TV Review: Will & Grace

25 February 2016

By James

No other programme in television history has ever done as much to popularise the ‘GBF’ (Gay Best Friend) as Will & Grace did.

This gloriously bubbly sitcom took stereotypes and turned them on their head, following the madcap lives of Grace Adler (Debra Messing), a slightly neurotic Jewish interior designer, and Will Truman (Eric McCormack), a gay hotshot lawyer, who start the series living together in an incredibly stylish Manhattan apartment. They attempt to lead incredibly separate work and social lives while still staying friends. Add to this the flighty, ephemeral Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes), who tries to find work as an actor and creates unsuccessful cabaret shows entitled “Jack 2000”, and Grace’s “assistant”, sarcastic alcoholic Karen Walker (Megan Mullally), and creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnik had created one of the sharpest sitcoms to ever “grace” TV screens.

Throughout the eight series of sass, the programme saw green-card marriages, numerous movings of apartment and changes of job, and more doomed relationships than you could shake a Prada shoe at. Boasting guest stars from Woody Harrelson as the socially awkward Nathan and Jack’s icon Cher as herself in several sequences, Will & Grace won 16 Emmy Awards throughout its run. Will and Grace are at times more like a married couple like anything else, guessing each other’s actions before they even take place. Full of incredible one-liners and more high camp than a Noel Coward play, the show also manages to be highly emotional and dramatic when it wants to be.

One of the show’s most valued characteristics was the unique way in which it presented gay characters, which led to it being preserved as one of the inaugural pieces in the Smithsonian Insitution’s LGBT collection. The programme has been commended by figures as varied as Joe Biden and Neil Patrick Harris for its presentation of its gay characters and its incredibly sharp humour, both of which have resulted in a number of accolades, including the preservation of the apartment set in Emerson College in Boston.

Those who like their TV staid and serious will not be impressed by Will & Grace, but anyone who can see the funny side of camp, alcoholism, doomed relationships and vast numbers of neuroses will see the programme for what it is: a genius bit of comedy writing.

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