#willandgrace

How 'Will & Grace' Helped The LGBTQ Community Across Several Generations

I noticed that the official YouTube account for Will & Grace shared a 90-second video that celebrates Pride Month in a beautiful way. The vid shows some of their most iconic LGBTQ moments, from when it began 20 years ago up until now due to its wonderful reboot. 

 

 

It's a fascinating video to look at, as it details just a glimmer of the impact that this show has made on the LGBTQ community, our supporters, and even people who at one point were homophobic but changed their views after watching the daily, or "gaily"lives of Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes), and Karen (Megan Mullally). 

As someone who is an "early millennial" of sorts (born in the mid-80's), I come from a generation of people who were starting to warm up to the idea of LGBTQ acceptance. The 1980's was more political, with the desire to wake everyone up in terms of what was going on with the AIDS crisis and our needs to not be looked at some deviants, whereas the 90's started to develop a conversation about our community and how we can really integrate ourselves into the mainstream world.

Two shows were able to help that cause. Ellen was one... and Will & Grace was the other. Ellen (DeGeneres) broke the doors down in a huge way when she came out as gay on her primetime series, which drew millions of viewers who ultimately became divided on why she did what she did. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for her at that point, and the show was canceled a year after that particular episode aired. Obviously, she rebounded, but it took a little while for her to get there and for another show to come along to finish what she started.

Cue Will & Grace. A show about a gay man and a straight woman living together in New York City. Will has the funny sidekick friend in Jack, and Grace has her assistant Karen who really isn't much of an assistant at all. The show's first eight episodes aired Monday's on NBC, before moving to Tuesday's and then finally their Thursday night lineup, which was known as "Must See TV" at that point. They joined in with some other legendary shows at the time, including Frasier and Friends.

Clearly the show had struck a chord, but I do wonder if that would have happened had Ellen not done what she did a year earlier. Regardless, the formula between these four actors really worked, as the show averaged between 12 to 17 million viewers per week through its first six seasons and won a ton of awards in the process.

The emotional moments on the show were just as incredible as the comedic ones, which showcased the difficulties our community faced in the world at that point. It was the first time that we saw something like this on a continuing series and not just on a "very special episode" type of deal that our community had to deal with up for several years prior. 

These were characters that were relatable and likable, but at the same time, they were creating a conversation. They were bringing together all types of people in real life who almost developed a "gay" sort of education while watching the program. For me, I had no idea about anything in the gay community prior to watching Will & Grace given my age when it was on. Watching the show helped me tremendously with my sexuality to the point where it inspired me to want to come out to my parents at a very young age.

I can't be the only one to think that. And it's left an impression on not only my generation, but several others as well. Younger, older, and everything in between, we have to really thank this show for existing as we never had anything like it before. If we didn't have Will & Grace, chances are we wouldn't have the following (hypothetically):

  • Queer as Folk
  • Looking
  • The L Word
  • RuPaul's Drag Race
  • Queer Eye
  • Miss Vanjie (hehe)
  • Modern Family
  • Glee

And so on and so forth. They helped shape a movement that is stronger than ever... and all they had to do was show up, get the show made, edit it accordingly, and broadcast it to millions of people like me who needed it for their own reasons. Thank you, Will & Grace, for what you've done for our community and what you will continue to do for generations in the future. 

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject. 

'Will & Grace' Shares Video Tribute For Pride Month

"You are exactly who you are supposed to be."

You could say that's one of the ineffable messages of Pride Month.

And underscoring yet again the impact Will & Grace has had on LGBTs and allies alike, this newly-released one minute video gets to the center of what has made the show such an enduring success.

Humor with heart.

The video mash-up from the iconic sitcom in honor of Pride Month reminds us why the Will & Grace reboot been an amazing revival for NBC and the LGBT community.

Take, for example, the clip from the latest season between Will and guest star Ben Platt:

Will: “My coming out was pretty typical - my mom cried, my dad drank…”

Ben: “I told my parents when I was 8. They both threw me a coming out party on the same weekend.”

Will: “That’s not a coming out story. How’s James Franco supposed to win an Oscar playing that???”

While it gets a good laugh, the brief scene combines comedy and light with a subject many experienced as painful.

The quick video tribute offers coming out moments from Will and Jack, as well as the infamous “television kiss” between the two dashing urbanites.

