "truth-to-power style"
On Feb. 22, White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev named Wolf the featured entertainer at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner, saying in a statement: “Our dinner honors the First Amendment and strong, independent journalism. Her embrace of these values and her truth-to-power style make her a great friend to the WHCA. Her Pennsylvania roots, stints on Wall Street and in science and self-made, feminist edge make her the right voice now.” On Sunday night, following nearly 24 hours of controversy over Wolf's polarizing speech, Talev issued another statement that referred to Wolf only as "the entertainer": "Last night's program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people," Talev said. "Unfortunately, the entertainer's monologue was not in the spirit of that mission." Wolf responded to Talev's statement on Instagram, quoting those last seven words: "Not in the spirit of that mission."
- President Trump slammed Seth Meyers in mocking Wolf and calling Saturday's WHCD an "embarrassment" that should be put "to rest": "The filthy 'comedian' totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance)"
- WHCA president Talev defended Wolf earlier Sunday for saying "what she thought was important to say" -- but noted that her speech wasn't pre-screened
- Kathy Griffin stuck up for Wolf: Of course Sarah Huckabee Sanders was going to get the toughest jokes -- "she was Trump's proxy" on the dais
- No, Wolf didn't joke about Sanders' looks: "Smoky eye" was a riff on a Maybelline slogan
- The Handmaid's Tale joke also wasn't a slam of Sanders' looks
- Comedians stand by Wolf: "comics r truth tellers - deal with it," tweeted Rosie O'Donnell
- 2012 WHCD host Jimmy Kimmel: "Dear 'the media' - @michellewolf was FUNNY. Hire a juggler next year"
- Roseanne Barr appeared to side against Wolf: "first rule of comedy: NEVER target someone more famous than U who is in the audience," she tweeted. "U will lose the entire crowd"
- Journalists urging Wolf to apologize for what should have been an uncontroversial joke sends an incredibly dangerous message
- Fox News' Brian Kilmeade said Wolf attacked to impress Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: “Congratulations, when the three of you go out to dinner, I’m sure you’ll be laughing a lot. But in terms of the people here and the people at home — totally offensive, horrible choice. In fact, it’s the reason why the president didn’t want to go.”
- Michelle Wolf got it just right: "Wolf, according to the commentariat, violated a sacred standard of decency that defines the correspondents’ dinner every year," says Molly Roberts. "The comedian should roast people, yes, but she should do it at a suitably low temperature for this town’s all-too-tender egos. Wolf broke protocol by turning on the broiler. Yet the figures she scorched have shattered norms that are far more important than an unspoken prohibition on vagina jokes."
- Celebrities shunned the WHCD this year: Kathy Griffin and Jordan Klepper were the biggest entertainment names in attendance
- Will Wolf hasten the death of the WHCD?: "The annual event’s contradictions have become too heavy to bear"
- Alec Baldwin praised Wolf's joke mocking his fellow NBC star Megyn Kelly
# TOPICS: Michelle Wolf, The Handmaid's Tale, Alec Baldwin, Brian Kilmeade, Jimmy Kimmel, Kathy Griffin, Margaret Talev, Megyn Kelly, Roseanne Barr, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump Presidency, Twitter, White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Posted Sunday 4/29/18 at 1:21AM EDT
Bill Maher to "dear friend" Roseanne Barr: "You impulse-purchased a Trump"
“You’re not Archie Bunker, you’re Bernie Sanders!” Maher said of Roseanne on Real Time, adding: “Like it or not, you are now the face of the Trump supporter because you really do speak for a certain kind of American who knows they’re being screwed by someone, they just don’t know who. But here’s what you’re missing about Trump: When he says he’s ‘looking out for the little guy,’ he’s talking about his d*ck. And as your friend, Roseanne, I must remind you of something very important: You’re a socialist! You’ve been one for 30 years.”
Posted Thursday 4/19/18 at 1:54PM EDT
Time's 100 most influential people of 2018 include Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Hannity, Meghan Markle and Roseanne Barr
Other TV stars from Time's annual list also include Oprah Winfrey, Tiffany Haddish, Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Trevor Noah, Nicole Kidman, Sterling K. Brown, Millie Bobby Brown, Lena Waithe, Jennifer Lopez, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb.
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Quit making sweeping pronouncements about Roseanne based on a few episodes!
There have been all kinds of sweeping pronouncements about the Roseanne revival -- it's been called pro-Trump, anti-Trump and everything in between. The problem, says Kathryn VanArendonk, is that these arguments hang on a single joke, or episode. "I almost can’t believe I’m going to say this, because I firmly believe that it’s a good and useful thing to consider a single TV episode in a vacuum," she says. "That should be especially true for a sitcom, where episodes are largely stand-alone, and each of them has a cell-like tendency to be representative of the entire DNA of a series. And in many of those responses, especially of the third episode, have been biting, valuable acts of criticism. But in the case of Roseanne, the rush to say that the show is doing or arguing any one particular thing, and the willingness to hang those assertions on a single line in a single episode, is also flattening how we see the show. This is not meant as a defense of Roseanne, but a suggestion that maybe the show’s perceived failures have a lot to do with our incomplete understanding of how a sitcom works."
- Roseanne delivered its best revival episode yet -- but what happened to the politics?
- Lecy Goranson says she isn't a Trump fan, "but does that mean I’m furious about the woman who plays my mother on a TV show? No."
- Roseanne and The Middle are finally together, at least temporarily
- Roseanne is the new Hillbilly Elegy -- one family narrative being made to stand for so much more
- Carrie Fisher, Joss Whedon and Amy Sherman-Palladino all have written for Roseanne
- Roseanne pays tribute to the late Glenn Quinn, who played Becky Conner's boyfriend and, later, husband
Posted Thursday 4/05/18 at 12:48AM EDT
Did the Roseanne revival betray the old Roseanne?
Tuesday's episode was "jarring" because it contradicted a key part of the original Roseanne series, says Laura Bradley. "During its original run, Roseanne was a lightning rod for a multitude of reasons—not the least of which was Roseanne Conner’s parenting style," says Bradley. "She was loud, crass, and more permissive than a traditional sitcom parent, a far cry from the squeaky-clean, 1950s sensibilities the series frequently mocked. One thing she never made a habit of, though, was spanking her children. And her reasoning was extremely well established: as the characters make clear through multiple seasons, Roseanne and her sister, Jackie, were abused by their father. The one time Roseanne was ever shown spanking one of her children, her outburst ended with a tearful apology—which is why the central plot of Tuesday’s installment of the rebooted series felt misguided at best, and like a forced expression of conservative talking points at worst. It’s further evidence that despite any protestations to the contrary, the new Roseanne has a distinct ideology—which is why it’s struck such a chord with right-leaning viewers."