Something New

I have learned a lot in this Criticism class and have been introduced to many new types of media that I hadn’t really given the time of day to before. However, the most shocking media I have come across is the different types of music. I thought I was pretty diverse as far as music goes. I listen to many types of music, including hip-hop, alternative, rock, pop, and some kinds of country. I found out quickly that India rock and rock & roll before about the late 1970’s isn’t my subject of expertise. Though I still don’t know much about them, the fact that I was introduced to these genres makes me want to find out more about them.

Since our show and tells in class, I have looked up many of the songs and bands that my classmates have shared. Honestly, I like a lot of them. For example I looked up the song “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap that Justin shared, and I love it. The harmony in this acapelo song is amazing; her voice is so flawless that at first I didn’t know if I was listening to instruments or voices. Another song I found, “Must Be Dreaming” is beautiful as well. It just further exemplifies how great her voice is. I’d heard of Imogen Heep’s original band the Frou Frou by chance, mainly from the song “It’s Good To Be In Love” that I came across randomly on the internet. Yet it was only until the show and tell that I realized that Imogen Heep had gone solo and had such a great voice. Now I listen to her music often.

There are many other different things that I have come into contact with in this class. I had never been a comic reader before, so that section of the class was enlightening. Honestly, I didn’t know that comics were still read. In addition, I hadn’t watched a lot of the movies that were discussed. This class has helped to broaden my knowledge. I will definitley be a more informed consumer and critic when experiencing the different types of genres.

Published in: on April 26, 2007 at 5:05 am  Comments (8)  

Old School Movies: “The Breakfast Club”

The teen movies that emerged from the 80’s were classics. Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science–they all contained some of the most famous actors of now and today and portrayed (though it may have been exaggerated) the life and problems of a teenager who’s splashing into adulthood. However, one of my favorite movies was The Breakfast Club. With it’s humor and endearing story, this movie advocated the idea that stereotypes can be broken if students are willing to take that chance to get to know someone they normally wouldn’t give the time of day to.

The Breakfast Club was released in the 1985 and has since become a cult classic. It centers around five high school students who are serving Saturday detention for their different offenses. Each student represents a high school stereotype: Their is the Spoil-Rich Princess, the Jock, the Rebel, the Nerd, and the Goth Basketcase. Initially they think they have nothing in common. Principal Vernon, played by none other than Paul Gleason, leaves them unattended in the library most of the day with an assignment to write a 1,000 word paper on who they are. Thanks mostly to the antics of “the rebel” John Bender the students interact more and more throughout the day until they finally realize that they are not so different after all. Their only fear is that once they leave that detention they will go back to their cliques and never speak again.

This movie stars some very famous actors of the time. Many of them were considered part of the 1980’s “Brat Pack” because they hit fame around the same time and tended to work in movies together. “The princess” Claire Standish was played by Molly Ringwald. She starred in other popular, wildly successful teen movies such as Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. Emilio Estevez played “the jock” Andrew Clark and also starred in movies like Young Guns and The Mighty Ducks series. Anthony Michael Hall, who played “the nerd” Brian Ralph Johnson, is associated with playing the nerd stereotype for the 80’s generation. He now stars in the popular Sci-Fi channel series The Dead Zone. “The Basketcase” Allison Reynolds was played by Ally Sheedy, who’s been in such movies as St. Elmo’s Fire. Judd Nelson stared as “the rebel” John Bender, and he was also in St. Elmo’s Fire. These actors helped to shape a generation of young actors and teen movies.

Despite the big names and the cult classic characteristics, this movie does have a theme, maybe even a moral. High School is all about cliques and stereotypes; people are outcasted and categorized just from what they appear to be on the outside. The Breakfast Club shows us that if one looks little deeper into another person, most of the time we will find that we really are not that different where it counts. Why each student was in Saturday detention is irrelevant, rather what they learned from their experience is the core of the film. Nevertheless the movies does leave you hanging. I know I was left wondering whether or not those five teenagers gave each other a second glance that Monday morning at school. That abandoned detail at least deserved a closing sentence or something at the end of the movie. It was left out for dramatic effect more than likely, but it would have been nice to know.