We’re also treated to moments of pride by parents on the show, something most of America had never seen before W&G.

And why? Because as Jack tells us, “That’s what we do in the community - we ‘gay it forward.’”

Because Pride Month isn't just about a party, or history, or a slogan. 

“The minute you forget what we went through to get here, is the minute it could all be taken away.”

Well done, NBC.

Happy Pride, folks.

 

 

Who is Top, Vers, or Bottom on the Cast of 'Will & Grace'?

The mystery has finally been solved twenty years later, and no, we don't mean who the real Stanley Walker actually is.

Will & Grace, which just capped off a hilarious first season on the show's revival, has left fans wondering for so long as to what sexual position each cast member would be (women included)? 

Their official Twitter page decided to debunk any rumors and get down to brass tax regarding what bunk each cast member would be and what kind of top, vers, or bottom they would play.

And this goes beyond Will (Eric McCormack) , Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally).  Oh no, there are more involved, and quite frankly, their "positions" are hilarious and somewhat ring true to who they are on the show. 

Let's break this down:

Lawful Bottom: Larry (Tim Bagley)

Neutral Bottom: Malcolm (Alec Baldwin)

Chaotic Bottom: Beverly Leslie (Leslie Jordan)

Lawful Vers: Will Truman

True Vers: Rosario Inés Consuelo Yolanda Salazar (Shelley Morrison)

Chaotic Vers: Jack McFarland 

Lawful Top: Vince (Bobby Cannavale)

Neutral Top: Grace Adler

Chaotic Top: Karen Walker

L to the O to the L.  Seriously.  This is a fairly accurate reading of these characters, however some social media users disagreed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you agree or disagree with this hilarious list?

 

 

 

 

 

Okay Guys, Time To Get Real. Let Us Know Which Gay Movie Or TV Show Changed Your Life

 

I loved hearing your Facebook responses to my post last week - Do You Remember The Exact Second You Realized You Were Gay? - but not unlike Jack McPhee when it comes to the boys, I want more, and today I want to know which gay movie or TV show changed your life! Sometimes, as gay youths, our only connection to the LGBT world is through media, which is why gay representation in movies and television is so important. I'll never forget when the angel of a man Vice President Joe Biden said:

I think Will & Grace did more to educate the American public more than almost anything anybody has done so far. People fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand.

From this to Mike Pence. How fun for us. Biden is right. But those who "fear" gays aren't the only ones who benefit from gay characters being beamed into their living rooms. Gays themselves, especially those who grew up pre-Internet like moi, need the education and connection as well.  

 

 

I grew up in whatever one step up from a meth lab is in the hills of Appalachia, and I certainly wasn't going to glean any insight into gay culture from a high school where rebel flags were not just tattoos, t-shirts, or license plate frame options, but also a way of life. My first sense of belonging, of being understood, came from the the gay characters I saw in movies and television.

Now more gay characters are featured on the big and small screens than ever before, and I want to know, from Looking to Brokeback Mountain to Call Me By Your Name to Will and Grace to Charlie Hunnam and Aidan Gillen on Queer as Folk (that one's mine BTW and FYI), which gay movie or TV show changed your life. Do some soul searching and let us know in the comments!

 

Two Very Interesting Couples Get Engaged on the 'Will & Grace' Season Finale

The season finale of Will & Grace found two very interesting couples get engaged, and one break apart for good.  

On last week's episode, Grace's father Martin (Robert Klein) decides to move in with the two of them after Will gave some ill-advised advice regarding the state of his home that he still lived in after his wife Bobbie (Debbie Reynolds) passed.  

We also find that Jack's Staten Island cop boyfriend Drew (Ryan Pinkston) doesn't want to be with him anymore as he's freshly out of the closet and wants to experience life as an out and proud gay man, and Karen is once again having an affair with Malcolm (Alec Baldwin) but is doing her best to keep it a secret from not only Stan but everyone else in her life.

All of those situations come to a head in a very rushed season finale (this whole season sort of had that vibe) where two couples get engaged in the span of them meeting within a 24 hour time frame.

One of the most cherished guest stars from the original eight season run finally made an appearance on the revival, as Will's mother Marilyn (Blythe Danner, who looks fabulous) visits their apartment with her three beagles.  Martin is living with Will & Grace, much to their frustrations, yet he and Marilyn hit it off instantly as they have one major thing in common: they have both lost their longterm partners in life (George, played by Sydney Pollack, passed away in real life back in 2008).  

