Let’s talk about: new Will & Grace

I don’t spend much time talking about tv, and I know you’re all likely excited to get back to the makeup, but I need to get this off my chest.

Now, I adored the original series. It premiered when I was in high school, and my best friend was a super flamboyant gay dude whose only desire in life was to move to NYC and become a model. Or actor. Or model slash actor. He was basically Jack with better hair and clothes. He was also really tall and lithe. I adored him. I was his Karen. We used to watch this show together, and if we couldn’t watch it together we’d spend the entire next day in school talking about the bits we loved.

After our first year of college, we kind of grew apart. We eventually lost touch, and when that happened I stopped watching the show entirely. It just didn’t seem worth it. I missed him and still do, but no one’s been able to find him on social media since its inception.

Anyway, Dan and I were recently bored and looking for a funny show, and somehow he got really into the original series. I had forgotten how funny and original it was. So little has come close to matching its wit in the 11 years since it ended. The finale was somehow fitting, even though I wasn’t thrilled with it.

Now, there’s a revival. I was cautiously optimistic about it since a lot has changed since this show aired. What was edgy and funny in 1998 has been done to death now. I’ve watched three of the new episodes so far and it seems like they’re falling into this trap. I mean, the entire first episode was attempting to make the disaster that is our current government entertaining. I found it off-putting, not for political reasons per se, but for laziness reasons; how could the pilot not have better material?

In the ensuing episodes, they’ve erased all of the events of most of the previous season. Neither Will nor Grace have kids. They never had the falling out that brought them closer together, and they’re somehow single again and living together like they did 20 years ago. Oh, and they’re all totally obsessed with aging, despite everyone except Karen having aged terribly. What happened to the wit and the charm in this show? Now they’re all just terrible middle-aged people. Not that they were particularly likable before, but they did have a few redeeming qualities. I have yet to see those qualities resurface in this revival.

This begs the question: are revivals, in general, a terrible idea? I didn’t completely hate the Gilmore Girls revival, but it had almost all of the charm of the original. Plus, I don’t think I could find it in even my cold, black heart to hate them. They’ve gotten me through so much…

But I digress. I haven’t decided how much longer I’m going to stay with this show. Do I treat it like a new series and reserve my judgment for another episode or two, or do I judge it harshly based on how great the original was? Dan actually seems to be enjoying it, oddly, but he doesn’t have the same kind of high standards when it comes to tv in general, and nostalgia for this show in particular. He might be watching it alone.

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