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Just when it seemed a huge risk to present TV audiences with yet another prime-time sitcom where gay characters enjoy lead roles—considering the demise of Ellen Degeneres’ landmark show, once her quirky character came out of the closet—NBC dared to unleash Will and Grace in 1999, almost with a vengeance!

Despite the brazen dialogue, sexual innuendoes and gay inside jokes that run throughout the show, TV audiences tuned in each week and loved what they saw, especially when the zanier characters—Jack and Karen—spat out rude or naughty lines and other wild zingers that went over the top. Now, in 2001, the audience for this runaway Emmy award hit is huge and diverse, and is showing no signs of going away any time soon.

Actually, Will and Grace is just another classic screwball comedy, but with a twist: None of the characters have a problem with any of the others being gay. Homophobia is not a hot-button issue, and gays are not shown struggling to be accepted in the straight world. However, the reason for the sitcom’s success most certainly is the saucy, bold writing and the flat-out funny performances of the entire cast.

Interestingly, the show’s colorful personalities reflect the individual astrological patterns of this fine acting ensemble, especially regarding each actor’s Sun and Moon signs. Each has unconsciously created a character based on his or her own birth chart dynamics.

Will

Astrology Horoscope: Eric McCormackAs gay attorney Will Truman, Aries Eric McCormack is full of dash and spunk. Like Aries, he’s fired up and ready to get going in the world. Will’s sharp mind matches his Aries boyish charm, although he is thirty something and determined to stay that age. Like Aries, Will exudes a youthful vitality and possesses a healthy sense of self-assertion. He also has the gumption to achieve his immediate goals, just like this headstrong, ambitious sign.

Although Will is quick to get things off his chest, he’s more at odds with himself in the romance department. Similarly, Aries types are reluctant to face their thorny fears of intimacy, since commitment to a serious, long-term relationship could mean compromising one’s personal autonomy. Actually, McCormack’s Moon in Aquarius suggests his instinctive feel for free-spirited characters who have problems staying emotionally engaged in close partnerships. It’s doubtful that his character will ever settle down into any union that subdues his fiery, freedom-loving energies. As Will, Eric McCormack thus has no trouble drawing inspiration from his own vibrant Aries/Aquarius personality.

Grace

Astrology Horoscope: Debra Messing Leo Debra Messing plays Grace Adler, an interior designer who, while organized, disciplined and hard-working in her career, is privately a bit of an emotional mess. Grace fits Messing’s Sun-in-Leo traits well. She’s proud of her creative efforts, eager to make a first-rate impression on her clientele and is in need of major recognition and praise for her talents. Yet as Debra also has a slew of planets in flaw-finding Virgo, Grace shows a strong work ethic, but her insecurity drives her to achieve perfect results. Still, Debra’s Leo energy allows Grace to be dramatic and enthusiastic, although in an innocently self-absorbed manner.

Grace also displays a few traits of Messing’s Moon in Taurus. She’s determined, sometimes stubborn but also warmly loyal and down-to-earth with her feelings—she’s no phony. Like Taurus, Grace fully invests herself in those she values. Messing’s Moon sign gives her an instinctive feel for people who strongly attach themselves to others for needed doses of steady affection. Despite her ups and downs, Grace is able to gather inner strength, and patiently endures as she slowly builds material security for herself. Debra Messing’s character wonderfully portrays this Leo/Taurus challenge.

Jack

Astrology Horoscope: Sean HayesAs Will’s flaming gay buddy, Jack McFarland was obviously a hyperactive handful as a kid. He still hasn’t grown up. Cancer Sean Hayes plays this expressive, yet touchy character who often gets his feathers ruffled. When sensing rejection, Jack either pouts or lashes out with "drama-queen" intensity. He's gushy one minute but snappish and defensive the next. The immature, hyper-sensitive, baby-like side of Cancer dominates Jack’s narcissistic personality. Still, viewers realize that his bark is worse than his bite since all he really seeks is love, acceptance and lots of reassuring attention.

