Will & Grace reboot replaces an original character and tackles gay millennials
The Will & Grace reboot has introduced a replacement for an original cast member.
It was revealed last month that Shelley Morrison, who played Karen’s iconic moody maid Rosario for all eight seasons of the gay sitcom’s run, would not be returning to the revived NBC show.
Morrison, who is 80, explained that she has retired from acting and declined to return to film an exit – leaving it up to the show to explain the mysterious absence of her acerbic housekeeper.
The second episode of the revival, which aired last night in the US, introduced a new maid for Karen Walker, played by Guiding Light star Mary Pat Gleason.
Gleason’s character Bridget is introduced as one of many members of the increasingly-wealthy Karen’s household staff, who are trying to negotiate a raise.
However, the show leaves the door open to a Rosario cameo in future if Morrison ever changes her mind – as it’s revealed that she now appears to be the off-screen head of staff.
Bridget says: “Rosario sent me up. I’m here to represent the staff. We’d like a raise. Rosario said, don’t leave until the woman pays us what we want.”
Karen jokes: “Did she call me the A-word, the B-word or the C-word?”, to which Bridget confirms all three.
It’s not clear how many episodes of the reboot she’s set to appear in – but it’s already been renewed for a second season.
Elsewhere the episode Will and Jack both have experiences with young gay Millennials, referencing the large amount of progress on gay rights since the show was last on air.
Will is shocked when he trades coming out stories with his 23-year-old date Blake, played by Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt.
After Will recounts his difficult coming out, Blake says: “I told my parents I was gay when I was eight.
“They were divorced and both threw me a coming out party on the same weekend. That was hard.”
Will says: “Is that the new gay, you guys grow up in a big happiness bubble? It’s so nice it’s practically abuse.
“How’s it supposed to get better if it was always fine?”
When Blake calls him “dramatic” Will says: “You realise this happy life you have is because we made a big deal about things?”
Blake also riles Will with an ignorance of gay history, saying: “I know all about Stonehenge.”
Will responds: “Do you mean… Stonewall? Do you seriously not know?”
Giving up his chance of a hook-up, Will decided to lecture the younger man.
He says: “Speaking of gay dinosaurs, let’s talk Madonna.
“Sure, now she’s got the face of Baby June and the body of Iggy Pop, but that ripped 60 year old was there for us, like nobody else.
“It’s great that you have no shame, and you missed the joy of signing up for football to fool your parents.
“But you guys can never forget the struggle that came before you, the people who fought and loved and died so you could walk down the street in skinny jeans with rights you never even knew you never had.
“The minute we forget how we got here is the minute we could all be taken away.”
Referencing classic sitcom Designing Women, he adds: “And that, will be, the night, the lights, go out, in Georgia!”
McCormack, Messing, Hayes and Mullally had been on the PR trail ahead of the show’s return.
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They made a bizarre appearance on a new talk show hosted by conservative former Fox News personality Megyn Kelly last month.
Kelly appeared visibly uncomfortable throughout an excruciating interview with the cast.
The host then spoke to a fan of the show, asking: “Is it true that you became a lawyer, and became gay, because of Will?”
Asked why the cast had agreed to appear, she said: “I honestly I didn’t know it was [Megyn Kelly] until that morning. The itinerary just said Today Show appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”