Some things never change.
Will & Grace (and Jack and Karen!) are officially back, honeys! The highly anticipated revival of the iconic NBC sitcom finally premiered on Thursday night, reuniting viewers with one of TV’s most beloved foursomes. And it was like no time had passed…especially because the show made the decision to completely ignore the series finale, which aired in 2006.
In case you forgot, series finale staged a massive time-jump that revealed that besties Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) hadn’t spoken for 20 years, with the duo finally reuniting as their respective children moved into the same dorm at college.
But 11 years later and a revival pick-up later, the estrangement and kids are gone, with Will and Grace still living together. And we’re not gonna lie, it felt right. Like putting on an old sweater you thought you lost and delighting in the fact that it still fit just as you remembered. It’s the ultimate TV comfort food.
E! News had reported prior to the premiere that Will & Grace would be ignoring the series finale, but we didn’t know how they would be doing so. But on Thursday night, we finally got our answer: it was all a (booze-fueled) dream!
In the opening scene, the gang is attempting to play Heads Up!, but Karen (Megan Mullaly) is in a trance, until Jack (Sean Hayes) wakes her up by shaking her pill bottle. “I had the craziest dream,” she said. ” In the dream, Will was living with a swarthy man in uniform and Grace was married to a Jew doctor.”
When Will responded, “Well, we were, but we’re single now,” Karen, without missing a beat, said, “That tracks.” (Will and Vince have broken up, while Grace and Leo are divorcing, by the way, but both Bobby Cannavale and Harry Connick Jr. will reprise their roles this season.)
Karen then asked, “What happened to the children that you had that grew up and got married to each other?” And when Will said that never happened, Karen responded, “Oh, what a relief. Nobody wants to see you two raise kids.” Ha!
“What would be funny about that?” Jack asked. Double ha!
As for Karen, Stan’s still alive and she’s still rich. And just to completely break down that exposition-filled fourth wall, Jack, whose been pestering Grace to snap an “adorable” pic of him for his Grindr profile throughout the scene, turned to the camera and asked, “Got it?”
Back in August, co-creator Max Mutchnick teased how the show would handle addressing the series finale switch up at the 2017 Summer TCA Press Tour. “We think we came up with the right way to do that. We just want to hold off on telling you exactly what that is…but it’s not anything that’s going to surprise you,” he said.
He continued to explain that had they known the show would eventually come back, they “never would’ve gone in that direction.”
Co-creator David Kohan also went on to say that they chose chemistry over (plot) consistency, explaining, “I think what we missed was the dynamic between the four of them more than we missed the possibility of what their lives would be like as parents.”
McCormack added, “Happy endings aren’t really funny. We just took part out that little part at the end.”
Will & Grace airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
And make sure to check out Will & Grace After Party, an after-show hosted by E! News’s own Kristin Dos Santos, tomorrow morning, and continuing every Friday thereafter for the first six episodes of the season, on the NBC app, the Will & Grace social accounts, YouTube channel and E! News platforms.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)