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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Will & Grace: The Complete Series
Will & Grace: The Complete Series
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // September 16, 2008
List Price: $249.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted September 21, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Packaging
3. Season 1 Mini-Review
4. Season 2 Mini-Review
5. Season 3 Mini-Review
6. Season 4 Mini-Review
7. Season 5 Mini-Review
8. Season 6 Mini-Review
9. Season 7 Mini-Review
10. Season 8 Mini-Review
11. Complete Series Bonus Features DVD
12. Video
13. Audio
14. Final Thoughts


Introduction

NBC's Will & Grace is a television situational comedy (sitcom) that ran for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006. The show was very popular and won 18 Emmy Awards throughout its course. It was created by Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, and directed by James Burrow. For those unfamiliar with Will & Grace, it is about four friends and their lives: Will Truman (Eric McCormack) is a neurotic gay attorney, Grace Adler (Debra Messing) is an eccentric interior designer, Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) is a flamboyant gay actor without any regard for responsibility, and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) is a wealthy alcoholic without an understanding of reality. The series focuses on their lives, as they struggle through professional hardships, romantic endeavors, chasing dreams, and just about everything else.

Will, Grace, and Jack met when they were in college. At the time, Will was straight and in a relationship with Grace. Everything changed when Will met Jack. Jack helped Will understand that he was really gay. Since, they have all been very close. Over ten years later, Will and Grace live together, Jack is nearby, and they have a new friend in their lives, Karen. Karen has an interesting past and many secrets. She is married to Stan Walker, a multi-millionaire. As such, Karen has lots of money, drinks, pops pills, and just acts goofy. Along with Karen, Rosario Salazar (Shelley Morrison) is in the picture. Rosario is Karen's sassy and abrasive live-in maid/assistant.

What sets Will & Grace apart from many other sitcoms is the simple chemistry between the characters. McCormack, Messing, Hayes, and Mullally are wonderful together. Their characters have their own mannerisms that make them stand out. It is the small things, like Will's obsession with cleaning and all-around neurotic behavior, Grace's love for food and men, Jack's innate ability to notice anyone but himself, and Karen's insensitivity to everyone and obsession with alcohol/drugs. While it might not sound like much, these characteristics give them personality. And when they get put together, their personalities make for some really fun characters.

In relationship to the great cast and their chemistry together, the show has unique comedy. The hilarity gives each episode a fun and entertaining feeling. It is racy with sexual innuendos, ethic/racial jokes, gay humor, and more. While sometimes risque humor can be a bit much, the cast does a great job keeping the content fresh, fun, and not offensive. The bottom line, Will & Grace is a great show that is filled to the brink with humor. The performers also add physical comedy to their roles, which, at times, gives the show a fun slapstick feeling.

Like many television series, Will & Grace has had its ups and downs. During season four, creators Mutchnick and Kohan filed a lawsuit against NBC and its subsidiaries. They finished working on season four, but did not return until the series finale. This dramatic behind the scenes change affected the show to a degree. The quality dropped with their departure, as they were the key creative minds behind the show's writing. However, Will & Grace remained a popular series. For some fans, the behind the scenes changed was a turning point when it got less entertaining and "jumped the shark". Despite, Will & Grace is still a solid show and this complete series set has one-hundred and eighty-four fun-filled episodes.

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Packaging

Will & Grace: The Complete Series collection is made up of thirty-three DVDs, which includes all of the content from the show's eight seasons and an exclusive bonus features DVD. The DVD content is identical to what was included in the original DVD releases. For those looking for something new, i.e., uncut episodes from seasons five or six (a few of them are syndicated versions), you are not in luck.

The thirty-three DVDs are stored in five cardboard DVD booklets. Four of the DVD booklets hold the eight seasons on DVD. Each of these booklets has two seasons (eight DVDs). They are about the size of four CD jewel cases. The last booklet has the DVD with the exclusive complete series set bonus features. This booklet is about the size of a single CD jewel case. The actual booklets are pretty sturdy. I took one of the booklets by the spin, shook it for a few minutes (letting the sleeves with DVDs flap wildly), dropped it on the ground, and nothing came lose. That's the good news. Unfortunately, the booklet sleeve style is identical to the Alias: The Complete Collection Limited Edition packaging. The cardboard sleeves have the potential to scratch up the DVDs. In my case, I pulled out a few DVDs with big looking scratches (and not from the booklet I shook like crazy). Be careful when taking the DVDs out and putting them back in the booklet sleeves.

