Roseanne Barr and the American TV family revolution

Roseanne Barr

The American TV family has been a major genre in television and seems to be the basis of most US comedy.  From the comfortable and paternalistic Father Knows Best starring Robert Young and Jane Wyatt in the 50s through The Partridge Family and Cosby Show of the 70s and 80s to the Simpsons, Family Guy and Modern Family of today, the  influence of and ratings for these shows have been enormous.  This genre went through immense changes during the 90s in the types of families shown and also the issues covered by them. The main influence over this TV family revolution was the Roseanne show.

Roseanne was one of the first sitcoms to portray a working class family. The show tackled many provocative subjects like alcoholism, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, abortion, infidelity and gay rights. The show was also significant for being dominated by a woman with a strong feminist agenda. Up to this point, women in family shows were casted as much due to their appearance as their acting skills, Roseanne changed all that.

Roseanne Barr was the tough, streetwise and controversial character expected of someone with a Scorpio Sun and Aquarius Ascendant. She started in standup comedy but exploded onto the American TV networks as Roseanne Conner. The premier of Roseanne was watched by over 20 million households and was the highest rated debut of the season. Roseanne was the most watched TV show in the States for 2 years winning Barr an Emmy and a Golden Globe and by the last series she was the second highest paid woman in show business after Oprah Winfrey.

The show began in 1988 as Pluto came to conjunct Barr’s Sun. As a Scorpio, Barr would be likely to experience a massive transformation in her life at some point, Pluto coming to the Sun would invariably mark its timing.  The show ended in 1997 when Pluto was in opposition to Barr’s Moon. Pluto frequently has a revolutionary intention and these two transits not only marked the very peak of her career but have also changed the American family TV sitcom forever.


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