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September 26 2017

Do We Want a Feminist ‘Will & Grace’ Reboot?

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

The reboot of the iconic NBC sitcom “Will & Grace” debuts this week, and viewers can expect a heavy dose of feminism and attacks on President Trump.

When asked about getting back into her lovelorn character, Grace Adler, actress Debra Messing explained that she wanted her more progressive evolution to filter into the character and made a special request:

“It took a little bit. I think that the language was there and that I recognized right away and my body recognized that right away, but it’s been 11 years and I think that I was a little tentative. Eventually, by a certain episode, I relaxed and was like, ‘okay she’s back…’ The only thing that I asked for was that she be a feminist.”

Messing, who espouses staunch left-leaning views and was active in trying to get Hillary Clinton elected, makes it clear that politics will play an even bigger role in the show this time around:

“The thing that I loved about the show from the very beginning was that was built into the DNA, was that within the comedy we were shining a light on what’s happening in the culture right now and politics right now,” said Messing. “Eleven years later the conversation has expanded… There are all these things that now are finally being celebrated in our culture and I think that the thing we all committed to each other was that we’re going to be the show we always were. We’re going to talk about what’s happening now.”

Feminist outlets are saying the character Grace wakes up 11 years later and is suddenly more politically conscious. HuffPost Women says Grace is now a “nasty woman.” According to Refinery 29:

It's no surprise that Messing wanted her character to be "woke" in the revival of the beloved sitcom.

However, Americans are increasingly turning off the politics and tuning out overly progressive programming from Miss America to NFL games. NBC’s Sunday Night Football were down 10 percent from one year ago (although ratings improved for Monday night.)

The edginess of “Will Grace” will undoubtedly be appealing to die-hard fans who have longed to see their favorite characters on screen.

However, the show’s penchant for pushing social boundaries added with ample politicizing may not deliver the expected blockbuster ratings.

It may be that unifying programs like “This is Us,” which don’t dwell on what makes us different but highlight our shared challenges and triumphs, may be the bigger hit of the season.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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