So long, Will, so long, Grace. It’s time.

By Jae-Ha Kim
Media Life Magazine
May 18, 2006

After eight seasons on air–some very good, the later years not so much–“Will & Grace” bids farewell tonight. Unlike its characters, which have gotten increasingly squawky over time, the show is getting a relatively subdued send-off that doesn’t match the manic frenzy surrounding the “Friends” finale two years earlier.

If the show had ended four or even three years ago, viewers would’ve been outraged. “Will & Grace” was still a relevant presence in NBC’s lineup then. But in the time since the sitcom has come to outstay its welcome with recycled plotlines and quirky characters that have since morphed into tired caricatures.

And while the show still averages a respectable 4.5 adults 18-49 rating, it’s been down noticeably in recent weeks, and it’s not hard to understand why. Rather than relying on smart writing, it’s turned rapt attention to Megan Mullally’s ample breasts and increasingly grating voice for cheap laughs.

The show’s recent stuntcasting has included guest appearances by Britney Spears, Madonna and the delightful Kevin Bacon, who appears again tonight. And then there were those live broadcasts that, if nothing else, proved why sitcoms shouldn’t do live broadcasts.

But “Will & Grace’s” biggest problem is its tired premise.

When the sitcom debuted in 1998, having a show with major gay characters was exciting and just a little bit shocking. These days, no one is shocked with the characters’ somewhat fey, selfish ways.

The two-hour series finale of “Will & Grace” begins at 8 p.m. tonight on NBC with a clip show followed by the Emmy-winning sitcom’s swansong in which we find out whether Grace chooses Will or Leo to be her happily-ever-after.

May 18, 2006

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