If you haven’t heard, Will & Grace is officially returning to NBC for a 10-episode run. This is real, kids. No internet rumors, Beverly Leslie gossip, and certainly no fake news. According to the NBC press release (which you can read on Sean Hayes’ facebook), talks about a revival began around the same time the mini webisode “Vote, Honey” broke the internet.
In case you didn’t watch it, or if you just want to watch it again, here it is:
Guys, I love Will & Grace. It’s one of those shows that just makes me happy to watch. I am so thrilled about the idea of it being back on television, but I’ve gotta be honest.
I’m hella nervous about this revival.
[spoilers ahead, but also, it’s been literally over a decade since the series finale, so…]
I didn’t watch the finale of Will & Grace live (I got into the show late–which was a pain because this was before I got into the Netflix/streaming seasons game, so I had to catch up by buying the box set DVDs of previous seasons) so I didn’t see the finale until about a year after it premiered. Honestly, I loved it. I was really surprised to hear later on that some people hated how they wrapped Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen’s story. I thought it was a charming, serendipitous bookend to the story of Will and Grace’s charming, serendipitous friendship. So while this show will likely be taking place some time before that infamous last shot that the four took in the bar, where will it fall on the timeline?
Ultimately, if the show manages to recapture the magic of Will and Grace’s friendship, the show will find its footing. So here are five things I need in the 10-episode revival to make it work for me:
Will and Grace need to still be friends
I know this seems obvious, but if you’ll remember, before the finale’s flash forward, Leo returned and got back together with Grace (who was very pregnant with his baby). Grace choosing Leo strained her relationship with Will, and we were led to believe they really didn’t speak again until their kids got together in college. So unless they plan to set the show when an older Will and Grace get back together while their kids are falling in love, they need to somehow retcon the story line and make Will and Grace rekindle their friendship sooner. Honestly, I’m not even picky how they do it. But I know that episode and half in season 5 where Will and Grace were mad at each other when Grace asked for more time before trying again to get pregnant with Will’s baby (incidentally, also because of Leo) was the worst. I don’t want to waste much of my revival time with those two needing to make up.
Karen and Jack need to stay exactly the same
This is a tumultuous, ever-changing world. I need my Karen and my Jack to stay as silly, shallow, crass, and as lovable as ever. I mean, I know they both had some deeper character moments in the series (like that one time we learned that Karen had a room in her house dedicated to a baby that she never had or Jack dealing with his father issues), but I don’t want the revival to change them. They’re fun and silly, and I want them to stay the same Karen and Jack we fell in love with years ago.
We need meaningful appearances from characters like Rosario and Beverly Leslie
Part of what makes the show great is the amazing peppering of tertiary characters like Rosario, Beverly Leslie, Elliott, the shadowy appearance of Stan Walker, Rob, Ellen, Joe, Larry, and the like. Karen, Jack, Will, and Grace are the heart of the show, but those other characters give the show spice and life. While I don’t want the show to err on the side of peppering in gratuitous cameos as overly-obvious winks to the fans, I don’t want them to be forgotten either. I mean, at the very least, I think we need at least one game night with Rob, Ellen, Joe, and Larry, right?
We can’t forget Vince and Leo
I love Vince and Leo. Even though the two of them can sometimes step in the way of Will and Grace’s friendship, I think they’re so important to the story. Any good friends have gone through that awkward stage of making space in their lives for both their significant other and their best friend, so I love that Will & Grace talks about that–while also celebrating the romantic relationships. Plus, I love watching Vince interact with Grace and Leo interact with Will. It’s so hilarious, and I’d hate to have the revival ignore them to tell only Will and Grace-centered stories. Will and Grace love Vince and Leo, so they’ve got to have a meaningful place in the story.
Show Will and Grace (and Vince and Leo) as parents
I realize this isn’t Will or Grace, but it’s too fun not to include
Chances are pretty solid that wherever this falls on the timeline, Will and Grace will officially be parents. We’ve seen Karen’s parenting style, we’ve seen Jack’s parenting style, and we’ve seen the homes Will and Grace grew up in, but we haven’t really seen them as someone else’s parents. I can’t wait to see how Will and Grace’s lives are different and the same with kids in their lives. I just really hope they don’t undo the fact that their kids Ben and Lila end up together.
Keep Jack’s celeb obsessions
From Cher to JLo to Janet Jackson to my personal favorite of Jack’s obsessions, Kevin Bacon, Will & Grace has always showcased Jack as a person obsessed with celebs. Some of them know about him (like Kevin Bacon), but some he’s only met in passing instances (like Cher). Regardless, it’s part of what keeps Jack zany, and in a celeb-filled town like NYC, I really hope they keep that part of Jack’s story in tact. Okay, I’ll be honest. I really just want him to keep stalking Kevin Bacon…That is one of my all-time favorite Jack McFarland quirks.
Bonus: a Debbie Reynolds tribute
Okay, I know I said this was a list of five things, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the flawless Debbie Reynolds, who played Grace’s mother, Bobbi Adler. Bobbi was hilarious and lovable, and I just loved episodes where they featured her. Even if they don’t do a whole “Grace’s mom dies” episode (which could be too heavy for the revival’s short run), I hope they at least mention Bobbi. She was too pivotal to the show to not mention at all.
Honestly, if they keep the original spirit of the show without turning the revival into nothing more than flippant fan-service, I think it can be great. We all love Will & Grace for their story, and bringing them back means there is more story to tell. If that’s true and they spend their ten episode run adding something meaningful to the Will & Grace canon, I’ll be pleased. Sure, I’m nervous, but I’m ultimately really excited to get to hang out with my old friends again. What kind of things do you want to see in the revival? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!