However, as Hayes’ Moon is in feisty, independent Aries, Jack also is an emotional bundle of contradictions. While craving Cancerian affection during those times when he talks sweetly in his little boy voice, he’ll suddenly flare up in a hot-headed Aries way when he feels he’s been denied or mistreated (that’s when he storms out the door or throws a loud hissy fit). One moment his fiery emotions egg him on to "do his thing" and not give a damn, but next, his dependent Cancerian side demands unconditional, maternal approval from his close pals. Sean Hayes does a terrific job in acting out this common Cancer/Aries dilemma.

Karen

Astrology Horoscope: Megan MullallyAs Grace’s sassy "assistant," Scorpio Megan Mullally brilliantly plays Karen Walker. Wealthy socialite Karen looks and acts well heeled. In her own mind, she knows she’s a cut above the rest. But she’s also a hardcore boozer with a wicked tongue and an endless thirst for her "pick-me-up" cocktails whenever life starts to get too real. Scorpio, an emotionally intense sign, is prone toward deep fixations and sometimes self-destructive compulsions. Despite its surface display of power and control, its darker side battles internal demons. Although we never see Mullally’s character get too down in the dumps about anything, we realize that she’s one unhappy, confused gal who has turned denial into an art form.

Meanwhile, her Scorpio stinger is barbed wire sharp and ready to strike at any easy target. She quickly sees through people’s baloney. Yet, the fact that Karen doesn’t come off as cruel or mean-spirited is a credit to Mullally’s comic genius. While we sense Karen’s hidden baggage, we still laugh heartily at the unvarnished truths fueling her outrageous social commentary—thanks to Mullally’s fiery, outspoken Moon in Sagittarius. This Moon sign can’t help but find humor in everything, and thus has little trouble poking fun at life’s sacred cows. Like a Sagittarius Moon, Karen is also prone toward exaggeration and adopts a smart-mouth attitude. Megan Mullally thus draws from her own Scorpio/Sagittarius complexities to make her conflicted but comic character fascinatingly fun to watch.

Die-hard fans of this show would do well to learn more about the Sun and Moon signs I’ve mentioned just to gain extra insights into the psychological motivations of all four characters and the talented actors who expertly play them each week.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bil Tierney has been in professional practice for over 28 years. He is the author of Dynamics of Aspect Analysis (CRCS Publications, read in five languages), Twelve Faces of Saturn, Alive and Well With Neptune, Alive and Well with Uranus and Alive and Well with Pluto (Llewellyn Publications). His upcoming book, All Around The Zodiac: Exploring Astrology's Twelve Signs, will be released by Llewellyn in December 2001.

For more information about Bil Tierney, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Bil Tierney:

  • Two Goats Rockin'   5/3/2014
  • Anne Robinson: What's Her Weakest Link?   5/1/2001
  • Survivor II Showdown   4/22/2001
  • Susan Helms: Woman in Outer Space   4/8/2001
  • Faith Hill and Tim McGraw: Earth Signs in Love   2/20/2001
  • Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera: Sagittarians on Fire   2/15/2001
  • 'N Sync With Success   2/8/2001
  • Will Dr. Laura Conquer TV?   9/22/2000
  • Tina Turner's Farewell Song   8/26/2000
  • An Aries Wins Top Survivor Prize   8/24/2000
  • Bill Clinton Bares His Soul   8/11/2000
  • The Wizardry of J.K. Rowling   7/26/2000
  • Friends Strike It Rich!   7/14/2000
  • Russell Crowe: Aries on the Rise   6/3/2000
  • Steve Case: On Top of the World   2/16/2000
  • The Power of Celine   12/14/1999
  • Celine's Pluto Transit   12/14/1999
  • Uranus in Aquarius Rocks Garth's World   11/27/1999
  • Garth Brooks: Super Aquarius   11/27/1999

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