Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Little Ditty About Jack and Karen

When I logged onto AOL this morning, I saw a teaser quoting a National Enquirer story which claims that NBC is eager to put together a pilot for a potential Will & Grace spinoff, to star Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally's characters Jack McFarland and Karen Walker.

Now I'm not one to believe the Enquirer -- or AOL's shoddy news reporting, for that matter. But let's take this seriously for a moment, and realize -- it sounds like a really bad idea. For every rare hit spinoff like Frasier was from Cheers, there's a Joey or reaching back even further, a Golden Palace or an AfterM*A*S*H.

And there are some good reasons to be skeptical about this rumor. For one thing, just last week it was announced that Megan Mullally has already signed on to star in an ABC pilot, In the Motherhood, opposite Cheryl Hines and Chelsea Handler.

Plus, there's the issue of Will & Grace's terrible series finale. Back in July, I asked Debra Messing at the Television Critics' Conference if there might ever be a Will & Grace reunion. Never say never, she basically said -- but she pointed out that the series finale wrapped up the show's storyline so far in the future that any reunion would be logically problematic, if not impossible.

The same can be said for Jack and Karen. Didn't we see Jack financially forced to marry Beverly Leslie, only to be thrilled when a freak windstorm swept the little guy off their balcony? And then we saw Jack and Karen, together again, living off Beverly's estate? Jack, with touches of gray in his hair now -- and Karen, hilariously looking exactly the same?

I had very mixed feelings about the Will & Grace series finale, because in its attempt to set up a "meet cute" for Will's son Ben and Grace's daughter Lila, the episode contradicted several key facts we already knew about our titular twosome. Despite the finale's assertion to the contrary, Will and Grace had not earlier been said to have been freshman hallmates; he was even probably a year or two ahead of her. Instead, it had been established, including during the two-parter where Grace married Leo, that Will and Grace first met at a party on a New York rooftop. But I digress.

It would probably be best to let Jack and Karen rest, in whatever boozy state they're lounging around in in the TV ether. But I want to make this clear: should these spinoff rumors turn out to be true, and the show does somehow get on the air, I'll be the first one to tune in and watch. And this time, I want to write for the show. Got that, Mr. or Ms. Showrunner?

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