Much like the critically acclaimed Gilmore Girls, Grace and Frankie fits its prospective audience perfectly, keeping a slow but steady plot, filled with laughs and minor drama–perfect series to binge watch when you’re sick or just need a day to relax. Directed by Betty Thomas and created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris in 2015, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as women who begin to live together and become unlikely friends after their husbands, played by Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, come out as lovers. Lily Tomlin was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015 and 2016 for this role.
It all starts with a nice dinner together, in public, the perfect place to make a spectacle of yourselves while you wives throw food at you and yell after you tell them about your 20 year affair with each other. Obviously that wasn’t how Robert and Sol expected it to go, but Grace and Frankie have never been those to do the expected. That’s part of what makes their living arrangements, sharing their beach house, so odd. They’ve always been those ladies who gossip behind each other’s backs to their mutual friend Babe and smile to each other’s faces. But now, being put in the same position, they realize that no one else can truly understand the feeling that their entire marriage and life was a lie.
We also see the development of Robert and Sol’s relationship before and after their marriages, finding out the secrets that they hid while together in secret.
Not unexpectedly, the couples’ children also have a hard time adjusting, not knowing which side to stand on.
The overall cinematography is pretty good. It’s shown from far away, much like the cameras on a sitcom, so that one can almost observe what’s going on. There are no close ups really. This gives a stage-like effect that really adds to the overall show, not trying to draw viewers into the show but presenting them with the story.
The sets are present character and quirks of the characters. Frankie has her own meditation nook at the beach house, with a hanging woven chair and hippie-patterned pillows on the floor. Grace and Robert had a pristine house with nothing out of place, looking like r a picture from Good Housekeeping.
Throughout the series, the plot stands not only as a commentary on feminism and family values, but also on aging and how one’s life changes as we age. We experience what it’s like to be a female CEO of a cosmetics company, an elderly gay couple, a different race than your parents, and how the people in your life changes who you are. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Lillian Cohen currently attends Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, Massachusetts and is an active member and Chapter Board member of the United Synagogue Youth organization. She enjoys writing and is an intern at both the Worcester Journal and Worcester Magazine.
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