happy friday! I have a long weekend of funding proposals and dissertation proposals ahead of me (anyone ever had to draw a diagram of their own theoretical framework? gawd). But in between all that I shall be watching episodes of Roseanne. Why? BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING. And I had completely forgotten. I was very tiny when the first seasons of the show aired, but reading this article by Roseanne Barr in NY Mag about the lack of change in the TV world convinced me that I had to revisit it. Read the article, it is brilliant! And then watch the first episode below!
There is nothing on TV like this right now. The show is fiercely feminist and deals with working class issues. I just can’t think of anything equivalent that exists at the moment, which is a crying shame.
Here are some excerpts. She is so hardcore.
To survive the truly hostile environment on set, I started to pray nonstop to my God, as working-class women often do, and to listen nonstop to Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power.” I read The Art of War and kept the idea “He that cares the most, wins” upmost in my mind. I knew I cared the most, since I had the most to lose. I made a chart of names and hung them on my dressing-room door; it listed every person who worked on the show, and I put a check next to those I intended to fire when Roseanne became No. 1, which I knew it would.
When the show went to No. 1 in December 1988, ABC sent a chocolate “1” to congratulate me. Guess they figured that would keep the fat lady happy—or maybe they thought I hadn’t heard (along with the world) that male stars with No. 1 shows were given Bentleys and Porsches. So me and George Clooney [who played Roseanne Conner’s boss for the first season] took my chocolate prize outside, where I snapped a picture of him hitting it with a baseball bat. I sent that to ABC.
Did you get that? She read The Art of War!