My millennial daughter adores Grace and Frankie and I find it fascinating –and important– that she likes to watch a show about two 70-something women.
If you haven’t watched Grace and Frankie, the Netflix series stars Jane Fonda (Grace) and Lily Tomlin (Frankie). These testy frenemies become housemates after their husbands come out of the closet and marry each other. Left to pick up the broken pieces of their marriages, they learn to accept and even love each other as they craft a new life together.
First my daughter says, “The show is funny and well written. It’s laugh out loud funny. Clever, cool and current.
“I think the content is ageless. Even though there are age related issues, it could be about any two women who move in together as roommates: their ups and downs, the differences in their characters and how two people adjust and accept each other.”
She finds it inspiring to see the stereotype of old age broken. Instead of age being scary, stagnant and boring, the show demonstrates that in fact it’s fascinating, rich and complex. “They seem to be having more fun that young people. It’s surprising that they seem like kids, still confused and trying to figure things out.”
She says that’s it’s comforting and educational to see how our heroines deal with the scary challenges of age, “The attitude to adopt in the face of heart attack, stroke, knee replacements, loss of driving ability, forgetfulness. There’s Grace’s alcoholism, and the issue of drug use and abuse.” We also discussed how they dealt with various age-related indignities: being scammed, being ignored, falling and not being able to get up. And of course, the sexuality of older people.
“Grace and Frankie’s clothes are fabulous,” she says. “It shows that you don’t have to be old and frumpy. Style doesn’t have to stop with age.” Frankie is boho chic and Grace is preppy to the max. DD admires how they indulge their passions unapologetically. Frankie loves her junk food, her painting and her new age lifestyle, complete with sex, drugs and rock n roll, whilst uptight Grace is an alcoholic and has her own personal pharmacy to self medicate.
My message to her was this: “The show affirms that life is a never ending quest for self realization and happiness. We never ‘arrive.’ There’s always the next adventure. And that’s a good thing.”
P.S. My DD pointed out to me that there are filters on the lenses of the film cameras to soften and seemingly erase the wrinkles. I wondered why Jane and Lily looked so good! I thought it was just makeup, but apparently, it’s way more than that.
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