Monday, October 9, 2017

What I’m Watching: Will and Grace

Will and Grace: Season 9, Episode 2 “Who’s Your Daddy?” (B+)

Okay, I think this show is going to work. It’s not going to be the most consistently hilarious or inventive comedy out there, but it does manage to be uproariously funny in moments and it knows exactly what it wants to be. Its first strong point is that it used celebrity casting tremendously well, employing Tony Award winner Ben Platt from “Dear Evan Hansen,” a show I was fortunate enough to first see when it was first showing at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. I imagine that Platt got cast without regard to the character he would play, and making him a millennial whose coming out story was a mere logistical inconvenience was a fantastic choice. I love that he gave Will a platform to stand there and lecture him about the importance of the battles his generation fought so that he could have freedoms and how easily those could be taken away, and the only thing Platt’s Blake digested was Will’s sarcastic comment about gay dinosaurs. Though the bit went on a little long, I think that the first scene with Jack wearing those magnets was some of the best physical comedy I’ve seen in a while, and Sean Hayes hasn’t lost his touch. I was curious about how old these actors all actually are, remembering that the show premiering nineteen years ago. It turns out that Hayes is the youngest at 47, Messing is next at 49, McCormack is 54, and Mullally is 58. No wonder Rosario didn’t appear in this episode – actress Shelley Morrison is now 80! Watching Karen and Grace try to survive the escalating water levels in the fancy shower was fun even if its conclusion was known from the start, and it’s clear that more entertaining antics are soon to follow. This episode’s best line was Karen’s promise that one of her anti-aging contraptions could “take the Mitch McConnell out of your neck.” I also enjoyed Grace’s Camp Ramah reference in an episode featuring Ramah alum Platt.

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