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July 23, 2014

Will & Grace: The Finale (series finale)

by Richard Keller, posted May 18th 2006 11:31PM

The cast of Will & Grace(S08E23) There are those who are die-hard fans of Will & Grace, which premiered on the NBC schedule back in 1998. Then there are those who despise the show, which is about the relationship between Grace Adler (Debra Messing) and her gay friend Will Truman (Eric McCormack). The fans love the back-and-forth between the two characters and the dynamic of their relationship. Those who hate the show may be uncomfortable with the subject matter (homosexuality) or the cartoon-ish characterizations of Will and Grace's friends Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally ), or the fact that it's just not funny.

I fall under neither category. I liked Will & Grace, but was not a huge fan. I'd watch it if I happened to see something interesting going on, and I'd laugh at a few of the lines (not as heartily as I would laugh during an episode of Scrubs, though). Yet, Jack annoyed me sometimes and the influx of guest stars on the show was somewhat distracting. In fact, over the last few years I didn't really follow it at all.

However, as this would be the last episode of the series, I decided to give it a review. My opinion on the last show of the series? Meh.

For the most part this series finale was okay. The basic theme of the episode was destiny: no matter what separated Will and Grace throughout their lives (marriage, raising children) the connection that they had would always remain. Director and Executive Producer James Burrows presented this well, although a bit disjointedly, as the episode jumped in time to a point approximately 20 years in the future (which, according to Will, is when George Clooney returns to ER, in its 33rd season). It was interesting to see that even the son and daughter of the two characters would have the same chemistry as their parents (although, they would get married in the end, unlike WIll and Grace).

I had an issue with the subplot, which involved Jack prostituting himself out to diminutive millionaire Beverly Leslie (Leslie Jordan) in order for Karen, whose huge divoce settlement was nullfied, to live the life of luxury she was used to. It just felt very unreal compared to other things going on during the show. Things got back on track towards the end as Karen, who was living with Jack for the last 20 years, professed that was the best, and longest, relationship she had.

In the end the show came down to what it was all about in the first place: friendship and the bonds that tie people together. As the four friends drank together at the local bar you realized that, no matter what went on in their lives, they would always have a connection.

While not as satisfying as, say, the Friends finale (I mean, Rachel and Ross get back together. C'mon!) or as crushing as the Seinfeld finale (need I say more?), the series finale to Will & Grace did have its moments and came back to the original concept of friendship among a close group of people. There were some moments where I did laugh out loud, but they were few. I also enjoyed the duet of Unforgivable Unforgettable by Karen and Jack (who have very nice singing voices), but I didn't understand what it was doing for the plot.

While it had a good run I think the time was ripe to move on to make way for the new generation of comedies, such as My Name is Earl and The Office. So long Will & Grace; thanks for hanging in there for so long.

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Amber

I loved the finale for Will & Grace! Its easy to understand that they got caught up in their OWN lives, raising their families. After the first return to each other you saw how busy their schedules were.
The dream sequence? Absolutely hysterical! At least Grace finally had a chest... Haha. And kevin Bacon was perfect...
The duet was beutifully done, classic, it showed us how much Karen and Jack really LOVE each other despite their attitudes towards love.

June 22 2006 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrea

I've been a fan of W & G since '98, but raising a family got me a bit 'out of the loop'........hmmmmmmmm. I loved jack & karen's duet! I totally relate to both 'couples' relationship as my best friend from college is a gay man (although I think we were much funnier!)........we've recently 'reconnected' after several years apart (I married, had kids, he moved to LA......blah, blah, blah). Although some find the the finale hard to believe, it could happen......it did to me with several friends........both male & female........and when the time is right, we have (will) reconnect. I'll miss the show, but agree it was time to leave. Thanks to the actors, writers, directors, etc. for the great entertainment.

May 24 2006 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

I agree with Jimmy (Post #9). I watched the show pretty faithfully until Harry Connick Jr. joined the cast. I tuned in for the finale -- for the first time in two or three years, at least -- and regretted it.

May 21 2006 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shelly

I am soooo disappointed in the W&G finale. I don't think I'll ever enjoy the reruns (that I watch every chance I get) the same. Knowing that W&G's special bond is so easily tossed aside. First they don't speak for 2 years, meet up, and then another 16? That's all I could think when I watched a rerun last night. Their friendship is indispensable! 2 stars. Oh, how I will miss "Jackie" and Kare!

May 20 2006 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
daphne hargrove

I have to agree with many that the episode was a disappointment. I have watched W and G off and on for a couple of years, and though the first time I watched it, Karen's high voice and W and G's exaggerated drama over trivialities kind of alienated me, the show really grew on me and it was often VERY funny--one of the most cleverly campy shows on TV, sending up all kinds of cliches and stereotypes while showing the real human beings in the characters. But that last episode... the initial dream was pretty funny, but after that it got really plodding and dull, with needless drama replacing the humor of typical episodes. Why is it that the final wrap-up episode is often so incredibly out of character for the show as a whole? Disappointing....

May 20 2006 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dana Yount

First of all, the finale dismissed their friendship in one fell swoop. They live in the same city, never talk, never see each other for 20 years...it's as if the whole series was them using each other while waiting for their supposed real lives...I hated it.
Second, I'm sorry the writer didn't get Jack and Karen's song and their "nice" voices. It was artful and the perfect ending for these two over-the-top characters. If you had watched the show more, maybe that would make more sense to you. Listen to the words, look at their faces. It was poignant in more ways than one. This was the best part of the finale. They have gorgeous voices, by the way. Just breathtaking.
Third, Grace takes the philandering Leo back. Give me a break. As much as I love Harry, they should've gone another way. The entrance of Leo was the ruination of anything funny about the characters Will and Grace. You can't expect an audience who tunes in for hilarious Jack and Karen slapstick to enjoy Will and Grace fighting all the time. This isn't reality. It's television. The writers ran out of creativity and imagination.

May 20 2006 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
r.r.r.

did anyone think grace's dream was hystercial? i thought the icicng on the cake was butch rosario being with karen. that ruled. that's all. ;)

May 19 2006 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim in Augusta

I was recapping the episode for my boss today over lunch and she and I agreed that, yes, it is way too easy for even the best of friends to drift apart or just stop talking suddenly. I'm not sure it was _totally_ in step with what we've come to expect from W & G, but it rang true in general.

The Jack and Karen subplot was standard J & K, silly fun that, if examined closely at all, makes no sense (and is probably more offensive than funny). I wondered what the duet was for, but it was great - I kinda figured the folks involved wanted to remind everyone that Mullaly (sp?) is an accomplished singer (and that Karen's voice is totally put-on). I thought perhaps the episode was named "Unforgetttable", but that wasn't the case.

As for having Kevin Bacon show up? Sure, why not? It has almost become a trademark of the show to have gimmicky guest stars pop up in random places, so it only makes sense for there to be one in the finale.

I did think the flash-forwards seemed like an "AbFab" ripoff at first (especially the dream sequence), but it is very cool if they were (more of an homage, I'd say).

May 19 2006 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tami

I was disappointed. It didn't ring true to who Will and Grace have been through the years. Jack and Karen followed normal form and were entertaining. Will and Grace, while living up to their talent and delivery expertise, just lacked the punch of an ending I was expecting.

May 19 2006 at 12:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
laura

I really, really loved it. I thought that it was heartwarming, and funny. It's true that sometimes when people get married, they get distant, and it could have happened between those two. They had never really had serious relationships at the same time before. I love them so much. Everything was extremely satisfying and it was done with a grace and elegance that touched the heart.

May 19 2006 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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