Note: Thursday Things are lighter thoughts about what I’m reading, watching, etc. Feel free to share your own thoughts as well.
I finally got around to watching the Will and Grace reboot and I was… underwhelmed.
When Will & Grace debuted in 1998, I loved it. The show wasn’t just funny. It was smart funny. Yeah, I know it was groundbreaking at the time as well, but I loved it because of the snappy dialogue and relatable characters. Will’s and Grace’s search for love resonated with me. And larger-than-life Karen and Jack? Who wouldn’t want them as best friends.
As the saying goes, however, you can’t go home again. Sadly, for me, that’s the thought I had while watching the new Will and Grace. Granted, I’ve only seen one episode so far, but I can already tell that the magic that made the original so wonderful has lost the luster.
My biggest complaints?
First of all, there wasn’t enough character interaction. The best part of the original were those scenes when all four characters shared the screen together. Even if the episode had an A plot and a B plot (which most ensembles do), you could still count of the script bringing the four of them together at some point during the episode.
The episode I watched had a four separate stories. (Actually 3 – The magnificent Eric McCormack was woefully underused in the episode.) There was Jack teaching in an inner city school. Karen helping a girl with “lady problems”. Grace hashing out the end of her marriage with her ex-husband. All the while, I was waiting for the moment when the four of them gathered in Will’s living room to chat about life. It never came. They stayed in their pairs – Will & Grace, Jack and Karen. Without that anchoring scene, the show was like any other sitcom. And, while there were some funny lines, they were lines that could have been delivered in any show. I’d come to expect better.
Second, and I hate to say this, was that Debra Messing doesn’t seem as comfortable in the role as she did a decade ago. While Meghan Mullally, Sean Hayes and Eric McCormack other three appear to have picked up where they left off,she appears to be struggling. It makes me sad, too, because in her heyday, Messing was fantastic. I loved her as Grace. I loved her in Smash and The Mysteries of Laura. She’s a wonderful actress. But this incarnation of Grace feels overdone. Like she’s trying too hard. Her facial expressions came across as mugging. Maybe, after doing drama for so many years, she needs to find her footing.
On a completely, shallow note – who the heck is in charge of Grace Adler’s character’s wardrobe? Debra Messing is a beautiful middle-aged woman. Admittedly, she is heavier this go around than she was in 1998, but she’s still stunning. And yet, they put her in this hideous, voluminous skirt and clunky shoes that made her look dowdy and awkward. It was distracting and looked like they were trying to camouflage her weight gain (and doing a crappy job). Maybe that’s why she looked so uncomfortable. Anyway, I hope in future episodes they change Grace up and embrace Messing’s gorgeous curves.
And, while we’re being shallow – Meghan Mullally and Eric MacCormack look amazing. Karen is still the alter-ego I wished I had.
All and all, while I liked the new Will and Grace, I didn’t love it nearly as much as the first time. It won’t be must-see television this time around. I’d much rather watch the reruns on cable. Overall grade: B
How about you? Have you watched the reboot? What did you think?