I love sitcoms but I don't have a great sense of their history. These are my thoughts while I work through a few classic sitcoms from the '70s to the present.
Friday, 9 March 2012
Roseanne revisits straw antagonists
I know the main pull for Roseanne was Roseanne's irreverent attitude, and I imagine it was quite a rare thing when the show was on the air, but I think my least favourite part of the show is whenever Roseanne chews out some minor character on behalf of the audience. So far this season, I've been impressed by how little the show has been using straw antagonists, which made me a bit disheartened when I realized "Chicken Hearts" would be using that character type again. But in another improvement from season 1, the show used this plot a bit more deftly. Brian, Roseanne's boss, was a little more developed compared to previous straw antagonists, having some measure of a personality instead of existing only to be unsympathetic. The show even briefly gets into his motivations for his actions, which deepens him just a little. And though at first the show seemed to be building to some big comeuppance for Brian, Roseanne ended up losing in the end. She got the final sassy word, complete with overly enthusiastic applause from the audience, but she's worse off than she was when the episode started. This episode wasn't as good as the season's best, but I'm glad the show's still trying to better itself from season 1. And though it could be seen as unnecessary, I like that the show is trying to improve everything it's doing, even the stuff that didn't work before. As much as I'd love a season of 24 "No Talking"s, this approach certainly makes things more interesting.