“ Actors: Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes, Shelley Morrison / Writers: Adam Barr, Alex Herschlag, David Kohan, Jeff Greenstein, Kari Lizer / Classification: 12 / Studio: E1 Entertainment UK / DVD Release Date: 30 Aug 2004 / Run Time: 552 minutes „
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Will and Grace was a US sitcom that was originally aired from 1998 to 2006, running for 8 seasons. This is a review of season 2 (or series 2) which originally aired between 1999-2000.
~SUMMARY OF THIS SEASON~
This season sees Grace renting an apartment across the hall from Will and literally living out of boxes for some months whilst mostly acting as if she still lives with Will, much to his dismay, often walking into Will's apartment just as he's having breakfast and snatching his bowl of cereal away from him and eating it as if this is normal behaviour. Jack moves into Karen's house with his new "spouse" causing some confusing moments, especially as he continues to see other men. The start of the season sees Will closing down his firm and eventually getting a job with a large law firm with a very arrogant new boss who never seems to want to take "no" for an answer and insists on Will "wooing" Karen to land her husband as a client.
~SUMMARY OF CHARACTERS~
Will Truman (played by Eric McCormack) - is a gay lawyer who has been close friends with Grace since university. He has various neuroses including an almost OCD like obsession with cleaning. He is good looking, well dressed although his "other" best friend Jack often calls him "fat" which winds up Will no end.
Grace Adler (played by Debra Messing) - is an interior designer with her own business "Grace Adler Designs" and is quite messy compared to her best friend Will's obsessively tidy nature. Grace has several neuroses of her own and the other characters often tease her about her long curly hair and lack of "cleavage".
Jack McFarland (played by Sean Hayes) - is a gay aspiring actor who is mostly out of work often demanding money from his best friend Will for his latest hair-brained schemes. He changes partners with alarming regularly, often scheduling several dates on the same evening. He's very shallow and is not averse to immoral behaviour just to get money or his own way.
Karen Walker (played by Megan Mullally) - is Grace's assistant at her business but never actually does any work nor does she cash the pay cheques Grace gives her. She's more there to pass time and recommend Grace to her socialite friends, often sitting at her desk making personal appointments and insulting her employer. She's married to the very rich Stan Walker (who is never shown on screen).
~ANALYSIS OF THE SEASON~
In season 2 we continue to see mostly amicable banter between Will and Grace and lots of spiteful banter between:
* Will and Karen
* Karen and Grace
* Grace and Jack
* Will and Jack
* Karen and Jack
As an on and off viewer of Will and Grace when it originally aired on TV, I hadn't seen most of the episodes in this season until I watched the box-set. I found myself remembering that most of the time I quite disliked the character of Grace and also found Will somewhat annoying. Their co-dependency, although one of the main themes of the show was rather irksome and you find yourself wishing they would get a grip and make some of their own decisions rather than relying so heavily on each other for relationship advice - it comes across that their sexual relationships mostly fail due to the other one giving them poor advice.
Another of the main themes of the show is that Will and Jack are gay. They refer to each other openly as "homosexuals" a term which I didn't think was particularly politically correct anymore but hey what do I know? A lot of the bitchiness from Jack and Karen is targeted at Will and Grace, with Karen calling referring to Will as Wilma and calling him a girl and Jack often referring to Will and Grace as a married couple who don't have sex.
I found myself preferring to watch Karen's character on screen more than the others as her erratic behaviour could be put down mostly to the fact that she's pretty much always drunk (yes even first thing in the morning when she bothered to turn up for work) and high on prescription medication. Karen's high pitched laughter, often completely out of the blue, could be annoying but also quite infectious somehow and it was amusing to see her be so rude about Grace's attire most of the time, often with good reason. In one scene when Grace comes to work in a shocking black and white skirt which looks like a "cow" pattern, Karen snickers "Got Skirt?" (clearly a reference to "Got Milk") derisively.
