The Roseanne reboot/revival/comeback has had its hour long, two episode premiere and it feels a lot like going home. By that, we mean full of nostalgia, little uncomfortable while you tell the extended family hello (the first episode was cringey in its staged dialogue and pauses), and then a comforting warmth (like episode two’s hugs from grandma).
If you missed the premiere or don’t have access to ABC, the episodes are available on HULU!
We have to ding the first episode for the way the actors were cognizant about dropping their one-liners and pausing for reactions, but that also happened in the original run and was less noticeable by episode two. Besides that and the need to fill the episode with explanations to get us up to speed, the premiere was snappy and an enjoyable hour. All of the returning cast still felt connected and we live for those Becky/Darlene arguments, but we were also touched by Darlene crying and opening up to her mom in a vulnerable moment. The real feels hit us in the garage scene where Dan finds Roseanne’s book that is implied to be either the original final season, her novel retelling of their lives, or a mixture of both with the altered ending.
Like any family gathering, the premiere felt a little crowded trying to squeeze in so many people and filling us in on lost time, but we’d like to discuss the new faces!
Emma Kenney is a great actress, we’ve seen her knock it out of the park more than miss the ball more times than not in every season of Shameless, so why does her character on Roseanne feel stale and stereotypical? We don’t have an actual answer, but we are hoping it was just uninspired writing for her character who hasn’t had her own true scenes yet.
Ames nailed it as Darlene’s son, Mark, with the second episode (featuring his choice of dress) being our favorite of the premiere and him even delivering our favourite, and least “staged for the revival” joke, when his character goes from naive pure child to reminding us of his mother’s more mischievous younger years: “[the bully] has a nut allergy, soi can take him out with a handful of trail mix.” We are still chuckling at that one, and believe it rivals his heart-to-heart with Roseanne on the couch, where they translated a social issue into an accessible sound clip that felt honest and realistic.
In coming weeks we hope to see a more honest dynamic with Becky and Adrianne, but it feels like we may not get what we want, as sources point to Becky only being in 3 of the 9 episodes.
What we may get to see more of is fuller interactions with DJ and his daughter, both of whom felt like background characters in the premiere. We will definitely get to meet his wife, Geena (played by. Xosha Roquemore of The Mindy Project fame), who is still serving overseas as of the premiere. Regardless of what is to come, we are glad to experience these characters again and we are here for the ride as long as ABC will keep it going, including the newly announced SECOND SEASON!