This week’s edition of “For Your Consideration” showcases Grace and Frankie, a diamond in the rough of Netflix’s original content. It features an ensemble cast of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston. Each season delivers what most look for in a Netflix comedy: binge-worthy laughs and a few tears.
Grace (Fonda), a tightly-wound retired businesswoman, and Frankie (Tomlin), a pot-loving artist hippie, are in their 70s and absolutely loathe each other. Their connection is a forced friendship via their law firm-sharing husbands, Robert and Sol (Sheen and Waterston). However, in the premiere episode, the men drop a bombshell: they’ve secretly been gay lovers for years and are divorcing the women to marry each other. Grace and Frankie move in together out of necessity, and their friendship takes off to a rocky flight. It may sound like a contrived plot of a daytime soap opera, but the all-star cast gives believable performances that ground the narrative.
The subsequent episodes and seasons follow the fallout of their marriages, reconciliation and forgiveness of wrongdoings, and moving forward in life. Most importantly, season three features Grace and Frankie’s unique business venture—vibrators for older women.
The show also follows the children from the two marriages: Grace and Robert’s daughters, Mallory (Brooklyn Decker) and Brianna (June Diane Raphael), and Frankie and Sol’s adopted sons, Coyote (Ethan Embry) and Nwabudike “Bud” (Baron Vaughn). Each child has their own struggles involving similar plights of their parents: love, divorce, friendship, and occasional hijinks.
Why You Should Watch
Not only is Grace and Frankie hilarious, but it also gives deep insight on getting older for young folks. Life in your 70s may not be much different than life in your 20s. Grace, Frankie, Robert, and Sol deal with much of what millennials go through: friendship, drugs, sex, love, coming out, break-ups, and family.
By portraying this well-seasoned quartet of Hollywood elders as energetic and youthful, Grace and Frankie keeps younger viewers invested and makes their lives relatable. However, it also makes the characters’ struggles hit hard when they come. How could people so vibrant and full of life have failing health? These bittersweet thoughts are what give the show its heart. Each episode has the ability to take viewers on an emotional thrill ride in just short of thirty minutes.
The most important reason to watch is for Fonda, Tomlin, Sheen, and Waterston. They all give Emmy-worthy and career best performances. What makes their work spectacular is that viewers may start to wonder how much of themselves are in these characters. I would totally believe that Lily Tomlin got Jane Fonda to drink peyote on the beach one night (season one, episode one). And what thought isn’t more Jane Fonda chic than her walking around set with a martini in hand (every single episode, essentially)?
Season four is currently in production and will debut in 2018.