WILL & GRACE: “Eleven Years Later” Roundtable
Will and Grace and Jack and Karen are back! The revival of NBC’s hit series, which originally ran from 1999-2006, returned with high hopes from fans wondering if it would still be relevant eleven years later. Join Leah, Lisa, and Mel as they discuss the premiere.
So the big question: eleven years later, during the age of Peak TV, does Will & Grace deserve a timeslot?
Leah: I feel like its the age of revivals (and Peak TV) so Will & Grace was as good as any show to have another go at it. I mean it was an iconic show.
Lisa: Most definitely! I didn’t realize how much I needed this show back in my life, and so relevant to what is going on in our country.
Melissa: I do feel like the bar is a little higher given the fantastic work being done on TV right now, but don’t we also need some “comfort food” in the midst of all these gourmet meals?
Will & Grace was never particularly subtle in its message (or performances), and the revival continues in that style. What are your thoughts on this type of broad comedy now versus the show’s original run?
Leah: I can handle the over the top dramatics in moderation. I understand wanting to bring the show back “as is” if it isn’t broke, etc…but at some point I hope they evolve a little.
Lisa: I think it’s great to see their take now. It’s the same but different in a way. I do hope they can evolve without losing their spark.
Melissa: I appreciate that everyone came back because they feel like they have something to say about the state of the world today, particularly regarding equality. And having seen episode 2, which does tone things down a bit, I think we’ll see them evolve.
One of the main issues people had with the idea of a revival was the way the show’s original run ended – Will and Grace estranged from each other, married with children who end up meeting and falling in love. What did you think of how the revival solved that particular dilemma? Are you satisfied with the explanations we were given for everyone’s lives in 2017?
Leah: Meh…I may not have loved the original ending (although I didn’t hate it because in the end you can assume they become best friends again after their kids meet at college) but to consider it all a dream? Didn’t love that. I don’t have a better way for them to have solved it so I guess I’ll live with it.
Lisa: I second Leah with the Meh. I didn’t care for how the show ended and I’d rather just pretend that it didn’t happen. Karen delivering a line is always a great way to get us to laugh and I think they did the best they could with it. I am so glad they didn’t continue on with the families and children etc. That would have been too different of a show.
Melissa: It was clunky, but I feel like they leaned into it and pulled out the comedy of the absurd situation they created for themselves. I am sorry to hear that both Will and Grace’s relationships didn’t work out in the end. I mean, we probably could’ve guessed as much, but it’s still sad to know for sure.
Are there any characters or plotlines you want to see addressed this season?
Leah: I’m just going to go where the show takes me. I did hear some fun guest stars are coming. Excited for that.
Lisa: Yes! Will & Grace always has great guest stars so I can’t wait to see who shows up. With the current racial tensions in our country I’d like to see racism addressed on the show, but I’m along for the ride. I’m so happy it’s back!
Melissa: I’m OK with the show focusing on LGBT and income equality – tbh I don’t think this particular crew is equipped to address racism – which is good because I think that’s their intent! I would like to know what happened with Leo and Vince. Also, do Will and Grace have children? It doesn’t appear so, but they could be with their other parents.
Leah: Anything with Jack and Karen
Lisa: Grace’s Trump/Cheeto bit was pretty funny and anytime Will & Grace play games together it’s gold.
Melissa: Loved loved loved that they opened with Will & Grace playing an updated version of the game they played in the pilot!
Leah: Can I say the ensemble? Its oddly comforting to have them back.
Lisa: It’s tough to pick an MVP with that cast. All for one and one for all. The ensemble!
Melissa: It’s unanimous – the ensemble!
Will & Grace airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.