The set also includes a small booklet with episode guides for all eight seasons, credits, and a Will & Grace quiz.

As for the custom packaging, it came with a removable plastic shell (you need to take it off to open the case). The top of the packaging opens up and allows the front to slide out. When the top and the front pieces are opened, the five booklets are accessible. They stack on top of each other. The exterior of the packaging has pictures of Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen.

Here are pictures of the custom packaging and the booklets.

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Season One
click here for the full season review

The Mini Review

Season one marks the beginning of Will & Grace. It begins with Grace receiving a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Danny. Unfortunately for Danny, it does not work out (thanks Will). Grace goes her own way and finds solace in her best friend's arms, Will. She moves in with him and they adjust to their new lifestyles as roomies. Meanwhile, Grace's assistant Karen is introduced to Will and Jack. Karen and Jack hit it off immediately and become very close friends. As the season continues, the show's general format is laid out, relationships created, and characters' personalities defined. There is a lot of hilarity as they go through their first year together.

The season episodes are all of worthy of watching. However, there are a few that stand out. The first two episodes "The Pilot" and "A New Lease On Life" are pretty fun. There is drama involving Will, Grace, Danny, and marriage. The subsequent fun comes from Will taking Grace in as his new roommate. There is also Jack and Karen getting to know each other, which is priceless. "Yours, Mine Or Ours" is a fantastic episode. Will and Grace have a date with the same guy. Need I say more? "Grace, Replaced" is another strong episode. Molly Shannon makes her first appearance as Val Bassett. Val is literally crazy. She moves into the building. Will hits it off her with her and Grace feels neglected. Grace and Val develop a sassy, belligerent relationship.

Overall, Will & Grace's first season was a big success. The season started off strong and continued to hold up until the end. The majority of the focus is on Will and Grace, but Jack and Karen are always present. Jack and Karen get into one odd situation after the other, from Jack becoming a massage therapist (and Karen reaping the benefits) to Jack and Karen putting on a play to teach Will and Grace a lesson to Jack marrying Karen's maid Rosario to prevent her from being deported. In the end, season one is a fun-filled time and a great freshman year for a television series.

Bonus Features

  • Interviews: are included for three groups of people "The Creators (13:30)" (David Kohan and Max Mutchnick), "The Director (9:57)" (James Burrows), and "The Cast (12:50)" (Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes).
  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips from the season episodes that have different themes. They include "Fashion Quips", "With A Song in Our Hearts", "Out and About", "", "The Sounds of Comedy", "A Rose By Any Other Name", "Hugs & Kisses", "9 to 5-ish", "Enter Stage Left", "The Little Voice in My Head", "Everybody Dance", and "Let's Get Physical".

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Season Two
click here for the full season review

The Mini Review

In the first season, the cast was getting accustomed to their roles. For instance, in season one, the extremely high-pitched voice that comes from Karen's mouth isn't very high-pitched. However, in season two, Karen's voice becomes the high-pitched voice that we have all come to know and love. Furthermore, the jokes about Karen being extremely rich and having a drinking problem are fleshed out even more. Karen wasn't the only character to undergo a few changes, as Jack McFarland returns in season two different. In season one, Jack was a needy and flamboyant person, but in season two, it is as if his personality was kicked up about 100 levels. The crazy acts he performs and his odd quips make him even more of an integral part of the show's comedy. Another big change includes Grace moving into the apartment across the hall and Jack moving in with Will. The new living arrange slightly changes the cast dynamic, giving Jack a little more camera time.

