Roseanne Barr stars as Roseanne Conner in the TV series Roseanne.
Roseanne Barr stars as Roseanne Conner in the TV series Roseanne. Robert Trachtenberg

Why Roseanne's returning to our screens

APART from a few guest spots on various shows over the years, Roseanne Barr hasn't been on our screens since her popular '90s sitcom Roseanne went off the air in 1997.

So why now, 20 years on in the age of Trump, has Barr (who also produces the show) and the rest of the original cast reunited for a new season?

Barr says it's the perfect time for the Conners, a working-class family from Illinois, to be introduced to a new generation and to comment on a new climate of American politics.

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr in a scene from the TV series Roseanne.
John Goodman and Roseanne Barr in a scene from the TV series Roseanne. Adam Rose

"I asked myself if I really wanted to do it and if I had anything to say, more than I already said, and I realised that I did have a lot more to say so that was kind of exciting to think of the things and work with a group of writers to make them happen and say something about the country we live in in these times," she says.

"I think the voice of working people is absent from television and I think we always had that and we have it again and there's nothing on television like it. It reminds me a lot of when we first started there was nothing on television like our show and it's still that way. So I felt there was a slot for us to come back."

The comedy series centres on parents Roseanne and Dan (Barr and John Goodman) and their children Becky, Darlene and D.J.

Now there's a new generation of grandchildren, with Darlene (Sara Gilbert) moving back under her parents' roof after losing her job.  Dan particularly struggles with his grandson Mark's gender-fluid dress sense. 

Meanwhlie, Roseanne and her sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), who's left the police force and is now a life coach, clash over politics and Becky has decided the only way she can afford a down payment on a house is to become a surrogate.

Ames McNamara, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Emma Kenne, Jayden Rey, Roseanne Barr, Michael Fishman, John Goodman, Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke star in the reboot of Roseanne.
Ames McNamara, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Emma Kenne, Jayden Rey, Roseanne Barr, Michael Fishman, John Goodman, Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke star in the reboot of Roseanne. Robert Trachtenberg

"We don't have any fear of being politically correct and I think it's a good time for that," Barr says.

"People being angry at each other and not understanding each other, thinking the other one make a horrible mistake. All those things I have that in my own family and I everybody I know has in theirs."

Even with some updates and new additions to the cast, Barr says this is the classic Roseanne - complete with that ugly plaid couch - that fans know and love.  

"Always for me it's the jokes and we have some really good jokes and I think people are going to like them, it's very funny and it's very deep," she says. "Those two things I think people will like like they used to like."

The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki also returns in the new season for a cameo as Darlene's ex David.

Roseanne premieres on Monday at 9pm on Channel 10.



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