‘Will & Grace’ re­turns next month

New Straits Times - - World -

Reuters BEV­ERLY HILLS: Com­edy Will & Grace, the tele­vi­sion show cred­ited with bring­ing gay men and women into main­stream pop cul­ture long be­fore gay mar­riage was le­gal in the United States, will re­turn next month for not just one but two sea­sons, broad­caster NBC said.

The re­vival, in which Em­my­win­ning stars Eric McCor­mack, De­bra Mess­ing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mul­lally reprise their roles, will ig­nore the 2006 se­ries fi­nale, which jumped 20 years into the fu­ture.

And, although pop cul­ture and Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics will play their parts, the cast and cre­ators said the aim of the show would be to make peo­ple laugh.

The se­ries about a gay at­tor­ney who shares a New York apart­ment with his straight fe­male friend be­gan in 1998 and was cred­ited with fos­ter­ing ac­cep­tance of gay peo­ple years be­fore the United States Supreme Court made gay mar­riage a right nationwide in 2015.

“We set out to be funny — that’s still first and fore­most,” McCor­mack told tele­vi­sion writ­ers at a pre­sen­ta­tion here.

“We’ll in­clude po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural things. Of course, we will.”

Mess­ing said she hoped the new se­ries would “fin­ish the al­pha­bet” of gen­der iden­tity to in­clude is­sues around trans­gen­der, queer and pan­sex­ual cul­ture.

The 2006 se­ries fi­nale leapt 20 years into a fan­tasy fu­ture in which Will and Grace have be­come es­tranged, but are brought to­gether again through their chil­dren.

The new se­ries, how­ever, will pick up this year, with Will and Grace still liv­ing to­gether, and with gay friend Jack (Sean Hayes) and the nar­cis­sis­tic Karen (Megan Mul­lally) liv­ing across the hall­way in their New York apart­ment block.

Rich so­cialite Karen would boast of her friend­ship with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his wife, Me­la­nia, Mul­lally said.

“We have a Trump sup­porter in­side this group. That made it cre­atively very in­ter­est­ing to re­visit and re­ally speak to the world through these voices,” said Max Mutch­nick, who is re­turn­ing to pro­duce the com­edy with co-cre­ator David Ko­han.

Ko­han and Mutch­nick said they de­cided to ig­nore the events of the se­ries fi­nale to get back to the essence of the four char­ac­ters.

“What we missed was the dy­namic be­tween the four of them more than we missed the pos­si­bil­ity of see­ing what their lives were like as par­ents,” Ko­han said.

Hayes said re­unit­ing for the show was “like rid­ing a bike”.

“It fits like a glove. It’s a gift of a life­time that we get to do this again.” Reuters

AFP PIC

The cast of ‘Will & Grace’

(from left) Sean Hayes, De­bra Mess­ing, Megan Mul­lally

and Eric McCor­mack. (Clock­wise

from left) Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Bon Jovi.

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