Not A Couple Show Notes: Will & Grace Episode 3.11 — “Coffee & Commitment”

This is us participating in any piece of impromptu audience theatre, ever.

It’s wedding season in real life — Matthew’s even on his way to one as we type — so it seems fitting that we’ve finally stumbled across a wedding again in Will & Grace-land.

Sorry, sorry, not a wedding, a commitment ceremony. Remember kids, it’s 2001 and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell your conservative relatives what you were doing in Vermont.

Gay rights issues that aren’t even remotely addressed aside, this is a pretty okay episode. Jack and Karen steal the show a little with their own private episode of True Life: I’m Addicted to Coffee, Booze and Denial, but mostly we get to see Will and Grace grow up a little bit on screen. And here at Not A Couple we are saying yes to that dress.

Summary: This week, W&G goes back to the fertile well of Will and Grace being an old married couple and hating that about themselves. But don’t worry, Matthew and Tess are here to get you through until those crazy kids learn a lesson about human independence.


Things That Happened

00:00: This is a pretty straight-forward episode: Will and Grace go to a wedding, where they fight about trying to be independent, and Jack is addicted to coffee. Totally normal.

01:22: We’ve returned to the lives of Will’s friends Joe and Larry, who have decided to double down on the domestic bliss of their baby by getting m̶a̶r̶r̶i̶e̶d̶ same-sex-committed.

02:28: Our A- and B-plots literally run into each other this week. The plot that has to do with addiction is the funny one.

03:30: Tess takes solace that she’s never been as caffeinated as Jack is this week.

JACK: “Hey, friends, lovers, mothers, and other strangers. You’re never going to believe what happened to me. [TRIPS] Oh, my gosh! Did you see that? I almost did the half nelson. I almost bruised my delicates, my delicates, my domo arigato Mr. Tomatoes. Huge news! I have met — Are you ready for this? Mr. Right. Well, Mr. Right-Now, anyway. Ba-da-bum! Good night, folks, I’m here all week. Jack 2000! He works over at the Jumpin’ Java. You know that coffee shop on 72nd? And his name is Paul. He is cute with a capital “Q”! And the busier it gets, the hotter he gets. And the hotter he gets, the sweatier he gets. And the sweatier he gets — I forgot where I’m going with this, but the point is… Me likey he, and he likey me. And the best part is — Shazam! — he gives me free iced coffee every time I go in, which is every hour on the hour. Thank you very much! And occasionally on the half hour! Bah-da-da-da-da! Blblblbt!”

05:44: Matthew and Tess get SO CLOSE to talking about Will and Grace’s plotline, but then get derailed by Grace’s breastless charm.

07:24: Will spirals this episode after getting reminded one too many times that he and Grace are basically an old married couple.

GRACE: “Oh! Is this our gift for Joe and Larry?”
WILL: “It’s a gift, yes.”

08:10: Matthew and Tess tend to have the opposite initial problem as Will and Grace — he tries to pay for stuff, she tries to break his fingers before they reach his wallet.

10:18: But the whole “Reminder: We’re actually not a couple” thing? We know that feel.

12:04: This season has really put Will and Grace’s struggle to attain emotional maturity front and center.

Tess: “It’s fun to watch, but also sometimes it’s very frustrating, because then we get scenes like — they’re fighting over: ‘Will, just let me sign the card.’ ‘No, I don’t want a wife.’ Bomb drop; now we’re at a gay wedding.”

12:31: The core issue for Will isn’t that he doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship — it’s that Grace’s wifeliness reminds him that he doesn’t have a real romantic partner yet, and he takes out that frustration on her.

14:09: It’s unexpected, but this episode makes an excellent case for viewing yourself as complete with or without a partner, rather than doubling down on “Will+Grace=PERFECT SOULMATES.”

WILL: “When I’m feeling annoyed by every little thing…”
GRACE: “Because I’m not getting what I want… I’ll remember that there is an infinite amount of love available to me.”
WILL: “And I’ll see it in you.”
GRACE: “I’ll remember that I am complete within myself…”
WILL: “So I’ll never have to look to you to complete me.”
WILL and GRACE: “And most of all, I’ll remember that everything I really need I already have, and whatever I don’t have will come to me when I’m ready to receive it.”

15:42: Tess and Matthew learn that kayaks are surprisingly affordable for leisure boats.

Link Roundup

Same-sex commitment ceremonies on TV: TV’s first gay wedding is traditionally considered to be the one on Roseanne back in 1995, though Friends’ “The One with the Lesbian Wedding” aired only a month later. “December Bride” featured Roseanne’s boss Leon marrying his boyfriend, and while the camera does jolt away from the “you may kiss the groom” moment — leaving Will & Grace itself to feature TV’s first male gay kiss — it’s still a big, big deal for ’90s America. EXTREMELY DISTRESSINGLY, Roseanne Barr proposed a spinoff from this episode that would have featured newlyweds Leon and Scott raising a teenage daughter with next-door neighbors RUPAUL and DON KNOTTS! Obviously this revolutionary show was shut down by ABC because they’re the worst.

They’ve really got to get this show on Hulu so it’s easier for you to look this stuff up.

Aladdin’s vest on Grace: Seriously, buy the Season 3 DVD, then buy a DVD player, then go home, then put the disc in, then watch this episode, and THEN tell us Grace did not steal this poor street rat’s vest.

Where is Schenectady?: Not bein’ Neu Yawkas, Matthew and Tess had to google both how to spell and find Schenectady. It is here. This is a good reminder that Matthew has never unwrapped his copy of Synecdoche, New York

Next Episode: S3E11: “Swimming Pools … Movie Stars”