Why You Should Watch Will & Grace

Recently, I attended the 2019 San Francisco Pride Parade where I saw all different kinds of people coming together to celebrate love. The parade was so colorful and everyone seemed to be having such a great time. As a straight woman, I feel safe and accepted in society and I am hopeful that one day the LGBTQ community will feel. This parade felt like a step closer to a more inclusive and accepting society and I was so grateful to have observed it even for just a moment.

The people a part of the parade are fearless activists fighting for a better life. While the parade itself is progressive, I can’t help but look just 20 years ago to a less accepting time. In 1998, NBC released the successful television series Will & Grace. The show followed a young gay man, Will, and his straight best friend, Grace, in New York City. The writers of the show cleverly sprinkled in pop culture references while simultaneously writing in celebrities such as Matt Damon, Cher, and Woody Harrelson. The sitcom was brilliantly produced and directed which explains its gradual success evident through its 8 seasons.

 

The show provided rich comedic relief through the outrageous storylines such as Grace eavesdropping on a neighbor’s affair or a supporting character Jack performing a high speed monologue in response to one too many espresso shots. Will & Grace had superb timing, delivering some of my favorite jokes and catchphrases in television history.

However, the show gained a massive amount of criticism after its release due to its portrayal of homosexuality. With two gay characters, Will and Jack, the show was controversial because it explored toxic masculinity, homophobia, and relationships. Will shattered the stereotypes of a gay man in many ways since he was a successful lawyer. Jack supported many stereotypes since he was a flamboyant entertainer. But both men were individualized showing to the early 2000’s viewers that homosexuals are people just like you and me. By showing Will and Jack as flawed, genuine, and kind people alongside Grace and supporting character Karen, the writers were underlying a crucial message.

    It doesn’t matter who you love. Straight, bisexual, gay… we are all people. We are all complex people who struggle with having overweight, millionaire husbands, failed one-man shows, elopements, and becoming the middle man of your parent’s love affair. Well… maybe not all of us.

    For me, Will & Grace positively portrays a friendship that runs deeper than sexuality. It reminded me of my friendships and the crazy stuff that I run into with my best friends. This show was one of the most progressive acts of the early 2000’s. It developed a platform that allowed the LGBTQ community to step onto and continue to rally for equal rights. This alone is why everyone should watch Will & Grace.