About seven years a go, there was a new sitcom called Some of My Best Friends. The title comes from the familiar phrase that I heard so many times in college, “Some of my best friends are gay.” My read when hearing this was, “You don’t scare me. I know people like you.” The TV show starred Jason Bateman and Danny Nucci. Jason Bateman played a character named Warren who is a twenty-something writer living in New York. He is a writer who has just ended a relationship with his boyfriend. While looking for a roommate, he comes across a straight, Italian guy from Brooklyn and he decides to move in. The comedy and mayhem ensue.
The character of Warren is a normal guy for the most part, even a bit conservative. He has a friend (played by Alec Mapa) who is his more flamboyant side-kick. I have seen all seven (yes, seven) episodes of this sitcom. It only lasted a few weeks. Compared to Will and Grace, it is much better written and funnier. So, why did Will and Grace last several years while this show was cancelled after only seven episodes? My guess is that it is because the characters of Will and Jack represent what people think gay men are like and they believe the over-the-top, flamboyant, promiscuous lives that these characters lead.
The character of Warren, in my opinion, much more closely represents regular gay men who are looking for, or are in, a relationship. But, people may not be ready to accept the normalcy of a gay relationship and still choose to look at gay people as a source of comic relief. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jack and Karen are funny (the show should have been named Jack and Karen instead of Will and Grace), but this representation of gay people does not help our cause. Unfortunately, this is all that the viewing public is ready for. Maybe in a few years we can get another show about a “regular” gay character that lasts more than seven episodes.
Scene with Jack from Will and Grace
Scene from Some of My Best Friends