Let’s be real, chances are that you are binge watching at least one show at this given moment. While there is a plethora of shows that you could be watching, there’s one which you shouldn’t miss out on: Grace and Frankie.
Grace, played by Jane Fonda, is a retired business woman with the perfect collection of cashmere sweaters while Frankie, played by Lily Tomlin, is a burlap wearing artist who is often found with a joint in her hand. The first episode leaves you wondering what happens next as both of their husbands take them out to dinner to reveal the 20-year-long affair they’ve had with each other. Grace and Frankie, who never cared for one another earlier are now forced to live together, and it is absolutely heartwarming to watch this relationship grow into a powerful female friendship as the show progresses.
We, as millennials, grew up with a stereotypical notion of female friendships. We were always told that it’s better to be friends with boys because there will be less drama which, consciously or subconsciously, built a very derogatory image of female friendships in our heads. It is somehow a given that women turn on each other, and the only string holding them together is ‘gossip’. Here, it becomes important to have a show like Grace and Frankie which restores our faith in female friendships. To see two 70-something year olds find hope in each other as friends at an extremely tedious point in their lives gives a certain sense of security that we never witnessed growing up.
Grace and Frankie doesn’t just reclaim female friendships, but female sexuality too. Towards the end of season 2, they get into business together to make, that’s right, vibrators! The show dives into the dating and intimate lives of 70-year-olds in a way which normalizes it to an extent, you’re almost excited to see what’d be in store for you then. It doesn’t shy away from conversations about sex, the vagina, and female masturbation. In fact, as a part of one of the episodes, Grace and Frankie decide to visit their best customer with a bunch of balloons shaped like a vagina!
We were always told that it’s better to be friends with boys because there will be less drama which, consciously or subconsciously, built a very derogatory image of female friendships in our heads.
More often than not, conversations of work and romance are closed to older women. Even though the immediate families of both Grace and Frankie are shown to be supportive and liberal, they have their own slip ups. “How do I explain to my children that their grandma makes sex toys for other grandmas?” Grace’s daughter asks her. “I’ll tell you what you can tell them, honey,” Grace responds. “We’re making things for people like us. Because we are sick and tired of being dismissed by people like you.” The show is sprinkled with incidents like this which lead the highway to conversations about an old woman’s right to masturbate.
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Another thing the show does, is show an older gay couple living together. Whenever gay narratives are talked about, it’s always teens figuring their sexuality out. It is rarely older men being happily together. Throughout the show Sol, played by Sam Waterson and Robert, played by Martin Sheen, come across as everything but a stereotypical gay couple. The show smashes the stereotypical media portrayal of gay men as being awfully feminine.
Grace and Frankie doesn’t just reclaim female friendships, but female sexuality too. Towards the end of season 2, they get into business together to make, that’s right, vibrators!
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The show also raises important conversation about the hushed careers of older actresses. It is imperative to notice how the show revolves around four 70-something year olds, while having a millennial audience base. Due to the reduction of actresses to merely supportive sexual figures in mainstream media, their careers are bound to go downhill. With Grace and Frankie, Jane Fonda (81) and Lily Tomlin (80) reclaim their screen time. Fonda and Tomlin have had an impeccable comic timing, and it’ll be a shame to miss out on this non-problematic humour.
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