Will & Grace? Funny? Emmy? WTF?

I watched Will & Grace last night for the first time. My girlfriend loves this show and I agreed to watch it with her.

This show won an Emmy? For what? It seems to be that the writers were trying to see just how broadly they could write the characters. There isn’t a bit of wit or style to the show - its all completely over the top.

For the gay men on this board, a question - Do you appreciate that this is the image lots of Americans are given of you? I know a few gay men and none of them are nearly as ridiculous as Jack, and most of them resent his characterizations.

Let’s see: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, and Will and Grace? What’s the old song from Sesame Street - Which of these things just doesnt’ belong?

Jack may be a silly stereotype of a gay man, but Will’s character is much appreciated.

We watch the show regularly, and both my husband and I find it very funny. In fact, Jack gets a huge portion of the laughs.

I suppose I can understand the appreciation of Will; however, compare what the reaction would be if a show once again portrayed a black man as a shuffling, watermelon-eating, lazy, ne’r do well (which is about as stereotyped as you can get, no?) The reaction would be overwhelmingly negative. I guess I’m wondering why the same reaction hasn’t come from the gay community about Jack.

That’s a very good observation.

Maybe it’s because sometimes any portrayal of a character from an under represented group is better than NO portrayal at all. That’s just a WAG, by the way.

You first have to have stereotypical characters in the mainstream before you can dispel and address the stereotypes? Perhaps?

I was thinking on this

on my way home.

I retract this. The swishy queen stereotype has been in the mainstream now for the better part of a century.

The Celluloid Closet includes footage of Chaplin(?) affecting that peculiar limp wrist and swish that, really, I’ve never seen as a real (unaffected) personality trait, ever. Maybe if I’m up to it when I wake up this afternoon, I’ll pop that tape into the VCR and take a look again. I think filmmakers had a couple of ideas on this topic.

“however, compare what the reaction would be if a show once again portrayed a black man as a shuffling, watermelon-eating, lazy, ne’r do well (which is about as stereotyped as you can get, no?) The reaction would be overwhelmingly negative. I guess I’m wondering why the same reaction hasn’t come from the gay community about Jack.”

You didn’t enjoy In Living Color when it aired?
They took about every black stereotype you could think of and seemed to do pretty well for a few years.

I will give you this, last night’s Will and Grace wasn’t up to the usual standards of last year. Not as many laughs.
But seeing any show for the first time isn’t going to give you the full impact as it does if you watch for awhile and get to ‘know’ the characters.

I never saw “In Living Color” so I can’t draw the comparison.

What do you mean by the term “they seemed to do pretty well for a few years?” Was the show a big hit? Did it win an Emmy for best comedy? Critical acclaim but no audience? I don’t know how you’re gauging success.

I suppose my point is this: Will and Grace seems to be saying - Look at these gay men, aren’t they funny the way they act and the way they talk about sex all the time. Oh, he said something about gay porn, isn’t that the most hilarious thing you’ve ever heard? Ha, ha, ha, look he’s wearing pajamas and slippers and acting like a dog when she scratches his belly. Jack’s “faggness” (as someone in my office called it) is the joke. Jack as a character isn’t funny, his sexual orientation (and all the limp-wristed, swishy mannerisms that go along with that sterotype)is what makes him funny.

Don’t give the American TV viewing public too much credit. If all they see of gay characters is Jack that’s what they are going to think gay people are like, and the one’s I know aren’t like that at all.

Just my observations and I don’t imagine I’ll see the show again to “get to know” the characters.

Here’s a thought.

Jack shows what everyone THINKS gay people are like. Will shows what they really ARE like - just like all the rest of us.

“Don’t give the American TV viewing public too much credit. If all they see of gay characters is Jack that’s what they are going to think gay people are like, and the one’s I know aren’t like that at all.”


Jack’s personality is that he is very proud and pronounced to be gay. A conflict often arises between the two friends, Will and Jack. Will uses his corporate image to often obscure his gayness. Jack puts being gay before anything else. His character is much deeper than a stereotypical queen. Jack blatantly pushes Will to show his gayness to the public. It is however a comedy, so even in their pursuit of deeper issues such as homosexual-denial, they approach it in a comical fashion.

The real statement made is that all gay people are NOT just like Jack. That message may have been lost on you, but I would make the assumption that the larger American TV viewing public gets the correct message.

