Tag Archives: Debra Messing

Eveything You Need to Know about the Will & Grace Revival

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Image: NBC

Since the news broke that NBC were two thumbs up for the Will & Grace revival, a slew of information has been streaming out about what to expect when the show returns for a brand new run in late September (Sept 29th on NBC to be precise).  From how THAT original finale plays out into this series to who’s back, who’s missing and who’s stopping by I’ve put everything you need to know about the Will & Grace finale into one single fabulous post!

The Revival:  Even before a single episode has aired of this new season, NBC have already confirmed the show will be back in 2018 for another 13 episode round.  This new season (officially classed as season 9) has already been extended from its originally announced 13 episodes to 16 while at present, season 10 is sitting at 13.

This revival came about thanks to that hilarious election themed mini-reunion episode with NBC taking note of the huge response from fans old and new and went about ordering a 10 episode season revival.

How will the original finale play into this return?:  The original finale that aired back in 2006 saw Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) parting ways for almost 20 years, with both characters married (Will to Vince played by Bobby Cannavale and Grace to Leo (Harry Connick, Jr) and each couple with a child.  The last scenes in that finale saw Will & Grace eventually reunite after their college aged children ended up living across from each other at the campus dorm.

Even though this return will be classed as the show’s 9th season and takes place only 11 years after the finale, the entire dissolution of the friendship and each couples kids will be ‘erased’ from the Will & Grace history. Talking to EW, co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan said  ‘When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?” And if they have children, then it has to be about them being parents, ‘cause presumably it would be a priority in their lives. And if it wasn’t a priority in their lives, then they’re still parents, they’re just bad parents, right? We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace.”

The Core Cast:  The revival will see Will and Grace living together as the two did for the bulk of the series’ run with Jack (Sean Hayes) living across from them and Karen (Megan Mullally) still a rich boozy socialite living in her mansion.  Will is still working as a corporate lawyer, Grace remains an interior designer but with a bigger office and working with current day design technology along with ‘assistant’ Karen while Jack, who flitted from ‘acting’ to retail to student nurse to acting teacher during the shows original run will be back in his latter career teaching the ‘Jackting’ method of acting.

The Recurring Cast: Shelley Morrison who played Karen’s long suffering, viper tongued maid Rosario Salazar confirmed she won’t be back for the revival.  Morrison has now retired from acting, with the exception of a small appearance in the 2016 Will & Grace political themed mini episode.  Rosario won’t be forgotten on ignored with Mutchnick adding “The audience has come to know and love her — as we do — and we’re dealing with her as a character and we’re writing to it very specifically.”

Along with Rosario’s absence, the revival will touch on Grace’s mother Bobbi Adler played by the late Debbie Rynolds.

Confirmed to return are thee integral characters to the Will & Grace history – Harry Connick, Jr as Grace’s husband Leo, Bobby Cannavale as Will’s husband Vince and Minnie Driver as Karen’s British nemesis Lorraine Finster.  Noting that the 2006 finale is being wiped, how Leo and Vince fit into this revival is yet to be seen considering Will and Grace will be back living together.

No word yet on Leslie Jordan as Karen’s best friend/enemy number one Beverly Leslie, Blythe Danner as Will’s widowed mother Marilyn Truman or Tom Gallop and Leigh-Allyn Baker as game night friends Rob and Ellen.

Update Sept 18th:  Michael Angarano is a confirmation to return having filmed his scenes last week.  Angarano played Jack’s son Elliot for 12 episodes during the original run and is currently tapped for a single episode in season 9.

The Guest Stars:  From Madonna to Demi Moore, Cher and Britney Spears, the original series run never shied away from nabbing big named stars to appear on the show and this next season won’t be any different with the recent news that Glee’s Jane Lynch, Girls star Andrew Rannells and 2017 Tony Award winner Ben Platt have all signed on to guest star in season 9.