And then the inevitable happens: Will and Grace discover Martin and Marilyn having sex, which sends both of them into a tizzy.  By the end of the episode, Marilyn not only decides to move in with Will & Grace but also gets engaged to Martin in the process which sends our two titular characters into a further downward spiral.

Jack, on the other hand, tries to rebound from getting dumped by taking a trip to Ibiza and falling for a flight attendant named Estefan (Brian Jordan Alvarez).  This culminates in the two of them flying back to NYC together and getting engaged right after Martin and Marilyn do.  The common theme in these engagements is that both couples don't want to end up like Will & Grace: alone and still living with one another later on in life.

It's a sentiment that Karen discusses towards the end of the episode when she decides to end things with Malcolm in favor of staying with Stan.  There is still some major hilarity involved as they both use Smitty as a sexual pawn of sorts which leaves the "down on your luck" bartender eventually saying "hashtag #metoo" as they both take advantage of him in a totally wrong but hysterical kind of way.

The episode ends with the realization that if Martin and Marilyn actually do walk down the aisle, that WIll & Grace will become brother and sister.  It leaves them once again in a panic, as the discussion of how close the two of them are has been constant ever since the original series run, so will their parents potentially getting married finally split these two apart in different ways?  Will Jack & Estefan's relationship go the distance, and will we ever meet Karen's husband Stan?  Season 2 of the revival is set to premiere in September. 

What did you think about the season finale of W&G?  

Kinky: Karen and Malcolm Get it On With Smitty in the 'Will & Grace' Finale!

Well... this was something we never saw coming!

The Will & Grace revival's season finale is this Thursday, and in a shocking move, Karen (Megan Mullally) and Malcolm (Alec Baldwin) make a move on, wait for it... SMITTY (Charles C. Stevenson Jr.)!

Smitty has been one of the show's most beloved actors, primarily because of how inappropriate hilarious his scenes are with Karen.  He first appeared at the end of the fourth season as a bartender, and since then has become Karen's go to person when it comes to laughing hysterically for all the wrong reasons. 

Pretty much Karen will ask him a question about how hard life is, then Smitty will say something terrible that has happened to him, a friend or a family member as it relates to Karen's question, and then Karen starts giggling immediately and thanks Smitty for cheering her up.  It's terrible, but amazing.

In the most recent episode, we find out that Malcolm and Karen are having an affair behind Stan's back.  On the finale, it looks like they use Smitty as a decoy as someone else may have found out (Jack came close to discovering the two of them last week but Malcolm was able to blend in with the hotel's curtains as a disguise).

Then, they both kiss Smitty, to which he says "Hashtag me too!" 

See the clip below:

 

 

 

How Would You Rank the 'Will & Grace' Revival Overall?

NBC found some major success this television season, as the idea of bringing Will & Grace back turned out to be a major hit for the network.  The ratings were steady and stellar, the cast and show received multiple nominations throughout, and the general consensus of the public seemed to be ecstatic that Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) came back.

The writers of this show had an incredibly tough task at hand, bringing four lovable characters into the modern day after us not seeing them for eleven years.  Given how the original series finale ended, where Will & Grace's kids get married, it made all of us wonder how they were going to resolve that given the timeframe of when all of that happened.

Within the first five minutes of the premiere, we find out that all of that occurred in Karen's head, and we are left with Will & Grace still living with each other and single, with Karen and Jack up to their usual shenanigans.  Now that we are two episodes from the season finale (it's already been picked up for two more seasons), it begs the question: just how well did the revival of this beloved show really do?

If I had to give it a personal grade, it would be a B.  Not stellar, not bad, right in the middle with some fantastic spots along the way.  The catch up aspect over the past 16 episodes has played a predominant part in how the series has progressed, as we learn why Grace's relationship with Leo (Harry Connick Jr) ended as well as why Vince (Bobby Cannavale) and Will broke up.  

Of course, we are also reintroduced to a ton of lovable characters that helped make the series so iconic during its original eight season run, including Beverly Leslie (Leslie Jordan), Val (Molly Shannon) and the return of Jennifer Lopez.  Yet, for the life of me, I can't seem to figure out what was really missing from this revival that makes me give this show a B when it really deserves an A on some level.

