Will & Grace (2017)
Premiered on September 28. 2017 Rating:
When I first heard that NBC was going to bring back their beloved sitcom Will & Grace, I was excited. I mean I loved the show during its original run, and I’m all for nostalgia. But would it translate well in 2017? I mean, there are awesome shows like Friends that wouldn’t translate well (as much as it pains me to say it). In its original run, Will & Grace was progressive pushed past boundaries by having LGBT characters in the spotlight on primetime network TV. But now that’s not such a big deal.
Then there was the issue of the original series finale. In fact, I wrote about how I was nervous that it would be handled badly. While the finale was not my favorite, it is important for shows to own their original canon. As promised, Will & Grace tackled the finale in the first two minutes of the reboot’s premiere. And as expected, it was cheap and hard to get past (apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so). It was all a dream! (Yeah, we all know shows that have done this as a way to walk back major production decisions on TV shows, mostly with casting/killing off characters.) It was handled in a tongue-in-cheek dream Karen Walker (played by the amazing Megan Mullally) had about Will and Grace both being married with kids. They correct her, they’re both childless, divorced, single and living together again. Karen’s response, “That tracks.” I admit I laughed at that, but it was still a tough pill to swallow.
I am grading this reboot as the premiere and then the following two episodes, because like a pilot for a new show, the premiere struggled to find its footing. Will & Grace was never overtly political – then being gay and on TV was political enough, but in the premiere it is all about Trump. I’d be fine with this if it wasn’t so contrived and in your face you can actually see the beads of sweat from writers and producers trying too hard. It fogged up my screen.
But despite these annoyances the premiere also proved that the chemistry between these four hilarious characters have not changed. The camp hasn’t changed. The timing and jokes and absurdity and neurotic tendencies have not changed. Thank goodness!
The next two episodes make up for the premiere’s pitfalls and even I was ready to let go of the way the finale was handled. No longer youngish, the cast deals with middle age but the laughs aren’t going to slow down. From Will dating a millennial who forsakes Madonna to Jack on Grindr to Karen who is friends with Melania (Trump’s wife, and naturally) to Grace being, well, Grace – I have loved every minute of it. This is a reboot that doesn’t rest solely on nostalgia (make no mistake though, it definitely leans on it!) but can hold its own, on its own – nostalgia-free.
If you are looking for an absurd, slapstick (there were definitely some I Love Lucy moments in the third episode), campy comedy about friendship and life then make sure to tune in to Will & Grace season nine! Even if you didn’t see the original run, you don’t need to. Just tune in and get ready to laugh because this reboot does not disappoint… as long as you skip the premiere! 😉