I’m excited for the revival of television sitcom Roseanne. I doubt I will watch it live, strictly because my television watching habits have dramatically changed, but that doesn’t diminish my curiosity and hope that it is a success.
I visited my folks one weekend and shared my excitement with them. They had just moved, a big change in their retired life, but that move put them close enough to me that I can visit often.
Even though these are the people who raised me, I left their home when I was 18. I’m now old enough that I don’t remember the things they remember and we are all old enough that it doesn’t matter why we don’t have the same memories. Visiting them on a regular basis is, at times, a getting-to-know scenario.
All of that is the groundwork for my surprise when my mother stated that she didn’t like the Roseanne show. I knew my dad wouldn’t have watched, he had a strange disdain for 30 minute shows when I was growing up, but my mother – she loved them. She said something along the lines of her being loud and obnoxious, two of the reasons I did like her, and I couldn’t argue that she did like it because, well, I couldn’t remember. But I was surprised.
On my weekend visit when the folks were still waiting for their moving truck to arrive we huddled around a cardboard box with a television and hi-tech indoor antenna hoping to find stations in order to pass time. One of the channels we picked up was airing reruns of Roseanne so we watched a couple and all of us laughed.
I partly felt like a victor because of the laughter. However, I couldn’t help wonder why there was a disconnect – why did I read both of Roseanne’s autobiographies in college, why did I quote Roseanne on my MySpace page, why did I seek out shows with Roseanne after the series ended? It wasn’t because of the people who raised me, it isn’t because Roseanne and I have similar political beliefs, could it be simply because she made me laugh? I decided to investigate.