It’s difficult to see William in a stable relationship as I believe the character worked best as the “male” girlfriend. Getting him into a relationship meant that the character would spend the same amount of time on the show in the endless loop of whether he loves the person he is with or not, much like the very girlfriends he would give advice to.
Fans of the show always seem to attack Lynn as a character because of the fact that she was a slacker. I see it differently. Every sitcom has always had the “loopy” friend who told crazy stories. Kramer on Seinfeld always did that and it very nearly became the reason the show was even watched in the first place. Sometimes you just need a wacky character like Lynn to spice things up.
Given that defense, I did have a problem with the producers making up a plot in which Lynn and William get married. What was the point of that? I realize there are things that you would do for a friend, but getting married to beat someone else to the altar is not something anyone logically would do and certainly not with someone as “smooching” as Lynn. The embarrassment I felt for White and Hayes acting in that plot set-up is the fact that the end result is Lynn giving away the alimony check (from their quick divorce) to support a charity auction for Joan that her job asked her to do.
Again, what the hell?
Maya’s storyline seemed to be the only one that works and actually felt like a piece of reality. She’s was a newly single mother who was working her way up in life and yet always feeling like she’s going backwards, especially when she’s tried to start college again in her mid-30s. Things pick up by the end of the season when a book she wrote is picked up by a major publisher.
Golden Brooks, in an interview with BlackVoices, revealed that she was originally asked to play Toni Childs. If she had chosen to play Toni, I don’t think that would have been an expansion of her talents. Maya is more a real person with real desires and real issues. She’s the only one who from the start of the series had a real family life. Although the producers felt it necessary to through that into chaos in the last couple of seasons, she didn’t go all the way crazy as Joan, Lynn, and Toni did eventually as did — well, if you can excuse the episode where she and Lynn fought out for the affections of Jalen (Rockmond Dunbar) who played the “I hate you so much I love you” next door neighbor.