Friday, October 19, 2018

REVIEW: 'Will & Grace' - Jack and Will Head to Texas to Support Jack's Grandson in 'Tex and the City'

NBC's Will & Grace - Episode 10.03 "Tex and the City"

Will and Jack visit Jack's grandson, Skip, in Texas to watch him perform at his church's talent show. But when Jack learns Skip plans on singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," he becomes afraid for his grandson's safety. Karen tags along to check out the portion of the border wall she sponsored, only to discover Beverley Leslie has claimed it as his own. Grace and Noah try to figure out if something is wrong in their relationship because their numerous attempts to have sex have failed.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's Will & Grace.

"Tex and the City" was written by John Quaintance and directed by James Burrows

"Grandpa Jack" was one of the best episodes of Will & Grace last season. It was unexpected for Jack to discover that he actually has a grandson. But it was so strong and empowering to watch him stand up for the young boy to ensure that everyone is respected for who they truly are. It was the first episode that proved this show still has something powerful to see in the modern world. As such, it shouldn't be surprising to see the show revisit this relationship. In fact, it was probably a mistake to say that Jack's family moved away to Texas. This is a bond that could lead to great things for Jack if it was a consistent part of his life. How would he change if he had to be responsible for Skip in New York a lot of the time? That would be fascinating. It's not the direction this episode takes things though. Plus, the show has actually recast the young actor playing Skip. Jet Jurgensmeyer played him last season but was unable to return because he is now a series regular on the FOX version of Last Man Standing. Of course, this episode also proves that FOX was willing to be malleable with its talent and scheduling because Leslie Jordan reprises his role as Beverley Leslie even though he is now starring in The Cool Kids. With him though, he couldn't be replaced so easily. The show figures that the audience wouldn't notice a different Skip. He only made one previous appearance. And yes, Samuel Faraci does just as strong a job in the role as well. But the hook of this story isn't as meaningful as it was a year ago. Yes, it's still fundamentally about Jack trying to protect his grandson. But here, the lesson is that even Jack makes mistakes that can potentially hurt Skip. He doesn't want him to perform in this church talent show. That's the only reason why Jack, Will and Karen fly down to Texas. Even then, Jack and Will are running late and miss the majority of it. As such, it mostly becomes a story about Jack hogging the stage trying to impart some wisdom. Again, that's not a bad place to find story in this relationship. However, it's just not as effective here with it all building to the punchline of Will dressing up as Freddie Mercury. Elsewhere, the show continues to tackle politics head-on with Karen wanting to visit her portion of the border wall. It mostly becomes a story about her forming a connection with someone in a jail cell who just wants to reunite with her family from El Salvador. It's a powerful reminder of the connection that Karen once had with Rosario. It could continue to highlight how her life is changing immensely and these personal relationships are disappearing. First, Rosario died. And now, Stan is divorcing her. That's difficult. And yet, this also reduces the story down to make it seem like Karen only changes her views towards one person in particular and not on the subject of illegal immigration as a whole. And finally, the bond between Grace and Noah is allowed to be more relaxed here even though they are both stressing out about being unable to have sex. It's a silly and simple story. But it makes for a much better impression of David Schwimmer as Noah than the season premiere did. As such, that makes it seem like this is heading in the right direction and is worth further exploring.