“Roseanne? Why?”


I’ve been asked this question many times, long before I decided to undertake this project.  Inexplicably, when I’ve told people how much I love this show, or when I asked for the 27-DVD set containing the entire series for Christmas a few years ago, I’ve been met with reactions to the effect of, “Why?”  Or, “Really?  That show?” And, “But she’s so annoying!”  That last, from my boyfriend, literally every time he comes home to me watching it.

It’s odd to me that these are the reactions to such a fantastic show given it was a ratings juggernaut in its day (or at least, before it jumped the shark in the final seasons, but more on that when we get there).  Why is a show that was so popular now met with such disdain?  (Of course there are still plenty of fans of the show out there.  Maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong kind of people.  Maybe I need a new boyfriend.)

Anyway, as a result of these inquiries I’ve explained to many people what I see as the virtues of this show — how it was ahead of its time on so many social issues, how trailblazing Roseanne was as a maternal figure on a sitcom, and how much real, believable love and emotion was expressed among this unique family.  I’m certainly not alone in these assessments; many critics will still speak positively of the show and its figurehead, including some of my favorite people over at the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour.  So why undertake this project?

It’s partly an excuse to write, something I don’t get to do enough of outside of my academic endeavors.  It’s partly an excuse to watch my favorite show from start to finish, again.

But the real spark was this: with all the buzz around the Full House reboot and the Full House Lifetime Movie (seriously, oh my god why), the Full House Reviewed blog has been making the rounds again.  I stumbled upon it recently, and my first thought, naturally, was, “Oh my god, that fucking awful show.”  My next thought was, “That would be so fun to do with a show you actually liked.”  And here we are.

I should say up front, I don’t intend for this to just be recaps of each episode. Naturally there will be some recapping, but I plan to write more along the lines of real reviews of each episode, what I think is important about the plot or the show at large, and its cultural import.  (Except… it won’t be as pretentious as that description makes it sound.)  There will also be useless trivia about the show along the way. As much as I love this show, there are some real stinkers among the 222 episodes, and I won’t be easy on them.  Especially episodes focusing on Becky.  I straight up hate Becky.

…more on that later.

We’ll see how often I manage to post given my busy graduate student life, but I expect a minimum of one post per week should be manageable.  We’ll see how long I even last, really– 222 episodes is a lot.

By the way, the full 9-season boxset is available on Amazon and I’m sure other retailers too, and I really do recommend it for all fans.  If you don’t want to commit to that, the first two seasons are on Netflix streaming (as of this writing, anyway).

With that, let’s hit it.

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