Days before last week’s premiere of “The Conners”—the reworked sitcom ABC developed after firing Roseanne Barr—The Daily Mail reported that two senior executives shared concerns over the network’s rash decision to dump the show’s matriarch. According to one insider, axing the creator and star of “Roseanne” due to the comedian’s race-singed tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett was a knee-jerk reaction by the show’s executives, Ben Sherwood and Channing Dungery.
While the team at ABC held their breaths to see how Tuesday’s launch would fare sans Roseanne, one fan had an idea: James Woods and Barr team up for “a crazy sitcom together.” Retweeting the suggestion, Woods said he’d “consider doing that,” and raked up almost 50,000 hearts from his nearly two million conservative-leaning fans.
While it does not appear that Barr commented on that proposal, she seemed to have responded to ABC’s decision to kill her off via an opioid overdose in the first episode of “The Conners.”
Barr is correct: She isn’t dead. She just faked her death after learning that her husband was having an affair with her sister. At least, that’s the backstory for the re-reboot of “Roseanne” America needs.
The re-reboot would open with Barr exiting a Metra train at Union Station in Chicago. Outside the station, while fumbling with her bags, Barr knocks out a MAGA hat, catching the eye of some nearby liberal protestors screaming about white privilege. A comedic confrontation ensures, but soon escalates, until Woods, who is by chance leaving the station just then, intervenes and whisks Roseanne away.
Now, it is likely ABC retains the rights to the name “Roseanne,” so Barr will have to transition quickly to Rosy, but what could be better than a new name to represent her new start in life! The contrast between Barr’s demeanor and “Rosy” will also be good for some laughs when, with her perfect comedic timing, Barr first spits it out to Woods during introductions, as he pulls her away from the m-word.
Over the rest of the pilot episode, Rosy would confide in Woods’ character that after 40 years of marriage, she discovered her husband had been having a long-time affair with her sister. Shocked, Rosy grabbed a few things and fled. Then the star decided a little revenge was needed, so she faked her own death. (The trolling with this story line might provide Barr the real-life equivalent.)
Further dialogue would include Rosy assuming Woods’ character is some silver-spooned S.O.B., only to discover he was raised by a poor single mom who gave birth to him at 15, and that he accumulated his wealth by working his way through college then investing in real estate. The episode ends with Woods offering Rosy a job as the manager of one of his apartment buildings on the south side of Chicago.
Plot lines from there prove abundant, with Rosy living in the apartment complex and interacting with the diverse set of tenants. The stories could be fresh, edgy, and real, while presenting conservatives authentically. Playing Woods off Rosy would also allow for “debates” on topics that divide the right, or separate social conservatives from pocket-book conservatives and populists. Scripts could engage the left honestly, as well.
For instance, the second episode could feature Rosy forced to obtain fake documents to work and survive in the city, after having complained of illegal aliens. When she justifies her actions as born of desperation, a tenant who fled from gang violence in Central America could answer with a smile.
Then there’s abortion. The pro-choice Barr could overhear a fight between two young tenants when the boyfriend yells an ultimatum to his live-in-girlfriend: “Abort the baby or get out.” But not on Rosy’s watch! After Rosy intervenes and sends the boy packing, she’s lost on what to do for the girl next.
When the pro-life Woods’ character suggests taking the young woman to a pregnancy resource center, Rosy erupts in a rant. Yet she eventually relents and goes with the girl. There, Rosy discovers the propaganda pushed by abortion activists isn’t true.
There’s much more to this storyline—another eight months—and many other themes are readily available: gun violence in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, gangs, political corruption, the targeting of police, and the opioid crisis. The storylines need not all be high-profile ones. By re-rebooting “Roseanne” in the Windy City, Rosy could address the same realistic struggles showcased in the ‘80s, but from the urban perspective. Much has changed, though, and cyber-bullying, online shopping—and porn—and hardships the rise of Uber has brought to Chicago cabbies all are ripe for the small screen.
While Barr’s schtick would need to survive without her homegrown brood, the tenants and their families would provide the ideal stand-ins for her matronly advice. Woods would be available to dish out the male perspective. That is, if Barr and Woods are ready to take on a re-reboot. If they are, America is.