TV Shows | 9.28.2017

Will and Grace (1998) – Season 1, Ep 1 – Lindt-Stymeist Linen and Sand

Will and Grace  | Season 1, Episode 1 - Pilot

The reboot of Will and Grace is an iconic delight for us 90s fans. We can all remember the first time Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen danced into our lives. The year was 1998. Nuclear tests were being conducted by India and Pakistan. Bill Clinton was enmeshed in the Lewinsky scandal. Gay marriage was not legal. Hearts went on (and on and on and on and on) over the Titanic. The second Harry Potter book was released. Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela. Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead in Laramie, WY. Hundreds died in US embassy attacks orchestrated by Osama bin Laden. Pop Up Video was still a thing. A year of excitement, devastation, and confusion as to why Jack couldn’t also fit on the floating door…

In the 1998 pilot episode, Will is recovering from his breakup with Michael. Meanwhile, Grace is contemplating breaking up with Danny.

What made this show compelling from the start was the connection between the title characters; in the first episode, it seemed as if they had been around each other for decades. The level of familiarity and intimacy can be hard to grasp in any show, especially a pilot.

This show of connection and intimacy was especially evident during the classic $25,000 Pyramid scene. Will and Grace are having a dinner party with friends, Rob and Ellen. After dinner, they retire to the living room to play the Pyramid. After a brief interruption (tantrum) from Jack, the game commences. Throughout this scene, we see two Lindt-Stymeist patterns – Linen and Sand. Sand features a mustardy brown background color with flecks of darker brown, while Linen is a creamy tan. Both of these complementary patterns share the same body shape and only differ in color.

The Linen and Sand patterns are an excellent selection, both because the patterns were produced from 1996-2006, and because Will embodies a masculine, architectural edge in his overall demeanor and taste. It makes perfect sense that a gay man in Manhattan during the 1990s with a good job and fabulous apartment would have chosen these dishes.

John Stymeist, a talented artist based near San Francisco, became known for the simple shapes and complex glazes of his ceramic pieces. Galleries and collectors were hungry for his beautifully crafted decorative accessories. When he could no longer keep up with the orders that began to flow in from small specialty stores he developed a partnership both with Lindt and a small craft factory in central Japan. “One of the reasons for my long association with this production facility is their quality control and attention to detail that is essential in producing my designs. I believe my stoneware to be the best in the world. This is due in part to my exacting specifications and the precise firing techniques required to produce our unique glazes.” – John Stymeist, about his connection to Lindt.


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