Roseanne is a television rarity, being a
series about a working class family which is centred around a
matriarchal figure. It became an instantaneous hit when it
premiered in October of 1988. The show emerged at the end of
a television decade which had mainly focused on wealth and
consumption. Roseanne can be seen as a reaction to the dominant
1980s domestic situation comedy, The Cosby Show. Those two shows
are polar opposites; The Cosby Show being a loving, prosperous
family with a strong father figure whereas Roseanne is discordant,
working class and mother-centred.
Roseanne offers a realistic view of the problems and everyday life
of an average American family. Of race, class, sex, age, family and
gender, Roseanne definitely addresses the subject of class distinction
in American suburbia most often and with the most depth. The show
manages to illustrate the gap between the ideal and the real.