Will & Grace premiere react: '11 Years Later'
The same old show about a middle-aged lady...and Grace
Will and Grace
Honey, what’s going on? What’s happening? What’s that?
After 11 years away, is anyone really ready to pop back into that oversized, completely unaffordable Manhattan apartment? You bet. In a way, nothing has changed and everything has changed. Thirty seconds in, it feels like Will & Grace. Sure, charades has been exchanged for Heads Up!, but the execution is absolutely the same. Also, if you heard a dull roar following the Caitlyn Jenner clue, “We want to love her, but she makes it so hard,” that was me literally screaming from my couch.
Let’s go ahead and address the elephants in the room:
- That impossibly reconciled finale? Karen’s dream. The marriages happened, but so did divorces. And the kids? Never there. And you’d think you would be pissed off about this, but it’s strangely okay because for some reason, of course Karen dreamed it all.
- Also, if you were still upset about it, Will also confirms to Karen that she’s still rich and Stan is alive, Karen makes a joke that Will and Grace should never raise children, and then Jack deadpans directly into the camera, “Got it?”
- And at that moment, Grace snaps Jack’s new Grindr picture, which is just a quick glimpse into the moments when Will & Grace stumbles just a hair a decade later. The Grindr references, the p—y hats, the “wokeness”…These are the moments when the show tries to find a place in the zeitgeist of 2017 without realizing that it’s already there. But there’s some self-correction, so let’s just jump in.
Will & Grace is the best political vehicle when it’s being absolutely ridiculous, which is why it doesn’t take long to come back together. Will is writing his representative, Congressman Sandoval, about problems he disagrees with him on, and when Grace picks up on it, she wants in on the action because CAN’T WE ALL BE DOING MORE? While Will goes for email, Grace sets her sights on Karen, who voted for Trump, speaks to Melania on the reg, and loves to chant, “Lock her up!” when Grace wears something she doesn’t like.
But in actuality, Will isn’t emailing this representative just for the politics. Sandoval is also gay — nay, a POWER GAY. Think Anderson Cooper by way of Elton John by way of Abraham Lincoln, as Jack puts it. And Jack steps in and decides that the only way Will should address this Republicrush (is this an acceptable word? It is now) is by facing it head on. He books a train for Will to head to the representative’s next speaking engagement, and it’s on. As Jack says, sometimes you just have to pop your contacts out and, well, you know…whatever.
Meanwhile, Grace Adler Designs has grown. She has a real assistant, which must be refreshing. With more confidence than ever, Grace is ready to put her foot down and announce a no-politics rule when Karen makes an announcement of her own. She’s locked in a new job for Grace: redesigning the Oval Office. Grace insists that she can’t take the job, but Karen has already booked the train, so why not, who cares, it’s okay, let’s go to Washington!
While Will and Jack are outside the White House waiting for the congressman (by the way, the idea that Jack slept his way into getting perks from the Secret Service is perfect), Grace leans against the desk in the Oval Office, finding a Russian/English dictionary and a fidget spinner in Trump’s keepsake box because what else would be in there? Karen goes full Kellyanne Conway up on the couch, with her knees tucked, texting. Grace pulls out a bag of Cheetos for color comparison, and, y’all, this is Will & Grace perfection.
But Grace gets sidetracked when she finds out Congressman Sandoval is speaking outside the White House; she’s thinking about Will fighting the good fight while she chooses which shade of blue best suits Cheeto finger orange (which, quick aside: My suggestion would be Cerulean, but you do you). That’s when she and Will notice each other through the Oval Office window and Grace does her second full spit take of the episode.
Elsewhere, Jack catches up with his Secret Service fling, and we find out that since living across from Will, he’s given up on “Just Jack!” which is now a strictly forbidden topic. And while all the catch-up feels like a really reference-heavy whirlwind of a decade packed into 30 minutes, the final minutes of the episode bring us back to the core of the show. After calling each other out for Grace’s redecorating the Oval Office and Will following his Republicrush to Washington, Will says, “I can’t do this again. This, us, being all up in each other’s stuff.” He says Grace showed up in tears when he took her back in, and if she doesn’t like living there, she can move out. In return, Grace beats Will with a pillow, and we get a full-on pillow fight in the Oval Office, feathers and all.
Back with Jack, his rundown of what’s been happening over the past 10 years ends with…well, living across from Will and having an inner journey, so good for Jack. And back at the apartment, Will and Grace decide post-pillow fight that they should just stick it out. After all these years, they realize that the only change bigger than splitting up would be sticking together, like they should (heavy wink at the camera).
So that’s that. Karen voted for Trump, Will didn’t get with Congressman Sandoval, Jack got Secret Serviced (infer what you will from that), and Grace didn’t get to redecorate the Oval…except for one little touch: a hat left on Trump’s office chair reading “Make America Gay Again.”
Did it resolve two kids, two marriages, and essentially a whole last season in 30 minutes? Absofruitly not. But if Will and Grace proved two things, it’s that we have bigger fish to fry, and that sometimes the best way to fight the fight is with something familiar.
We wrote a react for this episode, which means we’ll just be checking in occasionally, but if this is a show you’d like to read about each week, please let us know! You can email email@example.com with your feedback and suggestions.
Will and Grace