Roseanne debuted on ABC 25 years ago today. It’s weird to think of the show as being that old, since its style and sensibility seem completely current, bouncing from perfectly joyous one-liners to blistering sarcasm to staggering emotional depths, often in a single scene. Roseanne’s a show with real pathos, with a deeply lived-in sense of humanity that it extends to all of its characters. The show’s central villain is the threat of poverty, and its primary hero familial support.
On a lighter note, though, what made Roseanne shine and what makes it hold up so well today is how much the characters love one another. Roseanne and Dan, at least for most of the show’s run, really love each other. Jackie and Roseanne bicker, but they also rely on each other and trust each other to almost fanatical degrees. Yeah, Becky, Darlene, and DJ can be pains in the ass, but there’s nothing Dan and Roseanne wouldn’t do to protect them and support them. Some of Roseanne’s best moments are its most intense, in episodes that candidly address abuse or domestic violence. But other great moments come from a genuine goofiness, a silliness that’s only unleashed among loved ones. Like this classic moment when Roseanne, Dan, and Jackie decide to get high.