The new list of characters is…..the characters from Will & Grace.
*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Will & Grace. Read at your own risk if you have not watched either the previous series or the new series.
There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.
In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Will & Grace to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.
Will Truman (Eric McCormack) is a lawyer living in New York City. He is gay and shares an apartment with his best friend, Grace Adler (Debra Messing) who is straight and an interior designer by trade. Will was born into a WASP-y and wealthy New England family. He came out after he and Grace dated briefly in college. In the pilot, Will is newly single after his long-term relationship had then recently ended.
Upon first glance, one might not think that Will Truman is gay. He is not the effeminate stereotype, but he has his moments. He can be very critical, nit picky and a little too staid in his choices. But when push comes to shove, Will is there for his friends. Known as the most mature and steady one in his immediate social circle, Will often the straight man compared to the other characters.
To sum it up: When creating a character based on a stereotype to break the stereotype, the key is to use a little bit of the stereotype while building up the whole human being that is the character. Will Truman works as a character because while he is still a gay man, he is not only defined by the gay stereotype. As writers, it is our job to humanize characters like Will Truman to ensure that feel like complete human beings, not stereotypes.