Will and Grace: A Gay Olde Christmas (2017)

Despite being off the air for a decade, Will and Grace was recently resurrected by NBC. Let this be a lesson to you - never assume the monster is dead. Even if you think you saw its body, even if there's no conceivable way it could have escaped alive... always be ready.

The Christmas episode is sort of a dream sequence/flashback to four characters in 1912 played by the cast. There's a brief frame story involving the actual characters and the bathroom of a historical society, but none of that's actually relevant.

The dream sequence is set at Christmas. Karen's alter-ego is a poor Irish immigrant raising a large family in a dilapidated apartment owned by a rich landlord (Will). Jack is a sailor boarding with Karen, and Grace is married to Will.

The plot basically boils down to Will wanting to throw Karen out at Christmas until Jack sleeps with him to change his mind.

That's... that's it. It's stretched out to fill thirty minutes and padded with jokes about Irish and gay stereotypes. And, of course, a prolonged gag about the fact the word "gay" has two meanings (in case you thought you'd only be subjected to that pun in the episode title).

In fairness, there are a few jokes that made me chuckle (and, if I'm being totally honest, they were among the most offensive ones in the episode). But overall, this was just boring and bizarre. The characters were even more two-dimensional than usual, and there didn't seem to be much point doing an alternate era episode. As far as I can tell, they just wanted an excuse to dress up and use absurd accents.

There's a brief afterword where the present-day characters learn the fates of the ones they were ostensibly learning about: everyone dies horribly. I think this was supposed to be comically shocking, but we'd spent so little time with them, it just kind of fell flat.

I can't speak for the rest of this revival, but this episode makes me think they should have let the show rest in peace.


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