In season two, as seen in season one, the majority of the comedy is gay related sexual innuendos and the stories deal with dating, relationships, careers, etc. The audacious cast makes the content original, fresh, and fun. However, some of the episodes' plots tend to feel somewhat repetitive. These plots are similar to other popular sitcoms like Frasier or Friends. "I Never Promised You the Olive Garden" is an episode with an unoriginal plotline. Will and Grace get into trouble when they lie to their friends, Rob and Ellen, to spend the night out with a younger, hipper couple. The concept of lying in comedy has been used over and over. Despite the episode lacking originality, it is entertaining to see the comical outcomes from Will and Grace making the lie worse.

Even though some of the episodes have a repetitive feeling, there are episodes that scream originality. In an original and comical episode "Das Boob", Grace gets fake boobs that are filled with water to impress a hunk from high school. Grace, beware of sharp objects! This episode was great and puts the dynamic duo in an embarrassing and funny situation. Another episode that features the show's originality, also my favorite of the season, is "Girls, Interrupted". Jack meets a formerly gay-turned-straight guy at a club, played by Neil Patrick Harris. Harris operates a support group that tries to help gay men and women during their transition to become heterosexuals. One of the best parts about this episode is Jack pretending to be a straight male. The other great part is how well Harris and Hayes interact. It is hilarious.

Bonus Features

  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips from the season episodes that have different themes. They include "The Sounds of Comedy", "Out and About", "Speaking of Alcohol... ", "Enter Stage Left", "Hugs & Kisses", "9 to 5-ish", "Fashion Quips", "With a Song in Our Hearts", "Everybody Dance", "A Rose By Any Other Name...", "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Joke is Told", and "Let's Get Physical".

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Season Three
click here for the full season review

The Mini Review

In season three, there were not any major changes to the cast (or their characters) or the show's format. However, the living arrangements change (again) with Jack and Grace switching places. Grace moves back in with Will and Jack goes to the apartment across the hall. The change in living arrangements sets the focus back to Will and Grace and less on Will and Jack. There is still a lot of camera time with Jack, but it did not feel like season two. Fortunately, the Jack-Karen relationship continues to make for some great laughs. Also, the repetitive jokes about Karen's drinking problem are in force and they are pretty funny.

As for the season three content, there are a number of strong episodes. In "Girl Trouble", Grace gets her first intern, Gillian (Natasha Lyonne, American Pie). As it turns out, she's a little more interested in what it is like to be bitchy, rich, and completely full of yourself, i.e., Karen. Grace has to deal with two Karens, which is great for laughs. "My Uncle The Car" is another great episode. Will sells Grace's car to a nun played by Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen). Unfortunately for Will, Grace discovers there's sentimental value attached to the car. The episode itself is not too comical, but DeGeneres is great with Messing and McCormack. There is a funny sidebar: Jack thinks he's African-American.

In "Lows in the Mid-Eighties", originally aired as a two-part episode, goes back into time when Will and Grace were dating. It includes when Jack first met Will. It is entertaining to learn the history between the three friends. There is also a visit to a reoccurring joke, which is Jack's undying love for Cher. In "Gypsies, Tramps, & Weed", Jack finally meets his idol. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize it until too late. There are many more comical episodes in this third season that show how the cast can interact and turn dull everyday situations into a flood of humor.

Overall, season three is a pretty fun experience. I enjoyed the episodes. However, I thought season two was much stronger. The comedy didn't feel as wacky and the stories were a bit lighter. Season three returned the focus to Will and Grace versus Jack and Karen. Granted they aren't the main stars of the series, I really like what they add to the series and I enjoyed how they had more camera time in season two. The truth is, Will and Grace are funny characters together, but on their own, they aren't that funny. On the other hand, Karen and Jack can be really entertaining, whether paired up with someone else or alone. Nevertheless, there are some solid season three episodes.

Bonus Features

  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips from the season episodes that have different themes. They include The Sounds of Comedy", "Out and About", "The Little Voice in My Head", "Enter Stage Left", "Hugs & Kisses", "9 to 5-ish", "Fashion Quips", "With a Song in Our Hearts", "Everybody Dance", "A Rose By Any Other Name...", and "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Joke is Told".
  • Outtake Reels: are included for seasons one, two, and three. They each run about six minutes and feature the cast messing up during filming and acting goofy. They are pretty humorous.

