With the trend of nostalgia ruling TV and film production, it seems like just about every property and franchise could return for new installments. And NBC is doing just that with its beloved and acclaimed sitcom Will and Grace. The series has just returned after 11 years, and its brand new Season 9 feels exactly like the first eight: irreverent, self-aware, and appropriately bonkers.
Will and Grace's first new episode jumped in with one of the duo's favorite activities: game night. The roommates and best friends are able to practically read each other's minds as they describe celebrities, which brought the series into the modern timeline through topical pop culture references, including a jab at Caitlyn Jenner.
The opening sequence also hilarious crams in exposition, courtesy of Megan Mullally's Karen Walker. She's apparently been out of it since the series ended, so Will and Grace used this device to quickly catch us up on the characters. Will and Grace have gotten divorced from Leo and Vince respectively, Jack is still aimless, and Karen is still rich and married to none other than the unseen Stanley Walker.
While Will and Grace had never shied away from political subject matter in its original run, the season premiere was a bit more on the nose and aggressive than the past episodes. Karen continuously gloats about President Donald Trump's win in the election, while Will and Grace furiously contact their representatives in an act of rebellion. But the roommates' views are quickly put into question. It turns out that Will's rep is actually a handsome and charming gay man, they just happen to fundamentally disagree on just about every issue. And when Karen gets Grace a job redecorating President Trump's oval office (she's besties with Milania), Grace has to decide whether or not to compromise her political beliefs for the amazing opportunity. These plot points end up taking the four stars to none other than the White House for the second half of the premiere.
It should be interesting to see how this choice in plot points affects Will and Grace's viewership. While the hardcore fans were no doubt delighted, opening the new season with an episode chock full of digs at President Trump has the potential to alienate viewers. In addition to turning off Trump supporters, there are probably plenty of fans who are sick of constantly being reminded about the country's political landscape, and just wanted to escape and laugh for 30 minutes.
But those unbothered by the subject matter are going to be very happy. Will and Grace's new season feels just like the original series, mostly due to the cast and writers quickly jumping back into their roles. The short video "Vote, Honey" was a test, and they all passed in a big way. Many younger Will and Grace fans have only watched the show on syndication, so this premiere marks the first time many have seen a new episode on TV.
Will and Grace airs Thursdays on NBC. Be sure to check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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