Roseanne Season 10 Premiere and Episode 2 Review

Tonight, after more than 20 years off the air, ABC's Roseanne returned to the air. The reboot has been highly anticipated, by longtime fans and new fans. I personally fall into the "new fans" camp, having only started watching the show recently. But I'm very excited for the show's return to television, and to see what it'll like after all this time away.

Twenty Years To Life:
The episode begins with Roseanne and Dan in bed, directly addressing the series' original end with Roseanne believing that Dan is dead. It is then revealed that Darlene and her kids have been living with Roseanne and Dan, which they aren't particularly pleased about. Later on, we find out that Roseanne and Jackie are feuding, over politics of all things. When Roseanne offers to drive Roseanne to work, she drops a bomb on her: Jackie's already offered to do so, and she's accepted. Roseanne's furious. Darlene expects that Jackie is the one keeping the feud alive, but then Jackie arrives in a nasty woman shirt and it's pretty clear that it's both of them.

Darlene tries to be the adult and tells them to work out their issues, but they just hurl insults at each other. Jackie's mention of a gun reminds Dan that he's misplaced their gun. When they're searching for it, they come across something Roseanne wrote, again referencing what used to be the series finale. That night, Jackie appears once again, this time with Russian dressing. Oh, these two are never getting over this. It's the family's first dinner together in forever. And... another political insult, this time from Roseanne. And then another political comment. Then, Becky appears, telling them that she's going to be a surrogate. Roseanne's fine with this until Becky tells her that she'll be using one of her eggs. Jackie tells her that she's here for her. Dan gets upset, but Roseanne actually agrees with Jackie (GASP!!!). Dan walks off to the garage, and Roseanne follows him. Eventually.

Dan tells Roseanne his concerns about Becky's surrogacy decision. Roseanne's not exactly a fan of the idea, but she realizes that they can't change Becky's mind. Back in the house, Becky and Darlene get in a fight over Darlene living at home, a fight that Roseanne overhears. Darlene tells her that she's only living at home to take care of her parents. Roseanne tells Darlene that she knows that she lost her job, and Darlene admits why she came home. They have a sweet moment together, and then Roseanne goes off to yell at Jackie. They get a heated argument, and it's clear that this is absolutely about politics, and not Becky. Jackie tells her she's better off without Roseanne. Then, they finally make up, and all seems to be right in the world once again. At the end of the episode, Becky meets up with the woman she'll be the surrogate for, and she wants to meet the other Conners. Uh-oh.

I really loved this episode, and it truly was a great way to welcome us back to the world of Roseanne The whole cast is still hilarious, and their chemistry is certainly still amazing. I love that the show's take on politics wasn't preachy, and showed both sides, and ridiculed both appropriately. Its approach to politics was much better than the Will & Grace premiere, which was far too polarizing. But more than all this, the show itself is still hilarious. The writing was great, and it really reminds me of classic Roseanne. This is a Roseanne reboot that all Roseanne fans should appreciate. It's very true to what the show was before.

Score: 9/10
Grade: A-

Dress to Impress:
Roseanne and Darlene are shocked to discover that Becky is cleaning, but it is soon discovered that she's only cleaning to impress Andrea, and she also wants the family to act less white trashy. They don't seem particularly pleased to oblige. Mark and Harris are starting their at their new schools, and Darlene is especially worried about Mark, because he's a little... different. He's wearing clothes that aren't usually worn by boys his age, and everyone's scared that he'll get bullied for it. Well, except for Jackie. Darlene wants him to act himself, but her parents really don't think it's a good idea. Roseanne volunteers to take Mark to school, but before that, she has a talk with him. She asks if he thinks he's a boy or a girl, and he responds that he's a boy, but that he just likes colors that "pop." Roseanne tells him to pick his fights, and says that they'll support him no matter what. At school, Roseanne gives a passionate talk to Mark's class, asking for them to make Mark feel comfortable.

Andrea arrives at the home to meet the Conners, and unfortunately for her, she gets to meet "Jacqueline" first. She's then introduced to Roseanne, who is a real charmer, as always. A few minutes later, Darlene comes home angry, with Mark. She was called to the principal's office, because  he brought a knife from school that he got from Dan. Darlene lays into Dan for this, and thinks that he only gave Mark the knife to make him more masculine. Dan doesn't exactly deny this.

The whole family is pretty upset now, for various reasons. Roseanne's mad at Becky because of her surrogacy, Darlene's mad at Dan for the knife, and Jackie is... well, she's Jackie. She's just kinda weird. Darlene goes to talk with Mark, who tells her that a kid insulted him and that nobody would play with him at school. Darlene tells him to hang in there, because eventually, they'll get over his weirdness. The next day, when Mark is going to school, he again vows to be himself, no matter what.

This episode was even better than the first one, and by this time, everyone's settled back into their roles. This episode was funnier than the first, and it had more heart, too. Roseanne's chat with Mark was very sweet, and Darlene's was even sweeter. This captured what I loved about the original perfectly: it could be crass, but at its core, it had a lot of heart. The message of the episode should resonate with all of us, because it's important: be yourself. That's an important message to teach, and it's certainly one that the Conners live by. Well, maybe not Becky.
Score: 9/10
Grade: A-

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