Will & Grace
Uh-huh. Suuure, Eric. You're just coming off a long-running sitcom that, no matter how bad it got over the years, still had a palpable chemistry amongst the cast. You're tired of the grind right now, and you think that you'll never be able to replicate what you had on your old show. You may even be concentrating on working on the stage, which is where you started. But if, after a few years in the relative obscurity of Broadway, NBC or someone else waves a juicy sitcom part under your nose, especially one that's accompanied by pots of money, you don't think you're going to say yes? Let's just say that your mouth shouldn't be writing checks that your "artistic integrity" can't cash, pal.
Although the series finale of Will & Grace was a bit disappointing as a whole, one bright spot was a nice little duet between characters Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes). It happened towards the end of the show, when we fast forward about 20 years and find Jack and Karen living together. With Jack at the piano, they perform a nice rendition of Unforgettable. It was a pleasant little moment that showcased the other talents of both Mullally and McFarland.
Mullally, whose normal voice isn't as high or whiny as Karen's, has been a professional singer for some time. Before joining the cast of Will & Grace back in 1998 she spent several years on Broadway in the productions of Grease and How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying. She is also a lead singer for the Los Angeles-based band The Supreme Music Program. In 2002, Mullally and her band produced an album, Big as a Berry, which featured covers to such songs as Ode to Billie Joe and Danny Boy.
More information on Mullally and her band can be found at her official website. There is also a link for her new talk show, which is premiering this September. Perhaps we will hear more of Mullally's singing then.
(S08E23) There are those who are die-hard fans of Will & Grace, which premiered on the NBC schedule back in 1998. Then there are those who despise the show, which is about the relationship between Grace Adler (Debra Messing) and her gay friend Will Truman (Eric McCormack). The fans love the back-and-forth between the two characters and the dynamic of their relationship. Those who hate the show may be uncomfortable with the subject matter (homosexuality) or the cartoon-ish characterizations of Will and Grace's friends Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally ), or the fact that it's just not funny.
I fall under neither category. I liked Will & Grace, but was not a huge fan. I'd watch it if I happened to see something interesting going on, and I'd laugh at a few of the lines (not as heartily as I would laugh during an episode of Scrubs, though). Yet, Jack annoyed me sometimes and the influx of guest stars on the show was somewhat distracting. In fact, over the last few years I didn't really follow it at all.
However, as this would be the last episode of the series, I decided to give it a review. My opinion on the last show of the series? Meh.
Why on God's green earth does NBC insist on super-sizing its sitcoms during sweeps?
I thought they were done with this after Friends left the air two years ago, but it looks like it's coming back with a vengance, with Will & Grace, My Name Is Earl, and The Office all airing 40-minute episodes tonight.
We all know what super-sizing is for: pumping up ratings in fallow time periods (namely, the Thursday 8:30 black hole that NBC has had since, oh, around 1995) so the network can charge advertisers more money. But we also all know what we get with these "extended" episodes: five minutes of extra footage that has nothing to do with the plot and is easily forgotten when the episode is rerun at normal length, and five extra minutes of commercials. And, I'm sure this scheduling quirk is going to fool a PVR or two and completely screw up people who still -- heaven forbid -- still use VCRs (I mean, how many casual TV fans are going to remember that Earl begins at 8:40 tonight?)
So if the beginning or end of your favorite Thursday NBC show gets cut off, there are ways for you to voice your opinion; just make sure it's constructive. And ,no, "F U NBC!" is not a constructive message.
The previews all show Will and Grace doing things as a "couple": kissing passionately, Will throwing Grace down on the bed to make love to her, Grace asking Will to be there for her and her baby, and one scene of them walking down the aisle together.
But it's all out of context! The kiss was a kiss of two best friends, the scene with Will and Grace in bed was a flashback to when they dated and he hadn't come out yet, the scene about the baby is Will and Grace discussing her future as a single mom, and the scene of them walking down the aisle? That was the ep where Will gave away Grace at her wedding to Leo!
Of course, maybe it's all misdirection. Maybe the show is going to surprise us all by having Will turn out to be straight (he never can keep a man, can he?), and she and Will get married and live happily ever after! Talk about twist endings.