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Season Four
click here for the full season review

The Mini Review

Season four started off with on a dry note. The season premiere and a couple subsequent episodes, while funny, didn't leave me laughing myself silly. Fortunately, the later episodes were better. The problem with the earlier episodes was guest star Woody Harrelson (Cheers) as Grace's boyfriend Nathan. He was introduced towards the end of season three as a neighbor with girlfriend problems. Afterwards, he and Grace became an item. While I love Harrelson in Cheers, he did not fit in well with the Will & Grace cast. Nevertheless in season four, Nathan and Grace's relationship is a major storyline.

Also early in the season, Karen undergoes a life changing event. Her husband Stan is arrested for tax fraud. The storyline continues with drama and jokes about her situation. For Jack, he gets to know his son Elliot (the product of artificial insemination and first introduced in season three) and Jack trying to decide his career as entertainer or working at Barney's. There is also a story about Will, his parents, and their odd relationship. The final big development is about Will and Grace wanting to have children. In the hour long season finale "A.I.: Artificial Insemination", they decide to have a child together.

As for the rest of season, there is a lot to enjoy. The episode "Past & Presents" isn't a terribly funny episode, but it guest stars Adam Goldberg (Eddie from Friends). Goldberg has an interesting side story with Will. In "Fagel Attraction", perhaps one of the funniest episodes of the season, Michael Douglas guest stars as a gay cop who has the hots for Will. Douglas gives an invigorating performance and just thinking about the episode makes me chuckle. Molly Shannon reprises her role as the psycho and outright weird neighbor Val. In "A Chorus Lie", Matt Damon guest stars. He goes up against Jack for a spot in the Gay Men's Chorus. The catch is Damon's character isn't gay and when Jack and Grace get the truth, it is damn funny.

"Moveable Feast" is an hour long Thanksgiving episode. The cast go on one hell of an adventure. The opening sequence is handled well and outlines how impressive the dialogue can be. The subsequent events are also quite funny with awkward and hilarious situations. "Dyeing is Easy, Comedy is Hard" is another funny episode with a brief appearance from Rosie O'Donnell. However, she isn't what makes the episode fun. Instead, it's the side story with Will and Grace going to Grace's ex-fiance's wedding. In "He Shoots, They Snore", Will plays dad for Elliot and takes him to a basketball tournament. It's great how the straight dads react when they find out he is gay. In general the episodes in this season are quite funny and anyone who enjoys this series should have a blast.

Bonus Features

  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips from the season episodes that have different themes. They include "Lets Get Physical", "Fashion Quips", "With A Song In Our Hearts", "Out And About", "The Sounds Of Comedy", "Everybody Dance", "A Rose By Any Other Name...", "Hugs & Kisses", "9 To 5ish", "Enter Stage Left", And "The Little Voice In My Head".
  • Season 4 Outtake Reel: captures the cast messing up during filming and acting goofy.

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Season Five
click here for the full season review

The Mini Review

Season five was a turning point in the series, as the main creative minds left the show due to legal issues with NBC. As a result, the quality degraded. Still, the season is pretty strong with a lot of new (and old) developments for the cast. The season picks up with Will and Grace planning to have a baby in "...And the Horse He Rode In On". On the day of insemination, Will is at the doctor's and Grace hurries to join him. While running through the park, Grace meets a handsome Jewish doctor named Leo Markus (Harry Connick Jr.) and a lamp post. As the season continues, Leo is a serious love interest for Grace and the relationship ruins the plan for a baby. The storyline runs throughout the season, which includes Grace and Leo getting married in the two-part episode "Marry Me a Little" and "Marry Me A Little More". The Grace-Leo relationship puts a strain on Will and Grace's friendship; they stop speaking to each other.

