South O’ the Highway

‘Will & Grace’ Returns to High Ratings and Critical Acclaim

With a jazzy update of its catchy theme song, the long-awaited revival of Will & Grace (starring Hamptonite Debra Messing, Eric McCormick, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes) premiered on Thursday night, and it was a hit! With 10 million viewers (before DVR and streaming numbers), the show helped NBC win the ratings race in the timeslot for the evening. Will & Grace is set to run for 16 episodes and return for another season.

Critically, the show has received a warm reception, with a few criticisms leveled at the abundance of political jokes and jabs. In the episode, Will is simultaneously flirting and feuding with a Republican politician over email and decides to head to Washington, D.C. with Jack to meet him. Meanwhile, Karen—a proud Trump supporter and personal friend to Melania—gets Grace the gig of a lifetime, redecorating the Oval Office. Grace, who is a staunch Democrat, reluctantly agrees to the job. When the four characters eventually converge in D.C., all sorts of hijinks ensue. While the story at first seems a bit ambitious, the old dynamics between the characters quickly return and it’s like the show never left the air. There is also a very funny explaining-away of the maligned series finale.

With a solid premiere, Will & Grace seems like a surefire hit for NBC and a return to form for the series, which had definitely overstayed its welcome the first time around. We’ll see if the show falls into the same traps that felled it the first time—an abundance of celebrity cameos, stories that strayed from the original premise, over-the-top moments—but for now, Will & Grace is back, and that’s reason enough to celebrate.

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