I don’t know how I managed to do this, but before this blog I had never seen an episode of Roseanne. I guess that it must have been on in the UK during its first run (probably on Channel 4 or something) since it was such a massive show.
There aren’t many shows that can claim the title of being the #1 best rated show of the season in the US – and yet Roseanne was able to grab this title. True it shared this lofty mantle with The Cosby Show (which I am not looking to watching because of the sheer rape factor).
I have to say that I was surprised at just how much I loved Roseanne. It’s not like Cheers where, due to the insanely positive write-ups it gets, my liking it was a sure thing. I had expected this to have aged (maybe poorly) and just feel obvious. But no, it went straight for the heart.
In order to hit up the 20 necessary episodes I jumped between the first 7-8 seasons (just not the 9th season as that sounded awful) and it’s so amazing to see how the characters develop across the series (you hear that Modern Family – you can develop of your characters).
Obviously there is the Becky problem where they suddenly start swapping around actresses late in the series, but that is dealt with using such a wink that it’s hard to be too annoyed. Also it is just nice to see a young Sarah Chalke before she appeared in Scrubs and failed CBS sitcom Mad Love.
Now I’m going to say something that might be unpopular, but I didn’t think Roseanne Barr was that good in the first season episodes that I saw. Timing wise she was good and the chemistry she had with John Goodman was amazing, but her acting just wasn’t great. She got really good later on though, but it was pretty jarring to begin with.
If I had to highlight the best performances in this show it would be a tie between John Goodman as husband Dan and Laurie Metcalf as Roseanne’s sister Jackie.
I think it is criminal that John Goodman managed to snag 7 Emmy nominations for Lead Actor in a Comedy yet won none of them. You look at who beat him and apart from Empty Nest and Evening Shade he was beaten by some big people. Still – he was robbed.
Laurie Metcalf managed to win three Emmys. In a row. That’s fantastic. I haven’t seen all the shows to say that she deserved it the most, but I’m okay with this decision made by the Emmys.
This was a truly pleasant surprise and I can see where shows like The Middle got some of their inspiration from. It’s hard to make a successful show out of a failing family and yet Roseanne was able to do just that.
Anyway, enough from me. If you want to hear more (including a debate over the identity over the real Becky Connor) please listen to the Just Watch It podcast!