On Thursday night, Will & Grace returned to television with its first new episode in 11 years. Long-time fans of the groundbreaking series have been waiting impatiently for the show’s reboot since it was announced, and the premiere boasted an audience of 10.2 million, landing the Will & Grace premiere on NBC the title of this Thursday’s most watched scripted TV show. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with the political tone taken by the popular sitcom, and many are now calling the Will & Grace reboot “anti-Trump.”
[Warning: Potential spoilers below.]
As Fox News reports, Will & Grace began (this time around) with Grace (Debra Messing) having snagged a job redecorating the Oval Office. The so-called “anti-Trump” reason? Nabbing a story line from recent presidential headlines, Donald Trump “has been pouting that his office is a real dump.” In one scene, the show’s writer’s implied that Melania Trump refused to hire an interior designer attractive enough to catch her presidential hubby’s eye.
In another, painfully obvious anti-Trump blast, Grace is told that the POTUS wants her to make the Oval Office look like “he’s there from time to time.”
When Grace finally made it to the White House, the anti-Trump tone of the Will & Grace reboot premiere continued, with the show taking jabs at Kellyanne Conway and her meme-inducing “couch photo” and even Reagan’s Alzheimer’s disease.
The Will & Grace premiere’s anti-Trump tune was so blatant that PEOPLE published a collective list of all the times the 30-minute (minus commercials) program blasted the POTUS. Included among the jabs was a joke calling Melania Trump a “hostage,” targeting the Midwestern Trump voter base by suggesting they’d never eaten veggies before Michelle Obama’s tenure, and repeated complaints about the 2016 presidential election.
While the Will & Grace team clearly appeared to get a kick out of their anti-Trump premiere, it remains to be seen if the reboot can hold onto its fan base after Thursday’s highly anticipated episode. While the sitcom dominated the Thursday night ratings, it was already expected that viewership would be down following the premiere — and that was before Will & Grace fans saw the anti-Trump turn the revamped show had taken. According to The Wrap‘s senior TV reporter Tony Maglio, the future of the show will likely depend on its viewers’ political leanings.
“Post-premiere, Will & Grace ratings should come back down to Earth, and will soon settle into a pretty predictable range. The return was an event [that] had the nostalgia factor going for it, plenty of promotion and generally favorable reviews. The show does have a few things working against it though: The younger half of the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic don’t know or care at all about these characters, and a series that takes such a political stance is, by its very nature, divisive.”
Not surprisingly, Will & Grace viewers took to social media almost following and even during the now-controversial premiere to sound off about the reboot’s anti-Trump tone. Some critics of the political content of the show have even publicly called for a boycott in the wake of Thursday’s premiere episode.
Of course, not everyone had a problem with the new Will & Grace.
While it remains to be seen how many viewers Will & Grace will lose (or gain?) following this week’s decidedly anti-Trump premiere, it seems unlikely that the folks behind the show will apologize for or even walk back the political content of the series. The team behind the show has spoken out against Donald Trump repeatedly in the months leading up to and following last November’s contentious presidential election. Last Saturday at the Tribeca TV Festival, co-creator David Kohan quipped that he’d prefer to be called a “son of a b***h” by Donald Trump than “the son of someone who was arrested at a KKK rally.”
Last Friday, the POTUS used the term “son of a b***h” to describe NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. According to widespread reports, Fred Trump (Donald’s father) was arrested at a KKK rally in 1927. He was later released and never charged with a crime.
This Thursday’s Will & Grace premiere wrapped up with Grace leaving a red “Make America Gay Again” hat on Trump’s desk in the Oval Office. The none-too-subtle blast was apparently an anti-Trump joke at the expense of Trump’s now-iconic #MAGA campaign slogan.
[Featured Image by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP Images]