It was mere happenstance that I missed the pilot to the return of Will and Grace Thursday night.
I had it perfectly planned. I was to leave the office, meet friends for dinner, and make it home just in time for the show to start. But unfortunately, one of my friends was stuck in traffic and was late arriving to the restaurant. Two of us gave her a hard time. "We’re going to miss Will and Grace because of you!" As we ate, I mentioned that I wouldn’t be surprised if the show’s creators would choose to make the show all overly political, bashing Trump and pretty much anyone who supported him.
We left the restaurant and all rushed home to catch at least half of the program. I was just a couple of blocks from my house when I received a text from a friend who beat me to the TV set saying: "I’m not sure if I’m liking Will and Grace now. Way too political…..they are at the White House."
Mind you, these friends aren’t political like I am. One supported Hillary. One preferred Trump, but didn’t vote.
I logged onto Twitter where one of the show’s co-stars (Sean Hayes) tweeted out one of the show’s lines:
Then I replied:
I decided to skip the rest of the show.
In reading the Washington Post this morning, I am glad I did. It’s disappointing because Will and Grace had been a terrific show. A lot of it aired originally during the Bush years and for the most part, the show left politics out. On the rare times it was mentioned, the writers presented it in a clever, nuanced way.
At the same time though, the nation was in the middle of the Iraq war. Further, the nation’s attention had not been riveted on D.C.’s relationship with the donor class. Americans didn’t know what to think. All they knew at the time is they were losing their jobs in manufacturing. It was President Obama’s election and presidency which really brought the establishment’s antics to the forefront.
Will and Grace was on before the people’s movement began. It was before Twitter and Facebook really took off. It was when conservative voices were harder to find. The show’s producers understood at the time the old wise words of Andrew Breitbart (which Governor Palin often reminds us of): that politics is downstream from pop culture. Will and Grace for many reasons was pivotal in understanding that concept.
The disappointment now is they’re trying to make pop culture downstream from politics. They’re not the only ones either. From the Emmy’s to behaviors of certain NFL players recently, to late night comedians, etc. When you try to reverse the natural course of politics and pop culture, it’s extremely off-putting to those who decide the future success of your platform. As we know the Emmy’s bombed in ratings this year. The NFL’s ratings suffered when certain players decided to use their platforms to disrespect our nation’s flag and anthem. And yes, Will and Grace will suffer as well. Sadly, it seems they are more motivated now by personal politics and Hollywood’s overall devotion to the hard left.
Understanding pop culture and politics though is only half the battle. The other is understanding the true people who have the power to sink or save a platform. In 2016, the voters who pulled it out for Trump were found in the populated suburban areas of cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, and Milwaukee. All one has to do is look at a breakdown-by-county political map of 2012 and compare it to that of 2016 to understand it. It’s those people who also decide whether the NFL makes a profit, whether Will and Grace will succeed, or whether or not they’ll waste their time on Colbert, the Oscars, or the Emmy’s.
On last night’s Will and Grace, the following was said:
Secret Service agent (Kyle Bornheimer) to Jack: “My job’s gotten a lot easier. The nutjobs we protected the last president from are this guy’s biggest supporters.”
Shots like this are ones that resonate in a bad way with voters and potential viewers.
It’s simple. When millions of Americans are judged and insulted by Hollywood and the elite, they respond appropriately.
Apparently, those among the coastal elites are insisting on finding this out the hard way. However, as someone who owns all seasons of the older Will and Grace episodes on DVD, I am sad to say that the producers and writers who were once ahead of the trend have now fallen behind it.