Friday, May 19, 2006

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Well its the end of an era. Will & Grace, or as I like to call it Two Women and Their Eunuch Clowns, is over. Well maybe now gay people will reclaim their edge and go retreat to being a fringe group instead of everyone's favorite Thursday night freak show.

Now that this sickly sweet sugar coated neuter festival has been put to bed, so long as you don't channel surf over to Lifetime (now I'm really going to have to get the Golden Girls on DVD), I'm ready to welcome back the mythical days I've heard about from Joe My God and The Farmboyz. The days where being gay was about being yourself with no regrets and not playing into ambiguous hetero-normative roles for the enjoyment and approval of "The Heartland."

Fuck the heartland. I'm fucking tired of playing to the middle, playing it safe and the portrayals in mainstream media that go along with that. If you don't like us or how we live our lives then you don't have to talk to us, you don't have to watch our television, you don't have to buy our clothes, you don't have to buy our shoes, we'll stop designing your homes, you don't have to have us plan your weddings, mitzvahs, sweet sixteens, and all the other fabulous bullshit in your life that makes you feel special. You want us to amuse you? Then you get everything that comes with it.

My whole life I've been subject to the images of man and woman doing all the things that they do normally in life on television and in film. They kiss, hold hands, date, marry, divorce, fuck and its all okay because as long as the story ends with a penis going into a vagina it's a go! To think that that a whole generation of young queers had to grow up with this muppet show as some kind of example of what it is to be gay is sickening. So I hope everyone got a good laugh out of the Eunuchs cause I think its time we changed channels and returned to our regularly scheduled selves replete with snark, sexuality, sensuality, obscenity, fabulousness, excess, self loving, self loathing, self denial, pain, joy, life, death, living with no regret or veils as to who we are, and most of all refusing to play into YOUR version of OUR lives.

So I raise my virtual blogging glass of champagne and say goodye to this craptastic series and...Sean Hayes, you suck.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be such an uppity queer. The show had valid viewpoints and statements to make, much like you. First and foremost, it was a sitcom - don't think of it as something bigger than it was. Whether or not it played into how you wanted gays portrayed, at least it was one of two shows in recent years that actually dealt with homosexuality and its struggles on a weekly basis.

Is there nothing in this world that you like, Adam?

11:51 PM  
Blogger The Persian said...

I suppose anon also enjoyed "The Birdcage", which in my opinion is the worst inacurate portrayal of Gay men I've ever seen and yet was a great big hit. Go figure.

But back to the subject of your post, I don't think Will & Grace was without merit. Things sometimes must happen in stages, and it was definitely a beginning. The "Heartland" of America needs some foreplay before they climax and reach the comfort zone with which you speak.

I join you in your toast and am hopeful that once this administration has left office perceptions might start to improve once again. I dunno, maybe I am a little naive.

12:21 AM  
Blogger vuboq said...

I'm not a big fan of Will and Grace, and I was disappointed with the finale (it was ... um ... boring). BUT, the show did manage to breakdown some barriers.

Remember all the fuss about "lesbian kisses" back in the 80s? How many same-sex kisses were on Will and Grace? oodles. And where was the shock? The news reports? The protests?

The show didn't live up to my expectations (not much ever does), but at least it managed to create homosexual characters who were more than faggoty effeminate stereotypes.

Now, let's talk about something more important: CSI! Grissom! Sara! What up with that?!?!?!


9:12 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I quite watching Will and Grace years ago. It was too stupid of a show, and was not in touch with the kind of gay life I lead. I actually watch CSI on Thursday night and I am with vubog What was up with Grissom and Sara??? What an unlikely match. I just see a dad type sleeping with a daughter type.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

I talked about the same thing in my latest podcast. Well, not about Will and Grace but about the whole idea of conforming to societal expectations.

Oh and I called you cute ;)

Why...? Cause you are! haha

9:24 AM  
Blogger Kalvin said...

Brava, and Amen you wise old Krab. Oh wait, you're not old. You're just a Krablet. A delicacy to be savored with fiddleheads. I miss fiddleheads.

