Will & Grace – 11 Years Later
By: Kelly Kearney
It was like we went to sleep, woke up and everything was the same…only better. After eleven years off the air “Will and Grace,” is back and miraculously better than ever! With a TV line up full of reboots and revivals that usually fall short on fan expectations, episode 11 Years Later proved once again that great writing and sparky cast chemistry is a formula that just works, no matter what year it is.
Karen’s 11 year blackout dream
We open in the familiar yet updated Truman apartment where a competitive game of charades is underway and it’s obvious Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) haven’t lost their desire to win at all costs. As always, the best friends are on the same team and they’re dominating the category of “a man who’s aged into a lesbian.” After Grace shouts out a few options of Steven Tyler and Jon Voight and the two go on to read each other’s minds over Jada Pinkett-Smith and presumed hostage Melania Trump, it’s clear Will and Grace are still pop culture obsessed and ready to crush the competition. Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally), on the other hand, are less interested in games and more interested in martinis and Grindr skanks. The internet has upped Jack’s dating game even if as he claims, scrolling through profiles might give him finger herpes. Besides a few grey hairs and the introduction to social media, nothing seems to have changed for the foursome, even Karen is still the sauced millionaire with a heart of shade she always was.
Speaking of drunk, Karen stares blankly as Jack tries to get her attention by shaking her pill bottle, but she’s in an eye-opening black out where she drunk dreamed the entirety of Season 8! That’s right, the finale is out the window and Karen is still a millionaire married to Stan, Grace is divorced and neither her nor Will have children. Everything was a dream and considering how bizarre the ending was, it makes sense it was a product of Karen’s gin soaked mind. Always saying what we all think, Jack and his boozy side kick laugh about how nobody wanted to see the best friends raise kids anyway, there’s no humor in it and everyone knows Jack and Karen don’t do serious. We soon find out that Grace is back to living with her GBF, at least until she can pull herself together after the divorce from Leo. As for Jack, well he’s “Just Jack” and as self-absorbed as ever. Karen, who’s always dabbled in the darker sides of life, is all cheers about her guy Trump winning the election. She’s relieved the win wasn’t part of her dream and maybe because New York City socialites stick together or maybe because she just likes sticking it to Grace, the poor or whoever is in her line of fire this week, she couldn’t be happier with the recent election results.
Ok, Shonda. Now We Got A Scandal!
While Karen might be pro-Trump, Will is pro-dating a hot Republican congressman Steve Sandoval (Eddie Matos) regardless of how much their beliefs differ. He might be acting all holier than thou about his liberal activism with Grace, but when Jack finds out about Will’s scandalous Red vs. Blue romance, he’s as giddy as a school girl and ready for the drama. Grace on the other hand is doing her best push back the new administration the best way she knows how; low maintenance, high impact is the Adler way but no amount of letter writing or pussy hat wearing prepares her for the job that lands in her lap. Thanks to the Walker-Trump friendship, Karen lands Grace a job redecorating the Oval Office and no amount of Cheeto dust is keeping Alder away from this score. Sure, at first she struggles with her moral duty to stand by her gays and let the job fall to someone else. But Grace has always struggled with her morality in the face of fame and this is no different.
Taking the job means the gang heads to DC where Grace is matching fabric swatches to cheesy snack foods, as Karen lounges on the Oval Office couch like Kelly Ann Conway’s new replacement. Snooping around the President’s desk, Grace discovers Trump’s love of fidget spinners as well as his English to Russian dictionary, a joke that proves the show has unapologetically found its way into the zeitgeist. As Grace is trying to decide which fabric goes with the complexion of cheese, Jack is outside the Oval Office hitting on a cute Secret Service Agent (Kyle Bornheimer). The agent jokes about his new duties and how the people he protected the last President from are now the new President’s biggest supporters. One of those supporters is the congressman Will has been trying to get the attention of and when he crosses paths with Grace, she calls him out on his hypocrisy while, of course, ignoring her own. The two best friends get to arguing about who’s the bigger hypocrite and it escalates into a pillow fight in the middle of the Oval Office. Feathers are flying faster than the shade can be slung and even though this office has seen nine months of childish meltdowns, this one takes the cake.
Home is where the heart is
Eventually, the friends get to the root of their issues and decide, bipartisanship aside, Grace’s temporary living arrangement will become more of permanent residence. Unlike in the past, where both Will and Grace tricked themselves into thinking that living together would somehow change who they were as people, they’re older and wiser now and know change isn’t something they’re good at. This time, they’re going into cohabitation with their eyes wide open and for Grace, who’s still struggling over her divorce from Leo, it’s nice to be able to go back home.
With the friendship back on track and Grace’s design aesthetic going to the birds (knee deep in feathers), she does the only thing she can to upgrade The White House design. Hanging on the corner of the President’s office chair, she leaves a red hat embroidered with,” Make America Gay Again.” What better way to end the revival premiere than to remind the masses about the role this show played in bringing acceptance to an entire community through the one thing we all can relate to; laughter.