Beyond the Will-Grace-Leo storyline, there are a number of fun happenings for the cast. "Bacon and Eggs" is a fun episode with Jack stalking Kevin Bacon. While stalking Bacon, Jack is hired to find the stalker. The situation is ironic because Jack is the stalker and Will is caught in the middle of it. The episode ends with a song and dance tribute to Footloose. Bacon is hysterical in his role. In "Boardroom and a Parked Place", Gene Wilder guest stars as Mr. Stein, who has been the silent partner at Will's law firm. Unfortunately, Stein just got out of the loony bin. "Fagmalion" is a storyline that spans four episodes. Karen's cousin Barry (Dan Futterman) recently came out. At thirty-something, he has had little experience with men. Karen fixes Will on a date with him, but there are no sparks. Later, Will and Jack help Barry get accustomed to his new lifestyle, and he turns from a geek to a hottie. Both Will and Jack become interested in him. They are disappointed when Barry says he wants to play the field.

"Homojo" revisits a storyline started earlier in the episode "It's The Gay Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". Karen and Jack found out Stan was cheating on her, which leads to them splitting up. In "Homojo", Karen and mistress Lorraine Finster (Minnie Driver) go head-to-head. Jack gets involved and befriends Lorraine, which causes friction with Karen. In the episode "May Divorce Be With You", Karen's divorce is the story. Karen is shocked to find out Will won't represent her because of Stan. Needing to find a quick replacement, she hires a young lawyer named Jason Towne (Macaulay Culkin), who likes to be called J.T. and despite his young appearance is a shark.

The final two episodes of the season, "23" and "24", involve Karen, Stan, and Lorraine. In "23", Stan passes away while the divorce negations are underway. Karen and Lorraine fight over the will. Both want their fair share of Stan's empire, everything. Grace is also troubled when Leo volunteers to go to Guatemala for medical program Doctors Without Borders. In the episode "24", the matter between Karen and Lorraine finishes. The former rivals join together on Stan's yacht to scatter his ashes and bid farewell. Grace also becomes increasingly jealous of Leo's beautiful female doctor friend. Will and Jack also find themselves in a comprising situation.

Please note there is discussion that some of the episodes are the syndicated versions, which means some are cut and missing footage. Please refer to DVD Talk's forum for more details by clicking here.

Bonus Features

  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips from the season episodes that have different themes. They include "Hug and Kisses", "Fashion Quips", "The Little Voice in My Head", "A Rose by Any Other Name", "For Love or Money", "9 to 5ish", "With a Song in Our Hearts", "Enter Stage Left", "The Sounds of Comedy", "Everybody Dance", "My Breast Friend", "Let's Get Physical", "Out and About", "Rank and File", "Pop Goes the Culture", and "Self-Discovery".
  • Season 5 Outtake Reel: captures the cast messing up during filming and acting goofy.

Return to the Table of Contents


Season Six
click here for the full season review

The Mini Review

Season six has a different cast dynamics than the previous seasons. The storylines were led by Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen. Season six has less Grace. Messing was pregnant during season six (her character Grace was not) and appears less. The lack of Grace having a prominent role leaves a void that is filled with more Will, Jack, and Karen escapades. In addition, there are several strong episodes and story arcs, as well as a good lineup of guest stars such as James Earl Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Jack Black, Geena Davis, Dave Foley, John Cleese, Candice Bergen, Mira Sorvino, and more. While the season is fun, the lack of Messing leaves the show not feeling quite the same.

One of the biggest story arcs picks up from the season five finale. In the finale, Grace dealt with her husband Leo leaving for Doctors Without Borders. The season six premiere ends it with a happy note. Leo comes back and decides to give up the program and be with Grace. Unfortunately, it isn't enough for Leo and he decides to go to leave. Grace goes with him, but finds the marriage in shambles and returns without him. For the rest of the season, Grace is depressed and tries to cope.