I do agree with some of what anon is saying, but sigh, enough is enough. And it was not dealing with homosexuality and its struggles on a weekly basis. Unless you consider the mere presence of gay people problematic then I suppose. The struggles of having your fag-hag and you playing games with a straight couple and getting too competitive. Actually, the only episode I can think of that actually "dealt" with homosexuality was the one about the kiss on the show when they were all pissed and did it on Good Morning America. I'm torn about how things work in the struggle for rights. As you know, I'm very anti-assimilationist, and I think we have the chance to maybe change the way our society views each other (I'm putting a lot of faith in society right here).

Oh, and I almost died when I read Two Women and Their Eunuch Clowns.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Spider said...

THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU! You just said what I have been thinking and not had the balls to say ever since that show started... I always referred to it as "Will and Is Grace Dead Yet?"

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, I'm sad to see you all just feed into stereotypical gay bitterness. no doubt that whatever someone puts out that doesn't show YOUR exact gay life is unsatisfactory to you. don't be so egotistical. if "middle" America needs to get used to the idea of gay main characters by looking at characatures (much as they did with blacks many years ago), let them. bring on the flaming homosexuals. what do you care if people prefer the extremes? eventually people (I hope) will accept us, but until then, don't bitch about every portrayal out there.

PS, I incidently was amused by La Cage aux Folles (that doesn't mean I liked the movie), and I recognize it as an exaggeration. Please feel free to offer up another piece of gay entertainment that you feel is "accurate."

1:14 PM  
Blogger Psyton said...

"Don't be such an uppity queer."
"Is there nothing in this world that you like, Adam?"
"wow, I'm sad to see you all just feed into stereotypical gay bitterness. no doubt that whatever someone puts out that doesn't show YOUR exact gay life is unsatisfactory to you."

Awww, look at the random ad-hominem attacks kill any credibility! It's so sad when otherwise valid counterpoints are turned into contrary nonsense by impolite, random jabs that have nothing to do with the argument at hand. I should know, because I do it a lot too. But at least I have the balls to sign-up for a blogger account and not be an anonybitch when I choose to do so.

Otherwise, while it was just a sitcom and crude characterizations might help ease some people's perceptions of a certain genre... Would you honestly go up to a person of a different ethnicity you have never met and say "hey you remind me of [cooky ethnic character from dumb sitcom]"? Would you be surprised when you got your ass kicked? There is a valid argument in saying crude characterizations create as much of an impediment to acceptance by just furthering or reworking a stereotype...

1:37 PM  
Blogger Bigg said...

I thought it was pretty valid and had something to offer when the show began, but then it continued to lurch along even after popular culture had passed it by.
It's hard to stay as fresh and relevant as, oh, let's say The Simpsons after so many years...

1:43 PM  
Blogger GayProf said...

I tend to think that mainstream-media fare like Will and Grace gives us ambiguous and contradictory images of queer life. For the most part, I tend to agree with Adam (though, to be honest, I also haven’t seen a full episode of this show in years). The finale passed me by fairly undetected. Will and Grace tended to make being a gay man about everything except having sex with men.

I understand, though, how different individuals can also see value and even validation in it. Will and Grace can have done both good and bad for the queer community all at the same time. As individuals, I think that we too quickly assume that having contradictory feelings about these types of representations is not acceptable. In reality, though, I think that media leaves us with these riddles. It’s that ambiguity that we need to explore, but too often we end up divided over either a “love it” or “hate it” model.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Jihadist Jerry said...

When you learn the television is evil little Satan talk box, then you no worry about a fictional satire. You is not going to change the world by sit on you asses watching stupid fake show, yes? Change the world by you actions, not your critiques.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

I jsut want to know why Jack and Will didn't have a deeper relationship? Isn't that how it would really be? Or did they not do that and pair up the two men with women in quasi marriage-like contexts because it was "safer" that way. There were moments where will and jack expressed some tenderness to eachother and I appreciated that and it was still able to be funny. Why didn't that get carried on? Why did will have to sublimate his sexuality in order to be grace's best friend? It just doesn't make sense to me and its creepy.

