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Memories of great TV reflected in Roseanne revival
Television has always reflected the worst of our society, but in recent years it has gotten even worse especially int he area of politics. But the revival of a former TV sitcom, Roseanne, has returned us to the glory days of TV when comedy and humor in the 1970s and 1980s was driven by talent rather than by who you hated in national politics. Published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group April 5, 2018
By Ray Hanania
They used to say TV – the “boob tube” – would corrupt our little minds. These days, it has never been truer as partisan, poisoned politics spreads like a cancer into everything.
TV is a warzone of partisan hate, these days, so I cheer when something rises that challenges the one-directional river of hate that plagues most TV news, entertainment and talk. I am talking about the excessive and nauseating anti-Trump hate on TV. It’s really disgusting.
I’ve avoided watching the mainstream news shows because I don’t need to be reminded about how much they hate President Donald Trump. The mainstream news media really sucks.
With only a few exceptions, many of today’s TV sitcoms are cheap knock-offs of rehashed humor. I love the spin-off of the hit comedy series “King of Queens,” called “Kevin Can Wait.” Partnering Kevin James with Leah Remini makes the second season very entertaining.
I’ve run from commercial “free” TV – which isn’t free from hate or commercials – and turn instead to pay channels like HBO, Netflix, Hulu and even Amazon Prime where the biggest problem is internet consistency. You can find both sides of the political spectrum there.
But somehow, someone in mainstream TV figured out what the public needs and revived the 1980’s series “Roseanne,” a sitcom about a lower middle-class family (living in a fictional home based on Elgin, Illinois) that just about does everything right.
It stars Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, parents of a dysfunctional brood that probably reflects real American life better than other TV shows.
The humor is phenomenal, and that’s no wonder because Whitney Cummings, an American comedian with a true sense of humor that cuts deep into the American psyche, is the executive producer.
Cummings was born in the early 1980s, and that is ironic because much of the Roseanne revival reflects a lot of the 1970s and 1980s TV flavor that was killed off by an entertainment media which followed the flute of a dying mainstream news media over the cliff like lemmings. Or, I could have written today’s sitcom producers have been drinking the anti-Trump cool aid like Jim Jones worshipers in Guyana.
I love TV from the 1970s and 1980s. Remember some of the hits that filled our TV screens?
Several great programs began in the 1970s and died in the 1980s, replaced by other great shows. They included “The Jeffersons,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Three’s Company,” “The Love Boat,” “Happy Days,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Laverne & Shirley,” and “Taxi.” The Korean War series “M*A*S*H” came to an end in the 1980s.
The 1980s continued with great shows like “Married with Children,” “Who’s the Boss,” “Cagney & Lacey,” “Night Court,” “Dynasty,” “The Facts of Life,” “Murphy Brown,” “Newhart,” followed by “Cheers,” “Miami Vice,” “Family Ties,” “Magnum P.I.,” “ALF,” “Nightrider,” “Hill Street Blues” and the world’s best comedy sitcom, “The Golden Girls” which ran from 1985 until 1992.
This isn’t the entire list of great shows, just a few I remember that I once enjoyed.
My mother loved “The Golden Girls,” and so did I. It had political humor, but the humor had respectful limits, boundaries allowing for discussion unlike the cleverly disguised hatred that spews from George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Joe Scarborough, Jake Tapper, or the garbage spread on hate sites like Huffington Post and so many more.
Born in the late 1980s, Roseanne continued for nine seasons thru 1996, one of the last great series on mainstream TV, which has become so rotten.
Every Tuesday at 7 pm, I get to do what I’ve been doing for years, point the TV remote and happily flip past all the garbage to one show, ABC.
Don’t call my cell, message me on Facebook, SnapChat, WhatsApp, or Facetime, or Tweet to me when the Conner family is reigning royal.
Let me enjoy the glorious past!
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Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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