Another huge story arc is about Karen. She confronts her late husband's mistress Lorraine and meets her father Lyle Finster (John Cleese). Sparks fly and they engage in an awkward courtship, which eventually leads to living together (with Lorraine) and a marriage in the two-part season finale. The relationship is a bit of a joke, but worth a lot of laughs as Cleese brings a wacky, eccentric character to the bunch. Will and Jack also find significant others. Will has a new client named Stuart (Dave Foley). He is a gay, geeky rich businessman who loves The Lord of the Rings. He has eyes for Jack, who Will convinces him to date (because he wants to keep his client happy). As it turns out, Jack and Stuart hit it off and make a lovely couple. Will also finds love when he meets a police officer named Vince. Their relationship starts off shaking, but quickly finds solid ground.

In addition to romance, Jack makes a grownup decision about his life and decides to become a nurse (for all the wrong reasons -- a cute guy). For general fun episodes, there are several. One of my favorites is "Last Ex To Brooklyn". Mira Sorvino guest stars as Leo's ex-girlfriend Diane. Grace and Leo invite her to dinner. Grace finds that she is her worst nightmare and has a history with Will. Other fun episodes include "I Never Cheered For My Father", Elliot tries to get Jack's attention by trying out for cheer, and "No Sex 'N The City", Jack and Karen deal with the cancellation of their favorite shows (Friends, Sex and the City, and Frasier); they try to live out their own sitcoms; Bebe Neuwirth makes a brief, yet hysterical appearance.

Please note there is discussion that some of the episodes are the syndicated versions, which means some are cut and missing footage. Please refer to DVD Talk's forum for more details by clicking here.

Bonus Features

  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips from the season episodes that have different themes. They include "My Breast Friend", "9 to 5ish", "Fashion Quips", "A Rose by Any Other Name", "The Little Voice in My Head", "With a Song in Our Hearts", "For Love or Money", "Rank & File", "Food For Thought", "Meet The Parents", "Lets Get Physical", "Pop Goes The Culture", "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex", and "The Sounds Of Comedy".
  • Season 6 Outtake Reel: captures the cast messing up during filming and acting goofy.

Return to the Table of Contents


Season Seven
click here for the full season review

The Mini Review

Will & Grace's seventh season has a lot on the horizon for the crazy foursome. In the past season, there were a lot of dramatic developments in the gang's relationships and careers. This season has even bigger developments: Grace comes to terms with the end of her marriage, Will and Vince jump through some hurdles, Jack gets a real job, and Karen's past comes to haunt her. Of course, there is plenty more! Joining them are several big names like Jennifer Lopez, Edward Burns, Janet Jackson, Molly Shannon, Kristin Davis, Victor Garber, Jeff Goldblum, Lily Tomlin, Luke Perry, Sharon Stone, Alec Baldwin, and Seth Green.

The season picks up where season six left off. Grace's marriage is in shambles after finding out about Leo's indiscretion. In "FYI: I Hurt, Too", she comes to terms with being single again. Will supports her in the decision, and even neglects his boyfriend Vince in the process. Afterwards, the Grace-Leo relationship goes on the backburner, it does not resurface until the two-part episode "Saving Grace, Again". In it, Will and Grace contemplate if they were wrong about Leo.

On that note, Will and Vince get pretty serious this season. In "Key Party", Will celebrates his fortieth birthday and Vince decides to do something really special -- that is until Grace gets him to change his mind. It is a kooky dynamic that provides some solid laughs. Will, Vince, and Grace also have a fun episode in "Will & Grace & Vince & Nadine". Will and Grace meet Vince's best friend Nadine (Kristin Davis). She is to Vince as Grace is to Will. However, Nadine still dreams about turning Vince straight. It is an awkward, yet fun episode. "Queens For A Day" is another great episode with Will and Vince at the fore. Will tries to make the perfect Thanksgiving meal for Vince's picky mom. Of course, everything goes wrong.

Jack's professional career really starts to move forward this season. In "One Gay At A Time", Will takes Jack to a focus group for a new television network called OutTV. OutTV is developing programming for the gay community. Jack's perspective turns out to be such a hit that he is hired as an executive for the company. Throughout the season, his new job on OutTV is a key plot detail, which includes Jack trying to fit in a professional work setting, hiring Karen as his assistant, and getting his own talk show "Jack Talk".