The Breakfast Club had managed to transcend generations. Though it is from the mid-80’s, many people from our generation have seen and loved this movie as well. The troubles of being a teenager are generally universal. Everyone has been one, and most everyone knows what it’s like to have to deal with the social pressures, especially in high school. This fact is the appeal of The Breakfast Club: it’s a movie teens can relate to. Unlike the teen movies of the 90’s and today–where the characters are larger than life and the stories have too much of a fairytale quality–the Club character though stereotypical are more realistic. This quality can help for a viewer to feel more of a connection with the film. The Breakfast Club will continue to be a cult classic as long as there are teenagers in this world.

Published in: on April 12, 2007 at 1:19 am  Comments (7)  

I *heart* “Pitch Black”

I have to start off with saying that I “heart” Vin Diesel. I’ve loved everything about him since I was thirteen. From his sensual deep voice to his character acting, I can’t seem to stop myself from buying anything he’s been apart of. My infatuation with him began when I saw the movie Pitch Black, and to this day it’s still #1 on my top list of movies.

Pitch Black is a futuristic sci-fi thriller about a passenger spaceship traveling to New Mecca that is thrown off course by a meteor show and wrecks on an uncharted planet with three suns. They eventually discover that deadly carnivorous creatures that only survive in the dark reside underground. Conveniently, an eclipse occurs and the group must depend on the heartless convict Riddick (Vin Diesel) with the ability to see in the dark to lead them to the skiff and off of the planet.

I’m well aware that Vin Diesel has been slammed for being a character actor. Though this is true, I really don’t see the problem with this. He excels in playing buff “bad-ass” characters with little to no emotion and generally sticks to these roles. His part as Riddick is no different. His character starts out as a loner who only cares about his own survival, but slowly he begins to care about the others (though he doesn’t really show it externally, rather through actions). I think he did a great job in this movie.

Though Vin is the major reason I am in love with Pitch Black, he isn’t the only reason. In a movie is set on a distant planet and the main characters are fictional aliens, the special effects were superior. I pay attention to special effects because they can make or break a movie for me. Movies are an experience for me, take me out of reality, and anything that makes it painfully obvious that I am watching one is a negative. Not only are the effects lifelike, but the creativity and aesthetics are wonderful. The plot is recycled; I admit. But the execution of this film from the co-stars to the visuals is stunning to me. I can’t say enough good things about this movie. Pitch Black is a great horror film. With dark humor, great effects, action, and even a vague romance, this movie has something for everyone. Watch it; you won’t regret it.

Published in: on April 4, 2007 at 7:26 pm  Comments (8)  

You Go Girl!: Tina’s Breakthrough Album

Women are considered one of the strongest creatures in this world. Even during hardships, many seem to put up a wall so that the rest of the world will not see their suffering. No woman is more infamous for her problems than R&B singer Tina Turner. After what seemed like a declining career in the United States and a very public divorce with manager/husband Ike Turner, Tina was able to emerge from the negativity with a breakthrough solo album that would once again put her at the top of the Billboard charts.

Tina started her career with in 1958 with Ike Turner (who gave her the stage name “Tina Turner”) and his Kings of Rhythm. Ike and Tina married in 1960. After Tina recorded the hit single “A Fool in Love,” Ike renamed the group Ike and the Tina Revue. They gained popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s mainly for their unique live performances. However, by the mid-70’s Ike’s dominating character–with the band and in his marriage–began to take its tole. Tina left Ike in 1976, and they finalized their divorce in 1978. Tina began to loose steam in the US after that, though she was still selling out shows overseas. After years of trying, she was finally able to release another album in the states. The 1984 Private Dancer would catapult her into superstardom.

