Ken Tucker
July 04, 2009 AT 06:30 PM EDT

Happy 4th of July. This holiday always reminds me of the dog my family owned that hated the sound of fireworks. He got all nervous and jumpy; the only thing that calmed him down was turning on the TV. I identify with that long-gone pet. Tonight, around the time when fireworks are going off across America, TV Land will give us its holiday gift: a marathon of Roseanne episodes, beginning at 8 p.m. ET with the 1988 pilot episode. Like my old dog, I’m tempted to skip the fireworks and watch Roseanne. Look at this opening segment and tell me it’s not a classic TV show:

At a time when the economy is tough, the tight-budget comedy of Roseanne — love that moment when Roseanne tells Becky to bring home some of the food from her school’s “food drive for poor people” — is both timely and funny. (Also, trivia buffs, note: the kid playing little DJ in this pilot episode is not Michael Fishman, but, for this ep only, Sal Barone.)

Plus, John Goodman’s deadpan reactions to Roseanne’s squawking represents some of the great sitcom acting of all time.

Also, do yourself a favor: read or re-read my colleague Tanner “Tantalizin'” Stransky’s great EW oral-history-of-Roseanne feature: 

A ‘Roseanne’ family reunion

What do you think: Does Roseanne hold up as first-rate TV?

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