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STUDIO: Lions Gate
RUNNING TIME: 500 Minutes
• “Themed” featurettes
• Season 6 Outtake Reel
“It’s Ned and Stacey, except Ned’s gay, Stacey’s an even bigger twat, and Ned’s best friend is the most annoying man on the planet!”
Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally
See, here’s the thing. Apparently, the whole dynamic of the show changed this season. Will and Grace stopped living together, Grace went to Cambodia with her crooner husband, Jack started taking fatherhood seriously, and Karen got more obnoxious.
But I’m coming in here in medias res, so all I saw was a bunch of random, unfunny shit happening all at once.
Man, I was okay with Garrity from Rescue Me playing the hero in Alien vs. Predator 2, but Megan Mullally as the Predator? That’s just silly.
I don’t quite think I’m the target audience for the show. It’s not that I’m a homophobe or anything—my brother’s gay, and I’d do Johnny Depp in a New York Minute, it’s more that I could give a shit about a bunch of whiny, self-absorbed New Yorkers firing bon mots at one another. If anything, that’s my major prejudice, and Season 6 of Will and Grace provided me with ample ammo for my hatred. I don’t connect with any of the characters on any level. McCormack’s Will is one of the blandest Television leads imaginable—he makes Lorenzo Lamas look “Method-y,” while Messing’s Grace comes off like a less funny and more whiny Elaine from Seinfeld. Plus, Jack and Karen are quite possibly the two most irritating “comic” sidekicks I’ve ever seen. They play at such a relentlessly loud and grating pitch that I felt almost bullied into laughing.
And that’s my biggest problem. I didn’t laugh much here. The humor’s basically broken down into two groups: “wacky” pratfalls and situations (Jack’s forte, apparently) and snappy banter (Will and Grace). The pratfalls are obvious and the banter’s nowhere near as snappy as it wants to be. That alone is a cardinal sin in my book; the dialogue’s so unwarrantedly smug, with the actors relishing it like it’s George Bernard Shaw and not two steps above dinner theater, which somehow makes it seem even more third rate (Mullally’s the worst offender). This show just grated on me, if you can’t tell, and this’ll be a short review because there’s only so many ways I can say the same thing.
Worth breaking the fourth wall for? All signs point to yes!
In the interest of full disclosure, though, I have to say that this was the only season I ever watched of the show. Maybe it would have made a difference if I was a regular viewer rather than coming in uninformed in the middle of the series. A lot of new shit went down here, and maybe I lost out on the Will and Grace experience as it should be. Messing was AWOL for much of the season due to pregnancy, so I didn’t get a real sense of the chemistry between her and Will, and the rest of the gang is also split up (with Karen’s John Cleese issues and Jack’s nursing hijinxs). I like to go into things with an open mind, but I really reacted violently to this show, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. By all means, if you think seeing more of it will change my opinion, post on the discussion boards and send me in the right direction. Even then, I don’t think a richer history with the show would make the cloyingly-meta Bebe Newirth cameo any more tolerable.
Now, not all was bad. I did like some of the repartee here between Karen and John Cleese, even if the bit with his daughter (Minnie Driver) seemed forced. The nursing bit seemed to be an attempt to give Jack some depth. It failed, but with a character this shallow, I award points just for trying. And Edie Falco and Chloe Sevigny are freaking hysterical as a lesbian couple warring for apartment space with Will and Grace. But on the whole, I was not entertained. Maybe it’s just not my thing, maybe I missed the boat completely, but I am officially not a Will and Grace fan.
"No, Zombie Will. You can’t make a hair appointment just to eat your stylist."
The show looks fine; the episodes are fairly recent and look sharp. The sound is sitcom sound, so don’t expect much. Same goes for the box and cover art—the four stars smiling and enjoying each other’s company. Good friends for a long time, laughing and all that…Sheesh.
The features here were the definition of uninspiring. We got the kind of blooper reel NBC’s famed for: too much cast laughter blowing takes, all cut to music. They didn’t even unbleep the accidental swear words! Then, there are 16 “themed” featurettes, which ostensibly take a look at the different themes running throughout the season, but really only act as a compilation of “funny” moments from this very season. It’s a really lazy feature, for a really lazy show.
I was not thrilled with this show. I’ll run with the “entered during the 6th season” as my defense, but I think I’d dislike it even if it was season one.
It’s just lazy and uninvolving TV, so why should I care?
Man, fuck the NYPD and FDNY. Candice Bergen’s the real hero for putting up with Sean Hayes’ braying, unfunny humor.