Plenty of changes have occurred in America since Roseanne went off the air more than 20 years ago. The series ended in 1997, throwing fans for a loop when the two-episode finale revealed the entire Season 9 was a fluke.
During that season, the Conner family traded in their working-class digs after Roseanne won the Illinois State Lottery for $108 million. She kissed her diner, The Lunchbox, goodbye, giving the keys to her co-owned business over to partner Leon Carp and went on to live in the lap of luxury. However, the season finale revealed none of the events that occurred earlier in the 22-episode season were real, but a mere fantasy world Roseanne dreamed up while grieving the loss of Dan, who actually died from a heart attack in the previous season.
After 21 years, “Roseanne” returns to ABC, and Roseanne Barr’s portrait of working-class Americans is as topical as ever. It’s been twenty years since the last Roseanne episode aired. It returned on March 27 with a one hour reboot. The original cast is back and the live audience’s laughter is much better than canned laughter.
In the first episode, titled “Twenty Years to Life,” the rift that developed between Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) and her sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) after the election is exposed.Jackie, haven’t spoken to each other since the 2016 election. Jackie (played, as always, by Laurie Metcalf) voted for Hillary Clinton , while Roseanne (played by Roseanne Barr) voted for Donald Trump.
Roseanne’s daughter Darlene (Sara Gilbert) has moved back home to Lanford from Chicago with her two children and wants to reconcile her mother and aunt. The disagreement is political and the tone is set as Jackie enters the Conner home in a Nasty Woman t-shirt and a pink pussy hat. She greets Roseanne with, “What’s up, deplorable?”
One emotional moment manufactures a rare TV siting: a flyover state denizen offering an honest and raw, reason-based rationale for supporting Trump.
“He talked about jobs, Jackie!” Roseanne says to her “Nasty Woman” T-shirt-clad sister, who vocally supported Hillary Clinton but walked into the booth and voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. “He said he’d shake things up! I mean, this might come as a complete shock to you, but we almost lost our house, the way things are going.”
Moments later, just before the family eats dinner, Roseanne says a prayer — she asks Jackie, “Would you like to take a knee?” — in which she thanks God for her son D.J.’s (Michael Fishman) safe return home from his military service in Syria and “most of all Lord, thank you, for making America great again.”