Roseanne reboot tackles America’s political divide with hilarity


As a kid, when I found out that I was going to have a baby sister, I wanted my parents to name her “Roseanne.” The new Roseanne reboot premiered on ABC this evening.
I really enjoyed it. Very clever writing, laugh out loud funny.  A throwback and a nostalgic comedy brought into the modern times.
Even thought I watched the original run of the series, I was too young to appreciate the aspects of Roseanne that were pushing cultural boundaries.
One of the things that the new series is emphasizing is the political divide in America, often within families. Roseanne and Dan are republican, Trump supporters. Roseanne’s sister Jackie is a democrat. I thought the writing was fair to both sides.
Roseanne Barr said in an interview with the New York Times:
“I just wanted to have that dialogue about families torn apart by the election and their political differences of opinion and how we handle it. I thought that this was an important thing to say at this time.”
As politics are divisive within society, they can also be very destructive within families.
Reading comments from people on Facebook, it’s interesting how some won’t even watch the show because of political disagreement with Roseanne. It’s a sad irony that proves the point. Some can’t bear to watch a show unless it is total agreement with their views.
I don’t think the point is that people should agree with everything on the show. You’re not going to agree with every character’s views or values. But it’s trying to depict a family that, as dysfunctional as they are, does love each other and who’s trying to navigate through life in these trying times. And so the show isn’t afraid to tackle the major issues.
Disagreement with family and friends can be gritty and frustrating. Some choose to be divisive in the face of disagreement. As a society, we cannot allow ourselves to continually be divided and torn apart.
The show is a mirror. It’s a reflection of how life in America is, for better or for worse.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.