Oh honey, the first episode of the new series of Will & Grace is finally here, and we have a lot to talk about.
It drops in Australia today via Stan (3pm, to be exact) and ever since those revival announcements started making the rounds, die-hard fans of the iconic series have had one main concern and question on their lips.
And that is, how have our four favourite characters Grace, Will, Jack and Karen reunited on screen after their lives had gone in such different directions and their stories had essentially already been told? And now that they have got the band back together, is the old magic really still there?
OK, you’re right, that’s actually two questions, unless you just say them together real fast…
First up, you’ll be pleased to know that the reboot premiere episode deals with the original controversial series finale right off the bat.
If you cast your mind back 11 years, you’ll remember that the original Will & Grace run ended with Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and Grace Adler (Debra Messing) married to their respective lovers before the series then jumped 20 years into the future and ended with the estranged friends reconnecting after their college-age children fell in and love and got married.
And, not to give too much away, lets just say that the reboot wipes the slate clean and resets the Will & Grace narrative so that the story can start somewhat afresh. They still have a bit of baggage left over from previous events (which also goes on to explain why they are back living together in that same apartment and why Jack is still just across the hall) but there are no adult children hanging around and cramping their style.
Listen: The Binge hosts Laura Brodnik and Clare Stephens explain why we desperately need new Will & Grace episodes in our lives.
The most notable change to the show is how politically charged the narrative now is. And, not in a nuanced, subtle way. I’m talking at least ten Donald Trump slams in the first ten minutes, the reinvention of Grace as a staunch feminist (this was at the request of Debra Messing) and half of the episode actually set within the Oval Office of the White House.
The political bent is actually a little jarring at first, but as the episode progresses, the show’s new direction starts to find its feet.
And when you take into account how the reboot premise first originated, this politically charged story switch-up actually makes a lot of sense. The idea to bring back the prime time comedy centring around a gay man, his hetero best friend, and their scene-stealers that are Karen and Jack came out of a short get-out-the-vote video made by the Will & Grace crew during last year’s fatal election.
But the biggest triumphant the new Will & Grace has going for it is the ability for the cast and writers to recreate the small-screen magic that drew viewers in the first time around while at the same time adapting it for a modern audience. The comedic timing and chemistry between the cast is all still there, as is the iconic fast-paced wordplay pioneered by the shows creators, Max Mutchnick and David Kohan. If it wasn’t for the smartphones, the dating apps and the aforementioned Trump frenzy, you would swear you were still watching the same old sitcom from more than a decade ago.
Will & Grace is not trying to reinvent the half-hour comedy wheel, what it is trying to do is bring back a much loved cast of characters, characters who pioneered radical ideas when the show first premiered, and who are still needed today.
Also, Karen Walker has always been a Trump Supporter, long before there was any notion out there in the world that a washed up reality TV star would ever be President of the United States. So it's only fair that she's been brought back to share in the glory.
Will and Grace drops on Stan on Friday 29th September. New episodes will then drop weekly.
You can follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor and host of The Binge podcast Laura Brodnik on Face for more wittily written TV news.