Will & Grace: Season One (review)

It’s the show that made Middle America comfortable with gay stereotypes, and watching them pile up episode after episode is nauseating. It’s the flip side of the power of TV-on-DVD: The good stuff gets more intense and more fun when consumed in whole-season chunks, but the bad stuff gets worse, its sins magnified and amplified. The insipid adventures of straight interior designer Grace (Debra Messing) and her gay best friend, Will (Eric McCormack), a lawyer, read like a child’s idea of what “sophisticated” New Yorkers are like, tossing off strained pop-culture references with abandon and sprinkling every conversation with tedious sexual innuendo and obligatory jokes about excrement (two in the series premiere alone!). Grace’s socialite assistant, Karen (Megan Mullally), is a particularly egregious example of a character so removed from reality as to be laughable (for all the wrong reasons), but it’s Will’s friend Jack (Sean Hayes) who grates the most. We’re meant to take him as “outrageous” — and outrageously gay — because he waves his hands flamboyantly about while biting off mincing insults. He’s the personification of the attitude of the series as a whole: snide bitchiness. Extras include interviews with the cast, if you can stand to spend any more time with them.

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