Sunday, August 23, 2015



If loving Netflix is wrong, then I don't want to be right, or  even $9.99 a month richer. Any streaming service that could bring me the glory that is Grace and Frankie deserves an exclusive relationship with me.  I am yours, Netflix! Pick me up at eight, don't be late.
"Oh, Netflix. You're so dreamy!"

Grace and Frankie is a comedy about two couples in their 70's who are forced to deal with the painful reality that an illicit relationship within the foursome is going to bring an end to both marriages. It seems that Grace Hanson (Jane Fonda) and Frankie Bergstein (Lily Tomlin) will be starting life anew, as their husbands,  Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston,)  have been secret lovers for decades.  At this point in their lives, the men want to make their relationship public and marry. Naturally, this sends their wives into a tail spin, and they each want to retreat in private to the beach house the two families bought together years ago. Unfortunately, they both own the house, so must agree to share it. This puts the glamorous, elitist Grace in constant proximity with hippy earth-mother Frankie.

Lest you think this is The Odd Couple meets The Golden Girls, you wouldn't be completely wrong.   But, there's more to it. It's not just a matter of it being a high quality show. Yes, it is well-written in the hands of Marta Kauffman and Howard Morris. Obviously, it is well-acted based just on the headlining stars. Of course it's funny, timely, sensitive and even, at times, silly. But, this ain't your Nana's "golden years." In fact, there's not a pair of house slippers or a cup of hot cocoa to be found. The beauty of this show lies far more in what it is not than what it is.

It is not about the elderly. Grace and Frankie are women, first and foremost. The fact that they are in their seventh decade of life is not brushed under the rug, but it's not the point. This show would work if they were in their 40's.  Grace is still at the helm of the cosmetics company she founded, and Frankie is an artist, vegetarian, environmentalist, and follower of social causes, as well as a certified amateur sleuth and certified amateur psychologist.  The writers do not let their age define these characters, but they do not hesitate to bring up situations that may or may not occur with women of a certain decade of life. Such as:
and this:

But, most of all, this:

This show isn't about being gay. Cool, rational  Robert and sensitive Sol are respected attorneys who are maneuvering divorce and remarriage. Though they are gay men of a certain age, they are people, first. More to the fact, they are fathers and ex-husbands. The show does not attempt to present itself as something ground-breaking and significant with regards to its two main male characters. There are no lofty speeches or tear-jerking moments to give us the opportunity to pat ourselves on the back as to "how far we've come." Besides, their adult children, Sol and Frankie's adopted son's, recovering-addict Coyote and African-American Nwabudike, and Robert and Grace's uptight daughters, Mallory (who had an affair with Coyote) and Brianna (who has a constant love affair with herself), don't have time for that. They each have their own problems, the least of which is participating in an adult version of "Some People Have Two Dads." Meanwhile, the two men are getting along as best they can, as we all do.

The show is not for children, so if you are only comfortable with family-friendly television, this is not for you. The language and the situations are what make it feel as if this forward march we are all making towards assisted-living might have some really, really good times along the way - for the grown-ups amongst us, that is. When the kids decide to throw their dads a bachelor party, they assume, because their dads are gay, that they will enjoy a giant rodeo penis on the front lawn as well as other immodesties.  Robert and Sol are mortified. When Grace has sex with an old friend, Guy (Craig T. Nelson,) Frankie whips her up a batch of her plant-based, all-natural vaginal lubricant. Grace's daughter, Brianna, is mortified.

The show is also not just one continuous stream of punchlines. There are real emotions going on.  Fortunately, they are not presented in a "for your consideration," very-special-episode style. These moments are so fleeting and quick that they hit you right in the gut, thus, making the next belly laugh a bit uncomfortable. In fact, for your consideration:

Best of all, Grace and Frankie is not is a one-season show. It's been renewed!!
I'll be tuning in, and I suggest you do, too. Until then -


  1. Yes, we watch it. And we love it. And you hit all the right notes with these comments Zsus, thank you!