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TeeVee Awards '03: Worst Half-Hour Show

The worst half-hour show of 2003 was Will & Grace. Why sugar-coat it?

The worst thing about Will & Grace is that the main characters are Will and Grace. We don't mean that they'd be better off as supporting characters; we mean that they'd be better off selling insurance or as professional dog-walkers or in some other profession that wouldn't require them to be entertaining. Because they're dull. Not interesting. Their antics seem to entertain the studio audience, but that might be because NBC is pointing machine guns at them.

The audience, we mean. Not Will and/or Grace. Though the thought of either one fixed in the sights with Jeff Zucker's itchy finger on the trigger makes us feverish with delight.

So that's the main characters and their dreary lives dispensed with. You might disagree with this assessment, but that's because you are, no offense, a dope. If you took Will and Grace out of this show, you'd have much more entertainment. Plus, since the title would just be an ampersand, you'd get a huge savings on engraved letterhead.

Of course, there's a reason that Sean Hayes isn't the lead. It would be asking a lot of audiences to put up with him for 30 minutes when he normally only needs 3.4 seconds to go from Flamboyant to Spastic. When he got his big solo project in that Martin & Lewis TV movie, he made audiences long for the delicate, nuanced performance of the real Jerry Lewis. The monkey-like capering is entertaining in brief spurts, but it would be hard to sustain over an entire series.

Then there's that squeaky-voiced woman. Frankly, some Vidiots enjoy her a lot, but we had to look her up on IMDB to remind ourselves that her name is Megan Mullally. She seems like a lot of fun, but again, her role seems to be "crazy person."

So you've got two boring leads and two frenetic backups. It's like if the Ricardos and the Mertzes switched places. The effect is that whenever Mullally or Hayes comes on screen, the audience gets excited. "Oh boy!" they think. "It's time for some entertainment!" And then, three minutes later, the audience thinks "Would these people shut up already?" And by "the audience," we mean "us." It might not seem fair, but you can go ahead and start your own damn Web site if you don't like it. We voted, and Will & Grace were the winners. We like to think we're the last repository of democracy, even though a lot of the Vidiots do live in the lawless state of California.

Incidentally, it's very important that you understand that e-mailing us won't change our minds. We already know that they've got enough Emmys to start their own award show. Yes, the whole cast gets nominated every year. Don't care. Shut up. It's a terrible show featuring more stereotypes than a thousand Harry Potter fanfics. If they have room in their trophy case, they can just make room for the Worst Half-Hour Show statuette.

In case you're interested, the runner-up was Good Morning, Miami, which was last year's second-best new comedy about an imaginary morning show. Tied for third? Pretty much every other non-animated half hour show on television.

Additional contributions to this article by: Monty Ashley.


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