Guest Review Will & Grace

Will & Grace 9×01 – Eleven Years Later

"Wait a minute, what about Stan? Is he still alive? Am I still rich? Answer the last one first."

Will & Grace 1x01

If there was ever a good time to bring back Will & Grace, it’s now. The beloved NBC sitcom may not be as iconic as Friends, but it was certainly one of the wittiest shows that graced our screens in the late ’90s. So how does the revival hold up in a post-2006 world?

Luckily, the premiere offers a lot of laughs for longtime fans and newcomers alike. The cast is still as strong and lovable as ever, particularly Eric McCormack and Debra Messing, but the MVP here is, without a doubt, Megan Mullally. From her high-pitched voice to her hilarious zingers, Mullally embodies Karen Walker so effortlessly that it’s almost like she never left our screens. In addition, while I was never a fan of Sean Hayes’ over-the-top physical comedy, Jack’s dynamic with Karen remains a hoot to watch all these years later. These two are comedy gold together.

That’s not to say that the show is relying only on nostalgia. The premiere is unexpectedly heavy on political jabs and anti-Trump jokes (Cheetos, anyone?), and while that seems to be a deal-breaker for some, incorporating real-life events makes it all the more timely and entertaining for me. Plus, Karen as a Trump supporter? Hilarious.

The final scene offers hope that the show will indeed move past election jokes because as much as I enjoyed Eleven Years LaterWill & Grace needs to prove that it can exist in 2017 regardless of who “owns” the White House.

I have a feeling it’s only gonna get better from here, folks.

Bits & Quibbles

– It’s amazing that NBC brought back the show to the same timeslot it held for eight years. Even better that it’s following Superstore and The Good Place. Must-See-TV indeed.

– If I have any beefs with this episode, it’s that it should have been an hour-long premiere.

– Will and Grace’s reaction to Jada Pinkett Smith on Heads Up!…’nuff said.

– Wasn’t impressed with the exposition-heavy teaser explaining away the flawed series finale from 11 years ago (apparently, Karen was dreaming this whole time).

– Did no one age at all? Seriously, how is that possible?

– Am I the only one glad Stan is still alive?

– If only Rosario would return for at least one episode, but apparently the actress has retired. Sad.

– Karen is friends with Melania Trump. LOL.

– The final teaser should not have been Trump-related as well. Make America Gay Again was funny and appropriate here, but I wanted a stronger ending.

Karen Quips

Will: Oh, oh! We want to love her, but she makes it impossible.
Grace: Caitlyn Jenner!
Will: Of course.

Will: Um, oh! Uh, rich…hostage.
Grace: Melania!

Karen: What’s going on? What’s happening? Who won the election?

Grace: You are so woke. I used to be woke. Now I use my pussy hat to sneak candy into the movies.

Grace: What can I do that’s low-effort, high-impact?
Will: Fart in an elevator?
Grace: That was not me! This is fake news.

Grace: She never stops rubbing it in my face.
Will: Yeah, but does she ever bring up the election?
Grace: No, she tortures me constantly. I know what I can do. I can put my foot down with her in the office. No more gloating. No more screaming “lock her up!” when I wear something she doesn’t like.

Jack: How hot is he on the Ryan scale?
Will: He’s a Reynolds-point-Gosling.

(looking through a box on the President’s desk)
Grace: A Russian-English dictionary and a fidget spinner.

Grace: We should just be what we’ve always been.
Jack: Mm-hmm, a sad, middle-aged lady. (looks at Will) And Grace.

Conclusion
An amusing and hilarious return from one of the most consistently entertaining comedies of the ’90s. It’s like they never left.

Chris Rating
B+

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