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Oct
17

Happy 25 Years of Reality in a Sitcom!:

Happy, Happy Anniversary, fans of my Tough Love Mothering of two or three generations of television viewers! I will be writing about the Roseanne Show all day today and for the entire week!
Twenty five years ago my show went on the air-where it has remained ever since, sometimes three to five times per day on multiple networks, all over the world. The show was my attempt to move the left to the middle, to comment on the content and context of television entertainment itself, which I studied as a young girl.
I knew that everything on television was bullshit-the forcing of Gender-ism and consumerist fundamentalism down the gullets of the viewers, especially the female ones who could be persuaded to buy anything that promised to make their breath fresher, breasts and butts firmer, hands softer, countertops gleaming like their teeth and kitchen floors but without any waxy buildup.
The episode called, ‘the fifties show’ is the single episode that illustrates the impact of ‘Roseanne’ on television-watch it if you have the chance. It’s my favorite episode of any television show, ever.
It took a lot of courage for me to stand almost completely alone in the face of corporate witchburning terrorism, class attack, and voracious sexist censorship waged against me, from which I have never, and will never fully recover.
However, as my daughters and sons remind me now, I knew from the beginning that there would be a terrible price exacted for what I did and the way I did it. To speak directly to working class viewers in an active feminist voice over the people’s airwaves about the true nature of Reaganomics on their lives seems to have led to a fracturing of the advertising medium itself. Almost immediately, after becoming the number One television show of the nineties, I noted that commercials switched from using the passive Patriarchal voice to an active feminist voice to sell cheese graters and diet pills.
I knew that I would win in the end-that the spooking passive voice of male supremacist ideology that IS television, and porn, would be forever altered with just a relatively few excellent jokes, guffaws, kicks, knives to the heart, and sledgehammers to the heads of Madison Avenue’s Persuasive Piggery.
When I came out, so to speak, as a non-svelte, militantly opinionated Alpha female who happened to be married with kids (it didn’t quite define me, though), there was a list longer than the one of registered lobbyists and the politicians they own of things you could not dare to say or portray in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The Cosby’s were trying their best to be the kind of Black family that White America could have in their living rooms without going 100% Whiteface, but when the Connors walked out – suddenly, towing the line wasn’t the be-all and end-all of what passed for life in the 1990s in America. They were barely getting by, but they made living paycheck-to-paycheck look normal along with lots of other aspects of life that made tens of millions of American say – “Hey, we don’t have to jive and strive and never arrive with all those mostly-perfect white familybots on TV! We have seen ‘The Family” and they are US.
I wanted to shoot not the messenger, but the message itself. The fact that all of this was lost on degenerate TV journalism is hilarious to me, looking back. It’s so incredibly gratifying to me that the box that sells woman hating racist classist messages to intellectual shut ins is now in its complete death throes. You’re welcome American Feminism! You’re welcome, American Family! You’re welcome, America!

Comments

  1. I would sneak to watch your show and stay up late too. I had horrible parents that set their children up to fail at every angle. It didn’t work cause as bad examples as they were I had good examples of what an regular family dynamic should and could look like my first and my largest example came from watching your show. I remember being very young and knowing that anything that showed strength and independent thinking and feminism which I caught onto at a very young age would not be tolerated, my mom caught me watching she told me she didn’t know why I would ever want to watch that crap, I of course panicked and started of think how could I stay connected knowing my mom I thought I will just charm and outwit her so I as a nine year old girl came up with a proposal for a name change,and when I presented this to my mother she burst into hysterical laughter I’ve hated her laugh ever since I was being absolutely serious when I told her I wanted to be named Roseabelle it might seem a little strange to some but it was my way of coping and connecting. So with that said I thank you for all the lessons and now you may know just one more story about how much it impacted one girls life.

  2. Christopher Michael Ward says:

    Hello RoseanneWorld Readers,

    I am going to share how The Roseanne Show changed my life

    I was born on July 7th 1988, and The Roseanne Show debuted on October 18th 1988. I was 4 months old, and one of my first memories is watching Roseanne. It was the first sitcom I ever watched, and I was hooked since the first episode. I wanted to be part of the Connor family, and I wanted Roseanne to b my mother. My real life family is a lot like the Connors themselves, my mother and aunt were like Darlene and Becky and my dad and uncle were like David and Mark. Sisters dating Brothers! My Grandmother who I call Nana was the Matriarch like Roseanne was.

