October 29, 2008

Roseanne -- 20 Years Later

Can you believe Roseanne premiered 20 years ago? Think we would see a woman like Roseanne on TV today? Fat and outspoken. Forget the outspoken part. Think about the fat part. She was fat, not just overweight. She was obese as was John Goodman. The kids were skinny which to me was always a bit unrealistic cause I don't really remember any shows where the girls dealt with how their mom's weight affected them.

Women on TV today are so skinny. Remember the show Less Than Perfect that ran a couple of years ago? That was supposedly a show about a "full-sized" young woman. Sara Rue was no full-sized woman -- she was like an 8 or a 10. I guess to TV, that's full-sized.

The issues that the show covered and dealt with are now just ignored or brushed under the rug. I find it amazing and pathetic that the show was NEVER nominated for an Emmy during its run.

EW gathered the cast as well as execs and creatives for a reunion (some going on the record for the first time.) The early part of the story focuses on the early controversy between Roseanne and Matt Williams who got the Writers Guild credit for creating the show much to Roseanne's disgust and wrath. She, of course, was deemed crazy and difficult (which she probably was) but she was also fighting for herself and her life. This was a depiction of her life. They threatened to fire her multiple times.

Roseanne: I was crying all the time. They said, ''Oh, we're going to fire you off the show.'' George Clooney put this sign on my door, where it said, ''Roseanne Barr.'' He took that name tag out and put ''Valerie Harper'' instead because she had just been fired off her own show [Valerie]. I will always love George for that. They were compiling this list of all the offensive things I had done to fire me.
Some issues that the show dealt with that we wouldn't see on TV today include: birth-control, PMS, getting your period, the lesbian kiss (ok- you'll see this one). I still remember what a big deal the lesbian kiss episode was. Everyone watched it.

Lecy Goranson (played Becky): I can't tell you how many women my age have said that they were watching [the birth-control episode] with their mom and then looked over at each other and were like, ''Okay, we should talk about it.''

Amy Sherman-Palladino (was a writer on the show for three seasons): They would not let you do that story today. I think that was the real amazing thing about it. Keeping true to those characters and true to life was everything. It was never about, Let's break ground! Because that's the kind of thought process that brings up bulls---, contrived stories.

Roseanne sums the legacy of the up best:
It's more relevant now than it was then. I'm very proud of its timelessness, and the fact that it has a political edge that is even more relevant now than it was then. I'm proud of the fact that it's never gone off the air for 20 years.
A Roseanne Family Reunion