More than two decades after it went off the air, “Roseanne” has returned to the airwaves. The same cast returns, with the characters in much the same situation, but 20 years later. Of course, times have changed, and the show reflects some of the changes that have occurred since the family last entertained America on television.
The rebooted series finds Roseanne and her family divided over politics, as some of them are ardent supporters of President Trump (like star and co-creator Roseanne Barr herself) and others find him deplorable. They manage to love one another despite this divide, which strikes a hopeful tone in an America increasingly torn apart by political differences. The show has proven especially popular in the midwest, where President Trump’s popularity is fairly high.
After millions of people tuned in to the first episode, President Trump personally congratulated Barr on her success. Having spent a great deal of time as a television personality, he has a keen understanding of how challenging it is to achieve stellar ratings. So far, the show has continued to do well. While it has highlighted ordinary working class Americans whose ideals line up with those President Trump espouses, some elements of the comedy have a more liberal bent, including a storyline involving a planned surrogate pregnancy and another featuring a young boy who prefers to dress in female clothing.
Although the series has not been on very long, its early success suggests that it will remain on the air for some time to come. In addition to making audiences laugh, “Roseanne” is sparking conversations about how to peacefully coexist with friends and relatives across the current political divide. It will be interesting to see how this iconic sit-com family continues to navigate the realities of a 21st-century America under President Trump.