There is one trend that seems to be ruling the way TV and film projects are produced: nostalgia. The desire to return to a simpler time has seen plenty of reboots and long awaited sequels pop up in the past few years. One of the most notable TV revivals is ABC’s new season of Roseanne, which debuted to massive numbers when it finally returned to the small screen. Roseanne was promptly renewed for a second season, avoiding the bloodbath currently happening at every major network. While we’re guaranteed a Roseanne Season 2 (technically Season 11), there are going to be some changes next year. Namely, that Roseanne will be decidedly less political.
This news comes straight from the top, as ABC President Channing Dungey made the announcement while revealing plans for the network’s next season of programming. Looking to the show’s second season back on primetime, Dungey revealed that Roseanne will “away from politics and [be] more focused on family.” Because the Conners’ interpersonal dynamics were always at the heart of the show, it should be interesting to see how both the audience and cast reacts to this change in perspective.
Channing Dungey’s comments (which come to us from The Washington Post), as well as the upcoming change in Roseanne’s content, is no doubt in response to some of the controversy surrounding the revival. The title character is a staunch supporter of President Trump, much like the star herself. Political debate between Roseanne and Jackie was very much at the heart of the record breaking premiere episode, and some audiences took umbrage with this subject matter.
Politics did end up coming back up a few times during Roseanne‘s first episodes back on TV, although the jokes happened less frequently as the first season went on. Because the world is such a politically charged place, plenty of TV shows have been addressing the current climate. Using politics as fodder didn’t seem to hurt Roseanne, but it looks like we shouldn’t expect any more of those jokes when the show returns next season.
The new season of Roseanne definitely attempted to modernize with the times, while also staying true to the beloved sitcom’s heart. While politic jokes might have gotten the show in hot water, the other changes to the revival seemed welcome. Plots related to gender identity were introduced, surrogacy and infertility were tackled, and DJ’s daughter is a young girl of color. Roseanne has always managed to address complex themes through a working class lens, which will likely continue as the revival continues producing new episodes.