Thursday, October 31, 2019

REVIEW: 'Will & Grace' - Grace Searches for Her Baby Daddy While Will Stresses Over the Future in 'Pappa Mia'

NBC's Will & Grace - Episode 11.02 "Pappa Mia"

When Grace admits she's not sure who the father of her baby is, Karen orchestrates a Mamma Mia situation with the potential baby daddies. Will worries what will happen if he has a straight son, and enlists Jack to help him prepare.

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 next episode of NBC's Will & Grace.

"Pappa Mia" was written by Suzanne Martin and directed by James Burrows

This episode is certainly more fun than the season premiere was. It's still heavily focused on Will and Grace's desires to start families. Grace is actually pregnant. Meanwhile, Will is simply planning on having a family with McCoy. Will may be getting ahead of himself while Grace has to think through the many practical details. She is told that she should know who the father of her child is. She is presented with four options here. It's miraculous that Karen can track down all four of them. She has solid detective skills when it's for something she is interested in. She thinks it's hilarious that Grace is pregnant. She lets out a huge laugh when Marcus insists that he can't be the father because he had a vasectomy. Of course, that is eventually revealed to be a lie. It's simply part of a pattern where he tells inappropriate jokes at the worst possible moments. He also insists that he comes from terrible genes. And yet, every option is willing to step up and be the supportive father that this child needs. Grace is the one who ultimately decides that she doesn't need that in her life right now. She doesn't need to know who the father is. Again, that may be unfair in the longterm. Her child may be curious about how he or she was created. Grace may not have any tangible answers to that question. However, she doesn't want to view this experience as closing herself off from finding the perfect love. She has been searching for it for so long. She believes that if this child is going to have a father then it will be someone she genuinely loves. That's her mentality at the moment. So, it ultimately isn't worth it that Karen flies all of these potential baby daddies into New York to collect DNA samples. It allows her to embrace the Mamma Mia of it all. That is certainly a delight because it means Grace and Karen get to sing for a bit. This can be a situation where levity is allowed in. It doesn't have to be all grim and serious all of the time. The audience should probably be expecting that as this story develops. However, it's funny when Karen refers to the youngest guy Grace slept with in Europe as a good looking Steve Buscemi. That was such an immediately accurate joke that works solely because of the casting. The story with Will and Jack also doesn't take itself too seriously. Again, Will is spending too much time worrying about the future. Everyone understands that he has the potential of being a good father. He is in a relationship where he feels he can be that. He would be even if he only had his friends offering their support. Jack is more than willing to help him explore the world of sports in order to better provide that experience to his offspring. It's silly that the notion of having a straight son is the thing that Will worries about the most. He fears that he won't be able to connect with his child. Jack has the very sensible advice of every child being embarrassed by their parents. Sometimes they outgrow that. Other times, they do not. Will never felt a close connection with his father. Instead, he only felt an intense amount of pressure to succeed despite the cost it came at for his personal happiness. Meanwhile, Jack still frequently yells at his mother but also visits her all the time. Relationships between parents and children can be so complicated. And yet, providing a sense of love and understanding is truly the best advice that can be given. Will knows exactly how to take care of Jack when he is in the emergency room needing to fix his finger. Those are the instincts that are vital in parenting. Sure, it's ridiculous to say that Jack is nothing more than a big child. He has shown much more maturity than that. He may stress out too much about getting older. But he cares for his friend in his time of need too. The relationships amongst the four main characters remains stronger and more reliable than ever in this episode.