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Goodbye, With Grace and Good Will

May 18, 2006 By:
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Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) contemplate a special delivery on the show's finale.
"Will & Grace" has always seemed like a scene excerpted right out of "Fiddler on the Roof," with some changed lyrics accompanying its soundtrack.

It's as if Grace was the little girl Tevye carried, and Will the little boy at play - who were then promptly dropped on their heads.

Under the canopy you see them - using it as a trampoline for jump-starting their careers and social life.

Okay, so Will and Grace aren't wed; he's gay/ gentile, she's the ungay Jew. But if there is a more meaningfully married Jewish couple on TV, then "Petticoat Junction" was all about train stations.

And as the giddy and glorious couple who helped make NBC's "must-see" TV on Thursdays so watchable wrap up their run May 18, one can only wish them a mazel tov - a lot of mazel tov. After all, who else would have them?

Well, millions of viewers had them in their homes through the eight years they cavorted and caused havoc among themselves and their psychotic gang of friends, who should have been given a great group rate by any psychiatrist willing to take them on.

But as "Will & Grace" goes out - probably somewhat gracefully, if Grace doesn't bring back her milk-spouting bra from the past - one thing can be said about the show. And what has to be said can only be said in Yiddish: It had chutzpah.

For here was a show whose tongue-in-cheek was tongue on wry; Yiddishisms flew left and right from these characters' mouths more than even Karen could imbibe.

Funny, He Didn't Look Jewish
Where else could Harry Connick Jr. connect as a Jewish doctor, reprising his role tonight as the father of Grace's soon-to-be born child? (In reality, Connick, who most recently lent his voice to a Christmas cartoon on TV, has a Jewish mom.)

And where else but on "Will & Grace" will "gussied up" draw attention as an un-Jewish utterance, as in the episode last month when Connick's Dr. Leo used the term and Grace responded, "That's the first time I've ever heard a Jew say 'gussied up.' "

Say what you will, but the show always bespoke its Jewish roots - including a wedding ceremony between Dr. Leo and Grace that broke glass and tradition for TV by actually being authentic in its detail.

So, it's good night and good luck, "Will & Grace," on finding happiness as friends and as icons as you go out the door the very last time.

And when you do, Grace, please, dahhlink, remember to wear a sweater.

 

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