Private Dancer had three chart-topping singles with sexy, sassy lyrics. On the surface, these songs embodied a confident independent woman, but underneath this were dreams of true happiness and a longing to be loved. The first single, “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” was a hit and still is a slogan for cocky independent females today. It is considered arguably Tina’s top, most notable and popular single. Her raspy voice bellows the idea that most relationships aren’t founded on the longing for love but rather on for other reasons, like sexual attraction. The second single “Better Be Good To Me” also reached high the charts; the title is self-explanatory. The final single was the title track for the album “Private Dancer,” a risque track about a stripper with dreams of leading a normal life with a husband and a family someday. Yet for now, she is stuck with giving private dances to strange men.

This album really put Tina Turner up with the greatest R&B artists. The fact that she made such a great album and was able to overcome her cruel times with Ike Turner is worth my admiration. Even her voice, which is not smooth and sweet like many female artist, sounds like that of a grown woman who’s been through some things and has plenty of stories to tell. Though she’s stopped touring and performing today, she will always be one of the top names in R&B history.

Published in: on March 21, 2007 at 9:21 pm  Comments (5)  

Justin’s Back, and I’m Loving It!

N’SYNC has never been one of my favorite bands. In fact, I despise them. They’ve always seemed to me like Backstreet Boys wanna-be’s, and despite what many critics have said I believe that the Backstreet Boys (though generic) were a good band that produced many catchy, fun love songs. Nevertheless I wasn’t surprised when Justin Timberlake, basically the lead singer of N’SYNC, decided to go solo in 2002. Honestly, I didn’t think he would have much success. Today, I stick my foot in my mouth. Justin Timberlake has become a huge solo presence not only on the pop charts but ON THE R&B CHARTS as well. And what’s even more surprising is that I like his music.

Justin’s music has many influences. He himself has said that one of his major influences in both his song and dance is the King of Pop Michael Jackson. In some publications has even rivaled Usher as “The Prince of R&B.” With the help of Timberlake, a well-respected producer and artist in the music industry, Justin has been able to expand from his love-sick female fan base to more mature audiences primarily in the black community. His first solo single, “Like I Love You,” featured Spanish guitar rifts and an impressive range of falsetto. Putting a black female model in his video also helped him get exposure on Black Entertainment Television (BET). His next single was “Cry Me A River” which the public suspected was an homage to his failed relationship with Brittney Spears. Though his first CD Justified had surprising success and reached #2 on the Billboard Chart, it wasn’t until his 2006 release of the album Future Sex/Love Sounds that he would truly cement his place as a large R&B presence.

Future Sex/ Love Sounds has put out four #1 hit songs thus far. “SexyBack” was the first single where Justin proclaims how he’s “bringing sexy back.” This line became a catch phrase for many youth and gave Justin even more exposure. Next came the more insanely popular “My Love” featuring the rappers Timberland and T.I., where the artists dream about how their lives would be with a girl they are interested in. This song was a runaway hit; it reached #1 on the charts very quickly with its futuristic music, simple beat, and black/ video. My favorite song by him is “What Goes Around Comes Around.” This song explains how a woman that cheated on him is now having the same thing done to her. It’s basically a karma song, and I love when karma comes back on people.

Justin’s music has matured since he’s parted ways with N’SYNC. Excluding the fact that everything Timberlake produces turns to gold these days, Justin has been able to use his resources to broaden his audience and in turn make him a more familiar face to the public. I like his R&B sound. With good production, I’m sure he can continue to churn out hits.

Published in: on March 15, 2007 at 4:05 am  Comments (9)  

“The Evolution of Robin Thicke”

I’m not a CD buyer.

There are so many artist these days that come out with some good singles, but when you buy the CD it’s full of crappy songs. The music industry has robbed me of enough money. I’ve gotten smarter. I preview CDs now…How is not important. However, I took a chance on my latest CD purchase. I heard his single on the radio, “Lost Without U”, and instantly fell in love with it. It took me a few months, but I finally bought his CD. And I am very happy with it. Robin Thicke needs to keep up the good work; he could really be a major force in the music industry.

