Will & Grace: The Revival - Season One - DVD Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Will & Grace: The Revival - Season One


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    Movie: :3.5stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :3.5stars:
    Extras: :2stars:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    It seems to be a new fad these days to renew old canceled TV shows rather than create something completely new. Shows that have been dead and buried for YEARS are coming back with brand new seasons and most of the original casts to boot. So far we’ve had Roseanne (which was summarily canceled after Roseanne Barr made a few comments that got her booted), Last Man Standing is coming back after being axed. So is Murphy Brown (talk about a blast from the past), Queer Eye, Strike Back and Arrested Development. I’m not AGAINST renewing old shows, but I always wonder if the renewed season can bring back the magic that the original run was able to exude. I loved the original Will & Grace while I was in college (and afterwards, since it ran from 98-2006), but the show had sort of run its course by the end of the 8th season. However, I wasn’t a tad surprised when the show runners announced that a 9th season of the popular show was being revived, as they had been talking about getting back together for several years now, and had even done a small video short before the election with the original cast.

    The show picks up in present times, 11 years after we last saw them, and they’re right back to their old shenanigans. Grace (Debra Messing) is back to living with her old time gay lawyer friend, Will Truman (Eric McCormack), and employing the filthy rich Karen (Megan Mullally) as the secretary in her interior design business. Jack (Sean Hayes) is still bouncing around from new fling to new fling like a bouncing ball throwing into a small room, and we’re right back to square one. Grace is miserable as ever in her narcissistic self destructing ways, Will and Jack are both looking for true love (or true one night stand, they can barely tell the difference), and Karen is giggling uncontrollably due to the fact that she’s constantly swigging down martinis and various prescription drugs.
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    Interestingly, the show is a bit of a mixed bag. McCormack, Hayes, Messing and Mullally all have fantastic chemistry, and there is a bucket load of laughs to be had. Some of the fun stems from the fact that we get to see so many familiar faces (we get to see Harry Connick Jr. and a few others, but we’re also missing a few faces, such as the ever popular maid Rosario, who couldn’t make it due to be retired from acting), but it also is running full bore as the cast really knows how to feed off of each other. On the MIXED bag comment, this stems from the insatiable need for the shows creators (and actors from what I could tell from interviews) to thrust heavy amounts of political criticism into the show’s gags. The first episode has us starting off with some HEAVY handed jokes about Melania and Donald Trump, and throughout the show they just pepper the funny jokes with a constant barrage of little jabs here and there. Don’t get me wrong, I love a funny jab about a political figure and have died laughing at Obama, Clinton, Bush and Reagan jokes over the years, but these come off as more insulting and degrading than actually humorous. The first 8 seasons never really had a need to interject humor that is certain to alienate part of their fan base, even though they were broadcasting RIGHT in the middle of the controversial Bush Jr. years. It’s not a deal killer, but it creates an awkward feeling for the more right leaning viewers that wasn’t present in the original run.

    Even though this is labeled as a “revival: Season One”, this is technically a continuation of the original show, and the IMDB information suggests that as well by labeling it season 9. The season actually did REALLY well ratings wise this year, and has been renewed for a 2nd and 3rd season (or 10th and 11th, depending on how you want to look at it), and I can see why. The cast is having a blast, the humor is mostly hilarious, and the rabid fan base that watched the first 8 seasons seems to have really jumped on board the bandwagon according to the Nielsen numbers.




    Rating:

    Not Rated by the MPAA




    Video: :4stars:
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    Universal’s DVD release for Will & Grace: The Revival is a fetching one that is indicative of most modern SitCom’s on DVD. The show is presented on 2 DVD-9 discs, and give about 3 hours of content per disc, which isn’t too wild, but also not exactly conducive to the BEST bitrates on a disc. The show’s simple backdrops show up well on disc, with only mild macroblocking from the compression to mark the crisp imagery. Colors are warm and inviting, with a very neutral looking color grading that really is typical of a SitCom (once again). Facial details and clothing details are quite impressive, although I did notice a little bit of wavering softness around faces at times. Black levels are deep and inky, and I really can’t complain about artifacting in the darker scenes as the show is mostly a very brightly lit show (there is some banding in the scene where Jack is in the dark waiting for his date, but it’s very minimal and vanishes as soon as the lights come on).





    Audio: :3.5stars:
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    The 448 Kbps 5.1 Dolby Digital track for the show is what you would expect for a sitcom. It’s extremely front heavy and doesn’t really require any major effort from the sound design. The dialog comes through impeccably, as does the laugh track and the minor vocal rumblings of surrounding background characters as the 4 main ones interact out in the world. Surrounds get a bit of laughter, but the score is really the most activity that those side speakers ever get. Same thing with the LFE. There’s some pop and punch with the theme song, but there really isn’t any material for it to flex the low end muscles over. This is NOT a bad track by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just that the series doesn’t lend itself towards the expanded sound stage of a 5.1 mix. Everything asked of it the track does with eagerness, but the show just doesn’t ask a whole lot from it.







    Extras: :2stars:
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    • Gag Reel
    • Reuniting the Team
    • Back to the Beginning
    • Classic Comedy









    Final Score: :3.5stars:


    Will & Grace: The Revival is a fun and witty return to form for the ever popular Will & Grace series. The actors don’t seem to have lost their touch, and the season had a lot of funny episodes in it. My only personal take is that I wish they would dial in the desire to interject so much blatant political jabs as it takes away from the hilarity of the rest of the show (at least for me, as I tend to swing more right in nature). The original show didn’t need to rely on it, and personally, neither does this one. The DVD set from Universal is quite solid, with good video and audio, and the typical smattering of extras that is normal among TV season releases. For those who want the Blu-ray, it IS out there, but Universal has decided to go the FOX and Warner Brothers Archive way and press the Blu-ray as an MOD title (Manufactured on Demand), and will be sold online for the most part. Worth a fun watch if you’re a fan of the original 8 seasons of Will & Grace


    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally
    Created by: David Kohan, Max Mutchnick
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
    Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1
    Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French
    Studio: Universal
    Rated: NR
    Runtime: 337 Minutes
    DVD Release Date: June 12th, 2018







    Recommendation: Fun Watch For Fans
     
    tripplej likes this.
  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the review. I did watch the original series long time ago.. Will revisit this..
     
  3. typ44q

    typ44q Member

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    I was a fan during its original run and have been enjoying the "revival" as well. The cast really has great chemistry.
    Too bad you did not get the blu-ray version of this season as I would guess that most people on this forum would be much more interested in that over the DVD.
     
  4. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    The Blu-Ray is Universal's MOD line (manufactured on demand) and as such is sold In limited quantites and won't be sent as review discs)
     

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