The “Roseanne” reboot is transgressive not because it is a pro-Trump show — it isn’t — but because it’s devoid of the ham-fisted agenda politics of so many other shows. Instead, Roseanne does what she’s always done, depicting the lived experience of a big chunk of middle-America: families that disagree on politics and culture but work it out. That resonates with many people because it reflects their own lives. They are concerned primarily with keeping their families together, making ends meet and improving their children’s prospects. Politics only occasionally interjects.
Roseanne’s fictional family, the Conners, lives on the ragged edge economically. They are at the center of a cultural storm that has wreaked havoc on middle- and lower-income Americans, and yet they stick together. These are people who have paid the price for decades of bad policy and worse ideas pushed on them from a political and cultural elite with whom they have increasingly little in common.
The show engages people based on who they are, not how they vote. That’s refreshing and necessary in this hyperpolitical moment, and it demonstrates a rare and welcome humanity.