I really ought to go to sleep, but wanted to note that Kam and I found the first several episodes of Will & Grace at the video store tonight, and very much enjoyed them. Kam had seen several episodes from later in the series; I hadn't ever seen it at all, but had heard a lot about it.
Some of the jokes are obvious; some seem a little dumb to me; some rely heavily on pop culture that I'm entirely unfamiliar with. But many of them are very funny. The writing is largely really solid, and the actors are mostly great; their delivery and timing is usually excellent, and I like the way the camera sometimes lingers for a few seconds after what might otherwise have been the end of a scene, letting us see a character's reaction.
I don't think I've been this charmed by a TV show since the episodes of Mad About You that I saw a few years back. I like characters who clearly care a lot about each other, even if they're a little codependent sometimes. And I like the supporting cast of W & G as well; in particular, the Texan and Karen seem nicely unflappable, completely themselves, unfazed by any of the currents that eddy around them.
The show relies very heavily on stereotypes, but it's so charming and the characters are (by and large) so likeable that the stereotypes don't bother me. And I like that it pokes gentle fun at the stereotypes, too; it has a sense of play. I get the impression (though this could be an illusion) that everyone involved is having fun.
But just to sign off with a little anti-stereotyping, I wanted to point to a Washington Post article titled "Not All of Us Can Accessorize," a gay man's only semi-serious lament that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy gives the impression that all gay men are as fabulous as the guys on the show, whereas in reality some of them are, well, slobs. "Have I, at any time in the last decade, changed the cat litter that is even now stinging my nostrils with its effluvium? No indeed."