The character of Jack is so overtly gay that it came across as over the top at times. The fact that he doesn't hold down a job this season rankles somewhat as did the fact that Will was always supporting him financially and never really tells him to grow up and pay his own way. These characters are after all supposed to be in their 30s, a time of life when I feel they should have sorted themselves out. Jack is quite happy to live off Karen as well often using emotional blackmail to get her to buy him designer gifts. Also his jokes about straight people having no fashion sense start to get a bit boring after a while!
A couple of recurring themes in this season (and the others as far as I recall) I didn't quite understand such as Jack always calling Will fat (which he certainly wasn't) and digs from both Jack and Karen about Grace's hair (which personally I always thought was lovely).
If I had to choose my favourite episode from this season it would be the one where Grace buys a water filled bra to make her look "bigger" so as to impress an old high school crush but an accident has hilarious watery consequences!
~GUEST STARS/RECURRING CHARACTERS~
Rosario Salazar (played by Shelley Morrison) plays Karen's maid. They have a love/hate relationship, fighting like crazy but clearly having some affection for each other. When Jack tries to stick up for Rosario over Karen working her too hard the outcome is quite surprising (for Jack).
Bobbi Adler (played by Debbie Reynolds) is Grace's mother, a rather theatrical type who is an entertainer constantly trying to fix Grace up with what she feels are suitable men. When this isn't successful, she turns her attention to Will, trying to fix him up instead which causes some jealousy on Grace's part.
Ben Doucette (played by Gregory Hines) is Will's boss at Doucette and Stein who is quite rude to Grace, always friendly with Jack (who he affectionately called Jackie) and often smarming up to Karen due to her being married to the very wealthy Stan Walker.
George Truman (played by Sydney Pollack) is Will's father. They have a loving relationship of which Grace is pretty jealous as George always seems so supportive of Will's life choices but in this season we find that he's not exactly been honest with his colleagues at the firm where he's worked for years about Will and Grace's relationship.
Rob and Ellen (played by Tom Gallop and Leigh-Allyn Baker) are a couple that Will and Grace meet up with regularly for dinner. In this season Will and Grace ditch Rob and Ellen for some new "cool" friends with amusing consequences and also are asked to be "best man" and "maid of honour" at their wedding which is complicated by the fact that Grace has a bit of a guilty secret.
Josh (played by Corey Parker) dates Grace for part of season 2 with Karen often deriding how sappy he is due to being so soft and kind and always kissing Grace on the forehead when saying bye to her after a date.
Other guest stars include: Neil Patrick Harris, Joan Collins and Penn Badgley.
Each episode runs for approximately 22 minutes and there are a total of 24 episodes in this box set. There are no subtitles or alternate languages available in the box set. You can select the DVD to play all episodes back to back or chapter by chapter but even if you select chapters, it still just moves onto the next episode after the end of the previous episodes' credits.
Fans of the show looking for lots of extras in a DVD box set will be rather disappointed. On each of the 6 DVDs in this box set there are some very basic extras but apart from disc 6 the extras consist of just a couple of minutes of footage pulled together from the actual season in the form of montages.
On the last DVD in the set which holds episodes 21-24 there is an "Exclusive series 2 Bloopers" which actually only lasts about 5 minutes.
Out of 5 I feel I'd give this season of Will and Grace a slightly above rating of 3 out of 5. I've watched this whole season through once and it's probably going to go to a charity shop as it's not one for my permanent collection.
Season 2 of Will and Grace is currently retailing on Amazon for just under £25 but used copies available from £1.34 plus postage. You can probably also pick this up from a charity shop for just a few pounds. The DVD classification is a 12 for which it's fairly suitable as there's no sex or bad language, even if it has lots of sexual innuendo.
The show was created and produced by David Kohan and Max Mutchnik. It was directed by James Burrows who also directed other successful shows such as The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Frasier, Cheers, Caroline in the City, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Friends and Two and a Half Men.