When and how to watch:  Will & Grace season 9 begins Thursday September 28th as part of NBC’s must-see-TV lineup at 9/8c in the states while here in Australia, the series begins on Friday the 29th on streaming service STAN

This post will be updated as news comes about for the sew season.
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Pilot Review: The Mysteries of Laura

Debra Messing leads the new series The Mysteries of Laura
Debra Messing leads the new series The Mysteries of Laura

1940’s DETECTIVE COMICS OR A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH?

Is it a comedy?  Is it a drama?  Is it a hard-edged police procedural?  These are the questions I found myself asking while watching the new The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing and Josh Lucas.  Mysteries follows Messing as homicide detective Laura Diamond who is a woman with a lot on her plate and not enough time to eat it all.

Laura’s juggling a busy work schedule as a detective trying to solve murders with mothering twin boys possibly possessed by an almighty demonic force and a soon-to-be-ex husband (Josh Lucas) who can’t bring himself to sign those divorce papers.

The mix of cop show meets family comedy meets personal life drama is an uneasy mix within Mysteries that often feels jarring and forced, not really knowing which direction it really wants to focus on.  One minute Detective Diamond is resolving a hostage situation by shooting off the perps ear the next she’s wiping blood up with a baby wipe and returning a worn bathing suit before arguing with hubby about how he is never around when it comes to her demonic brats who by the way spend time peeing on each other.

If you were to separate the genres smashed into this one show, some of it would work and some wouldn’t.  Frazzled and over worked mum juggling twin brats with a less than involved husband (who also cheated) sounds like a decent drama or even dramedy.  Homicide detective trying to solve murders – it’s been done a million times over so I get why the career was thrown in, but as a whole, the murder case Laura and partner Billy (Laz Alonso) are working on and how it’s given to us is quite possibly a story line once featured in an episode of Scooby Doo and by the end, when the killer is revealed, the final result actually feels quite farcical and you’re left wondering why the need for so much focus on the cop aspect of Laura’s life, like are the writers so forced on trying to establish that yes, Laura Diamond, in 2014, is a mother and a woman with a career?

Stepping back, what does work within Mysteries is the chemistry between Messing and Alonso.  The two work great as a team and there is enough spark there to possibly push for a work romance story arc. Watching the two together felt like there could be a Castle meets Bones air about the show but that was destroyed when we were brought back into Laura’s world of cheating husbands and unruly children.

In the end, the problems seeping out of Mysteries is the tone of the show and what it brings to viewers.  Debra Messing…we all love her, though is she believable as a hard-nosed homicide detective…I’ll leave that up to you.  The family drama with a side of murder solving and over-the-top hijinks…perhaps if Mysteries was more thrilling in it’s murder cases and less on the family life…or the other way around, there could be something to work with.

Debra Messing is a win though the aimless script is a loss.

Rating score: 6 out of 10

Update: Oct 2nd – It get better.  If you managed to make your way through the entire first episode, you’ll be pleased to know that Mysteries does in fact get better.  By the end of episode 2, you’ll notice there’s a shift away from Laura’s home life with her evil twins and more focus on the crime/career/husband aspects with the show.  The weekly murder mystery is still a little kitschy but there’s an additional mix of some darkness thrown just to ground the show a little bit more.

New Details on Debra Messing’s New Show for NBC

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Debra Messing moves to NBC for new show

Debra Messing is set to headline a new drama for NBC titled “The Mysteries of Laura” playing a homicide detective juggling a demanding work life and twin boys in her home life.

The Mysteries of Laura will see Messing playing a female homicide detective named Laura Diamond who can handle murderous criminals — but not her hell-raising twin children.  The show written by Jeff Rake and directed by McG (Charlies Angels) is based on the popular Spanish series Los Misterios De Laura which explores the life and relationships of Laura Diamond.

Messing, who rose to fame in NBC’s comedy Will & Grace and more recently the NBC musical series Smash was last season, attached to a comedy project for CBS that never came to light.

Berlanti Prods. and Kapital Entertainment are producing “Mysteries of Laura” in association with Warner Bros. TV. The original Spanish series was created by Carlos Vila and Javier Holgado for Boomerang TV and TVE1 Spain.