Karen's life is business as usual. For the most part, she's doped up on something and is as eccentric. Her biggest story involves high school nemesis Scott Woolley (Jeff Goldblum). He first appears in "Board Games" to usurp Walker, Inc. He makes a second attempt in "Bully Woolley" and falls in love with Karen. Goldblum's character is pretty over-the-top, but has a fun chemistry with the cast. Throughout the rest of the season, there are other fun developments, which include Grace's new hunky love interest Nick (Edward Burns), Grace considering an affair with an old flame from college who is very much married, Jack and Will buying a vacation house in the wrong part of town, Will being considered for partner at his law firm, and more.

Bonus Features

  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips from the season episodes that have different themes. They include "Fashion Quips", "Food For Thought", "For Love or Money", "Hugs & Kisses", "Rank & File", "Enter Stage Left", "Everybody Dance", "Pop Goes the Culture", "9 to 5ish", "The Little Voice in My Head", "The Sounds Of Comedy", "Out & About", "Lets Get Physical", "A Rose by Any Other Name", "My Breast Friend", and "With a Song in Our Hearts".
  • Season 7 Outtake Reel: captures the cast messing up during filming and acting goofy.

Return to the Table of Contents


Season Eight
click here for the full season review 1 | review 2

The Mini Review

Season eight marks the final episodes of Will & Grace and contains f the series' most dramatic stories. The highlights include Karen, Stan, and government agent Malcolm (Alec Baldwin), Grace (briefly) rekindling her relationship with Leo and getting pregnant, Will embarking on his quest to do something meaningful, Jack's television show going conservative, Will having a short relationship with James (Taye Diggs), and more. It is a pretty fun season and ends the series with good closure.

The season begins with Will working for a fake non-profit organization run by government agent Malcolm (Alec Baldwin). In season seven, Will decided that he wanted to do something noble and good. Malcolm gave him a job, which turned out to be a sham. Malcolm is involved in some risky business and needed Will's help. When the truth comes out, Will is faced with a dilemma. He learns some news about Karen's late husband and has to decide whether or not to tell her. The situation is complicated when Malcolm and Karen start dating. Baldwin plays a very odd character and there are some good laughs with his role. Unfortunately, the underlying storyline is a little too over-the-top.

In "Love is in the Airplane", Grace rekindles her romance with Leo. This brief encounter turns into a big development. Afterwards, she tells him that he needs to move on. As the season progresses, this storyline becomes important -- Grace learns she is pregnant with his child and wants him back. Unfortunately, Leo has moved on and is engaged to another woman. Will stands by her side and promises to help raise the baby.

Other major season developments include Will working at the Coalition for Justice and getting Karen in trouble for being a slumlord, Grace marrying Will's latest love interest James (he is Canadian and his visa is about to expire), who turns out to be a horrible person, Jack's talk show being turned conservative by a new co-host Amber Louise (Britney Spears), Karen hiring Cricket (Wanda Sykes) to be a surrogate mother, Will's father passing away and the emotional aftermath, Vince coming back into the picture, and more. As earlier mentioned, there are a lot of big developments. It all builds to the series finale, which gives good closure to the show.

In addition to the major season storylines, there are some fun all-around episodes. There are two worth noting. In "Von Trapped", Grace gets the gang to go to the "Sound of Music Sing-Along". They dress up as characters from the Sound of Music. After a variety of things occur, the situation turns out just like the musical! They get trapped in the theater by attendants who are dressed up like Nazi's. It is a hilarious blend of Will & Grace and Sound of Music. The other stellar episode is "Bathroom Humor". This episode was filmed live. It is pure slapstick fun. Will, Grace, and Jack go to Karen's uppity birthday party. They embarrass themselves and end up in the bathroom. After some arguing, they have a "food" fight with bathroom products. It is a hilarious turn of events.