Apparently, his itinerary has been a bit crowded lately. And for that, Takei -- best known for playing Mr. Sulu on the classic series Star Trek -- can thank the combination of his public coming out late last year and his addition to Howard Stern's Sirius satellite show as its announcer. In fact, the 69-year-old actor's voice was the first one that people heard when Howard first debuted in January. He spent the entire first week there telling graphic stories about his first sexual encounters, cutting goofy IDs, and trading wise-ass remarks with sidekick Artie Lange. He also got pranked not once, not twice, but three times by the crew: once with a David Letterman impersonator and twice with an Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator. As always, though, he was a good sport, giving the audience his trademark halting laugh whenever he got scammed.
Since the Governator vetoed the state's same-sex marriage bill, Takei has spoken out passionately for gay rights. He is currently on a speaking tour for the Human Rights Campaign he has dubbed an "Equality Trek". So between that, his appearances at Trek conventions, and his negotiations to return to the Stern show, it's a wonder he has time to talk to any reporters at all.
In our conversation (after the jump), George and I talked about the speaking tour, Howard, his guest turn on Will & Grace, and his appearance as Sulu on a web-only Star Trek series. Oh, and I couldn't leave without asking him about Bill Shatner at least once.
Because Takei needs to be heard as much as he needs to be read (I mean... that laugh!), I've made the audio version of the interview available for download. It's available here.
OK, you owners of the Video Tape Recorder, I'm putting you on alert. NBC is 'super-sizing' some of its Thursday night shows during May sweeps. This, of course, will be putting your VCRs into a state of apoplexy.
On May 11th Will & Grace and the season finales of My Name is Earl and The Office will expand to 40-minutes apiece in a ratings-grabbing scheme that hasn't been seen on Thursday nights since Friends was on the air. The belief is, by adding an additional ten minutes to each show, viewers are less likely to surf to other networks.
This will be the next-to-last episode of Will & Grace and will feature a bit of baby drama for the two main characters. On Earl, the main character (Jason Lee) will encounter some problems as he tries to cross off the number one item on the list. The finale of The Office, written by star Steve Carell, will feature a charity casino night.
In a related story, ER will be ten minutes shorter that evening to see if anyone really notices. Heh. Heh.
Talk about quick turnaround.
[via TV Tattle]
God, I'd love to see NBC stick to its guns and stay with Cruci-fixins. That's funny, y'all. Plus, it'll probably help the floundering show's ratings as it ends its run on NBC this spring.
NBC is expected to kick some television tail when it covers the Olympics every single night from February 10-26. Going into this month, the networks are touting some pretty uninteresting guest stars on the shows that need a boost. And that's about it. Oh, there is also going to be some sh*t going down on The O.C., but you don't want the spoilers, do you?
Here are some highlights for February sweeps, which began yesterday and run through March 1:
Federline's better half, Britney Spears, will guest star on the sitcom as it sputters into oblivion this Spring. She will play a conservative Christian chef who has a cooking segment on Jack's talk show. The name of the cooking segment? Cruci-Fixins. Brit Brit gets forced onto Jack's show when a Christian company buys the fictional Out TV network. The guest appearance airs on April 13
The 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held tonight. We listed the nominees in television categories earlier this month, and here are the winners:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Paul Newman / Empire Falls
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: S. Epatha Merkerson / Lackawanna Blues
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Kiefer Sutherland / 24
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Sandra Oh / Grey's Anatomy
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series: Sean Hayes / Will & Grace
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Felicity Huffman / Desperate Housewives
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Lost
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Desperate Housewives
See the full list (including the winners in movie categories) at TBS.com [Thanks Seth!]
Other characters and their real-life salaries:
Actually, that headline might be a little bit too snarky. I actually don't see anything wrong with Will and Grace doing a second live show (tonight at 8) in the same season. A lot of people think that they're just doing it as a ratings ploy, but are they? I mean, how much of a ratings ploy can it be when the show is in its last season anyway and only have a handful of episodes left? Personally, I'd love to see the networks take a page out of TV in the 50s and do more live episodes, of both comedies and dramas.
NBC has a live blog up for the episode here.
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