I have to admit: I was very surprised when I finally saw the video to “Lost Without U.” Thicke has such a soulful voice and a jazzy aspect to his music. Then to see his video and find out he was white? I was very surprised. Now there are very few white people that are considered to “have soul” in the black community, Micheal McDonald being the most notable. Yet I was still shocked because white singers that sound like black singers are few and far between. Nevertheless, Thicke has a beautiful voice that any person, black or white, would envy.

I found out shortly after I bought his CD that Robin Thicke has been around for a while. Where the **** has he been? I cannot fathom how an artist this talented hasn’t come out with a hit single sooner. His songs are mostly about love and relationships, written about his gorgeous wife. For example, “Wanna Love U Girl” begins with:

She’s the kinda girl you wanna marry

The kind of girl you’d walk the whole Earth for

Put her on your back and just carry

Her attitude is hotter than the Earth’s core

He also sings about his struggle grow as a man. My favorite song on the CD–“Everything I Can’t Have–has a fast rhythm, a Latino vibe, and wind instruments that make you want to jump up and dance. He lists all the things he wants but knows he probably will never get. Not only are his lyrics original and sweet, but the music is just as good.

Robin Thicke is a great talent. I can only hope that he continues to evolve.

Published in: on March 8, 2007 at 4:21 am  Comments (10)  

Common Appeal

Music is a dime a dozen these days. There are so many artists in each genre that I hardly know where to begin. First of all, I enjoy all types of music. Hip-hop, r&b, pop, rap, alternative, rock, classical, and even a little bit of country: I find that they each have their own characteristics that draw me in, depending on my mood. However, I am mostly rooted in more urban music, that is the hip-hop, r&b, etc. Despite the fact that most of society labels black music as circling around the same concepts–sex, drugs, money, cars, women–there are a few artists that still write music that has meaning and that talk about something more than just the secular. One of these artists (and one of my favorites) is a rapper that goes by the name Common.

Common, born Ronnie Rashied Lynn in Southside Chicago, kept soulful rap alive in the 1990s when gangsta rap was just coming into its own in a big way. Many rappers like LLCoolJ were sucked into the mainstream hipe and changed their music to fit the new genre. Let’s face it: Music is a business. Very few artists are going to gamble their fame and fortune just to be true to the style of music they want to create. In fact, there are very few artists these days that even write their own material! Common, however, kept his jazzy edge. He continued to write about love and ghetto life without promoting outrageously violent and sexual themes. Nevertheless, like the rest of the crowd I was pulled into the phenomenon of gangsta rap, even though I was fairly young. I didn’t appreciate Common’s style until his 2002 album Electric Circus.

This album is what really made me become a Common fan. One song on it, and pretty much one of my favorite songs of all time, is “Come Close” which features Mary J. Blige. As he says at the beginning, “It’s just a fly love song.” He is talking to a woman, telling her exactly how much she means to him, why they should be together forever. Two of my favorite stanzas from the song are:

I just want you to know

Your whole, being is beautiful

Imma do the best I can do

‘Cuz I’m my best when I’m wit you


It’s destiny that we connected girl

You and I, we can infect the world

I’m tired of the fast lane

I want you to have my last name

It is not focusing on sex but the actually feelings and intricacies of love. Now I am not an expert on love by any means. Still, it is nice to hear a man worship the beauty of a woman both inside and out, appreciating her for all of her qualities rather than hailing her for her fat ass and titties and how she can twerk it. Even if Common does talk about these aspects, which he does occassionally, he does it in a way where it doesn’t seem so primal. They are always in the realm of true feelings, not just a one night stand. After all, a part of love is making love. He is able to combine the two in the way they are suppose to be merged.

