Compromising Positions

A sex ed blog with more

Grace & Frankie

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU WILL FLIP OUT ABOUT LEARNING CERTAIN THINGS ABOUT THE SHOW BEFORE YOU’VE FINISHED THE SEASON.

Grace & Frankie, what a show! I cannot stop gushing about how great this show is: people in their 70’s being sexual, showing love and affection, getting stoned, drunk, and lashing out. And with HUGE names, too! It’s incredible to think that Martin Sheen was all: oh, you want me to kiss a dude? Sweet. I’m all over it. Him. Yeah! (That’s my interpretation, of course)

It is absolutely incredible to see big name actors in their 70s as the main characters of a sitcom. We’ve got Grace, played by Jane Fonda, a recently retired savvy businesswoman who is always well put together and Frankie, played by Lily Tomlin, a free-spirited art teacher. These are two people who are entirely different but end up becoming great friends and roommates and learn a lot from each other. The basic premise of the show: Grace & Frankie’s husbands come out as gay lovers who want to marry one another after having been married to their wives for 40 years.

We see them coming out, being happy, kissing one another, planning a wedding, and trying to navigate the waters of their new lives. We see the wives, Grace & Frankie, figure out how to move on from 40 year marriages. They re-learn how to flirt, interact with different people, get through heartbreak, and show us that “old people” are sexual beings. Frankie even makes homemade sweet potato lube, specifically for Grace to use!

We are FINALLY given a glimpse of what life can be like for people older than 60; people who are parents and grandparents, who have jobs and hobbies, who have feelings and routines, who are upwardly mobile – literally and figuratively. We see how everyone in both families copes with the divorces and the subsequent engagement.

It’s really interesting to see how the adult children understand and cope with the situation. There are a LOT of opinions, emotions, and dynamics. An entire lifetime with each family, plus every vacation and holiday with the other family … that’s 30 years of memories to question. Throw in the fact that Frankie and Sal’s kids are both adopted (because they were unable to conceive) and one is black while the other is an addict, and you’ve got a whole new set of fascinating moments, issues, and emotions to unpack. But the best part is that the people in their 30s are not the focus of the show.

Being that it’s a sitcom there are certain stereotypes and tropes that are employed, and it’s quite entertaining. Personally, I am a big fan of Frankie’s reluctance to embrace technology and how she copes with a brand new laptop. I love how they make jokes about their age, but not in a way that is self-deprecating. I love that they know themselves so well, as they’ve had 70 years to figure things out. I love that they are hesitant about embracing certain new things, but so excited about others. I love that Frankie and Sal are openly Jewish. All of these things add layers to the show.

If you’re considering watching this show, PLEASE DO. Each episode is 22 minutes so you can get through it really quickly. It shows us that people in their 70s (and older) face challenges, come out, want to be married, want to and can be sexual. It shows us that no one really has their titch together, and we’re all simply trying to figure it out. It shows us how important friendships really are, and that family is who you choose as well as who is thrust upon you.

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