Friday, April 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'Will & Grace' - Everyone Makes Big Decisions About Their Romantic Futures in 'Jack's Big Gay Wedding'

NBC's Will & Grace - Episode 10.18 "Jack's Big Gay Wedding"

Jack and Estefan's romantic wedding in Spain takes a detour when their flight is cancelled, forcing them to get married at the airport by their friend Miss Coco. McCoy's big job offer in London has Will worried about engaging in a long-distance relationship. While dealing with doubts about her current relationship, Grace meets a charming guy at the airport who inspires her to make an impulsive decision. Advice from Smitty makes Karen reconsider her commitment to Nikki and her own sexual orientation.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season finale of NBC's Will & Grace.

"Jack's Big Gay Wedding" was written by Alex Herschlag & Suzanne Martin and directed by James Burrows

This season proved to be the year of love and changing relationships. The four main characters all entered into new romantic dynamics. This finale presents a turning point for all of them. Jack and Estefan get married even though it's at an airport instead of Spain. Will and McCoy get engaged to strengthen their relationship before McCoy moves to London. Grace essentially breaks up with Noah by impulsively deciding to travel Europe with a stranger she meets at the airport. And Karen accepts that she truly is straight and can no longer keep dating Nikki. As such, this is a very pivotal finale for the season. It's refreshing to see that the show is absolutely willing to continue some of these bonds. These two revival seasons have always been their strongest when it has come to exploring how the characters need to keep evolving now that they are in middle age. They can't be making the same mistakes as before. New opportunities are afforded to them. But they also just have new priorities in life. That means that Grace is willing to settle for happiness with Noah even though he only supplies 60 percent of fulfillment for what she wants. She believes that's good enough despite Will telling her she deserves better. Noah was presented in the early going as the perfect pairing for Grace because they were similar in so many ways. That's the same way that Marcus is introduced here. He encourages Grace to act impulsively because she may never have the courage to take a giant leap in her life like this. Sure, it can be incredibly scary to go off with a total stranger. But their brief interaction actually makes it seem sweet. There is the potential that she can still aim higher for what she wants in a partner. Meanwhile, Jack is purely happy to celebrate the happiness that he has found with Estefan. These revival seasons have also shown just how willing people can be to propose impulsively. Marilyn and Martin got engaged shortly after meeting. Jack and Estefan got engaged shortly thereafter. And now, Will and McCoy act in that same way. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. This wedding isn't anything like how Jack planned. And yet, it is still special to him because he is standing here with the man he loves. That is so meaningful and beautiful. Sure, it's such a ridiculous setting for this event that everyone enjoys mocking. The show even throws in some twisted humor of people only randomly being there because it is taking place at the gate where they are boarding their flight. But it's still special and loving for the central couple. That inspires Will to take action. Sure, it may be inappropriate to take focus away from Jack. That could be so crushing to their friendship. Will is able to deal with that tension right away while still making this commitment to McCoy. Again, it may be incredibly impulsive and may not end as happily as the recent relationships experienced by his friend and mother. But he wants to hang onto what he has with McCoy even though he is moving to London for work. And finally, Karen's curiosity about maybe being a lesbian has been a rather short arc at the end of this season. It ties into her being unsure about her overall identity following her divorce. But it felt very broad as well. The audience probably shouldn't have to be questioning whether or not she's straight. That takes a little power away from the moment. But the show also offers up a nice homage to an iconic Ellen moment. That show paved the way for LGBTQ+ stories to be told on television and normalized throughout the world. That's a fight that is still being waged to this day. That's why everything that happens here is important even if it's playing for some huge laughs as well.