December 18, 2017
Today’s world is different and the show has returned to a more accepting conscious of gay men in mainstream media
Along with millions of others, I was excited to see one of my favorite TV shows return to the small screen. Will and Grace, 11 years ago, was a trend setting somewhat provocative show. Its rise in popularity was center around being one of the first TV shows with two gay men as lead characters. In the late 90s early 2000s that was considered taboo.
Today’s world is different than it was in the late 90’s, the show has returned to a more accepting conscious of gay men in mainstream media.
The first episode which aired on Thursday September 28, 2017 was a bit of a confusing kick off. When the show left the air, there were character plots that were dishonored in its return. Like Wills marriage and Graces marriage. Stans death. Elliot. Needless to say, I was a bit confused. Those character plots were a throw away in Karen Walkers first line. But were pivotal story arches in the original series. For first time viewers that could have left them a bit “out of the loop”.
The first return episode went straight for the typical punch line of the 2016 election. Clearly this episode was tapped a few months ago, but it was so predictable. Will is writing a letter to a gay congressman, Grace has an offer to redesign the oval office. Though the episode never actually said the five letter name, it was clear who the punch line was for. My expectation was a bit different. I would have loved to see a profusion of guest stars rekindling their roles and a clearer focus on closing some of the character plots.
The Will and Grace of yesteryear had a brilliant set of writers that could eloquently attack a hot topic like an election, but still maintain the quirky – out of sorts comedy. Last night’s episode was so far from the standard the show left us with 11 years ago. It wasn’t the acting, it was the writing and editing.
Was there a real audience during the taping? The laughs seemed so obvious and aligned this return with all the other fake comedy sitcoms that last only a year. Will and Grace works in front of a live audience. The actors seemed to feed off the energy of the audience in the original series. Also, who edited the return episode? It was thick with continuity issues. It replayed as a rush job and a 1920s black and white reel to reel cut and glue production.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I need to allow the show to age with the times. It was the first episode and in the next few episodes a story line may build and the show will hit its stride. As for me, I was a bit let down.
However, I won’t end this post on the negative. Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes are freaking ageless. Damn they all looked amazing. A little longer in the tooth, but they have all kept it together. I will be excited to see if some of the past supporting players make a return like. Shelley Morrison – Rosario. Leslie Jordan – Beverly Leslie and even though the first episode led us to believe he was never born, Michael Angarano as Elliot, Jakes son.