What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this popular Manhattan-set sitcom about best friends/roommates addresses homosexuality frankly and matter-of-factly (albeit with some stereotyping), though not graphically. There's a tremendous amount of innuendo, about half of which has to deal with homosexuality and homosexual sex. Drugs and alcohol abuse are frequently treated as a joke, and the characters can be petty and selfish. But they're also always there for each other when it really matters, and there's a strong message about the importance of unconditional friendship.
What's the story?
WILL & GRACE -- one of the longest-running shows on network television featuring a homosexual lead character -- is a humorous take on the life of a gay New York City man and his straight female roommate/best friend, following them through their relationship successes and, more often, failures. Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing), have been friends since college, when they dated briefly before Will came out of the closet. Ever since, they've been best friends, eventually becoming roommates as well. The rest of the gang is rounded out by Will's other best friend, Jack (Sean Hayes), an aspiring entertainer who's also gay, and Grace's pill-popping, wisecracking assistant/close friend Karen (Megan Mullally), a Manhattan socialite who has a prescription drug habit and spends most of each episode ragging on her friends in a seemingly unfriendly manner. (In almost every episode, though, she has a chance to redeem herself by doing a good deed for one of her friends.)
Is it any good?
What sets this show apart from its not-so-funny sitcom counterparts -- and ended up keeping it on the air for so many years -- is its cutting humor. Pop culture references fly fast and furiously, and the characters exchange witty parlay effortlessly. Will & Grace isn't for kids, but adults should be able to enjoy it for years to come.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about their views on homosexuality and its portrayal in the community, in the media (TV and movies), and in politics.
Is it OK for the show's homosexual characters to make jokes that poke fun at homosexuality? Why or why not? Do any of the characters perpetuate homosexual stereotypes? How? Do any dispel stereotypes?