Apr 5, 2018

The deplorable media misunderstandings of the Roseanne reboot

The political backlash to Roseanne, on screen and off, is playing into the hands of the network and ignoring all that we know about media.

Lauren Rosewarne

Academic and author

Roseanne reboot

For all the snobbish reasons that many of us mock Hollywood rehashes -- the cash grab, the dearth of ideas, the cynical exploitation of nostalgia -- I was resistant to the Roseanne reboot. Until I watched it. Until I watched it and loved it and felt oddly tugged at seeing Dan and Roseanne move into older age.

In one of the first scenes, patriarch Dan returns home from the drugstore. “Our insurance don’t cover what it used to,” he tells his wife, “so I got half the drugs for twice the price.” Across their kitchen table Dan trades some of his statins for Roseanne’s anti-inflammatories.

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5 thoughts on “The deplorable media misunderstandings of the Roseanne reboot

  1. Jim Egan

    Looook, we used to watch ‘Till Death Us Do Part’ where Alf expressed the best attitudes of the Tory working class, and the bolshy layabout skouse git (Cherie Blair’s dad) served a useful role as exemplar of the sick man of 60’s and 70’s Europe.

    Would any mainstream broadcaster be game enough to broadcast TDUDP today?

    1. Arky

      The audience wasn’t meant to agree with Alf Garnett or Archie Bunker (although anecdotally, plenty of people DID watch Till Death Do Us Part or All In The Family to agree with the things which were being satirised).

      I reckon a show like that could still get a run, but perhaps the satire would be made even more obvious to reduce the risk of a horrifying incident like Pauline Hanson endorsing it as her favourite show without a shred of irony.

      1. Jim Egan

        I would have my doubts. The febrile Left would probably complain to the Human Rights Commission on some sort of 18C grounds (I know there is an exemption for the yarts etc) and the media probably would not be game enough to withstand such a quasi judicial complaint process. Remember that the process is the punishment.

        This is a product of craven identity politics and its cultural expression; the soft Left want to stifle and censor displays of Alf Garnet type bigotry which earlier generations were grown up enough to laugh at, be embarrassed by, and in the process risk being educated not to follow.

  2. Louise

    I’ve really thought about the influence or lack thereof of the media on public opinion a lot, and just don’t get your argument. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, or maybe I’m dim, but this argument seems self-contradictory. Yes, those celebs you mentioned may have been ‘the wind beneath Hillary’s wings’ – but this wind was blustered through the media. Whether the stories told are opinion-based, fact-based, or fictional narratives, we learn from, are moved by, and motivated to act – to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the person – by what we read, watch, etc. That is simply communication having an effect, and it does . After all, what’s the point of ”communication’ if that is not the case? We refer to media ‘consumption’. We consume ideas. They nourish us. Perhaps it’s true that we are what we eat.

  3. Bob the builder

    Roseanne was an American bogan in the original incarnation and still is. I have no interest in watching the show, nor did I then, but what are these thought police doing worrying about it.
    I would have thought a more productive area of worry about our mental freedoms would be threats to net neutrality, mass US spying at a population level, corporate tracking of our online habits and exploitation of them for their gain, amongst many others.
    Some bogan who likes Trump hardly rates a comparison.

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