Television/Streaming Series Review: GRACE AND FRANKIE

The seven season, ninety-four episodes series GRACE AND FRANKIE (2015-2022) on Netflix is a delightfully funny and poignant watch, filled with a mix of lovable and annoying characters. I thought Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Martin Sheen were especially excellent. Ms. Tomlin’s Frankie is a fantastical hodgepodge of hippie, New Age flakiness, and silly eccentric. She seemed to be enjoying herself playing this comedy’s most unrealistic, stereotypes-derived role. She takes “colorful” to the next level, including with wearing some fantastic clothing and jewelry, especially in the final season.

The show revolves around two families united together through Robert Hanson (Martin Sheen) and Sol Bergstein (Sam Waterston), who own a legal practice specializing in divorce law. After twenty years of being in love, over a seafood dinner in a restaurant one night, the two finally come out to their wives, Grace Hanson (Jane Fonda) and Frankie Bergstein (Tomlin). From there, the primary focus is on Grace and Frankie developing a deep bond in the initially devastating wake of their husband’s leaving them for each other. The central characters’ four grown children bring their own share of humor and drama.

GRACE AND FRANKIE resorts to fantasy and “what if” scenarios at times, though not too much to wear thin. This added a dimension of creative imagination that I myself very much appreciated. Filmed largely in sunny Los Angeles, California, doubling as San Diego, this CA native enjoyed the scenery while weathering yet another New England winter.

Due to the series’ mix of writers and directors, many viewers will likely find the quality somewhat uneven in places. Personally, I think all of the actors, especially Fonda, Tomlin, and Sheen, effectively carried the show. Fonda as the straight-laced, alcoholic, “all business” Grace is a perfect foil to Tomlin’s pot-smoking, creative, and politically progressive Frankie. I was thrilled to see these two talented, long-lived actresses get such plumb, enjoyable roles. Bravo for them, as well as for Sheen and Waterston.

4 thoughts on “Television/Streaming Series Review: GRACE AND FRANKIE

  1. I’ve watched a bunch of first season thanks to your enthusiasm. I LOVE Frankie’s character (🤣🤣🤣 she’s like one of the “me-s” of high school and college fast-forwarded to age 70…still there just not binary identifying). It’s a decent show so far. And nice to see old-timer actors together in ensemble.
    Clearly you’re not a fan of Sam Waterstone; I’ve always really liked him; maybe because I seem to always see him in similar sorts of roles as the quieter, sensitive man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad my enthusiasm led to your watching the show and, so far, enjoying it.

      I actually respect Sam Waterston as an actor. He is very good in the different LAW AND ORDER TV series he appears in as a recurring character. I don’t personally find him as interesting as other actors, such as Martin Sheen, but that is a matter of personal taste and not judgment of his talent. I do find Waterston’s character Sol Bergstein rather annoying much of the time on GRACE AND FRANKIE. Again, personal taste.

      Liked by 1 person

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