Roseanne was a popular sitcom from the late eighties and its cast has been given numerous awards for their performances. The series is about a lower class family living in Lanford, Illinois and struggling through that odd thing we call life. The show has an intrinsic cast and they are a hard family not to like. Roseanne looks at some of the most common daily situations from the home and the work place. In most cases these situations turn out to be funny. However unlike some sitcoms that rely on slapstick comedy to make ordinary situations a riot, Roseanne uses witty dialogue to get laughs. All in all, I like this show and watching the first season was a lot of fun (seeing as I've never had the chance to watch an entire season episode for episode, I caught reruns on syndication). For more background information about the series please refer to my review of the first season.
Despite my positive enthusiasm about the series, I can't say it has aged well. I thought that the first season was enjoyable to sit through, but none of the episodes left me wanting more. I laughed, but not nearly as much as I do with some other sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond. This second season felt very much the same. The episodes had some humor to them and the three leading performers Barr, Goodman, and Metcalf had some great chemistry together, but it just wasn't enough. Like the first season, season two is probably best as a rental, unless of course, you are a big fan of the series.
The second season picks up a little after the end of season one. If you recall, in the season one finale "Let's Call It Quits", the young Wellman Plastics manager Booker was replaced with an older and experienced gentleman named Faber. Faber makes the working conditions for Roseanne and her peers unbearable, with unrealistically high goals and other uptight rules. In the end, Faber offers to comprise with Roseanne if she comprises her pride and do certain things that spark sexual harassment. Roseanne quits and many of her fellows join her in leaving. Without a job, this season focuses on Roseanne finding a new job.
In the early episodes of season two, she tries a hand at selling magazines over the phone. Later episodes have her trying her hands at other jobs, which includes a slightly sad story about her realizing her lack of computer experience is a real negative or how awful it can be having a seventeen year old kid as your boss.
Jackie also finds a new line of work. In "Let's Call It Quits", she was the first of Roseanne's peers at Wellman Plastics to follow in her footsteps and quit. In this season, Jackie decides that her calling is in law enforcement. She joins the local police department in Lanford and Roseanne does not deal with the news very well. She can't believe Jackie is willing to put herself in imminent danger for a paycheck. It is something the two sisters have to reconcile.
As for the rest of the season, the content stems from various domestic situations like dealing with the kids in terms of dating, teenage rebellion, alcohol and drinking, etc., as well as celebrating the holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas), reminiscing about the past, dieting, love affairs, tax day, etc.
Overall this season offers some decent episodes with stories that should give you a few chuckles. Still the content doesn't have the same punch as some other sitcoms and despite solid performances from leads Barr, Goodman, and Metcalf, this season falls short. In the end it should make for a good rental.
In the next featurette Michael Fishman stars in DJ: All Grown Up (9:01). It is a featurette about Fishman and his character DJ, which as he states was the only big thing he has done in his acting career. Best Of Season Two (7:44) is a montage of season two clips that highlights three different themes: "raising the kids", "the calories", and "the suburbs". Wacky Jackie (4:47) gives us various season two clips of Jackie acting wild.
Roseanne Reunited - Behind the Scenes: Season One Launch Party (2:33) is a short clip from the season one DVD launch. It was the first time the cast has all been together since the finale. John Goodman Audition (1:12) is short clip from December 8, 1987 with Goodman and Barr doing a reading together. Lastly there are trailers for Peanut Butter & Jellyfish, 3rd Rock From The Sun, and Grounded For Life.
I thought only the first two items were of any entertainment value. I liked getting to hear from Goodman and Fishman. The DVD launch party was a neat idea, but far too short.