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Saturday, 12 January 2008

Will & Grace

Will & Grace Finalé, Living TV, Thursday 7 September 2006
Did we like it?
It went out with a sentimental whimper rather than a bang, but the two-part finalé did have its moments and left us feeling a tiny bit sad.
What was good about it?
• The highlight was Grace's dream sequence featuring a bald, tubby Will, whose wig fell off, an even tubbier Grace, squeezed into a red tracksuit with her bottom a yard behind her, Jack with a nuclear tan and a lovely husband (it's Kevin Bacon!) and Karen (who hadn't aged a jot) in love with butch leather'n'denim-wearing lesbian Rosario.
• The scene when Will and Grace's kids Ben and Lila nervously met in a dorm hall and got together was a fine twist. Ben was a gorgeous version of his father. Which was nice.
• Jack and Karen chatting to each other on their mobile phones – even though they were in the same bubbly bath
• Bitchy Beverly Leslie's demise – being swept off his balcony in a wind – was a rare moment of slapstick silliness and meant that Jack and Karen could live together in tacky luxury.

What was bad about it?
• The silly banter between Will and Grace has gradually ground us down. It's one thing we won't miss.
• Jack and Karen singing Unforgettable didn't fit into the plot and was just a weak attempt to get fans sobbing. Didn't work for us.
• The playing of Queen's You're My Best Friend as the foursome toasted each other in a bar was another play on our emotions. Still didn't work for us.
• Will doesn't deserve hot cop Vince.
• Grace doesn't deserve hot doc Leo.
• We still hate the queer-insulting sponsor's messages run by LivingTV – and will never buy the advertised product as a protest.

Will & Grace, Living TV, Thursday 6 April 2006
Did we like it?
No. This was an airing of the series eight opener that went out live in America, a gimmick that backfired because there was only one set (Will's naff apartment), the shortcomings of the cast were exposed and the audience yelled with undeserved laughter. Plus it meant we had to suffer video picture quality rather than the usual filmy style.

What was good about it?
• Some of the gags were as good as ever, but were spoilt by the hysteria. The best were:
Grace – "Stan's alive? But there was a funeral. We scattered a trash bag full of his ashes." Will – "Apparently, that was just dirt and Rice Krispies."
Jack – "I had the largest glitter-related tragedy since Mariah Carey's film debut."
Jack – "My only crime is being irresistible. Besides, Grace, life is too short to waste time on over-thinking things. When an opportunity comes, I don't question it. I grab it, drop its ring on the nightstand, and swing on it 'til dawn!"
• Karen's callous attitude when told that husband Stan was still alive.
• The story behind Jack's eyepatch. It wasn't a glitter-related incident as he claimed, but the result of some singeing while singing on Jack Talk, his new talk show. The exposure of his missing eyebrow was the best gag of the show.
• Karen causing havoc in her mobility vehicle (used because actress Megan Mullally had hurt her ankle while dancing at home).

What was bad about it?
• The Karen-Rosario mutual loathing routine wasn't as good as it can be.
• Alec Baldwin as guest star Malcolm seemed a little uncomfortable
• The studio audience seemed to love Debra Messing messing about. We didn't.
• The Will v Grace banter wore thin very quickly.

Will & Grace, LivingTV, Thursday 4 May 2006
Lowlights
• The tiresome, unoriginal and rather offensive Muller sponsorship credits that have plagued this final series. We can almost imagine the conversation in the marketing boardroom: “We want to promote the Fruity taste of our yoghurt on TV – I know, let’s play on this by showing a series of camp nancies trying to pull straight men”.
• The episode felt like complete filler, centring on Will’s annual Autumn Festival which for some reason aimed to bring gay men and pumpkins together. After the genuine spontaneity, unintentional humour and bravado of the live opener, this was flat and no different from 50 other Will & Grace episodes. We couldn’t help but wonder also how on Earth Will actually makes any money as a lawyer when he spends most of his time on oddities such as this glorified fair.
• Jack Talk as a catchphrase was never funny in the first place and definitely isn’t half way through yet another series.
• Jason Biggs was a lovely choice for a guest star but was totally wasted, with no noticeable jokes given to him to deliver. It’s such a shame that we can’t remember a time when the show didn’t rely on celebrity cameos and that it will probably be remembered for this aspect rather than any comic flair.
• Will & Grace has always suffered from Predictability Syndrome (like many American sitcoms) and this episode was no different. Jack’s admission that he “can’t carry the whole gay community on his back” was met with an inevitable retort from Will.
Highlights
• There were a few choice lines. We particularly enjoyed Jack’s lament of no one recognising his celebrity with the snappy “I feel like Teri Hatcher six years ago – and six years from now”.
• Alec Baldwin, despite being another addition to the guest star roster, was nicely quirky and kooky as Malcolm. We liked his threat to Grace: “I’m trained in all forms of persuasion: physical torture, sleep deprivation and Jewish guilt”.

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