I didn't start watching Will & Grace until three years ago when it was at it's peak and about to begin it's slow spiral into creative stagnation. During the early years I got Will and Grace and Dharma and Greg and Two Guys and a Girl and a Pizza Place all mixed up, so I didn't bother. I knew one show had homosexuals, another a married couple, and another a Pizza Place, but I didn't know which was which. When I got it figured out (and the other two went off the air) I became endeared with Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack for their hilarity and totally unhealthy codependence on one another. Seinfeld gave us a cast of narcissists who lived in their individual worlds, but did it together. Will and Grace-- narcissists totally dependent on each other. Last night I bid them farewell in what was one of the riskiest and most beautiful series finale's I've ever watched.
Before I go further, let me just say there was something I was disappointed with. During any interview I ever saw or read with the creators and cast, they would almost always mention how surprised they have been over the years that there wasn't a lot of attention given to their show by the Christian conservatives. You could almost detect a sense of disappointment in these comments, like they wanted people to protest the show in order to attract more viewers. There was a character on the show last night that represented these people they wanted to shock, who spouted out anti-gay scriptures from his hospital bed. I guess this was one last grasp at persecution. I wanted to tell the writers look, the Religious Right ignored you, get over it and move on. (I also wanted to show the Religious Right the value of not protesting everything you disagree with.) Alright, rant over.
Other than that the writers gave us what we wanted to see. They showed us what happened to the Funny Four after twenty years. I'm not sure this has ever been done. Most series endings either wrap up loose ends (a la Friends), or tries to use the entire time to give a head nod to all the jokes ever said on the show (Seinfeld,) totally suck by trying to be too quirky (7th Heaven,) or make you cry because they came too soon (Ed.)
But when I really love the characters in a story, be it from television, books, or movies, I want to follow them throughout their lives. I want to know if Holden Cuafield moves beyond his cynicism and into hope. I want to know how the church in The Apostle progressed after Robert Duvall's character went to jail. And most of all, whenever there is a group of close friends in a story, I want to be assured that they stuck by each other until the end.
The Will and Grace writers did something daring. They gave us a glimpse into the next twenty years and showed us that whenever people are close and love each other, they always seem to have a way of making it back to each other, regardless of differences and past wrongs and geographic circumstance. The show was funny, unpretentious, and absolutely beautiful. Bravo, writers.