A few weeks ago, when NBC announced that it had picked up a pilot from Roseanne Barr about a mobile home proprietor, I was nonplussed. Roseanne has displayed so much crazy since her long-running, historically important, and fantastic blue-collar sitcom went off the air (including, most recently, announcing that she was running for President under the Green Party) that I saw little potential for its prospects. The woman is a wackjob, and all of her efforts to relaunch her career over the last decade — including a talk show and a reality show — have failed miserably.
However, one bit of news has changed the entire dynamic: John Goodman has joined the cast of “Downwardly Mobile.” Goodman, who played Roseanne’s husband for 9 seasons on “Roseanne” and somehow didn’t kill the woman, will co-star in the comedy as one of the guys who works at the mobile home park, a former marine.
I’m not sure why Goodman agreed to this; he seems to be doing OK, with a small arc on “Community,” a season on HBO’s “Treme,’ another on “Damages,” and no shortage of big-screen work (he will reunite with the Coen Brothers again next year in Inside Llewyn Davis, and return as the voice of Sulley in “Monsters, Inc.), so all I can imagine is that he actually likes working with Barr. Either way, it’s elevated “Downwardly Mobile” from a show I don’t care about into a show that I’m excited about, despite the fact that it’s a multi-camera effort on the last-place network. That said, I’m concerned that Barr may not be taking her presidential bid seriously if she’s also working on a sitcom.