An interesting viewpoint. Roseanne Barr’s ex-husband, Tom Arnold, reviewed the highly anticipated reboot of the Roseanne show, and said he was pleasantly surprised.
The 59-year-old one-time writer for the sitcom — before getting fired by Barr, 65, in 1994 after six seasons — shared his honest opinion with The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, March 26, just one day before the reboot’s premiere.
“The world is different now than when Roseanne and I went to Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1992, and a lot has changed since the show went off the air in 1997,” he began the lengthy post, noting that when he found about the reboot he was “happy for Roseanne and the other actors.”
He continued saying that he “knew the new show’s success would rest on one thing: Who will Roseanne Conner be in 2018?” before elaborating on her current political views (the actress is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump).
Arnold, who was married to Barr from 1990-1994, went on to say that when he “read on the internet that Roseanne Conner was going to be a far-right Trump lover,” and that the show “would now be more about Sara Gilbert’s character, Darlene, and that Roseanne’s role wouldn’t be that big of a deal,” he didn’t think it sounded good.
He then detailed his takeaways from the premiere episode titled “Twenty Years to Life,” which included that “Dan is alive” despite “what everyone assumed was a fatal heart attack in the 1997 series finale,” and he was quick to praise Barr and John Goodman (who plays Dan). “[They] haven’t skipped a beat,” he wrote. “Reboots have to be tough to write because they aren’t pilots, but they kind of are, so you have to introduce your characters to new people but not over-introduce them to fans. But honestly, once my eyes adjusted a bit, the cold open could be from the ’90s.”
Arnold went on to note that “Darlene is grown up, living at home and unemployed,” adding that “most importantly, Jackie is in the house!” before reminiscing about a conversation he and Barr had in 1988 after she caught him holding the hand of Laurie Metcalf (who plays Jackie).
He then told fans of the original show that the reboot is “as good as it’s going to get.” “Roseanne has done everything from pulling my hair transplants immediately after surgery to saying I had a 3-inch penis on SNL, so I figure if I can give the show another shot, maybe other people could too,” he concluded.
But he didn’t let Barr off that easy; Arnold used the last paragraph of his review to throw some shade at his ex-wife’s political beliefs.
“I can also forgive Roseanne Conner voting for Trump in 2016. I bet if you’re a Midwest housewife, he might’ve come across on TV like he really had your back,” he wrote, then adding that “Roseanne Barr knew Donald Trump personally for 30 years and saw how he treated women.”
Us Weekly caught up with the cast of Roseanne earlier this year who dished on the show tackling real-life problems and assuring Us that the reboot will do just that. “Some of the issues that we dealt with back in the day, like making ends meet, are still present but there’s also there’s divorce now,” Metcalf, 62, told Us. “It touches on death. It touches on ageism.”
Roseanne premieres on ABC Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. ET.