Netflix weren’t messing around when they picked this cast – Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Michael Sheen and Sam Waterston? With that line up, you just know you’re in for a treat.
And that’s exactly what this show is. The series follows the lives of two couples, Grace and Robert, and Frankie and Sol. Well, at least they’re couples at the beginning. Then Robert and Sol leave their wives for each other.
Then, Grace and Frankie become a mismatched, platonic couple of their own. Grace is a loud, self-assured vodka-quaffing woman of the world, Frankie a hippy, weed-smoking, space cadet, and they both must try and get over this cataclysmic change – naturally, they look in the worst places for comfort. Booze, drugs, dating apps. And it’s brilliantly funny and emotionally intelligent. It forces you to consider this impossible situation – they’re torn between wanting happiness for their former husbands, and for themselves.
And their very different ways of dealing with it are completely relatable – Grace is furious, and Frankie distraught. The relationship between these completely contrasting characters is fantastic to watch, but then again, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Fonda and Tomlin.
This real and honest portrayal of senior life has been much loved by many, The Telegraph’s Sarah Carson praising Grace and Frankie for being “lighthearted in celebrating the continued vigour of people in the later years of their lives, addressing their concerns without reducing its characters to fumbling old biddies with a lost sense of purpose.” Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson called the first season “lukewarm” but said “whatever the hook of the show is, it’s working on me.”
The New York Times’ Mike Hale was equally charmed by the show’s second season, saying the fact that, “Grace and Frankie generates real feeling has everything to do with its stars. Mr. Sheen and, especially, Mr. Waterston overact merrily as Robert and Sol…But Ms. Fonda, as the glamorous and imperious Grace, and Ms. Tomlin, as the aging-hippie sentimentalist Frankie, are the sole and sufficient reason to watch.”
First shown May 2015. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.