Will And Grace Rebooted: Not Awful, And There's Kissing

I don't have network tv anymore, so I only learned through the grapevine that the 1990s "gay men are really women" fest Will and Grace was getting a five-episode reboot.

 I just found out  that it returned for a whole season, a full fledged Season 9  (2017-2018), with Season 10 to start in October.  Curious, I dipped into a few episodes.

It's not awful.

Eleven years have passed, and the characters are pushing through middle age (Jack is 49 years old, Grace 51, Will  is 52, and Karen 59).

They have been rebooted: the relationships they had at the end of the last series have been dissolved, and there are no children to grow up and get married to each other.  Will and Grace are living together again.

Jack and Karen are still shrill and theatrical.

But Will and Grace are not quite as self-possessed.  Remember: "We don't believe in anything?"  Now they believe in things.  I guess you could get by with complacency in the Clinton 1990s, but in the alt-right era, it's time to march.

And the Fab Four no longer seem to hate each other.   The undertow of hostility is absent.  There are few barbs and put-downs, except for the ubiquitous ones about Will being too feminine and Grace being too masculine.

 The plotlnes are different. They face ethical dilemmas.

They face their mortality.  Grace has a cancer scare.  Karen's beloved housemaid Rosario dies.  Jack has a grandson.

They are actually affected by current events, although sometimes with a weird twist.  Instead of a bakery refusing to bake a cake for gay people, it's refusing to bake a cake for the President).

And being gay is different. In the earlier series, gay men were actually transgender bisexuals.  They thought of themselves as women, referred to themselves as women, and displayed traditionally feminine traits, with skin care products and romantic comedies.  They dated men (without kissing them), but they preferred sex with women and sought out female life partners.

Now gay men are still "girls," but they rarely express any heterosexual desire.

In the earlier series, gay men (or rather, transgender bisexuals) faced no homophobia.  Even the ubiquitous "You're really a woman!" wasn't actually homophobic, since they agreed with the evaluation.  There was no discrimination, no prejudice, no homophobic rage.  There was no coming out: everybody always knew, everyone was always out (except no kissing). Now there is homophobic bias.  There are guys on the downlow.  You have to come out to friends and family.

There are some hunky guest stars and recurring characters, like Kyle Bornhammer (above) as a secret service agent.

Ryan Pinkston (left), one of my long-time favorite actors, as a closeted cop who dates Jack.

Ben Platt as a 23-year old who dates "daddy" Will (I know the feeling).

Another of my long-time favorites, Michael Angarano, as Jack's son.

I'm actually not hating it.

At least there's kissing.

See also: Ryan Pinkston;  Will and Grace