Tonight, NBC aired a special Christmas episode of Will & Grace and if you haven’t seen it, please stop reading this post and go watch it – but then promise you’ll come back!
Very special holiday episodes tend to feel like PSAs and after school specials that really want to teach you something and uplift you and this W&G one was no different.
After getting tired of waiting in like for their table at a restaurant on Christmas Eve, the gang decide to forget it and leave, but duck into a small museum so Grace can pee. Since the bathroom is only for customers who take the tour, they agree to take it. Throughout the whole thing, Will had been complaining about how much better things must have been in the old days, and how he doesn’t feel like celebrating with everything going on in the world.
This museum, the immigrants historical society, really puts him in perspective for him – and Will, Jack & Karen, and reminds them of their privilege – kinda.
While the museum tour guide is telling them the story of an Irish American immigrant and her evil landlord, the gang sees themselves in each role and we get to see it through them. Karen becomes the immigrant mother of 7, Jack the sailor she boards, Will her evil closeted landlord, and Grace his outspoken wife.
The landlord comes to collect the single mothers rent money on Christmas Day and promises to evict her if he doesn’t get it. While he’s threatening eviction, he’s also flirting with the handsome sailor, who in the end uses his manly wiles to seduce the landlord and – like in a porn with bad writing – have him forget the rent for that month.
While they settle things like men, the women get to talking and relating to each other despite their enormous societal differences. The whole flashback-y sequence seems to serve the purpose of reminding us how much worst it was for women and gays back then (with no mention of people of colour and the hell they had endured, but it’s not new for this show to ignore race completely and pretend to be woke) and forcing the audience to feel grateful for where we are today.
In the end they come out of the museum with a new sense of gratefulness and Grace starts singing in the street. In all honestly we could have done without this episode, but Megan Mullally’s accent was a thing to behold.
Will & Grace will return with new episodes in the new year.