Bonus Features

  • Audio Commentary: is included for the episode "The Finale" with David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, James Burrows, and Eric McCormack.
  • The Final Bow (12:58): has David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, and Debra Messing saying goodbye at the final shooting on the set of Will & Grace. The featurette provides a behind the scenes look at the crew, cast, and set on the show's final moments. It includes brief comments from cast and crew. There really isn't a lot of meat in this featurette, beyond a behind the scenes seeing the cast and crew on their final shooting.
  • The Last Words: Interviews with Cast (24:10): is the more interesting of the season eight featurettes. Max Mutchnick and David Kohan talk about when they first met, and how their personal history helped them develop Will & Grace. They continue to talk about NBC, getting James Burrows involved, and more. Eric McCormack and Debra Messing offer some insight on the subject. Next Megan Mullally gives a tour of the set. The featurette continues with the aforementioned individuals, Sean Hayes, Shelley Morrison, and others. There is discussion about characters and relationships, behind the scenes footage of table reads, filming/directing, etc.
  • Themed Featurettes: is a montage of clips from season eight footage. The montages are categorized in themes. They include "For Love or Money", "Out & About", "9 to 5ish", "Pop Goes the Culture", "A Rose by Any Other Name", "Enter Stage Left", "Fashion Quips", "Rank & File", "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Joke Is Told", "That's Called a Macaroon", "Some People Say Thank You", and "Lie, Cheat and Steal".
  • Blooper Reel (8:26): is standard montage of behind the scenes goofs with the cast acting up or messing up their scenes.

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Complete Series Bonus Features DVD

The Will & Grace: Complete Series set comes with an exclusive bonus features DVD. Unfortunately, the content is pretty slim without many features or featurettes. I was disappointed when the DVD loaded and saw the sparse material. I was expecting a bundle of featurettes (because the individual season sets have not had much content). I guess the fact that the individual season sets are marked "LOADED WITH EXTRA FEATURES" and they are not should have been an indication. Here is a listing of what is included:

  • Favorite Episodes!: is a collection of three episodes from the series with audio commentaries. "The Pilot" has two commentaries: (1) David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, and James Burrow, and (2) Debra Messing and Eric McCormack. The other two episodes are favorites of Messing and McCormack's. Both leads appear in the audio commentaries. "Lows in the Mid-Eighties" is Messing's favorite episode and "The Kid Stays Out of the Picture" is McCormack's favorite episode.
  • Themed Featurettes: are montage clips with various themes. The titles of the featurettes are "Hugs & Kisses", "Makin' Whoopee", "The Sounds of Comedy", "Let's Get Physical", "My Breast Friend", "Food For Thought", "With a Song in Our Hearts", "Gin, Please", "Everybody Dance", and "High Times". All of the clips are from season eight, but they are different than the season eight DVD themed featurettes.
  • Photo Gallery Montage: is a montage of pictures from season eight.

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The DVD

Video:
The video is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The picture quality is good considering its age. The image is a bit soft at times. For the most part, it looks good with a slight grain and no noticeable issues attributed to video compression.

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Audio:
The audio in this release is in English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo. The quality is quite good. The audio is fairly flat, which is due the show being dialogue driven. This release is closed caption enabled.

Note that season one has a dubbed Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital stereo track and subtitles in English and Spanish. Season two has subtitles in English and Spanish. Season three and beyond only have the English stereo track and support for closed captioning.

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Final Thoughts:
Will & Grace: The Complete Series contains the entire show on thirty-two DVDs and an exclusive bonus features DVD. The entire series consists of eight seasons and one-hundred and eighty-four episodes. The show is a fun-filled comedy/drama about a New York foursome that goes through the ins and outs of life. The catch is that the two leading males are gay. As such, a lot of the humor revolves around their relationship with two straight women. Their eccentrics and neuroticisms gave the show plenty of goofy, awkward, and fun-filled situations. For those who enjoy rich dialogue, great physical comedy, and colorful characters, Will & Grace is a solid series and this complete series set is a wonderful way to pick up all the DVDs at once. It is recommended.

However, if you are already familiar with the show, own the individual seasons on DVD, and are considering double-dipping, there is nothing worth double-dipping. The exclusive bonus features DVD is pretty light on content. Unless there is a pressing need for space or the custom packaging really strikes your fancy, then pass on this release.

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