I've written in the past about how character development on any show is crucial, and yet I feel as if these four characters are still incredibly stuck.  Yes, some of the characters have made major life changes, like Will leaving his lawyer job to work with Grace and Jack finally finding a boyfriend, but the scenes in each episode are so short and the commercial breaks seem so frequent that it makes everything seem rushed when you are craving for so much more.

At the same time, there have been some incredibly wonderful moments this season that brought closure in really an incredible way.  I hope that Megan earns her third Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the episode Quinceanera, which details the passing of her maid and best friend Rosario (Shelley Morrison).  The raw emotion that comes out of her when she finally has to accept that she's passed is brutal and amazing all at the same time. 

It was also fascinating to see why Will & Vince ended things, as I had high hopes for this couple, but Will's need to control everything was the true downfall as to why they split up and why Vince found love elsewhere.  I know plenty of men who see themselves as the Will character, and this was one of the many instances where the relatability factor truly comes in.

Karen remained status quo, still with Stan, but we haven't met Stan yet.  I truly wonder if we ever will.  Jack found love with a cop from Staten Island, but we haven't seen him in a couple of episodes, so it begs to wonder how far they will go.  As for Will & Grace, they remain single even with a one-episode stint where Will got back together with his old boyfriend from 20 years ago, so I hope that the last two episodes of this season give us a reason to REALLY tune into the premiere come this September, as I would like to see some more crucial movement for these four as opposed to having another season of catching up.

How would you grade Will & Grace's revival overall?

'Will & Grace' Revival Gets Renewed for a 3rd Season, Honey!

Good news for the millions of Will & Grace fans, as the revival is going well enough that it's been renewed for a third season already!

Not just that, but their second season, which was already picked up last August with 13 episodes ordered, has been expanded to 18 which is the same amount that season 3 will be getting.  So essentially, we will be enjoying Will, Grace, Karen and Jack for at least 38 episodes longer (2 more remain this season).

Will & Grace's revival has been nothing short of absolutely stellar for not only the network but the cast and crew as well.  What started out as a 10 minute political video featuring the four main cast members then blossomed into a one season revival happening at the network they were on for eight seasons beginning in 1998 and ending in 2016.

NBC was so confident in their decision to bring the show back, that it renewed it for a second season even before the first aired.  And their luck paid off, as its been a ratings success for them, averaging a 3.1 adults 18-49 and 9.8 million viewers overall in Live+7 (according to Deadline).  That's impressive given that RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 sometimes bled into their time slot, which has a large LGBT audience that watch it each week.

Not only that, but it's been an award show darling all over again, with the show getting a nod for Best Comedy Series at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards and its stars like Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes receiving a smattering of nominations as well.

“As far as I’m concerned, we can’t get enough of Will & Grace, and 23 more episodes is music to my ears,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said. “We’re eternally grateful that Debra, Eric, Sean and Megan feel the same way and wanted to keep this good thing going. I’m overwhelmed by the euphoric response the new show has received from the press and the audience, and my hat is off to the unrivaled writing team of Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, as well as the brilliant directing of Jimmy Burrows, for consistently delivering one of the best shows on television.”

Congratulations to all! 

Are Will & Jack Officially Boyfriends on 'Will & Grace'?

Something I always worried would happen on Will & Grace was that there was going to be a storyline where Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack (Sean Hayes) would either go on a date, or become an item.  It was not only "jumping the shark" but also jumping the shark's sister, friend, cousin, neighbor and his high school janitor in terms of all the wrong it would do for the show.  SEE: Rachel dating Joey on Friends.

That thought process, however, became questioned during last night's episode, after Will discovers that his boyfriend Michael (Cheyenne Jackson) is just with him for his money which Jack points out shortly beforehand. It's one of the few times where Jack comes off like he actually cares about Will as opposed to making fun of him for being fat (which he obviously isn't) and cracking one-liners.

It was a poignant moment for the two of them, as it's usually Will showing how much he cares for Jack and not the other way around.  When the topic of Michael came up on last week's episode, there was a sense that this could go one of two ways: it could turn into a "Big" type of relationship that unfolds as the season goes on, or it could be a one or two episode stint similarly to when Carrie dated that politician who wanted her to pee on him back on SATC.  The latter rang true for this one, and Michael became a one and done.

