Critics are getting their first look at the revival season of Roseanne, and the reviews so far have been cautiously positive.
Roseanne season 10 premieres with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m., but critics have gotten an early look. A review by USA Today calls the reboot "exactly what you'd expect, for better or worse," noting that the original series "broke ground," which the revival fails to do.
A factor all three reviewers have noted is the decidedly overt political theme of the new episodes. While Roseanne has always had a down to earth, voice-of-the-people perspective, the comeback reportedly focuses heavily on Barr's personal support for President Donald Trump.
Michael Ausiello, writing for TV Line, particularly notes that the "crux" of the premiere hinges on the eponymous Roseanne and her continued support for President Trump, even more than a year into his term. He argues that the Roseanne Conner fans believe she simply wouldn't have voted for President Trump, based on her track record of opposing racism and bigotry in a way that doesn't align with the president's various statements over the years.
Ausiello also feels that the contrived conflict between Roseanne and her liberal sister, Jackie, who appears in many sneak peeks wearing a pink hat made famous in the Women's March, doesn't ring true.
A new feature that is sure to be a point of controversy is Darlene's son, Mark, who prefers to wear feminine clothes. Kelly Lawler, writing for USA Today, noted that it felt like an attempt to reverse the Darlene dynamic from the original series, trading a tom boy for a gender-fluid young man. Roseanne and Dan Conner are reportedly confused by this, but fiercely protective, with Roseanne going so far as to storm into the school to tell off bullies. However, Ausiello writes that this feels undercut by her continued support for the president.
All the critics agree that Roseanne has something for everyone, and something for everyone to complain about as well. They unanimously reach the verdict that the reboot wasn't as vitally necessary to the national discourse as the network advertised it to be, but it is a fun trip into a familiar story.