Will and Grace season 10 kicks off without addressing the events of last season and the show is stronger for it.
The writing is sharp, and the actors step right back into their shoes, which seem to fit a bit better than they did at the start of last season.
I originally predicted in our Will and Grace season 10 episode guide that the episodes would follow the order printed on the sheet. Instead, we kick off the season with “The West Side Curmudgeon” with the highly anticipated appearance of David Schwimmer.
The season 10 premiere gives off strong season 2 vibes. Which, in one regard, makes perfect sense. The cast reunites after reigniting the spark of their foursome. The coals are still hot from last year’s revival and the cast (and writers) are firing on all cylinders.
Season 2 kicks off with Will and Grace moving apart. Their co-dependency at the close of season 2 caught them at odds with the directions they thought their lives were headed. Season 9 saw the same problem, this time the catalyst was the against-all-odds hook up of their aging parents.
The second episode of the season (Hypable has seen the first two) works better as a kickoff for three quarters of the cast. But one particular storyline benefits immensely from the placement that it’s worth the disjointed feeling viewers may experience.
“The West Side Curmudgeon” runs the gamut of what worked well in season 9. Sean Hayes gets a physical comedy bit that is only made more hilarious by his counterpart in Brian Jordan Alverez’s Estefan. Will and Karen, though appearing in a majority of the scenes, feel absent. Eric McCormack should, however, be commended on his stoic presence against Hayes’ numbing cream bit.
Where the first episode underserves Will, it elevates Grace’s arc. David Schwimmer makes his debut as Noah, a Twitter celebrity known for his observational humor. Schwimmer fits right in with the cast, a stint that would not have worked in the heyday of Friends or the original run of Will and Grace.
The years, and scruff, have complimented his delivery and sheer physical presence against Grace’s over the top Grace-ness. What was at first a questionable casting selection, is now one of my most-anticipated recurring roles for the show.
While the individual storylines for the season are compelling, the best thing about Will and Grace remains the interplay of the characters. From the start of the series, you never lose Will and Grace’s cadence and comfortable familiarity. Grace and Jack, regardless of how close they have grown, still lean into that push and pull frustration with one another. And Karen and Will, well, their bond remains a special secret we are lucky to be let in on.
My hopes for season 10 include a ramping up of guest stars, holiday specials, and a few more trips down memory lane. That is to say, don’t recycle plot, but lean into what made those early episodes resonate.
’Will and Grace’ season 10 premiere best quotes
“I’m going to yoga class where they encourage us to hold in our farts and steer clear away from toxic people. So nama-stay away from me.” – Jack
“I love him. He hates the things we hate and tweets about it.” – Will
“That tweet was very mean, especially after you flirted with me.” – Grace
“Flirted with you? You mean when you talked and I didn’t stop you?” – Noah
“Getting older sucks.” – Will
“And we’re only getting closer. Every second closer to death… And now we’re closer… And now we’re closer…” – Karen
Another way to look at it is right now we’re the youngest we’ll ever be, so we might as well enjoy it.” – Will
Will and Grace season 10, episode 2, “Where in the World is Karen Walker?” airs Thursday, October 11 at 9:00 ET on NBC.