First in a new series, looking at my favourite comedy shows.
This week: Roseanne.
Roseanne originally aired from 1988 until 1997, and for me, was essential Friday night viewing on Channel 4 (at least in the UK; in the US it was broadcast on ABC).
I loved how the show mixed up serious issues along with the comedy; the show tackled sexism, homophobia, unemployment, poverty, drugs, alcoholism, puberty, racism, abuse and, of course, the trials and tribulations of family life.
It was even produced by someone called Marcy Carsey; what a fantastic comedy name, almost as good as Barbara Broccoli.
Unlike other sitcoms at the time, Roseanne was unafraid to show what a struggle life could be for a working class family in America; the Connor family were not wealthy like the Huxtables in The Cosby Show or the Banks family in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or as comfortably well-off as The Golden Girls.
Here we had an overweight, working class, crass Mom who wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is, alongside her overweight, blue collar worker husband, Dan, and their three imperfect kids, all living in their untidy, modest home, in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois, which to this British guy seemed so exotic and alien.
Little did I know, but years later, I ended up living on the Wisconsin / Illinois border, near a town called Rockford, on which, apparently, Lanford was based. Suddenly I was living among the real Dan and Roseanne Connors of this world. I often had dreams about them; in my dreams Dan and Roseanne were still living in their house, but it was the abandoned set in the TV studio, and they were the only characters left, living their lives out as if they were a real couple. Yes, my mind is a weird place…
I was ecstatic to find out that ABC have made a new season of Roseanne, to air in March this year. I CAN NOT WAIT to find out what the Connor family have been up to, and to once again sit back and enjoy the comedy. Here’s the trailer…
This time around I am an American, and both my kids were born in the Midwest, so Roseanne doesn’t seem quite so exotic now. Bring it on.