2:53 PM  
Blogger jjd said...

I just found it utterly boring and full of quippy one liners that were as formulaic as jerry springer. The show never surprised me, the best character was the snarky female with the weird voice, and the rest, plainly, sucked.

And I do recall that awhile back there was some issue with onscreen male male kissing and it was not will & grace that broke down that barrier, as far as I know, they always played it safe and easy.

But mainly, the show just wasn't that funny.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Jimmi said...

I never thought the show was "Profound" and I remember when it first came on I thought, Gee why do they need Will & Grace? They weren’t the backbone of the show no matter what way you looked at it. The level of "gay" they decided to put on Network TV was lame but that was a small step in itself for television. I guess growing up in a small town way south of Chicago I just looked for a small hint of anything gay on TV and was happy if I found it. Times have changed and I would have never thought there would be anything like Queer as Folk on TV when I was growing up. I think network TV has a LONG way to go and it may end up being 20 years before we see what we feel is adequate, that is of course unless Adam goes to Hollywood :)


4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

psyton, whereas you make take those as attacks, they're valid interpretations of what has been said, much like when you all view the sitcom in a certain way.

if I were to make an account, how does that further my own credibility? I don't care to blog so I'm not going to bother making an account. just that simple.

and if making characatures of certain "types" of people is offensive to you, then you would not have liked Shakespeare, among others. whereas making them unrealistic makes them innocuous, it still gets them out there, so hopefully the next time around people will be "used" to the idea and may actually identify them as human. just my 2 cents.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your views. although "Will & Grace" was great for a few good laughs and chuckles here and there.....I honestly do not feel that the show portrayed the way I, or many of my friends lead our lives as gay men in our society. In fact, I think the show often times played and camped up a lot of misconceptions many people have about gay culture in the world.
But, "Karen" is still my all time favorite character....she would have been a fabulous gay man. :)


PS.....Adam, I think you are H.O.T.
But don't worry....I am not a stalker. :)

7:03 PM  
Blogger richwhiteboy said...

I'm trying to think of a snappy Karen Walker comeback line, but I can't, because I'm not as talented and witty as the writers and creators of W&G.

And neither are you.


I agree with some of what you write, but not all.

Three points:

1. I know a LOT of people just like the characters of Will and Grace. I myself have been called a "Will" more than once.

2. Contemporary gay culture is way too harsh in its judgment of the Jacks of the world. For centuries it was the sissies who stood alone against the tide of oppression. For a long, long time the fems, the sissies, the nelly queens were the visible face of homosexuality while the people who could pass as straight cowered in the closet.

Sissies have real power, they are empowered, and we need to recognize that. We are they and they are us. They are the bravest among us. Talk about your "fringe." Huummph. Yeah you keep going right on to your fringe, girl. See where that takes you. Don't forget to write.

3. Oh, and about this youth of today who have been tainted by these stereotypical mass media images. Adam, I came up in a time when gay men and women were, quite simply, invisible. The word "gay" in its current pejorative sense had not even been invented.

The entrance to the first gay bar I had the temerity to enter was an unmarked door in a back alley. We had to park three blocks away and sneak in, praying that no one would see us.

If you had told me back then (which was so not so long ago) that one day, in my lifetime, there would be a weekly gay situation comedy on prime-time television, and not only that, that it would be a hit and a cultural force, I would not have believed you. It would have been unimaginable.

And if you had told me back then that I would be as happy and as settled as I am now, I wouldn't have believed you. At one time, being gay was a fate worse than death. So, I'm proud of the writers and creators and the media bigwigs who green-lighted this project.

There's a lot to judge about the creative content of W&G, most of it subjective; but there is absolutely nothing to judge about the intent of its creators and the impact of this series.

Unmarked doors do open. Secrets do unfold.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Jimmi said...

I personally thank Uncle Arthur (Paul Lind) for his contribution to main stream media! Who cares if he's nelly, most gay men are and we like it like that! Be yourself, be free. The phrase "Straight Acting" makes me want to BARF! I think I’m onto a new subject... Oh well...

