Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Gay 90's: Roseanne
So, I've moved into a new apartment and for the first time since 2006, I have cable TV. I've reached a new level of laziness and I love it. AND my new favorite thing to do is making a pot of coffee and watching the mini-Roseanne marathon that comes on every morning on Oxygen Network. If you don't like Roseanne, I probably will not like you. I totally forgot how crazy gay that show was. And unlike other shows nowadays where gay is just a passing breeze, Roseanne actually put a spotlight on issues of homosexuality in the 90's with an honest compassion that no show has really touched upon since. Remember Nancy's coming out? She didn't even really come out. The bitch strutted out of whatever closet was around and gave a finger to her haters. Leon was the first gay person on TV I ever saw get married (hint hint America: get over yourself goodbye). Plus come on, the dude married Fred Willard. Match made in Gay Heaven. And let's not forget Beverly Harris joining the dark side in the later seasons. Roseanne really was a show that spotlighted the stereotypes, oddities, and beauty of gay culture.
First up: Nancy! My first encounter with lipstick lesbians! On TV! PLAYED BY SANDRA BERNHARD! One of the fiercest bitches on TV, Nancy should be more of an icon. She got sick of men and started dating MORGAN FAIRCHILD. Nancy just loves love and it don't matter who it's with cause she didn't give a fuck about what other people thought about her. Then again, she was also kind of really narcissistic but that was her charm. There was also the episode where Mariel Hemingway played her girlfriend who planted a big kiss on Roseanne. The entire episode was full of gay panic. But it really threw people's paranoia about homosexuality back into the public's faces. We will not settle for anyone. We are not trying to turn straight people gay (although we dream of many. Is Nick Jonas 18 yet?). We are just like you. We pee, we fart, we all love to hate Heidi Montag.
OMG, I love that Leon (played by Martin Mull...remember him? In CLUE! SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH! He even has an elementary school named after him on Family Guy) ends up getting married. Because I see my awkward gay self in him. Cute not hot. Full of zingers. I'm just not white. Or bearish. But he ends up marrying Fred Willard. Proof that even the bitchiest dudes deserve love. And remember when they end up adopting a baby? Cute. I remember watching that episode with my mom and she told me no matter who the parents are, every child deserves a loving family. Go mom!
And remember Jackie and Roseanne's first trip to a gay bar? Priceless.
Of course, little did we know, the gayness would seep into real life. Turns out Sara Gilbert aka Darlene is a big dyke! And BFF's with Spiderman. Also, in a weird twist a la St. Elsewhere, we find out that the entire show was an exaggerated memoir. In real life, Roseanne's sister was a lesbian (like Jackie really needed more things to be neurotic about) and her momma was straight. Also according to Wikipedia (so reliable), the inspiration for introducing gay characters and story lines into the show was inspired by Roseanne Barr's real-life gay siblings.
But all in all, regardless of whether there were gay characters or not, the show pushed a message of love. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your friends. And don't judge shit if it doesn't affect you. Because they may end up becoming a shareholder in your loose meat sandwich restaurant.
BONUS CLIP: Dan and Fred in love.
And in unrelated topic, here are some jams for summer driving. I sort of took a giant break from blogging and forgot there was actual music coming out this summer:
The Pipettes - Call Me
Toro Y Moi - Leave Everywhere
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Lost Saint
The Aislers Set - Through The Swells