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Photo: ‘Grace and Frankie’
‘Grace and Frankie’: Comedy For Everyone
Created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, ‘Grace and Frankie’ came to Netflix in 2015; only two years after they began making their own original content. When long-time work partners come out to their wives as lovers for the past twenty years, the two women try to cope with the new circumstance even though they have butted heads in the past. Grace and Frankie are total opposites, Grace being more uptight and conservative rather than Frankie being a free-spirited pothead. They live in a beach house together and navigate their new lives and learn how to be on their own.
The comedy comes in strong from the moment the show begins. There’s no beating the chemistry between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, but they have a wonderful cast that compliments them perfectly. Martin Sheen playing Robert, Grace’s ex-husband, and Sam Waterston playing Frankie’s ex-husband, Sol. The newly out couple portrays a loving gay couple that strays away from the stereotypes that have been in play for too long in the industry. Their adult children are brilliantly played by June Diane Raphael, Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, and Baron Vaughn. This show was an immediate hit and the target audience being everyone. It’s so very difficult for a show to be loved by more than one type of audience, but this show manages to get laughs from all ages. It will be a hard goodbye when the last episodes are released on Netflix.
Jane and Lily
‘Grace and Frankie’ wouldn’t work without the iconic duo of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Their friendship began on the set of ‘9-5’ over forty years ago. Fonda herself sought out for Tomlin to be involved in the film after she saw her in her one-woman show; after almost a year of convincing, she said yes. The infamous Dolly Parton was brought onto the project and an unforgettable trio was born in Hollywood. All coming from different backgrounds, but becoming very close friends and a female powerhouse. The plot of ‘9 to 5’ is pretty metaphorical when comparing the characters to Fonda and Tomlin working in Hollywood. Women take back the power when men are disgusting and use their position to take advantage of people. Fonda and Tomlin have always had each other’s back and fought against the mistreatment of women in the industry and also have been huge activists in several areas. They even did a Ted Talk together speaking about the importance of female friendships.
It sure comes in handy with their onscreen chemistry of not being able to stand each other to becoming best friends. The show captivates the importance of having a support system that understands what you are going through.
What this show does is break stereotypes that have been ingrained in society for a long time. To begin with, it’s rare to see shows that are based around older people. The main four are in their 80s now! It’s incredible to see them still working in their careers after such a successful filmography from all of them. In Hollywood, age is sadly an important thing to the industry. It’s rare to see people act their age and once they hit 50 the only roles they have are grandpa and grandma. This show takes all of that away and focuses on what life is like for people who are older and still full of life.
The other more important representation in this show is Robert and Sol’s relationship. Having a twenty-year-long affair isn’t so lovely, but watching their relationship blossom as they deal with coming out of the closet is something that is so rare to see. Coming out of the closet is a difficult thing to do at any age, but especially after living what people would consider most of their lifetime. It’s wonderful to see the ups and downs of exploring that relationship rather than relying on the normal stereotypes that are placed on LGBTQ+ couples. Seeing the support around them is very heart-warming as their families embrace this change, even though struggles are bound to happen. Overall, ‘Grace and Frankie’ has hit a homerun with representation and raising awareness for the past seven seasons.
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When covid-19 hit the film industry came to a grinding halt. With everyone inside and not being able to physically see family and friends, film and TV became the heart of everyone. Streaming was at an all-time high and it was then that the world realized that art and entertainment are worth more than anyone could imagine. ‘Grace and Frankie’ was no exception to having to stop in the middle of production. While filming the final season seven, the pandemic stopped production with the unknowing of when they would be able to begin filming again. There was hope to return to the studios at the beginning of 2021 in January, but with cases still at a high, they delayed shooting again. It wasn’t until after over a year-long hiatus Fonda and Tomlin were able to join again on the screen. In June 2021 filming resumed creating more anticipation to see what Grace and Frankie have in store to say their goodbyes.
Netflix knew that fans have been waiting for the comedy duo to come back and a reward must be given for that patience. On August 13, Fonda and Tomlin took to Netflix’s Twitter to announce that the first four episodes of season seven were released. Fans were ecstatic with the news and are excited to see what’s next.
As we say our final goodbyes to the longest-running show on Netflix, we look back and praise everything that it has done for fans. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin gifted the world with many laughs and tears, it’s tough to see it go, but it will live in Netflix history.
Stream ‘Grace and Frankie’ on Netflix today!
Actors: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, June Diane Raphael, Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, and Baron Vaughn
Created and Produced by: Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris | Directors: Rebecca Asher, Ken Whittingham, and more | Writers: Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris
By Jack Colin
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Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.