Will and Grace review: As if we never said goodbye

Fans of Will and Grace were left pretty disappointed when the series wrapped in 2006.

Not only was their weekly dose of the titular two along with Jack and Karen taken away from them, but the writers wrapped the series up in such a clunky, unbelievable way, one felt a little ripped off.

Fortunately it was only 11 years and about 21 minutes for both those things to be remedied.

The reboot of the series almost completely ignored the finale which saw Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) ending their friendship but with a dash of hope that things could be mended when their children hook-up in college.

It was bizarre to think the pair, who had been through everything two friends could go through across eight hilarious and touching seasons from 1998 to 2006 would write things off like that.

The writers cleverly almost completely ignore the premise of the finale, merely using Megan Mullaly's Karen Walker to have a day dream of what happened before everyone writes it off as ridiculous.

With that potentially awkward problem dealt with in the first five minutes we are quickly re-introduced to the characters and where they are at more than a decade on. Basically, exactly where they were when the series originally ran.

Grace is living with Will following the breakdown of her marriage to Leo and Will is single following his break up with Vince.

It's worth pointing out that this is how the series first started with both Will and Grace coming out of relationships setting up the premise for their kooky friendship/marriage that underpinned the show's core comedy.

Jack (Sean Hayes) is still living in the apartment across the hall from Will and Grace and is "doing a journey inward" while Karen is "still rich" and Stan is still alive.

Taking this everything old is new again approach might get a bit tired as the show progresses, it had nearly run its course in the series' original run, but what saves it is the brilliant writing from creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan.

The show's strength, then and now, is its ability to poke fun at current affairs and universal issues through the prism of gay storytelling. Trumpian themes feature strongly in the first episode as the cast make their way to Washington for Grace to redecorate the Oval Office while Will happens to be there to meet a gay congressman.

Hilarity ensues but they whip through an awful lot of story in the 21-minute episode so jokes get missed or there don't have enough time to hit before the next thing happens.

The pilot episode of the original run suffered the same problems which were ironed out quickly enough as the cast and writers found their beat. I expect the same thing will happen with the reboot.

The show's strength could also eventually become its greatest weakness. While it's ability to slay politicians, conservative views and popular culture was ground-breaking in its time, it also gave birth to a range of comedy shows that found the courage to do the same.

The original run also existed before social media so where once Will and Grace said everything we were thinking, we now have our own outlets to say it ourselves and while the genesis of this reboot - a charming 10-minute sketch in support of Hilary Clinton in the lead up to the US election - was brilliant, Trump jokes are old now and done better elsewhere.

What will save this show and ensure people continue watching it is that the characters and the performers who create them are utterly brilliant.

Gay or straight you can identify with the struggles these characters face. Because while it is even more in-your-face gay than the original run, the core of the show is about the unconditional love between friends and that is universal.

Will and Grace is available to stream on Stan.

Stan is a joint venture with Fairfax Media, the publisher of this website.

This story Will and Grace review: As if we never said goodbye first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.