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'Roseanne's' Return Celebrated by Trump: What Must That Feel Like for Goodman, Chalke, Gilbert, and Metcalf?

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 29, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 29, 2018 |


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Whatever warmth or nostalgia some of us (myself included) might have felt for the return of Roseanne on Tuesday had probably evaporated and turned completely toxic by Wednesday afternoon. By mid-day yesterday, I was like, “Welp. So much for taking the good, and rejecting the bad.” By announcing herself and her character as a Trump supporter, Roseanne Barr has made watching Roseanne a partisan activity. My complicated feelings about the return of the show were completely untangled when Don Jr. tweeted congratulations to Roseanne; when Ivanka Trump started following Roseanne; and when Donald Trump himself called Roseanne to congratulate her on the ratings.


Those ratings were huge (18 million), all but guaranteeing the second season, and those ratings were biggest in places where Trump was the most popular, like Oklahoma, Ohio, and Missouri, while ratings weren’t as impressive in New York and Los Angeles. In other words, the country is still divided when it comes to a goddamn TV show. Also, you know that Trump is going to take credit for the ratings success.

Blergh. The whole thing kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

But what must it feel like for John Goodman, who once said that instead of building a wall, Trump should build a dome for all of his supporters to live in? Or Sara Gilbert, whose very lifestyle is rejected by a lot of Trump supporters; or Sarah Chalke, whose Twitter feed expresses anti-Trump sentiments? Or Laurie Metcalf, who appeared in a segment on Samantha Bee last week and now is a cast member in the Trump family’s favorite new sitcom? Are they now “complicit?”

I dunno.

It all feels like a victory for Trumpmerica to me, something that will embolden them to be even more “non-PC” (i.e., racist), something to lord over the liberals, even though it stars mostly liberals and is written by liberals (Wanda Sykes and Whitney Cummings). It’s already encouraging networks to rethink their programming; it won’t be long now before Home Improvement returns, too, and that show was shit from the beginning.

It couldn’t just be a victory for poor and working-class America, could it? They just had to turn it into a victory for Trump, too. This show is not going to heal America. It’s going to further divide us.

In the midst of all the “Nope” and “fuck that” and “No, thanks” comments in my review yesterday, I did like something that Megs Darcy said, and I’m going to take a tiny bit of solace in it. “I like what they are trying to do, which is not make Trump supporters seem human, but show Trump supporters how to be human maybe.”

I hope so, Megs. I really do.




Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.


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