The Roseanne controversy continues afoot. Last night’s episode took a snarky swipe at fellow ABC shows, Fresh Off the Boat and black-ish. In the episode, Dan and Roseanne wake up after having fallen asleep on the couch inadvertently:
Roseanne: We slept from Wheel to Kimmel.
Dan: We missed a lot of shows about Black and Asian families.
Roseanne: They’re just like us. Now you’re all caught up.
The showrunner tried to claim that “all sitcoms really want everybody to feel included of all diversities” but a lot of people felt the line was tone deaf at best, insulting and dismissive at worst.
I can see how the line would not be perceived by some as being insulting — after all, a white character is identifying with the stories of families of color, that is a good thing! But the flip side of that argument is that claiming minority families are just like white working-class families is to dismiss why telling diverse characters’ stories is important. The Connors’ journey and problems are not the same as the Huang’s or the Johnson’s, and to reduce them to being “just like us” is to miss a great deal of what black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat are trying to share with audiences. The story of what it means to maintain and honor your Blackness as an African-American while living and working and raising children in a predominately White world is hardly something Dan Conner knows anything about. And Roseanne Conner sure as hell doesn’t know what it is like to be an immigrant and trying to fit yourself into an American suburban lifestyle when you were born in another country and culture.
Listen, it was a throwaway line that probably doesn’t deserve this much thought, but it’s the sort of thing that belies this idea that Roseanne is not a political show. Of course it’s a political show; ABC admitted as much when it chose to bring it back following Donald Trump’s win. ABC wants to have it both ways: they want those Trump supporters to tune in every week, but they also want the rest of us to ignore the more problematic elements of Trumpism (not to mention Roseanne Barr’s own offensive and controversial personal beliefs). This is more than asking audiences to separate the art from the artist — this is asking us to separate the art from the art.
But at the end of the day, with ratings like these, ABC might not have a whole lot of reason to care what snowflakes like me think about the politics of its most popular show. I’m sure they won’t mind losing my eyeballs if they can continue bringing in 15 million+ more.
Meanwhile, the creator of black-ish, Kenya Barris, is looking to get out of his ABC contract over recent disagreements with the network (including them not airing an episode that touched on the Colin Kaepernick controversy) according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Stranger Things is in a bit of trouble. A man is suing the Duffer Brothers, claiming that after he pitched the idea to them of turning his short film The Montauk Project into a full series, they stole the idea and turned it into Stranger Things. Now, usually I tend to be skeptical of these sorts of lawsuits — people often have similar ideas at the same times, and it’s hard to prove that an idea was stolen. However, I remember reading about Netflix buying a supernatural series called Montauk which was going to be about a boy in Long Island going missing, — and watching this clip (as roughshod as it is), it’s difficult to not see some similarities (a mother looking for her kid, a government facility, supernatural forces). Granted, the actual Montauk Project has long been the subject of many conspiracy theories, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to see similarities between Stranger Things and this short film. Methinks this will be settled swiftly.
Especially where there is so much money to be made from the franchise. Case in point: The Upside Down is coming to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.
While the big headlines are that the Monica Lewinsky season of American Crime Story isn’t happening and that Joan Motherfucking Collins is joining American Horror Story next season, if you’re interested in inside baseball for TV business, The Hollywood Reporter has a fascinating story about how the Netflix/Ryan Murphy $300 million dollar deal happened.
“I think if you’re an ‘other’ — if you’re a woman or a gay person or a person of color — you have grown up in a business where you’ve been made to feel you’re just lucky to be in this fucking game and you should stay in your corner,” he says. “And I’m not saying that’s been my experience at Fox, but traditionally that’s what happened if you wanted to create content that wasn’t the straight white fucking antihero. But the culture has shifted, and there’s a group of us who were indoctrinated to think we weren’t worthy of being paid, and now we realize, ‘Oh no, we very much are,’ and there are statistics from a business perspective to back it up.”
This quote takes on particular interest in light of the Kenya Barris news above, which broke this morning.
Interesting: With the departure of Gillian Anderson, American Gods is turning Media into New Media, and looking to cast an Asian woman in her 20s.
Reminder: The Real Housewives of New York City are back tonight. And as God as my witness, I will catch up with the recaps.
Here are some details about season four of Gomorrah, which will be filmed in London.
In case you were wondering, Miss Vanjie continues to be amazing.
The FCC received 162 complaints of the use of the word “shithole” on television. Hey, dummies, take it up with your President.
For those critics saying that Sinclair anchors can just quit if they don’t want to read the conservative nonsense the company demands of them, it’s not that simple.
Kathy Griffin, who hilariously portrayed Kellyanne Conway on The President Show last night, claims that she was detained at every airport while on her world tour.
- The Gormenghast series is being brought back to TV by Neil Gaiman.
- E! is giving Kristin Cavallari a new reality series, Very Cavallari.
- The Hunting Party is being turned into a series by the Top of the Lake folks.
- The Exiles, a Cuban political saga, is being developed as a series.
- Kathryn Hahn is going to star in HBO’s pilot Mrs. Fletcher.
- Hugh Laurie has been added to that Catch-22 adaptation for Hulu.
- Eric Bana is co-starring in the Bravo anthology series Dirty John.
- Kenneth Branagh is going to star in A Gentleman in Moscow for TV.
- Kathryn Newton, Robin Weigert, Merrin Dungey, and Sarah Sokolovic are set to return and Crystal Fox and Mo McRae are joining the cast of Big Little Lies.
- Johnathan Silverman is joining Salvation in season 2.
- Katrina Lenk is joining The Good Fight.
- Jes Macallan has been made a series regular on Legends of Tomorrow.
- Mike Castle has been added to the CBS pilot Pandas in New York.
- Bronte Carmichael has been cast for a role in Game of Thrones.
Mark Your Calendars
- Cargo will premiere on Netflix on May 18th. It looks … intense.
- Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms will air on May 7th on VH1.
- Breaking Homicide will debut on ID on April 15.
The Real Housewives of New York City: These bitches are back. Season premiere. 8 p.m., Bravo
Famous in Love: Paige makes her choice in the two-hour season premiere. 7 p.m., Freeform
The Magicians: The group attempts to get magic back in the season finale. 8 p.m., Syfy
Late Night: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Mike Myers, Abbi Jacobson, A$AP Rocky Late Night with Seth Meyers: Keri Russell, Scott Thompson, Jordan Davis, Steve Smith Jimmy Kimmel Live: John Cena, Joe Kennedy III, Rozzi Watch What Happens Live: Luann De Lesseps
|Law & Order: SVU