Sunday, February 07, 2010

I have ranked the top 68 television shows of the '00s, and will be presenting them, one-by-one, starting with 68 and working down. The rankings are more or less based on the show's popularity, it's cult status, it's critical acclaim, and my personal liking of it, with a heavy dose of arbitrariness added in. If a show was a big enough phenomena, I'll keep it on the list - but if I don't like it, I may drop it some spots. One other caveat - these are primetime shows (I apologize if I put a cable show that wasn't, I thought they were all primetime shows - the main point of this is just that no talk shows, no Colbert and Daily show that would be on otherwise).

40: Will and Grace

To be honest, and probably not all that surprisingly, I didn't see that much Will and Grace on TV. I saw it as more or less an ally of Friends in the war between Friends and Seinfeld to control NBC's Must See Thursday night TV, and with Will and Grace coming on the year Seinfeld was gone, it was clear who had won - the newer, younger Kobe (Friends) would stay and be the king of Thursday night, while the older, veteran Shaq (Seinfeld) would be traded (well, it finished, and of its own accord really - could have gone on for as long as it wanted). Friends was assembling allies now that Thursday night was its own and saw a potential strong ally in Will and Grace, and indeed Will and Grace held onto a Must See TV Thursday spot longer than anyone would besides Friends and Seinfeld (until maybe the Office beats it out eventually, maybe (and also is it as amazing to anyone else how long Thursday night has managed to last as the premier comedy programming night for NBC - wikipedia even has an entry about it - in almost thirty years, even as the shows changed, the night has lived on - and we all know about the legendary trouble NBC had during the 90s and early '00s NBC had trying to fill the night out around Seinfeld, Friends, and yes, later Will and Grace - sure we remember Jesse and Veronica's Closet - but what about Leah Remini in "Fired Up" with a winning tagline like "First she got fired, then she got fired up." or "Battery Park" starring Elizabeth Perkins of minor Weeds fame, about which all wiki has to say is that it's about a police department and that "Seven episodes are registered with the United States Copyright Office." and Leap of Faith, the midseason replacement for Inside Schwartz, which apparently stars a bunch of kind of famous people - Sarah Paulson, Tim Meadows, House's Lisa Edelstein, Veronica Mars/Party Down's Ken Marino, and Regina King and yet the best info IMDB has about the show is the User Comment tagline, "Finding this show funny would be a HUGE Leap of Faith!!!" along with lines from that comment such as - " I tried to be as open-minded and receptive as possible, but I think Schindler's List had more humor than this piece of schlock.")

So, back onto Will and Grace. Way back in my entry on Queer Eye I mentioned that Queer Eye and another show paved the way for gays into the television mainstream, and Will and Grace is indeed, that show. I honestly don't have all that much to say about it - like Queer Eye, it got mixed reception from the gay community - yay for putting gay characters at the center of a show on network TV, nay be still containing many of the same stereotypes, blah, blah, blah. When it started I didn't think there was any chance of it becoming the monster it became,
further devaluing the Emmys by not only winning one for best series, but also becoming one of three shows (impress your friends: Golden Girls and All in the Family are the others) where all the principals of the show - in this case, Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullaly all won at least one Emmy for acting.

Other than that, was is there really - it was a sitcom, it did especially well amongst the 18-49 crowd, it was the first TV success for Debra Messing after the failure of Ned and Stacey and the even more short-lived Prey (I think I'm the only one who even saw an episode of that show.) It also had to survive the incredibly annoying voice of Megan Mullaly (who has now been cast on my beloved Party Down, but I have faith that Rob Thomas will redeem her).

Also, apparently it has, what I find a really strange, and kind of depressing final episode. Apparently Will and Grace stop living together and don't talk for a period of about fifteen years while their respective kids grow up. Now, at the end of course, their kids somehow meet and marry, leading to a reconciliation, but still, that's fifteen years best friends and roommate didn't talk to each other. That qualifies as depressing in my book.

That's about all, #40.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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