One of the most obvious characteristics of Common that help with his love songs is his voice. It is deep and husky, and his Chicago accent adds to its melodic tone. I can only think of one word to describe it: Smooth….Like whipped butter or that clean feeling you get when you’ve just stepped out of the shower. That may sound stupid, but hearing Common rap can make any woman stop in her tracks and sigh. For me, it can lull me into a peaceful sleep. And as someone who loves sleep, he definiteley earned points in my book for that talent.

Common doesn’t just appeal to women with his sultry love songs and creamy vocals. He also raps about the hardships of life. Southside Chicago wasn’t one of the best places to grow up. In his 2006 single “I Have a Dream,” he uses a clip of Martin Luther King’s voice (particularly the “I Have a Dream” part) to describe the trials of growing up both black and in the lower class. He explains how he lived in the mist of violence, drugs, and poverty, trying to make something of himself with the burden of blackness on his shoulders. As he says, “Tryna make it from a gangsta to a Godlier role.” In another one of his songs, the 1999 “Hurricane,” he raps of a young black man who cannot seem to escape a system that doesn’t care if he lives, dies, or rots in prison. His life is like a hurricane, he constantly must fight to live a trouble-free life. The music that illustrates these hardships help Common relate to a wider audience because he’s real about what he’s talking about. Though I wasn’t raised in the ghetto, I have experienced some of the negative aspects of being black. I believe that is the thread that will forever unite black people.

Not only do I admire Common for sticking to his own artistic approach to music despite what the masses are falling into, but I also adore his style. It is a breath of fresh air, with all the gangsta rap around, to hear someone that raps about positive or more realistic situations. Plus, that fact that he’s cute and has a great voice doesn’t hurt him either. His intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics are different from the repetitive “shake that work that” I see everyday. Though I do listen to gangsta rap (it gets the adrenaline pumping), Common’s music will remain one of the first in my mind.

Published in: on February 28, 2007 at 9:07 pm  Comments (10)  

“You Know You Love You Some New York!”

Tiffany, better know as “New York” to the TV audience is the object of desire in I Love New York, a reality show that takes 20 men, gives them cute nicknames, and has them compete to win her heart. This feisty black diva began her TV career on Flavor of Love vying for the affection of Flavor Flav. She was the single most hated woman on the show because of her smart mouth, “stank” attitude, and “I’ll do anything to get my man” mindset. After loosing the show for two seasons–Yes, she was rejected twice– she was given her own show to try her chance at love. Like many similar reality shows, each episode is characterized by a challenge–such as boxing or building a dog house for her dog Princess–and ends with an elimination, where New York must send either two or more men home.

New York has won the hearts and eyes of viewers not only for her over-the-top personality but also for her genuine desire to find a lifelong love. Even though she was portrayed as “the Bitch” throughout Flavor of Love, she’d fought hard for him, even slept with him, only for him to choose another over her. Twice! Behind her loud, strong personality is a vulnerable woman desperate to find the man she will spend the rest of her life with. And much of the audience is rooting that she will.

There are others on the show that give it an extra flare. Sister Patterson, New York’s strict, no bull mother is also on the show helping her decide who goes and who stays. The men are eager to please her (knowing that her opinion means a lot to New York), but she has no qualms about telling them exactly how she feels about them, whether it is good or not. In addition, the male hopefuls definitely have their individual personalities. One of my personal favorites is Mr. Boston: A very white, awkward, and nerdy businessman who obviously has not been around many black people before but definitley holds his own with the large group of men and wins their respect throughout the show. There is also the ghetto thug Chance. He has a horrible temper and can explode at any moment over the most miniscule things. Heat, a Latino, is more concerned about taking care of his grandmother than anyone else, and 12-pack is a egocentric, smoking, drinking white boy with a body like Adonis. These are just a few of the diverse personalities that the men bring into the house.

