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Barr Syndrome

December 18, 1988

Three cheers for the grand perceptions of Christon, which have confirmed what I have felt since mid-October: That "Roseanne" is the most insipid, unfunny sitcom of this or any other season in recent memory.

Sure, other sitcoms have weak jokes, but very few insult our intelligence by assuming that we can't recognize lack of plot structure or character growth.

Perhaps the noisiest half-hour since "Laverne and Shirley" (L&S were lovable characters, though), "Roseanne" indeed ruins Barr's once-funny stand-up housewife routines by reducing what had formerly been left to her audience's imagination to a slew of boring, undramatic problems faced by boorish, obnoxious characters. Her co-workers are pathetic, her kids too whiny, and who wants to see two humongous human beings rolling on the couch during the tag scene?

Blue-collar families can be shown in a funny way; the difference between "Roseanne" and the Bundys of "Married With Children" is that the Bundy's know their life is hell but don't enjoy it. Could it be that "Roseanne's" producers think the life Roseanne and company lead is something to revel in or celebrate? Sure seems that way. And even "Married . . . With Children" shows some character development.

The fact that it's a hit should come as no surprise. After all, isn't this the same country that made "Dukes of Hazzard" and "Mayberry R.F.D" top shows? It's just a shame to see Roseanne sell out and see her efforts to do so rewarded with probably several more seasons of this tripe.

CHRISTOPHER NICHOLS

Encino

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