Law and Norms and Will and Grace
50 Cumberland L. Rev. 85 (2020)
33 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2020
Date Written: April 22, 2020
Like many other popular series featuring lawyers and law-related characters that are not primarily legal shows, Will & Grace was and is primarily a “relationship” show. The show features the friendships and closeness among the four main characters, best friends Will Truman and Grace Adler, who originally met in college, and Will’s friend Jack McFarland and Grace’s friend Karen Walker, who are brought together through their relationships with Will and Grace and also eventually become friends. Jack and Karen’s friendship is an exaggerated analogue of Will and Grace’s relationship.
While it is not a legal show, Will & Grace does often feature legal themes, partly because one of its main characters is an attorney and partly because the law is such an important part of daily American life. If we have a problem or a dispute, we often consider whether the appropriate solution is a legal one, or whether we will be satisfied with a less formal and perhaps less binding outcome. More and more, we tend to view relationships and interactions through the legal system, using the law’s language and the law’s behavior. However, the characters in Will & Grace do not always decide on legal solutions to their problems. They may fashion other solutions that they think suit their needs, or they may never consider the law at all.
Keywords: Law and Popular Culture, Law and Television, Will & Grace (Television Series)
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