Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from… ‘Will and Grace’

Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Sean Hayes for WILL & GRACE (Image Credit: NBC Universal)
Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Sean Hayes for WILL & GRACE (Image Credit: NBC Universal)

As a 12-year-old, nothing captured my interest more than TV-14 programming. I was fascinated with all things adult, ready to grow up and have an exciting life like so many of the people I saw on TV. Nothing made me happier than when my mom would sneak me into the living room with her to watch NBC’s Thursday night line up of Friends and Will & Grace. While I was a diehard Friends fan, it was the best friends Will and Grace and the outlandishly hilarious Jack and Karen that I couldn’t wait to spend a precious half hour with. The years spent with that fabulous foursome provided me with an innumerable amount of life lessons that age appropriate programming never could have.

Karen and jackOn Your Best Friend

Will and Grace are constantly prying and poking their noses into each other’s lives, but they do it out of the pure love that exists between best friends. In a true friendship, there will be no secrets. And I mean NO secrets. The things you’re even ashamed to write about in your diary will inevitably spill forth when you and your best friend meet up for a drink or five. You’ll develop a co-dependence that all at once warms your heart and deeply disturbs you. Your friend’s business is your business and because of this, your best friend is more than likely the only person who truly knows how to pick you up when life has stomped all over you. They’ll know when to talk and when not to, and when the time is right to push you back into the real world despite all your protest. In the end, you’ll let it happen because you know that they really do know what’s good for you.

Grace and WillOn Dating and Love

While watching these lovable characters navigate the world of dating, one quickly comes to realize that there is no right way to tackle it. Will’s a quiet dater after getting out of his seven-year relationship, Grace maintains quite a few serious relationships over the course of the series and Jack treats dating like the flavor of the week. Everyone’s approach is different, and no one else really has a right to tell you you’re doing it wrong. If you’re quick to commit, good for you. If you have a little black book filled with names, awesome. If you prefer quiet nights at home with a good book and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s, that’s cool too. This group of friends proves that even if your romantic life isn’t overflowing with love, there’s always going to be love present for you in the form of your friends. When the real thing does roll around, expect them to be happy for you, but weary as well. No one likes to watch a friend’s heart be broken, and the initial overly zealous way they’ll be protective of you is really just another way they’re showing that they truly care.

It’s the love found in a friendship that surpasses any other love on the show. Will and Grace, as well as Jack and Karen prove that a person’s soulmate does not have to be a romantic love interest. I full-heartedly believe that you can find your soulmate in the form of a platonic friend. Finding someone who truly gets you, who you can be ridiculously silly, moody and 100 percent yourself with and brings pure joy into your life is a gift not to be taken for granted. And if you do take it for granted, your soulmate will remind you and forgive you because that’s what soulmates do.

DancingOn The Simple Things in Life

Some of the things Will & Grace has taught me can’t be summed up with a simple heading or title. They’re the type of “let your freak flag fly” things that one just has to go with. Like Grace, we should all sing if we want to sing. Who cares if we sound like an animal getting hit by a car? Like Jack, breaking out into spontaneous dance routines is a form of self expression and obviously a way to come off as effortlessly cool. Karen Walker especially has taught me that the only person’s opinion on you that matters is your own. Do you and don’t let the thoughts of others affect you in any way.

I will always do the things I love to do because these characters have taught me that’s the only way you should do something. All four follow their passions and continue to do so even when things blow up in their faces. Most importantly, Will & Grace has taught me that if at the end of the day you’ve got a great group of people in your life and you’re laughing on a daily basis, you’ve got it made.

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I’m a small town girl in my senior year at the University of New Hampshire, majoring in English and minoring in art. Writing and drawing have always been wonderful outlets for me and my dream is to be an author/illustrator one day. Or to run an elephant conservation center. For the first 21 years of my life I was a major homebody, but that all changed upon going to England this summer (the ultimate place for any crazy Austen, Tolkien, or Rowling fans to go). I’m eager to see the world, meet new people, and learn from my experiences!

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