One tweet can ruin your life. Just ask Roseanne Barr, whose racist tweet attacking former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett led to ABC canceling her hit show “Roseanne.”
Part of the reason why there was so much hype ahead of the reboot was because it was revealed that Roseanne’s character, like herself in real life, was a Trump supporter. After three years of constant Trump-bashing from Hollywood, the people who voted for the current president would no longer be aliened or marginalized on TV. They’d finally have some representation. That obviously was a factor in the over 27 million people that tuned into the premiere, proving there is a huge market for a pro-Trump sitcom.
Roseanne almost became the talk of Hollywood because of her outspoken support of Trump. But she was never a conservative. It was only six years ago that she ran for president in the Green Party, a party that is becoming more and more indistinguishable with the modern Democratic platform. Her economic views align more with Bernie Sanders than they do with Trump. Yet, all was forgiven by Trump voters simply because she represented them on TV. And now, folks like CNN’s Don Lemon are tying Roseanne to Trump, accusing the two of them of “trafficking in racism.”
Well, Roseanne is suddenly out of the picture, and now there’s a void of pro-Trump representation. But maybe not for long.
When ABC cancelled its decently-rated sitcom “Last Man Standing,” many questioned whether the decision was politically motivated, since its star Tim Allen was a Republican and his character was a conservative. The network vehemently denied this. For months, the show struggled to find a new home, but shortly after the success of the Roseanne reboot, “Last Man Standing” was picked up by FOX.
If you’ve never watched, the show followed Allen’s character Mike Baxter, a man’s man who is the patriarch of a family dominated by women. The show was never the greatest sitcom, but it was consistently entertaining. But the show was at its best when it got political.
“Last Man Standing” occasionally weighed in on highly-debated topics like guns, marijuana legalization, and various parenting philosophies. During the 2012 election, there was actually a right-leaning commentary with numerous jabs at President Obama and there were a few jokes made at the expense of Hillary Clinton later on. The show constantly mocked liberals, particularly Mike Baxter’s son-in-law. However, the final season rarely got political, aside from Baxter dressing up as Trump for Halloween.
It’s worth noting that Tim Allen never officially boarded the Trump Train (he supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich during the primaries) although he did attend Trump’s inauguration. And while his character urged his daughters to vote for Mitt Romney in an election-themed episode in 2012, he refrained from expressing support for Trump in 2016.
However, if Allen wants “Roseanne”-level ratings, he’ll have to unleash his inner Trump.
Because “Roseanne” is out of the picture, “Last Man Standing” is truly the last man standing among conservative-leaning sitcoms. Just look at the other politically-charged revivals. “Will & Grace” has taken a hard anti-Trump stance since its return. The premise of the “Murphy Brown” reboot it seems is not sympathetic to Trump supporters, as her liberal cable news show is directly competing with her son’s conservative news show. The only thing separating Tim Allen’s show from the rest of the pack is its firm conservative stance.
“Roseanne” made a big splash with its premiere, but the rest of the season was apolitically tame. “Last Man Standing” should do the opposite. Not only should it address politics; it should embrace it. Tim Allen has a golden opportunity to leap off of the success of “Roseanne” by taking on current events in the age of Trump in a way that no other show has. Now given a second chance, “Last Man Standing” could become the “All In The Family” of our generation. All that Tim Allen has to do … is stay off Twitter.