With New York’s larger-than-life presence, the ice from Sis. Patterson, and the 20 men that could implode at any second, I Love New York is one of the most outlandish, wildly entertaining reality shows on TV. I just hope it takes her a few seasons to find out who really has love for New York.

Published in: on February 21, 2007 at 8:11 pm  Comments (9)  

“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”: The O.G. of the Rangers

We all remember those after school kids shows. Every day after school I would try to rush my dad home so I could be in front of the TV by 3:30. Why you ask? Because 3:30 was when the most awesome show ever came on! I was a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers freak. Not to be confusewith all the spin-offs of the show today; I’m talking about the classic Power Rangers that use to come on Fox Kids, channel 13. This show was back when they had the five primary colors: The Blue Ranger (Billy), the Red Ranger (Tommy), the Pink ranger (Kimberly), the Yellow ranger (Trini), and the Black ranger (Zach). Every weekday they would fight against some crazy monster sent down to earth from space by Rita Repulsa or Lord Zedd, a red alien-looking character. Looking back on it, I realize how ridiculous the show really was. Nevertheless, I would still watch it if the original made a comeback on primetime TV.

Power Rangers had a very simple storyline. The show started out with five teenagers, as listed above. Tommy was the original red ranger, but through a series of events I cannot quite recall, a boy named Jason becomes the Red Ranger and Tommy becomes the more powerful Green Ranger. Nevertheless, these teenagers were chosen by a being in a tube named Zordon to fight off Rita and Lord Zedd and keep them from taking over the world. These two villains would send their minions to earth. Every episode would begin with the rangers in everyday life, mostly having a good time, when a monster would begin terrorizing the planet. They would morph into their rangers, and at the beginning of the fight they would always loose. Rita throws down her magic staff to the earth; as soon as it stuck into the ground the minion would grow very large, like the size of a building. The rangers would call their machine counterparts or “zords.” Separate they could never defeat the monsters. Therefore, they would combine their zords into a humanlike megazord that would defeat the monster. After their victory, the rangers return to everyday life stronger and better friends then they were before. Like most girls my age that watched the show, my personal favorite ranger was the Pink Ranger though as a chubby tomboy I would never admit that I liked anything pink to anyone. She exemplified all the qualities of femininity that I wish I had. Sorry Black Ranger–You’re my brotha and all, but I’ve got to go with Kimberly.
Honestly, I cannot say why I loved this show so much. It was such corny entertainment. For one, the special effects were horrible. I remember how they would make miniatures of a city–consequently, the same little city in every episode no matter how much damage was done–and have people in the monster and megazord costume come out and fight a little bit. It was awesomely bad! The acting wasn’t much better. But then again, it was a kid’s show. I don’t thing I was looking that deep into the development of it. I wasn’t as much of a critic then; I took the show at face value.

One of the themes that I enjoyed about the show was the ongoing crush between Tommy and Kimberly. It was apparent beginning from the first episode when he was the Red Ranger that there was tensing chemistry. As a child, I found that uneasiness interesting. Granted I didn’t really know what to think about it or honestly what it really was. Yet I liked it. The love-thing was really cute. I remember that in a few episodes they kissed; That action was a very big deal. But they never got together. It was one of the frustrations of the show. I think every kid wanted them to get together secretly, even the boys.

