With this year's passover the Domestic Goddess returned and she came with a thunder. Roseanne was always one of the more controversial shows on television. She was loud. She was direct. She was divisive.
The divide between those who loved or hated her ran between the social classes. The working class loved her. The upper-middle class and the classes above hated her. She did not summon her children with a whisper over a fancy gadget. She called them. Called. Them. She was very much like most working class people were and the hate for the show was mostly based on the disdain for the antics of the poor themselves.
The stories were brilliantly written with an emphasis on witty, not on sentimental. I am such a die-hard fan that I go as far as to say that the show was more intellectual than most contemporary art, much above the trite garbage that fills most museums.
I remember a double episode in which show sister Jacky tried to cover up the domestic violence in her marriage, the bloody streams on her back. She showed the typical female masochist attitude that can skew court decisions in favor of an abuser. When the character Dan saw the situation he dealt justice himself and beat up Jacky's husband. He got into jail for a short time until the bail out was paid. The viewer was confronted with a moral dilemma and this was the way the show dealt with many hot topics of the day. It did not gun for easy answers. There was real depth.
A staunch liberal at the time Roseanne and her hand-picked writers crammed a lot of left-wing talking points into a plot. But one important thing that set her show apart from the competition was its fairness. Roseanne was a business owner, she preached family values and in the final episode she declared her love for G-d.
While Bill Cosby played it save and shallow, Roseanne let the barbs fly. She got away with it because they flew in all directions - fairly! The major theme of the show was that different views and conflicts could openly be addressed and resolved through conversation. It didn't come across as tawdry. It was very effective. Unlike the hectoring Cosby parents, the Connors knew how to make up with peers, how to kiss and to cuddle. They were a family that, yes, was dysfunctional (the run-away daughter returned home after some time), but that was also less dysfunctional than the glib alternative TV families of the time.
Hacks like Ben Shapiro fear the left-wing talking points in the new episodes to be carried to conservative America. Other conservatives call for revenge television to make up for the wounds inflicted by the liberal media in the last decade. But America does not want something like a conservative Jimmy Kimmel or a Nancy Pelosi insulting James Oliver. Most conservatives are better than liberals and just want a fair hearing. The revival of Roseanne gives the 'forgotton', actually disdained, a hearing. It is a huge cultural turning point.
Unfortunately, I don't expect it to air in Germany. The hatred is too strong.