To think, that not too long ago there were very few gay characters on television, never mind shows specifically about gay life. Then came Will & Grace in 1998 to shatter that champagne ceiling. The path to gay sitcom leads was paved the year before with Ellen DeGeneres coming out on her sitcom, Ellen. But the show had already been on the air for four years. Will & Grace was the first show presented from day one with a gay lead.
I could spend this blog talking about how ground breaking the show was (Vice President Joe Biden said it educated people about the gay community), but I’d rather focus on what made the show a success. It was damn funny! It showed that laughter is universal.
Much of that had to do with Eric McCormack (Will) and Debra Messing (Grace). Not only did they have great comic chemistry, but personal chemistry as well. You believed they were friends since college. As much as they made you laugh, they touched your heart. Which was tough to do with such powerful co-stars.
Many would say that Megan Mullally (Karen) and Sean Hayes (Just Jack!) stole the show. There is no doubt that they took the spotlight of every scene they were in, but their wacky, blunt comedy style balanced well with that of the leads.
But they all had to step aside for the great guest stars they wrangled: Debbie Reynolds, Cher, Gregory Hines, Gene Wilder and even Madonna! Just to name a few.
The show remained strong for the eight seasons it aired. It ended before it got stale. To this day, it’s in heavy reruns, with marathons on Logo and WE every so often.
Then, during the election, the cast and crew of Will & Grace reunited for a web special. There was no doubt that they still had the same chemistry and charm that they had eight years before. The video went viral and was the catalyst for NBC to bring the show back.
Will the new series be as good (and funny) as the original? Will it still be relevant? Apparently, the new episodes have so far impressed some of the bigwigs over at NBC, because before a new episode even aired, it was already renewed for a second season.
The one complaint I’ve heard from people was the series finale had Will and Grace not speaking for decades. How will they address that? Well, in the words of the theme of Mystery Science Theatre 3000: “repeat to yourself, it’s just a show, I should really just relax.” But I’m sure the creative team will come up with a fun way to explain the happenings of the last episode. (I am interested in seeing how the Rosanne reboot explain their last season.)
I can’t wait to see what fun is in-store for Will, Grace, Karen and Jack in the new series. As well as what guest stars show up (Michelle Obama is already confirmed). And maybe, just maybe, Will & Grace will further educate and open minds. While making us laugh.
So enjoy this round-up of Will & Grace t-shirts. Like the show, the focus is more on Karen and Jack. With these shirts, you can say: “Honey, I don’t look. I’m looked at.”