Major kudos go out to Will & Grace's writers for the other storyline this week, when Karen visits a local bakery.  She wants the baker (played by SNL alum Vanessa Bayer) to make a cake that says MAGA (Make America Great Again) which she refuses.  It's a complete 180 from the variety of stories that are happening in real life, where bakers are refusing to work with couples who identify as LGBT due to their religious beliefs.  This episode gets it right where the premiere got it wrong, and it was handled really, really well.

Karen, in the process of being a Trump supporter, eventually insults a Latina, a handicapped man and a transgender person while Grace has the awkward position of being in the middle and trying to explain that everyone has a right to feel the way they do.  

The baker eventually makes the cake for Karen, but instead of MAGA, she writes IMAGAY, with adding the I and the Y to it.  So freaking clever.  This infuriates Karen, and after a quick tussle, Grace finds herself face first into the cake.  It's a very modern I Love Lucy type of moment, but then again, Debra Messing has had plenty of these which argues if she truly is the Lucille Ball of the new millennium (Fran Drescher was it for the 90's, IMHO).

What did you think about last night's episode, did you like both storylines?

A Superstar Returns on the Latest 'Will & Grace'

Last night's Will & Grace saw not one, not two, but three different storylines squeezed into one 22-minute episode, each done a bit rapidly, but nevertheless ended with a bit of a cliffhanger that makes this particular writer excited to see what's next.

A lot of what W&G has done, in its revival, is catch its audience up on how the four of them (Jack and Karen included) are doing eleven years after the show went off the air.  This of course includes bringing back beloved and memorable characters, which has been occurring pretty much every episode since its premiere back in September.

It's understood why this would happen, and seeing as the show is already renewed for a second season, the hope is that by that time everything will be completely caught up so you can really start to see some character development.  For now, we have one half of a recurring couple and a global superstar back on the show for one episode, with one unintentionally giving Grace a major reality check.

So, let's just once again scratch that whole storyline in season 8 when Grace was pregnant with Leo's baby.  I say this, because Grace is invited to Ellen's (Leigh-Allyn Baker) friend's baby shower, something that she is dreading for many reasons, one being she doesn't have a child of her own.  It's bizarre how most of season 8 was spent on her having a baby, but this is something we are forced to overlook and pretend didn't happen.

To contain Grace's rage, Will suggests that she writes her feelings about the women at the baby shower down and keep it to herself. Meanwhile, he accidentally "liked" a photo of an old boyfriend named Michael on Instagram, which plays its course throughout the episode as Michael calls him back but doesn't know what it means.  He then becomes reliant on two typical teenage girls to help him figure out what the call means, which wasn't necessarily funny but it does lead to Will calling Michael back, hence the cliffhanger.  So... yay, character development there.

Grace spends her time at the baby shower writing a ton of horrible things about the other women there as she feels she's being judged for not having kids, but of course, keeps all the notes in her jacket.  Those notes find its way into a big jar of positive and happy comments for Ellen's friend's baby, courtesy of another woman who found them on the couch.  Ellen reads some of the terrible one's that Grace says, she freaks out, but then has an epiphany where each of them judging each other for their life choices really doesn't get anywhere at the end of the day.

Outside of Will & Grace, Jack and Karen are up to their old shenanigans again.  Jack gets an acting job on the set of Shades of Blue, which stars Jennifer Lopez! Jennifer played herself back on season 6 of the show, where she winds up spending an entire summer with Jack after Karen gets married to Finster, only to find out years later that she changed her name, address, email address and more in order to block him out of her life.  He's supposed to play a dead corpse, but keeps trying to talk to Jennifer during the scenes to see if she remembers him, which of course, she doesn't.  This was funny-ish, I just wish they did more with the character.

Karen, on the other hand, is supposed to watch the students that Jack teaches and help them rehearse for their production of Annie, but doesn't exactly do that.  Instead, she puts them to work sweat shop style and makes them stitch together some fabric due to an error she made when ordering it.  They continue to do the work even during the "office" production of Annie, which doesn't even confuse the parents one bit.  Oh, Karen.

A good episode all around, but it just felt very rushed.  Very curious to see how the Will & Michael thing gets set up and see if he learns from the lessons that Vince taught him when he went to his wedding.

What are your thoughts on last night's episode?