    The Roseanne Show taught their viewers about masturbation that being a black sheep is ok and that gay people were normal, among other things. There was no other show like it on TV in the 90′s, and there will never b another one like it again. even after it went into syndication, I watched it all the time every day. It was the first TV show I saw that discussed marijuana, gay marriage, and PMS. The Roseanne Show ended in 1997, when I was nine years old. I cried for 3 reasons: one because Dan died, 2 because the show was ending, and 3 because I knew TV would not b the same.

    Happy Birthday to one of the best TV shows in television herstory!!

    Christopher Michael Ward AKA @ChrisMichaelW on Twitter.

  3. Andrew J Martin says:

    Hey Rosie,
    I want to say Honestly.. watching Roseanne has made my Marriage better… Ill wait for you to finish laughing..lol.. But Seriously it has, Weve been married for 5 going on 6 years and Watching the show showed realness in an American Family during that time and pertrudes through the years.Well Sit together and watch Roseanne Marathons on the WE channel and then go to youtube and watch shows… We Laugh together ,get serious and concerned together and relate together. From Wellman Plastics and that asshole of a Boss to when you found out your dad had cheated on your mom for 20 freakin’ years to the issues between Dan and his dad to when Dan cheated and you took him back to when Darlene had Harris. My wife’s fav was when Becky (the 1st Becky) and you had issues on the show and she was mouthing to you and Dan… that couldn’t be a 2013 episode cause i think you or Dan would have thrown a table chair at her… But I Love it all…. we Love You soooo Freakin Very Much. Just Like in Wrestling the Yell for legendary wrestlers for “ONE MORE MATCH”.. We’re Yelling for you “One More Show” just One More Episode with a Small Script and a Bunch of Ad limbs….. Love ya Shug..From Texas

  4. Is there a trivia board game? If not there should be. One of the questions would be, how many bathrooms, because one episode insinuates that there were 3 bathrooms! :D

  5. Love you and your show! I’m watching the 50′s show right now, it is one of my favorites too! I feel lost if I don’t watch you everyday(I have DVD’s as well). Your show has got me through some extremely rough times and I thank you for that and living in Utah as I do, I know you can relate. Thank you again. Namaste and bless you!

  6. Nikki Strasser says:

    If it weren’t for your show I’d have probably killed myself!
    Not that I hadn’t already tried to. I was adopted by a single Jewish mother
    at the age of 5. When I would turn the tele on, everything was bullshit.
    Happy over privileged white folks laughing at stupid shit I could not relate to.
    Thank you for providing a sitcom for the” rest of us” as it were. The real folk. Adela Barnes
    was my boyfriend’s mother. I didn’t even know Adela was on your show until
    I was in my 20′s. We meet all the time. You and I. Whether it’s behind stage at your shows, or be it
    while I’m outside smoking pot and eating brownies, while your speaking politics and sitting
    next to Jill. I grew up in a odd family. I say odd because I could use other words
    however, it boils down to… they were flat out bat shit crazy. So, I’ll stick with odd. Without your
    show… I’d have grown up thinkin I was the only one who suffered from
    depression, was overweight, had pot in my family. Not a lot of money. Abuse. Lots of abuse.
    It was your book that helped me cope with all that shit. Much later though.
    Thank you for the hugs, the autographs. Thanks for telling my mom to control her
    “bitch” when I jumped onstage and ran back before you could change outta your blue silk
    Japanese get up. You had a bad shoulder. I saw you a year or two later and the shoulder was better.

    Anyhoo- Happy Fucking 25 years of Roseanne! The best sitcom to hit prime time. Marcy Carsy warcy
    witchy poo. Always tryin to change a story. You were resilient. I love you for all your courage and
    Strength. Thanks for making us “kids” growing up feel just a little bit of recognition. Thanks for taking on
    topics other networks and sitcoms wouldn’t touch. Thanks for fucking with Julia’s car in
    the lot that one day. Being adopted, I would literally have dreams of being
    on the set of Roseanne. Only is wasn’t a TV show. You were my mom and while I slept
    your show would play out in my head. It gave me an alternate universe
    my mind could and would run to. I was sometimes looking for a mother and father,
    I guess even as blue collar as the Conner’s were… I wanted to be one. Because no matter
    what shit went down, you were always a family.

    It’s always good seeing you. Even at my local growers school, Oaksterdam University. Or at the authorize in the mission dist of SF. Or, in North Beach, doing your thang on my birthday.ove you Lady! Hail Roseanne!

