I’ve been watching Roseanne DVDs lately. I enjoyed the show as a young adult, but now I appreciate it for different reasons. Actually, I’ve come to realize that Roseanne is a feminist, and the show is remarkably progressive – even by today’s standards.
Roseanne clearly rules her home and no one can challenge that. However, she’s not such a tyrant that she’s incapable of apologizing or realizing her mistakes. She’s a responsible(ish) mother, even when making fun of her children, and she’s a devoted wife, though she doesn’t fawn over her husband. Everyone in her family defers to her (when they’re not trying to keep secrets, of course!), but she makes important decisions in concert with her husband. She jests about marriage but maintains a strong partnership. Family is prioritized over working, but Roseanne insists that her daughters are educated before starting families of their own.
I really salute the producers of the show for including gay characters before most other sitcoms would have dared to. Roseanne’s boss (and later business partner), Leon, is a gay man. Roseanne’s girlfriend, Nancy, is a lesbian. However, Leon and Nancy are teased just as much as the straight characters in the show! No one is safe from Roseanne’s comic insights.
Is there another show today that represents middle class suburban life with as much rawness and humour as Roseanne? If there is, I have yet to watch it. Until then, I’ll stay with my mid-nineties re-runs, thank you very much.
Roseanne DVDs cost about $30 per season. But, if you’ve got a library card, then you’re chuckling for free! Borrow them today!