It was a blessed time back in September of 2017 on NBC when one of its big sitcom successes originating from the late nineties, “Will & Grace,” returned with a surprise ninth season after the eighth one aired way back in 2005-06. The primary cast were all gung-ho in getting back to their roles as well, seeing as their show’s revival not only extended in episodes, but got a follow-up tenth season, and a farewell 11th season that started October last year. After a Holiday mid-season break, the “Will & Grace” swan song resumed this past Thursday with Demi Lovato in a sweet guest-starring role.
As Entertainment Tonight tells it, the mid-break return of “Will & Grace” season 11 this past Thursday, January 9 on NBC, follows up on Will Truman’s (Eric McCormack) quest for parenthood. Despite having parted ways with his same-sex partner before the break, Will so wanted to be a father that he is resolved to be a single parent for his child. But first he needs a surrogate mother, and on the episode “Performance Anxiety” he meets a potential baby-maker in Jenny (Demi Lovato). While her surrogate record has been all healthy babies, Will gets second thoughts upon seeing Jenny’s lifestyle.
Not only is Jenny living like a slob in a barely-cleaned apartment, she also works as a “camera girl” showing her body to men online. Despite her assurances that she does not smoke, drink or take drugs that might affect any pregnancies she carries, Will is so turned off that their surrogate deal falls apart. It was only after Karen (Megan Mullally) gives Will a talking-to, that he realizes Jenny’s life choices, while questionable, are much lesser evils than he fears. The result is a very touching reconciliation scene between the two that beautifully showcases Lovato’s polished comedy-drama acting chops.
For all the feels that the main plot with Will has on this episode, the secondary arc featuring Grace Adler (Debra Messing) is not quite its story-content equal, but does its job with the laughs. Grace and Jack (Sean Hayes) goes to the latest AnnieCon celebrating the iconic “Annie” musical. There Grace tries to get into the spirit by pretending she used to be an Annie performer, all the while Jack is collecting hair strands from celebrities present to complete his wig of EGOT stars. Christopher Thornton is another guest star playing as Jenny’s brother, a wounded veteran, whom Karen takes a one-episode shine to.
“Will & Grace” and NBC also took the time at the end of “Performance Anxiety” to pay tribute to cast member Shelly Morrison, who died during the season’s Holiday break on December 1 from heart failure at age 83. Morrison portrayed Rosario, Karen’s housekeeper, in pre-revival seasons of the show.
Image courtesy of TV Insider