Sep 27, 2016

13 Things I Hate About Will and Grace

Will and Grace (1998-2005) was a multiple-Emmy award winning sitcom about a gay man, Will (Eric McCormack), his best friend Jack (Sean Hayes), and their heterosexual female life partners, Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullaley).

I hated it.  I still hate it.  I can't watch an episode without seething with rage and trying to kill my tv set.

Here are the top 10 things I hate about it.

1. I know that some gay men (and straight men) have feminine mannerisms, but every gay male character on the program, except for a few famous guest stars, prances.  They wear face cream and listen to show tunes and call each other "Mary."  Will goes even farther.  He believes that he is a girl, literally.  In one episode, Will's visiting cousin states that he needs "a woman's opinon" about something, and Will immediately chirps "Sure, I'll be glad to help."

3. Every gay stereotype you ever heard is absolutely true.  Grace or Karen frequently make astonishingly homophobic statements, and Will has to admit that they are correct.  In one episode, a gay man has to pretend to be interested in a woman, but he doesn't know how.  Grace says: "Treat her like your mother."  Will protests, "That's homophobic!  All gay men aren't in love with their mothers. . .um. . .ok, ok, treat her like your mother."

4. Gay men like sex with women.  A lot.  Will/Grace and Jack/Karen are always cuddling, smooching, pawing at each other.  Will and Jack occasionally kiss other women, too.

5. But they like sex with men more.  That's right, gayness is a sexual preference.  You have to try both sexes, and decide which one you prefer, like deciding between strawberry and chocolate ice cream.  In one episode, Will admits that he had sex with a woman in order to "be sure."

6. They like sex with men, but relationships are heterosexual. Will gets married to his cop beau in the last episode, but before that he had 3,000 episodes paired with Grace.  And the last episode fast-forwards to reveal Jack and Karen living together for 20 years.  Same-sex bonds come and go, but heterosexual bonds are forever.

7. There is no gay culture.  Will and Jack must spend all of their time among heterosexuals, because there are no gay political groups, social groups, sports groups, churches, or community centers.  Just a lot of gay bars, and in one episode a bookstore.

8. All gay men are affluent sophisticated lawyers who live in Manhattan and have gym-toned physiques and listen to show tunes and are utterly self-absorbed.  Of course, the straight women are the same.

9. There are no lesbians.  Will is constantly telling people that he is gay, but Grace only states that she is a woman. She doesn't have to mention that she's heterosexual, because lesbians don't exist.  Except in one episode, where they were portrayed as butch, predatory, and "confused."  One "changes back" into heterosexual after kissing Will.

10. Sean Hayes utterly refused to acknowledge that he was gay during the entire run of the show.  I can't imagine how much internalized homophobia and self-hatred it takes to do that.  Of course, if he actually believed all of the contemptible things his character was saying about gay people, I can understand why he would hate himself.

11. Leslie Jordan plays a flamboyantly feminine gay man -- even more feminine than the other characters, so much that Karen's homophobia changes from ridicule to hatred.  But he insists that he is straight.

12. Grace and Karen throw around "fags" and "homos" with utter abandon, and instead of calling them out for their homophobia, Will and Jack meekly accept the abuse.

13.  Sorry, I couldn't confine myself to 10.  But this is the last one: Will doesn't know that gay men exist.
In one episode, Will is going on a blind date.  As he sits in a restaurant waiting for his date, he strikes up a conversation with the man at the next table.  He states that he, too, is waiting for a blind date. 

At this point, what would you conclude?


But Will doesn't. He says: "You know how women are, they always like to make an entrance." He is gay, and yet he is absolutely certain that every man on Earth is straight.