Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Not sure about this video

The video above has gone viral, with nearly 3 million views so far. It’s basically a mini Will & Grace episode, reuniting the cast a decade after the show ended. Many people clearly love it—I’m just not sure I do. And yet…

The YouTube description is very accurate:
The original creators and the cast of the award-winning television show, "Will & Grace", reunited to shoot a brand new scene for 2016 to comment on pop culture, current events and the 2016 Presidential Election - the way "Will & Grace" only know how.
It’s very much like a Will & Grace episode of old, and nostalgic in that sense. Many people say it promotes the election Hillary Clinton, and I suppose it does, but it's not so very different from the way they handled some other issues in the show’s eight-year run. I also thought Jack’s line when he opens the fridge was really funny (I literally LOLed).

We watched the show when it began, and enjoyed it. But at some point, the joke just wore thin for me. I became annoyed that the gay characters—who we were constantly told were “ground-breaking”—never had a fully-realised onscreen relationship. I wasn’t expecting soft porn, obviously, it was a prime time comedy, after all, but a serious romance at some point, one that seemed like a serious romance, would have been nice.

And then there’s Jack. The character of Jack was played by Sean Hayes, who for years refused to say whether or not he was gay in real life. I thought his reasons were silly, and took away from whatever good the show did for you LGBT kids—how can someone be a role model when they deny who they are?

Eric McCormack (who played title character Will Truman) was well-known as straight, but he was also known to be a strong ally of LGBT people. He provided a role model of a different sort: The character was one for young LGBT kids, and his real life was one for young straight kids who had LGBT friends.

I also felt that later seasons too often seemed like the “Jack and Karen Show” with Hayes and fellow cast member Megan Mullally as Karen. Mind you, it also annoyed me that the other title character, Grace Adler (played by Debra Messing), tolerated Karen’s lousy job as an employee.

So, the shine of Will & Grace faded for me long before the series ended, and that was mostly because I increasingly found the sexless gay characters problematic, and was annoyed by Sean Hayes playing coy about his real life. That means that while the nostalgia is nice, I’m not necessarily personally thrilled that this episode was made, and I don’t know that I’d watch if the show really was resurrected. But, then, maybe I would. It IS a decade later, after all.

Who said pop culture is easy?!

And, of course, I should add that this only about me and my feelings about the show. I’m glad that others enjoy it, and that this little reunion mini-episode has made so many fans happy. That’s a wonderful thing, and I don’t need to share their affection for the show to be happy for them (this is what Arthur’s Law leads to).

The bottom line for me is that it doesn’t matter what I think about the original show. The truth is, the mini-episode was fun and had some legitimately funny bits. But, even more important, fans were really happy to see it, and I think that’s a good thing in itself.

1 comment:

rogerogreen said...

This was good for the first minutes before Karen and Jack showed up, but it was so hamfisted...