Will & Grace (Season 9) (2017)

While I have long-standing appreciation for this NBC sitcom, one that helped normalize the gay community during an historical period where representation was minimal, it’s my dark confession that I’ve never really found it all that funny. Mind you, I do think it’s entertaining and amusing, but the titular characters have never really registered with me. That being said it’s a surprising pleasure to reconnect with them over the course of this unexpected revival, which manages to smooth over some of the flaws from the original run thanks to tighter writing and a looser structure, which frees up co-leads Eric McCormack and Debra Messing to have more fun with their characters. Messing, in particular, seems to understand Grace more as a mature adult than she did before, and creates a nuanced characterization that avoids the treacly shrillness of her previous performances. The first episode is entirely focused on the Donald Trump presidency and it’s an angry, unpleasant episode to sit through, but the rest of the season stops aiming for low-hanging fruit and finds its footing about halfway through.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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