Despite the fact that lack of good writing is not the problem Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman are suffering from this week, Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham both have offered to come to their rescue and, as Kaling put it, “write things for you.”
Metcalf and Goodman found themselves suddenly hit-sitcom-less this week when ABC abruptly pulled the plug on its Roseanne reboot. ABC was doing damage control after series star Roseanne Barr decided to tweet, yet again, comparing a black female member of the Obama administration to an ape. This time, Valerie Jarrett was on the receiving end of what Barr has called a “bad joke.” ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey, however, described it as an “abhorrent, repugnant” statement “inconsistent with our values” in announcing ABC’s decision to cancel Barr’s show.
The writers, on the other hand, had performed something of a miracle, bringing back a decades-old sitcom that spoke to Donald Trump’s America in 2018 without offending everyone else. Why Metcalf and Goodman would dump those writers in favor of Kaling and Dunham, they did not explain. In fairness, Dunham made clear she was only interested in a spinoff of the show starring Darlene’s “cool kids” which would seem to demote Metcalf and Goodman to recurring status – so that one may be a non-starter for the two accomplished actors.
Of course it’s possible Kaling and Dunham were looking to latch on to the social storm swirling around this huge story and become part of the conversation – in which case Mission Accomplished.