What Netflix’s Grace and Frankie gets right…

When you tune into a show based on the premise of two women in their golden years who are left by their husbands, that’s not exactly groundbreaking.  When said husbands have been having a 20 year long affair, it’s easy to hate and vilify them.  When that affair is with each other, we enter a whole new world of character development and levels.

In the words of the befuddled but oh-so-trying-to-be-accepting adult children:

We can’t even be mad at you. Because you’re gay!

Backed by the acting chops of screen and stage stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston and created by TV legends Marta Kauffman, and Howard J. Morris; the show packs a powerful and emotional punch.  The characters are well developed.  The dialogue is real, and the emotions run the gambit. We see the true human spectrum through the eyes of Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), but also through the men who have hurt them and are dealing with that layer of guilt while trying to plan the next chapter of their lives together. Waterston especially does an amazing job of marrying his joy at the new chance with the hurt he’s caused, but both men do a superb job of showing that they are suffering a loss too. They are all utterly human and beautiful to watch.

The show tackles topics of homosexuality, death, divorce, and addiction with humor and heart.  If season 2 continues in this vein, Grace and Frankie will be just fine.

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