I stopped watching Will & Grace after 2001 because something REALLY bad happened to the quality of the writing. From 2002 on it felt like the writers had been replaced by new writers told to “Write stuff like you’d see on Will & Grace”.
It’s hard to explain, because the jokes sound like something almost funny, but just aren’t.
Did something change between those seasons? Because I still laugh my ass off with 1999 episodes, but when I tried to watch a newer one the other night, thinking I was misremembering, it was just as dreadful as I recalled.
Maybe, but that’s not BTG’s problem. As he said, he laughs at the originals still today, and they were the same material. Maybe you are right though…maybe the show just failed to evolve and therefore ran out of material. They really overplayed the gayness factor. If they could have developed some interesting stories that took the show in other directions, they might have been able to explore more themes. shrug
Well, I’m not sure they overplayed it, given that they were the first successful sitcom where “being gay” was a central element. But the show wasn’t JUST about that, although that was its foundation. It tried to explore the complexities of the relationship between Will and Grace.
What I’m saying is that some hard to define element in the writing just really, really went to hell after the 2001 season (I’d have to watch the 2001 season to remember if it sucked too). It was like the same kind of jokes, but just written so poorly that you almost cringe.
I remember watching the first couple episodes of 2002 with my wife, and about 20 minutes into it she turned to me and asked “Ummm…is it just me, or is this not actually funny?” And I was thinking the same thing the entire time. It just really, really lost something.
Okay, upon further investigation, the writers did seem to vary: David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, cocreators and cowriters for the series, stopped writing after Season 4, however they weren’t the exclusive writers, so I’m not sure if that’s it by itself. But after Season 2 it looks like their contributions tapered off, and I think this coincides with my perception that the writing slowly went to hell, until 2002 when it went STRAIGHT to hell (basically about the time Harry Connick Jr. showed up).
Yeah, you know I actually thought the show was mildly entertaining/funny some time ago (roughly when it first aired)… back when the gay thing was just part of the show… then it become the focus of the show and the gay shtick just gets dry after awhile (as with any shtick)
It suffered from the same thing that happened to Friends, that is, the characters started off normal (though with some quirks) and slowly they all became completely deranged as the show went on. Also, the focus moved more and more to Jack and Karen, and they had to keep hiding the fact that Messing was pregnant in real life.
At least the characters in Friends changed and sometimes grew. And well, sometimes acquired weirder and weirder schticks. Like Ross’s divorce crap and his slow devolution into every pitiable loserish quality in a male ever. But they still found the time to tell nice stories about the people, like Rachael and Emma and Joey.
Jack and Karen, OTOH were a cornucopia of stupidity and annoyance that were barely funny and mostly mindnumbingly irritating. Will and Grace weren’t that much better. They never got a story that forced them to be relatably human other than stereotypical characters for the nonsensical plot of the week.
My roommate in college watched two episodes every night. I’m still waiting for him to come out of the closet but he found the show extremely hilarious up to this very day. Of course, he sings Shania Twain and Britney Spears in the shower so his opinion on quality never counts.
…anyway, I’ve put less time into this than all the other dorks out there arguing incessantly about the relative merits of Dr. Who, Firefly, The Simpsons vs. Futurama, and what not. I’ve seen more discussion about whether Conan O’Brien really was the creative genius during the Simpsons golden years.
But, yeah, I suppose I put too much thought into this by wondering why a show I liked went from good to crap in a very short period of time. :roll:
I don’t think the quality of Friends diminished much, even in its final season. It was consistent with the first couple seasons, which is quite an accomplishment. Compare with, say, Seinfeld and Simpsons where the last few seasons were just bad, bad imitations of their better, earlier stuff.
At some point you get tapped out of material, so maybe it WAS a good thing that Arrested Development and Firefly were cancelled.*