9:26 PM  
Blogger Darin said...

Interesting...many people have alluded that Donnie and I are the real life Will and Jack.

Does that makes us...non-worthwhile?

Ok maybe not Will and Jack ..perhaps more Jack and Karen....or Shields and Yarnell...or....Shari Lewis and Lampchop.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

Will and Grace finally made it safe for gay people to be powerless.

6:27 AM  
Blogger tornwordo said...

See, I told you it was good. Look at all the feedback!

I'm a million percent with you on this one.

6:07 PM  
Blogger VJnet said...

I like Will & Grace. It was fuckin' funny :-)

8:42 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

I think those of us who are more politically oriented are the ones who disliked W&G for its 'message' or lack thereof. Personally, I sit on both sides of the fence. I do wish the show had been a bit more... explicit? But I do think we're better off having had it.

It was sitcom/comedy/tv show, let's take it for what it is: a bunch of people sitting in a circle writing up jokes. There isn't supposed to be anything inherently realistic about sitcom characters/caricatures - that's what makes them so funny. But to its credit, I personally felt more connected with the characters on W&G than I did with most others -- especially the other gay-themed shows.

I don't think we do anyone any kind of service by tearing the show down, least of all ourselves. We shouldn't profess that we don't care what people think about us while showing disdain at what we consider to be inaccurate or incomplete depictions. Think of the children!

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

After perusing all this, I think I'm with 'richwhiteboy' and his insights. In no particular order...
1. It's a sitcom. It's fiction. If you expect it to be deep, relevant, and profound on a weekly basis, then you've misread the TV Guide one-liner.
2. That said, W&G did touch on several issues relevant to the community: dating someone who's in the closet while you're out; having (or not having) kids; dealing with bullies; dealing (or not dealing) with your parents.
3. Yes, it's sad that it took Will eight years to find a steady boyfriend/partner. But is that such a long time in the gay community? How many of our gay friends are single? Perhaps many of us are disappointed that, unlike many (but not all) our friends, he didn't hook up with some guy in a bar on a weekly basis.
4. And, that said, we've all known a Will or two--and a Jack or five. Stereotypes? Yes? Exaggerated? Yes. But every so often, the writers did manage to remind us that there was a (often hidden) third dimension to these characters. They're no shallower than any other collection of sitcom characters.

Were there missed opportunities? Yes.
Will I miss it? Yes? And that's why God invented DVDs.

1:30 PM  
Blogger BriteYellowGun said...

I've got drinks piling up on my desk and a stack of pills I haven't even opened yet but I had to take a second to comment here...

Yes, the show took stereotypes and ran with them but come on now, I've been out for over 20 years and I've met my share of "Jacks" out there. Same with the "Wills" and the "Karens" too! Gay people come in all varieties. It's that spectrum that makes up the rainbow flag, you know? My partner and I happened to love kids and adopted four of them. We live our lives far from any big city and nobody bothers us or gives us any grief. Are we playing into "hetero-normative" roles? That's absolute nonsense. Your life is yours to live how you want. Nobody on any tv show (or any blog) is going to tell me what I want is wrong or right according to their viewpoint. Take it for what it was, cheap entertainment and a few laughs. I'm always amazed by people who want to raise an issue where none really existed. If you want to bash gay stereotypes, check out Dr. Zachary Smith on Lost in Space (the original series, not the dumb movie).

1:45 PM  
Blogger Blobby said...

got a good laugh?

wait! was it supposed to be funny???

Karen was funnier when she was an assistant who was just entitled and not a drunk.

...and no fag/hag relationship has ever lasted that long.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Tread said...

Funny, how a show centering around a gay character only showed him only once the entire series in bed with another man (and it was for comedic effect/season finale cliffhanger) claims to be a trendsetter for gay Americans...

The only other times Will was shown in the bedroom was with women. Strange, no?

Adam, you're spot on.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Princess Sparkle Pony said...

Awesome post, and I couldn't agree more. Fucking minstrel show.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Homer said...

