What a difference a couple of decades can make for a television show. When it debuted Will & Grace was revolutionary for any number of reasons but the biggest was its representation of the LGBT population in a significant and substantial way. The big moment of Ellen, with the character (and actress) coming out of the closet, was a one-time rating boost that didn’t manage to save that show. Will & Grace, on the other hand, started out with LGBT characters in an era when it wasn’t a normalcy.
It also happened to be a brilliantly funny sit-com in an era filled with them.
Simple premise. Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) have been best friends since college. Will is gay and his roommate (Jack McFarland) is as well. Grace’s assistant (Megan Mullaly) is a pill popping drunk. They got into all sorts of shenanigans.
When the show ended the world was in a different place … and now it’s in a significantly different one. Seeing the relaunched show is much different now in an era where the LGBT is much more represented across the board. How would Will, Jack, Karen and Grace live in a world where they’re not only significantly older but also have seen the change they want to see in the world?
It’s an interesting premise, to take characters that were seemingly from a different world entirely and see what happened to them. The old saying “you can’t go home again” seems to come into play here because what was once an acerbically funny show with tremendous wit, and a case study on dialogue, doesn’t quite have the same zip as it used to.
With a quick “it never happened” sort of wipe to out the poignant series finale, the show catches us up with Grace and Will. They’re still in the midst of wacky adventures and we follow them through an entire season of them. The problem this time around is that instead of playing it for laughs they seem to be playing it for the claps; they want people to applaud them for having the right opinion a lot of times than they want to make people genuinely laugh.
The original series was incredibly funny because it didn’t have an agenda; it just wanted to present different characters in wacky scenarios. This time around the laughs are stale and they’re going for applause from people who agree, not because they find it interesting or funny.
Will & Grace remains an amazingly funny show the first time around and the revival? It makes you yearn for the first time around. Recommendation to avoid.
There’s a ton of terrific extras about why they brought the series back, etc.
Universal presents Will & Grace (The Revival) (Season 1) . Created by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. Starring Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullaly, Jack McFarland. Run Time: 336 minutes. Not Rated. Released on: 6.12.18
Tags: Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Jack McFarland, Megan Mullaly, Will & Grace