In real life, Roseanne voted for Donald Trump. That’s a fact. She told Jimmy Kimmel that she felt abandoned by the Democrats. She also told Kimmel to lay off criticizing Trump or they ran the risk of Vice President Mike Pence being put in charge of the U.S. and, “Nobody wants that!” I didn’t expect much from the reboot of her show. “Just another program riding the revival bandwagon”, I thought. I try to watch a little bit of everything for my work, so we checked it out. And it was good. The reason it’s good is because it’s complex, just like life. Roseanne’s liberally-minded sister Jackie provokes uncomfortable conversations about politics. Jackie later admits she didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but she also didn’t vote for Trump.
When Dan Conner (John Goodman) shows a growing discomfort over his grandson’s choice of feminine clothing, the audience thinks, uh-oh, here we go. A right-wing Trump voter is about to go all Handmaid’s Tale on a child’s desire to express himself. But he doesn’t. Grandpa is genuinely worried for the boy’s safety. He doesn’t want to crush the child’s self-expression; he just doesn’t want him to get bullied for it.
I can’t understand why someone would vote for Donald Trump. But I want to. Because casting that vote is only part of what a person is about. I bristle when Will and Grace use Trump voters as verbal punching bags in their rebooted show. You don’t have to be all things to all people, but the joke’s getting a bit thin, especially when Trump himself deserves the hard knocks. The more Democrats dig in and treat Trumpians like idiots (which is of course what Trumpites are doing to Democrats) the greater the chasm. It’s what he wants. For goodness sake, the President is still talking about his election victory. He wants to divide people.
When Trump called Roseanne to congratulate her on the biggest ratings for a network show in six years, I’m betting he hadn’t even watched it. It’s not a pro-Trump show – at least not yet. It’s a show about a mix of perspectives in one family and how they all try to get along. They don’t see eye to eye but they’re trying and the way I see it, we need to try too. Another episode airs tonight on CTV.