Overall, Roseanne has always taken place in what is essentially modern day, but with the reboot comes tons of questions about the timeline and the fact that apparently a lot of the claims of dead husbands (looking at you, Dan) may not be true anymore. There’s also the matter of what kind of time jump we may be in for. So when does the Roseanne revival take place? The Conners have stepped into the 21st century, and it’s likely close to the year 2018 on the show.
When the series finale aired roughly 20 years ago in 1997, the world was nearing a new millennia and for the Conners, it was probably the same. However, it doesn’t look like the show fast-forwarded 20 years into the future for the reboot. In the previews of the Roseanne revival, Darlene’s daughter, Harris, is definitely a teenager now instead of 20 years old, which would technically place the timeline fairly close to present day, though not exactly. Another big indicator is the fact that we know Roseanne will touch on the most recent presidential election, which led to Trump taking over the White House. So the year is definitely either 2017 or 2018 based on that piece of evidence alone.
When you see DJ in the promos, he definitely looks like he aged and matured from the 17 or 18 year old we last saw in the original series, so plenty of time has definitely passed, but Darlene’s daughter is really a great marker for how much time has progressed. According to TVLine, Darlene’s daughter is going to be 14 years old in the reboot, which would place the technical year on Roseanne at 2011. Though, like I said, given the Trump and Hillary Clinton references that are sure to come up, the writers clearly want us to know that the Conners are living in the same year we are.
The alternative, of course, would have been for the series to pick up where they left off with no time jumps to account for, but that would mean getting rid of the returning actors to reprise their roles, as they’re all older. Roseanne has always been a show based in present day, though, and the only reason it represents the '90s is because that’s literally the majority of the decade in which it originally took place and aired. Even though things will jump forward in time, as they have in real life, there’s no reason to suggest that things will be much different in the Conner household.
The most memorable rooms in the family home were recreated for the new nine-episode revival, complete with the iconic afghan on the back of the living room couch. If anything, some of the jokes will simply be more timely. In one of the stills from the reboot, Jackie's wearing a T-shirt that says "Nasty Woman" on it, so she’s still everyone’s favorite aunt and I seriously cannot wait for all of Roseanne’s commentary on the present day world, much like how she was at the time of the original series.
"As people know, this is a show about female empowerment and people speaking their minds," executive producer Tom Werner told PasteMagazine.com, adding:
It was very important for us to come back and honor that and we felt like the bar was high… We’re extremely proud of the fact that we’re dealing with relevant issues now that were just like the issues we were dealing with before [like] opioids and an aging parent and health care. We felt like the bar was high, but it was our duty to honor the original show and make nine or 10 episodes that would make the audience feel a little nostalgia and also feel fresh.
In a way, it’s probably going to feel like no time has passed at all, but Roseanne is definitely going to be brought up-to-date with the revival.
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