  7. Michael Khalsa says:

    Congratulations Roseanne on your 25th anniversary of your sitcom going to air. I hope that you are very proud of yourself for what you accomplished. It is not doing anything of real accomplishment in this world. For any flak you have received, are receiving, will receive perhaps they should ask themselves what your crime was? You made a comedy show for 9 years which made people laugh all over the world. Shame on you. On a personal note I wanna say thankyou. There are passages if your first book which made me cry. Thank you for the many laughs, for the fierce intelligence. For your talk show which made me laugh my ass off. For raising political consciousness. But mostly I wanna say thank you for being one of the people. You won Roseanne. God would not let you take any more burdens than you can bear. Lastly and my favourite thing I have seen you do is when callers would call into your talk show and tell you they loved you. You would always say it back believably. No small feat. Kudos to you beautiful Roseanne. Please be happy. You deserve to be.

  8. I’m watching the “Roseanne-iversay” on WeTV right now! :-D

  9. Dear Roseanne: When I watched you in the nineties, I watched you for the fun and the true-to-life scenarios you played out. Recently, I began watching your show episode-by-episode and season-by -season. I hate to admit it, but alot of your shows made me cry because everything you portrayed was so true about us working-class families.
    My dad worked at the steel mill in Indiana, and he worked his hardest to make sure we had what we needed. We didn’t always get what we wanted that was for sure. Well, with six kids, that was pretty near impossible on his wages.
    I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for having the guts to show America and the world what real families have to go through every day: lights and water turned off because you can’t pay the bills, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, etc. And you did it all looking just like me! YOU ARE MY HERO!! God bless you and your family!

  10. Hi Roseanne,
    I wanted to say happy 25th anniversary to your show and thank you creating the first family on TV that made my family look normal. I was 12 when the show 1st aired and everything about it made my crazy life feel normal, especially your Halloween (my birthday) episodes. To this day I watch all the marathon episodes and still bust out laughing whenever any of the scenes remind me of my old messy living room and my mom shouting up the stairs at us after a hard days work. Just like my mom, I thank you for helping to shape me into the hardworking, loud mouth, opinionated bitch I’m proud to be today!!! I always say “Bitch should be a badge you get to earn in Girl Scouts.”
    Thanks again!
    -Kara

  11. Hi Rosanne,
    Here is the link from todays show at Earth Angels Radio where I talked about you, Angelfire Network at Facebook and my multiple personality disorder dx… this is HARD to find at their web site so here you go… I really cannot stand listening to myself on the air so I usually never go back into the archives and listen… you don’t need to post this unless you want to…
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/earthangelsradio/2013/10/17/mind-shifters-radio-with-the-forgiveness-dr-michael-ryce
    Thanks!
    dondavid-

  12. Hi there!
    I forgot to mention something VERY important regarding this post Roseanne made today. Some years ago ( maybe the Rosanne Show’s 4th season), I was very suicidal. The laughter Rosanne brought into my home with her show, I feel, saved my life! For this I am ever grateful to her and my love for her shall NEVER die!
    I did send a letter to her manager at the Rosanne Show at the time and was blessed with a very sweet reply along with a signed photograph of her (and Tom) lol..It is framed and hanging in my home to this day…
    Thank you Rosanne on SO many levels!
    dondavid-

  13. I loved the show growing up and continue to watch it today with a new set of eyes! As a kid I thought life was easy and everything I needed or wanted was provided. As a stuggling mother of three I now realate with so many topics of the show! I have even sat back and said “this is just like my life” so many times! But through it all Roseanne always found a way to survive and keep her family strong! I keep that in mind when i feel like life is winning. I know it was only a show but the messages ring true! So now I thank you Roseanne, for being real!!

  14. David Thompson says:

    Well said Roseanne!, I have nothing but huge love and respect for you !

  15. check the archives from todays Worldwide broadcast from Italy at http://www.whyagain.org where I plugged Rosanneworld.com
    dondavid

  16. I watched several episodes today on WE Television. I watched it back in the day as well, and the humor remains fresh. Now that I’m a mother, I find I identify with Roseanne Conner now more than ever.

  17. Gary Winstead says:

    Sure glad I found your Blog.

  18. What you’ve written is absolutely true! I wrote you an email a few years back here at Roseanneworld and told you how your show strengthened me. It made me realize that though my abusive husband was telling me I had to stay because no one else would ever want a fat ugly woman like me as a wife or employee it wasn’t true. I could get out of the mess and have a life free of abuse no matter what I looked like and I DID IT! I got free thank you for giving me the strength and courage to know I was worth something!

  19. Lyzah Carpenter says:

    Thank you Roseanne from the bottom of my heart to the top of my TV screen.. Your show proved that women can be strong and take action! Dan losing his job and double mortgages You guys always made it through and was able to laugh and be happy.. The TRUE American Dream .. Again Thank You