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TV Series Review

When Will & Grace first plopped down on the NBC television couch in 1998, homosexual characters were still an anomaly on television.

Roseanne had featured the first gay kiss just four years earlier. Ellen DeGeneres had just come out on her self-titled sitcom in 1997—and her show was cancelled the next year. And before Will & Grace, an American sitcom had never been anchored by a pair of openly gay characters: the titular Will and his friend, Jack.

The series proved enormously popular. Even now, the LGBTQ community lauds it as a landmark cultural moment for its movement.

But no show (with the possible exception of The Simpsons) runs forever. After eight seasons and steadily declining ratings, Will & Grace officially signed off in 2006. For good.

Or did it?

While it may be true that no show runs forever, there's nothing to say that a network can't bring a show back every now and then.

And so NBC has, and now it’s in the 11th and, for the second time, final season.

Willer & Gracer

We live in a television age in which everything old is new again. Turn to CBS, and you can watch MacGyver (a show originally hailing from the 1980s) or Hawaii Five-0 (the '60s). The CW resurrected Dynasty. And don't even get me started on Netflix, what with its revamped versions of Gilmore Girls and Full(er) House, even Voltron.

No wonder NBC figured there might still be an audience to watch the crass characters from Will & Grace quip and barb and preen. Never mind that the original finale gave both Will and Grace (Will's female, heterosexual roommate) spouses and children and seemed to shut the door on a reboot forever. That thing? NBC tells us in the first episode of the new show. Never happened.

And so, everything is pretty much the same as it always was, with a few cosmetic changes here and there: Single Grace living with an engaged Will; Jack living next door with his new husband, Estefan; and Karen wandering in and out whenever there's a need for a boozy, clueless, conservative foil. Will and Grace aren't married. And they certainly don't have children. At least, not yet.

But while longtime fans of the show may appreciate the comforting sameness of it all, we at Plugged In have a different take.

Free Will, Free Grace … at a Steep Price

Look, I get it: Plugged In is part of Focus on the Family, a Christian organization that holds true to a biblical understanding of sexuality and marriage. No one would expect this site to endorse the LGBTQ underpinnings of Will & Grace.

But let me be honest: Even if every character on this show was heterosexual, it would be just as problematic. Yes, Will & Grace normalized same-sex attraction. But even more so, the show celebrates promiscuity. And that's not just sinful: It's sad, too.

Oh, friendship has its place in Will & Grace, of course. And that's nice and all. But the fact that most of the show's characters are still exactly the same, suggests that change—trying to improve ourselves every day—is undesirable. Or impossible. Or both. Happiness is found in doing the same things we've always done, day after day, year after year, reboot after reboot.

And things may be changing a little in the 11th and final season, but will it be enough? It seems that NBC has created a world of no truth and no consequences … just some (admittedly dynamite) chemistry and a steady stream of naughty (but predictable) jokes.

For me, this NBC continuation offers very little real grace.

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Episode Reviews

Oct. 24, 2019: “Eat, Pray, Love, Phone, Sex”
Jan. 31, 2019: "Family, Trip"
Will & Grace: Sept. 28, 2017 "11 Years Later"



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Eric McCormack as Will Truman; Debra Messing as Grace Adler; Megan Mullally as Karen Walker; Sean Hayes as Jack McFarland; Brian Jordan Alvarez as Estefan Gloria; Matt Bomer as McCoy Whitman






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