"Will & Grace": What's up with the chemistry between Jack and Karen?

Probably a bit late for this thread since the show’s been canceled. Nevertheless: I just caught a rerun where Karen gets Jack to help her look for her lost parrot by offering bribes including, “I’ll let you French-kiss me in the elevator!” Why should that tempt Jack?! And there are countless other examples. Sure you’re gay, dude?! :dubious:

The simplist - but least satisfying - answer is: someone thought it was funny and put it into a script and it caught on with the audience. But it does seem odd.

Both characters are extremely flirty and like to show how big and bold and sexy they are, but both characters are also extremely insecure. Each is a “safe” target to flirt with, because they can joke about it. Each enjoys one-upping the other, so you get these bizarre flirtatious statements that are basically self-gratifying. Essentially each character uses the other to get some cheap thrills free from the fear of emotional entanglement.

I’ve seen co-workers who were married (not to each other) use this same mechanism, albeit more conservatively.

Hell, Jack’s so secure in his homosexualty, he could actually go all the way with Karen and it wouldn’t change a thing. I kinda thought Karen thought of herself as a gay man in a woman’s body & was happy with both.

Also, if you saw the last episode, you’ll find that twenty years from now, their friendship has outlasted all their other relationships and they are comfortable residing together in Jack’s mansion.

What everybody else said. I’ll add that the relationship between Karen & Jack is probably the healthiest on the show, being based on a shared sense of humor and simple affection rather than being the co-dependent train-wreck, oh-yes-I’m-still-hopelessly-in-love-with-my-sexually-incompatible-best-friend trainwreck of the title characters. They had fewer ups and downs than Will & Grace not because they cared less, but because they were much better at expressing and resolving any problems they had with each other.

Plus Karen was way hotter.

I’ve had relationships like that with gay men (I’m a girl). Sometimes it was basic curiosity of ‘what do boobs feel like’ or the comfort of being flirty and making advances that you know nothing will come of, and you are not setting yourself up for hurt feelings because you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that when he doesn’t want you, it really ain’t you.