I hated that show. But I guess gays had to go through the same shit that African-Americans went through in the 1970s-1980s with "Dynomite!" and midgets.

3:44 PM  
Blogger myke said...

i'm with homer. it more reminded me of how some blacks musta thought of good times in the 80s.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Sacky McSack said...

I'm with Adam. If that's the version of gay that middle America is going to approve of, then I'd rather fuck chicks. Because, unlike the homo-nonsexual Will Truman, at least I'd be fucking SOMETHING.
I'd rather be hated for what I really am than Uncle Tom my way into the hearts of millions, y'know?

8:53 PM  
Anonymous John A said...

i watched the first season or two, when i was still at home and not out...was kinda fun, cute characters...

...then i joined a gay volleyball league and stopped watching.

maybe we should stop complaining about how poorly represented we are to the hets (by television of all things, we're relying on that!?!) and get out with our fellow gays and represent ourselves. just a thought, i dunno...

10:27 PM  
Blogger Raybob said...

Hear, hear. The first time I saw the show, I thought, "wow, this is on TV." Then I saw it again and I said, "oh no. This is on TV."

You took the words right out of my mouth.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Just Call Me Fabulous said...

People love to force stereotypes because it's easier than trying to understand individuality. The concept of going your own way freaks out mainstream America to no end.
"Change the world by you actions, not your critiques. "
Show the world who you are, and one by one they will understand that a gay person is not a stock character.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Thanks for saying what I've been thinking. I only could make it through half an episode and felt like my brain was turning to mush. And to the person who wanted a show you would find acceptable, what about Brothers. I'd take that any day over Will and Grace.

4:44 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

See, this is why I don't watch TV ... LOL.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam, I'm with you on this one. I hate the "Queers are OK as long as they are silly, fem, and harmless...and no sex" I mean, how many years did it take Will to get a bf while G got some on and off for years? Also, lots of the dialogue was just mean-spirited dishing. How original is that? I can go to a local gay bar and get that anyday. Maybe, early in the day W & G was revolutionary, but after awhile, it just sunk into its own tired cliches. yawn.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Xanadude ( said...

Thank God. Several friends actually vilified me because I stopped watching what I referred to as "The Minstrel Show" several years back. I was told I wasn't supporting the gay community if I didn't watch Will and Grace.

Let's be frank: it was a mildly amusing show where if the Will's sexuality was never mentioned again the show would not be effected in the least and where Sean Haye's only defining character trait was "nelly fag."

I'm gay. I'll support quality gay programming that doesn't marginalize us.

I also disliked Queer as Folk, but that's another issue. And I hate the word "community." (And I', also from Dallas...stumbled on this site from Joe.My. God's.

Carry on. Make it work.

4:06 PM  
Blogger The_Gay_Dude said...

I agree with ya dude.....The show was cute for about 2 seasons.....and then it got annoying.....There is argument for it opening the door for gay leads on television.....I think that is somewhat true.....I guess LOL

11:46 PM  
Blogger Oso Raro said...

Dearest Uppity Queer,

Coming to this convo a little late, from my soul sister Centre of Gravitas, but think the post is brill!

I love your call for a return to our mysterious and contradictory complexity! It in fact could be a manifesto!

Air kisses! Clara Barton of the Sexual Underground

11:00 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I liked Will & Grace. Actually I like Karen & Jack much better. They were SO ridiculous that is was funny.

What I can't understand is the appeal of Golden Girls to gay men?

Then again, I have watch TV in years.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl Merkowski said...

I think that the end of W&G is very sad... very sad... very. However, that means that we now have time as a community to concentrate on more important things.... like my fredgina. Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen... you all have more time to visit my whorehole! Or at least to flaunt your own whoreholes honayeesssssss! CUMON! And put a link to my site already Adam, you FUCKFACE!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Oops, that should be HAVEN'T.

Mad dylsexia!

6:01 PM  
Anonymous shel said...

All I can say is AMEN. W&G jumped the shark many, many years ago.

7:23 PM  

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