You could argue there are bigger TV stars from Utah than Roseanne Barr – but you’d be wrong.
Sure, the Osmonds were big, but their fame was not primarily from TV. And their TV shows were neither as popular nor as influential as “Roseanne.”
The only Utahn who can even compete with Barr is Anthony Geary, who spent decades as Luke on “General Hospital.” But daytime doesn’t have prime time’s impact.
Barr’s sitcom went off the beaten track and gave us a working-class family. Money was tight; Roseanne and Dan (John Goodman) struggled; and their kids (Lecy Goranson, Sara Gilbert and Michael Fishman) were challenging.
“Roseanne” was an immediate sensation in 1988, rising to No. 1 in the ratings in Season 2.
It returns Tuesday (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) with the first two of nine new episodes. It’s still the same working-class family; it’s still (most of) the same cast (along with a new generation) and it’s still good.
Yes, it’s yet another revival. But that’s missing the point.
Who cares if it’s a revival if it’s good? And, having seen the first three new episodes, I’m pleasantly surprised and optimistic.
Just be prepared. Like the real Barr, the sitcom character Roseanne is a big supporter of Donald Trump.
But Roseanne has long since come to terms with growing up in Salt Lake City. Hey, she hasn’t called members of the LDS Church here the “Nazi Amish” in years.
“Splitting Up Together” (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) • Hey, kids, Mom and Dad are getting a divorce! But they’re going to continue to share parenting you and share the house!
(The “off-duty” parent lives in the garage apartment.)
It’s supposed to be hilarious. It’s not.
In real life, I haven’t seen any funny divorces. And this show somehow glosses over any trauma – even upset – this would cause for Lena (Jenna Fischer) and Martin’s (Oliver Hudson) three children.
We already know where this is going. Lena and Martin clearly still love each other. But the will-they-or-won’t-they-get-back-together thing gets old immediately.
“Alex, Inc.” (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) • The premise of this sitcom sounds like it’s trying too hard. Alex (Zach Braff, “Scrubs”) quits his job and starts his own podcast company — despite the misgivings of his wife, Rooni (Tiya Sircar, “The Good Place”). They have two kids to support, after all.
(It’s based on Alex Blumberg’s podcast “StartUp.”)
But, as it turns out, this is an amusing show with laugh-out-loud moments. Braff is still as charmingly goofy as ever. He could carry the show by himself, but he doesn’t have to – Sircar, Michael Imperioli (as Alex’s ne’er-do-well cousin), Hillary Anne Matthews (as Alex’s smitten assistant) and Elisha Henig and Audyssie James (as the kids) are all very good.
Here’s hoping this one sticks around for a while.