We went camping for the Victoria Day weekend, which inevitably means mountains of laundry at the end. Monday night we started loading up the washer and decided to watch the new series Grace and Frankie as we folded and sorted. I love both Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, so I was predisposed to like the series, which also has Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston on board.
If you’re not familiar with the story, Grace and Frankie’s husbands are divorce lawyers who’ve been working together for decades. In the first episode, they reveal to their wives that they’re also lovers, and want a shot at happiness together as they’re tired of hiding. Both couples have kids and the two families have been connected for years. The series looks at how these connections change as the relationships of the parents change.
The comedy hinges on Grace and Frankie’s differences as they cope. Grace is driven to control, and wants privacy as she deals with the changes. Frankie is open to her feelings, her art, and her people. The two haven’t been buddies all the long years, and now they are pushed together as property and support payouts are in process.
Each woman mourns the loss of husband and marriage and is surprised by the turn of circumstances, but neither turns to homophobia. I like that. Many comedies would use this slyly even as society becomes more accepting. Grace and Frankie are dealing with a loss, but they’re not talking about their husbands’ relationship as something to be scorned.
In the last episode we watched (spoiler alert), Grace was going on a date, and poo-poohed Frankie’s suggestion she take condoms along. Frankie told her that more seniors are getting STIs because of erectile dysfunction drugs (and crummy safe sex education), which is true. Frankie sneaks some in Grace’s bag just in case.
This many episodes in, I think so far so good: older women as main characters dealing with the shifts that marriage break ups bring and impact on family, sexuality and self-preservation. I’m looking forward to more.
Last week I hit an emotional wall when I read about the ten year old girl in Paraguay who was raped by her stepfather (1), became pregnant (2), and couldn’t get an abortion (3). Ten years old. Wham, wham wham. Both my children are older than ten, and neither is even close to ready […]
The uproar regarding the Ontario Sex education curriculum charges on, and many parents chose to keep their kids out of school Monday in protest. Robin Levinson King wrote a good piece sorting out the facts of the curriculum from the fiction that offended parents are circulating. Some of the claims say that kids will be […]
Violence against women is a worldwide mindset that’s found in every country. Male-dominated traditions, religious writings justifying misogyny, and political apathy play significant parts in its continuation. Recent Pulitzer Prize winning series, Till Death Do Us Part painfully captures the intersections of these parts, and how women and children end up losing time after time. […]
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