Will & Grace
strode into its third season with the kind of cultural cache TV executives would kill for. These 22 episodes are littered with hip celebrity guest stars, from Ellen DeGeneres to Sandra Bernhard to Cher, and the performances of the core quartet--Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Karen Mullally, and Sean Hayes--became more comically exaggerated as they risked pushing their characters (already riddled with neuroses and snippiness) into the realm of caricatures. But due to clever writing and confident, full-throttle performances, it doesn't matter. Even when Jack and Karen's high-handed behavior go beyond anything recognizably human, audiences love them all the more; no matter how high-strung Will and Grace become, their well-honed rapport keeps them engaging and lovable.
Wisely, the writers swiftly returned the pair to roommate status and got Grace out of her ongoing relationship with Will's former boss (Gregory Hines), bringing the show's focus back on how the pair sublimate their love lives with the cozy intimacy of friendship--one particularly strong episode flashes back to how they first met in college, replete with godawful 80s fashion. But, as ever, it's Jack and Karen who up the comic ante; Mullally and Hayes are shamelessly self-absorbed and shallow, exploiting and abusing everyone around them. Jack forces Will to play Cyrano, feeding him pick-up lines over his salesperson headset; Karen, worried that some experimental plastic surgery might turn out badly, manipulates another socialite into getting it first. Not all plotlines fly--Grace gets into a relationship with an obnoxious neighbor (Woody Harrelson) that never becomes more than stunt-casting--but the racy wit flies fast and furious, the slapstick is topnotch, and Karen's hairdo towers magnificently. --Bret Fetzer
All 25 episodes from the third season of the popular US sitcom. In 'New Will City' Jack (Sean P. Hayes) returns from his time in the Caribbean to find that things have changed. 'Fear and Clothing' sees Grace (Debra Messing) moving in with Will (Eric McCormack) after someone tries to break into her apartment. 'Husbands and Trophy Wives' sees Will and Jack's plans of a wild night out scuppered by the discovery that all their old friends are now responsible family types. 'Girl Trouble' finds Will preparing to give a gay sensitivity seminar. 'Grace 0, Jack 2000' has Grace confused by Ben's (Gregory Hines) refusal to break up with her. 'Love Plus One' sees Grace deciding to enjoy (or endure) a threesome. In the two-part story 'Lows in the Mid-Eighties', Will and Grace reconsider some of their first romantic encounters as they flashback to Thanksgiving 1985. In 'Three's a Crowd, Six is a Freak Show', Grace is horrified to discover that the new love of her life has six toes on one foot. 'Coffee and Commitment' sees Will and Grace being asked to read at the civil union of two friends. Sandra Bernhard guest stars in 'Swimming Pools... Movie Stars', which sees Will and Grace posing as a wealthy couple shopping for homes owned by the rich and famous. 'Crazy in Love' sees Will trying to impress his new friend Matt (Patrick Dempsey), a TV sports reporter, with his athletic prowess - but Grace is the one who has to show him how to bat a ball properly. In 'Brothers: A Love Story', Will is confused and annoyed when his new love Matt insists on introducing him to his macho work colleagues as his 'brother'. In 'My Uncle the Car', Grace asks Will to sell her recently deceased uncle's car for her - but after he sells it to a nun (Ellen DeGeneres), she changes her mind and decides she wants to buy it back. The two-parter 'Cheaters' sees Grace becoming livid when she sees Will's father being unfaithful with a glamorous stranger - but Will is happier to carry on living in denial. Meanwhile, Karen (Megan Mullally) suspects that her husband Dan (Christopher Delisle) is having an affair after misunderstanding something Grace said. In 'Mad Dogs and Average Men', Grace falls for Karen's handsome nephew, Sumner (Paul Satterfield) - but her attempts at fixing up a date with him are foiled at every turn by Karen, who invents a multitude of off-putting stories about him. 'Poker? I Don't Even Like Her' sees Grace being banned from poker playing by Will's friends - until her game makes a sudden and dramatic improvement. In 'An Old-Fashioned Piano Party', Grace spend a small fortune on a piano for her and Will to play together, in the hope of cementing their friendship forever. Woody Harrelson guest stars in 'The Young and the Tactless' as Will and Grace's untidy, free-spirited new neighbour Nathan, who Grace tries to get rid of by encouraging a reunion with his long-distance ex-girlfriend. In 'Alice Doesn't Lisp Here Any More', Grace attends the funeral of an old classmate, Alice (Alex Kapp Horner), who she is racked with guilt about having teased at school. 'Last of the Really Odd Lovers' sees Will and Grace both trying to keep their respective embarrassing love trysts a secret. In 'Gypsies, Tramps and Weed', Will is left reeling after a meeting with a frighteningly accurate psychic. Finally, in the two-parter 'Sons and Lovers', Grace's new beau, the slovenly Nathan (Woody Harrelson) has moved in, and Grace finds herself mediating between him and Will - but then starts to wonder if she has done the job a little too well...