Despite the cheesiness of the show, Power Rangers had good themes. Those heroes were all about teamwork: They taught kids that they can’t always do things by themselves. Sometimes you will need help; Sometimes you need to work as a team. Of course the rangers fought sometimes, but their squabbles never amounted to any good. They only hurt the team. That show was all about friendship, doing the right thing, and honesty. It also showed that even superheroes are not perfect. The rangers were jealous sometimes when Tommy continued to be elevated to a higher ranger status with more power and prestige. Just as there was a crush vibe between Tommy and Kimberly, I also felt a tension between Tommy and Jason. There was always an atmosphere that Tommy was better than the rest of them. And he was better…cuter too! Still, I believe children subconsciously pick up the lessons of these shows, and with proper parental guidance they can apply the good themes accordingly instead of trying to use the fighting moves on the show to beat up people.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was one of the only shows I really followed as a child, and if I can catch a rerun these days I’ll drop everything to do so. I saw all the movies too! Power Rangers is just one of those classic 90’s shows that makes me thing back to the good ol’ days when things were simple, even TV. The good guys always saved the day; goodness always prevailed. It was good to think this way as a child because it created a positive foundation that made us think we could do anything as long as we did it the right way. As an adult, I know too well that goodness and truth don’t always win. Still it is nice to think back on the Power Rangers and remember the joys of youth. So, in reverence to the classic show that has had more crappy spin-offs than I care to count, I would just like to say, “Go Go Power Ranger! You Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!”

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 10:16 pm  Comments (26)  

“Stop the Insanity!”: The appeal of Roseanne

Though Roseanne ran its last episode in 1997, reruns of the sitcom classic are still shown on Nickelodeon’s Nick at Night to this day. Why has this show been able to last on the television screen for so long? Roseanne portrays what many families are interested in watching: Normality. The average American family’s “normality” is in fact very unusual–There are many problems not only between parents and children but also constant problems with everyday life. These concepts have been the premise of many sitcoms, but Roseanne has portrayed it with such blue-collar finesse that one can’t help but enjoy the thirty minutes of camaraderie.

The show deals with all the common issues of the family: parent-child relations, pregnancy, marriage, sex friendship. The main character is of course Roseanne Conner, the loud and smart-mouthed matriarch. Along with her teddy bearish husband Dan, they are raising three very different children. Becky is the equivalent of the blonde beauty queen, always concerned with her looks and what people think of her while Darlene is a black haired tomboy with a mouth as smart as Roseanne’s. DJ is the youngest and embodies every older child’s fears of the annoying little brother. Rosanne’s sister Jackie also hangs around a lot. She is insecure, whiney, and in constant need of validation. Along with who they consider as their “crazy mother,” the Conner family goes through life’s highs and lows.

By far, the most entertaining aspect of the show is wondering what unbelievable statement will come out of Roseanne’s mouth. Her sarcastic comments always delivered with a smile became a staple of the sitcom. For many of their seasons, the Conner’s were barely floating above the middle class line, and Roseanne completely understood their situation. The fact that she was able to joke so bluntly about it and every other problem that might come up in their lives was the appeal. On many occasions, Roseanne referred to herself and her family as white trash, saying: “We’re white trash, and we’ll stay white trash till the day they haul us out to the curb.” Roseanne also joked about her and Jackie’s crazy mother, a tender subject for both the women (more so Jackie than Roseanne). When Jackie was livid about how their mother drank while she was pregnant with them, Roseanne retorted, “Oh Jackie, after a few months in Mom, we probably needed a shot or two.” However, Roseanne isn’t the only one on the show who makes lemonade with the lemons life throws at her. When Becky broke up with one of her many boyfriends, the family decided it would be a good topic for discussion:

Dan: What happened to Jimmy? I liked Jimmy.

Darlene: So did Becky until he dumped her.

Becky: He didn’t dump me!

Darlene: Get real. You hit the ground like a safe.

Roseanne brought smiles to many people’s faces during its run. Now, in a time where sitcoms are a dime a dozen and seem to have the same jokes and subjects, Roseanne’s uncensored, true-to-life normality is a breath of fresh air. Even if the Conner’s were wilder than your family, at least you could think to yourself Thank God my family’s not that crazy. Nevertheless, the show was closer to real life than many shows of that time and today. The characters didn’t have perfect figures or a remarkable grasp of the English language. Their house wasn’t big and nicely furnished. Everything about that show represented what real life was for many Americans. That truthfulness to reality is what keeps the Roseanne reruns on TV to this day.

Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 6:42 am  Comments (8)