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Roseanne: What's Changed, What's The Same

The Conner family returns in a television reboot unlike any other. Here’s what you can expect

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten

Laughter

Somehow it doesn’t feel appropriate to use the term ‘lol’ here. Something about seeing older versions of Roseanne and Dan (resurrected from the dead) divvying up their blood pressure and cholesterol medication that doesn’t lend itself to the millennial’s linguistics.

The show does, however, make you laugh out loud. And Fans of the original will be pleased to see it maintains its signature brand of cynical, pessimistic and derisive humour.

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten

Politics

There’s been a lot of chatter about Roseanne Barr and Rosanne Conner’s politics – both are Trump supporters. In the show, the political debate is balanced by a feud between Roseanne and her sister Jackie, who voted for Clinton and shows up wearing a pussy hat, greeting her sister with a ‘What’s up, Deplorable.’

Other than their feud, which is more about two sisters than actual politics, no one else seems to have much of a political opinion.

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten

Class

The Connors remain working class, and the struggles that plagued Roseanne and Dan now plague their adult children – Becky, Darlene and D.J. Everyone is trying to make ends meet.

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten

Diversity

The Conners are no longer an all-white heteronormative family. D.J.’s daughter is biracial and Darlene’s son is gender non-conforming.

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten

Family

With the Conner kids now having kids of their own, the family has grown. Darlene and her two teenage children have moved back in with her parents after having lost her job; D.J., recently home from serving in Syria, looks after his daughter while they wait for his wife to return home from the same deployment; while Becky’s getting ready to rent out her uterus and become a surrogate for 50 grand.

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten


And here’s the part that many will find familiar in the feels department. At its core, beneath the cracking one-liners and comedic monologues, the Conners are a loving, supportive and resilient family. Dan might struggle with the fact his grandson Mark refuses to dress according to gender norms, but the family ultimately supports his choice, even if he is getting picked on at school.

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten


It’s those quiet talks between parent and child, husband and wife, sibling and sibling, in the bedroom, or the kitchen, or the garage, that always made the tears well up in your eyes. Sincere, but with a punch to the gut that stopped it from becoming sickly sweet. Like that time Dan died.

Roseanne, 2018, channel ten

Roseanne premieres 9.00 tonight on TEN and tenplay