Via Deadline.com

Update – read my review of The Mysteries of Laura

Sean Saves the World, but Barely

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Sean Hayes and Samantha Isler in Sean Saves the World

Remember when, after FRIENDS, Lisa Kudrow tried to move on and leave Phoebe Buffay behind with The Comeback?  Probably not right.  Not many people watched, (you should have though – very funny) but people were not ready to see a popular actress portray another role other than the one they love.  Heck, Megan Mullally’s next venture after Will & Grace didn’t fare any better.  Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc, Doug Savant, Matthew Perry, Debra Messing, Laura Leighton, Jason Alexander…most have had numerous failed attempts at moving on before finding the right program for them

This is where some of Sean Saves The World finds it’s problems.  Sean Hayes almost went into hiding after the end of Will & Grace until showing up in this so-so comedy and while watching the pilot, it felt like I was watching Sean Saves the World starring Jack McFarland.

Yep, I said it.  This is a poor man’s Will & Grace where Grace is Sean’s teenage daughter Ellie, Karen is his loveable/hate-able mother Lorna and Hayes picking up the Will and Jack roles.  The whole thing does not feel right at all.  Strip everything back, you’d be left with a run of the mill sitcom about a gay man whose teenage daughter suddenly moves in with him while at the same time his work life becomes more demanding.  It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a sitcom after all.  The heavy themes never really come into play here.

Blame however cannot be put solely on Sean Hayes.  In the end, he is a master of his craft and works with what has been given to him (including the copious amount of make-up he sports in the pilot episode).  The set-up of the teenage daughter suddenly appearing to live with him is confusing.  I honestly don’t really know if they had much of a father/daughter relationship before this – I think there may have been a weekend on and off situation going on.  They both act like they haven’t (insert awkward conversations about her conception here) yet Sean’s daughter Ellie (Samantha Isler) comes to his aid to help with save his job and Sean finds himself with literally no idea on how to parent his daughter.

Also, don’t get me started on Sean’s new boss, Max (Thomas Lennon).  Yes, Max is supposed to be a character we’re not going to like but Lennon portrays Max with such evil boss cliques it’s like he is the new bad guy in the next Bond film – all he’s missing is the white fluffy cat on his lap.  While i’m on it, the rest of Sean’s co-workers were pretty ‘bleh’ as well.  I guess they are only fillers but I felt like Megan Hilty (Smash) as Liz was a bit of a wasted role.  The only real saving grace here is Linda Lavin as Sean’s loud mouthed mother Lorna.  She’s nabbing most of the laugh quotes and plays well off Hayes.

Look, If you can ignore Hayes’ over made face full of make-up and the laugh track that’s set on to loud you might like it. While there is nothing really ‘new’ or ‘fresh’ here, there are some (some) funny scenes and yes, it is great to see Hayes not only back on our screens but also exert some physical comedy but my advice to those behind the scenes…to make the show somewhat more watch-able, loose the laugh track and loose either the character of Max or remove Thomas Lennon…one or both are really hurting.  

Debra Messing Smashes NBC Goodbye.

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With NBC’s musical showpiece ‘SMASH’ delegated a less-than-lovable Saturday night time-slot [from April 6th], star Debra Messing spent no time locking in a back-up plan in case the show is not renewed for a (unlikely) third season.  Viewers has been dropping heavily since the shows second season premiere (recently earning a measly 0.8 rating) resulting in the change of time-slot.

Messing has been attached to a project for CBS,  the lead in a yet-to-be-titled comedy from Sex and the City alums Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky.  The untitled comedy will see Messing play “Shira, a happily married but harried mother struggling to balance family, life and work. Between her job as a ghost writer for a demanding celebrity chef and having three children all ranging in age from preschool to 7, she feels like the world’s worst mother because of her tendency to cut corners.”

Messing is the first and only star to be cast.

After two seasons on SMASH as playwright Julia Houston, this will be Messing’s first series comedy role since the end of the popular Will & Grace.

UPDATE: March 2014 – Debra Messing lands lead in new cop drama