I am however, one to give the American TV viewing public apparently too much credit. Otherwise they would assuredly think all radio psychiatrists run about putting on airs and attending wine tastings. And all male receptionists for women’s magazines are short little weasles. I don’t think people are as stupid as you give them credit for being.

As to ‘In Living Color’, I have no idea whether it won any critical acclaim, but is that even the issue? Critical acclaim doesn’t keep a show on the air or bring it a viewing audience. It simply means one group of critics liked it. The show lasted four or five seasons and got decent ratings. (thus it lasted four or five seasons)

Yeah, JustAnotherGuy, you said it well. There was an episode last season where Jack wanted to use a guest pass to Will’s gym, and Will didn’t want him to because, essentially, he was embarrassed by how proudly out Jack was. It clearly delineated the difference between Will as a gay professional man and Jack as a professional gay man.

The episode in which Jack had to accompany Karen to her kids’ school and told off some bullies terrorizing another kid showed another side of Jack as well.

As I said, I had never seen the show before so maybe there’s more to it than what I picked up on. Still, an Emmy? This is the best comedy show on TV?

I watched W&G last night and found Jack to be particulary annoying with some humourous moments. I generally enjoy the show as I wait for “Just Shoot Me” to come on.

I have met real people exactly like Jack.

They annoy me too.

I don’t know whether or not it deserved the Emmy, but I usually enjoy the show. It’s quite funny. Last night wasn’t the best show they’ve ever aired, but I didn’t think it was terrible either. I also really liked the episode where Will didn’t want Jack to join his gym because he was too flamboyant.

Karen annoys me more than the other 3 put together. Shouldn’t trophy wives be protesting her character:)?

I haven’t seen the show in a while, but I always found it pretty funny. Certainly, by sit-com standards, the characters are actually less one dimensional than you often find. Jack is funny because he’s so over-the-top, even if it is in a stereotypically gay way. The show where he comes out to his mother was pretty funny because it seems just so obvious that he’s gay.

Mainly, I just love Will and Grace’s refrigerator, though. That thing is so cool. Actually, the whole apartment looks cool, even the furniture being covered. Is Karen Grace’s secretary? And when is the show on, I really would kinda like to see it again.

I’m damned impressed with some of you folks who watched Will&Grace long enough to hate it.

I haven’t been able to watch it for more than two to three minutes at a time with flipping desperately to another channel. No exaggeration. I’ve seen infomercials that were less obnoxious. And it’s not that Python-esque “meta-humor” type of annoying (which has its appeal). It’s simply annoying.

Try these. I believe our esteemed representative of the homosexual community, Esprix, answered this question in one of them.

I’m in theater, my best friend in high school was a flamboyant gay man, hell, my hair dresser IS an African American version of Jack. Some stereotypes are stereotypes because they are a little true. But Will and Grace doesn’t show Jack in a negative light. That’s the difference. He’s not an abomination, he’s not off molesting children, he’s just a guy, who is flamboyantly gay. And I think THAT fact is really important. And the fact that Will isn’t Jack brings a well-rounded aspect to the image of homosexuality.

And if you think Jack is an over-the-top and false character, head down to ANY gay bar on a Saturday night. Or the Castro in San Fran at any time of day.

Since I’m too poor to have a TV in my dorm room I don’t get to watch much TV, but I have seen “Will and Grace” a fair few times. I don’t mind Jack, or Karen, or Will, but Grace has got to go. Will may be her “best friend”, but she treats him terribly. I can’t believe that she is supposed to be the normal character that women in the audience will sympathize with. She is an evil shrew.

The acting on the ads was so hammy that I ignored the show for that alone.
Then I saw the girl on a talk show and she seemed fun, so I gave it a try, but it was so weak I had to give up on it halfway in, and just channel surfed until the next show. It beat that stinker.

Um… what everybody else said. :wink:

I know lots of Jacks. I’m Jack, for cryin’ out loud. But, like his latter-day predecessors (notably Donald Maltby from the '80’s Showtime sitcom “Brothers”), he is stereotypical for laughs, but always deeper than his outer surface shows (as evidenced in several episodes, mentioned above). Jack, and the actor who play him, are quite over the top - but he’s also funny. Will, in his own way, is also over the top, as in corporate and not flamboyant, to the point where Jack embarasses him sometimes.

So, should rich women be offended at Karen, a pill-popping, kid-hating vapid socialite? Should redheads be offended at Grace’s bumblingness and questionable fashion sense?