Grace and Frankie
What makes it even more exciting to me, as a queer woman, is that not only are we being treated to these stories of our elders but that queerness is acknowledged and exists amongst older people in this television series. … My one bone to pick with ‘Grace and Frankie,’ for all of my true and deep love, is the decision to make Sol and Robert come out as being gay after 40 years of consummated, loving marriage to their wives. Surely, there was a possibility they were in fact bisexual?
Bisexuality is commonly erased in the media, despite there being many examples of characters attracted to multiple genders.
Tomlin and Fonda’s onscreen chemistry is absolutely spot on, giving life to moments that may otherwise have fallen flat. One of the most refreshing things about Grace and Frankie is its attitude to female sexuality in older women. Life (moreover, sex) doesn’t have to stop because you’re getting older. The series illustrates this with frankness and honesty, and we don’t shy away from seeing the woman in that light.
On the eve of the release of season 3 of ‘Orange is the New Black,’ and while the rest of the world’s feminist media critics still struggle to sort out ‘Sense8,’ I decided to take a look at one of Netflix’s least-buzzed-about original series: ‘Grace and Frankie,’ which premiered in May to little fanfare outside a late night tweet from one Miley Cyrus. ‘Grace and Frankie’ stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the title characters, whose husbands Robert and Sol (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) leave them for each other after admitting to a 20-years-running affair. Grace and Frankie move into the beach house the couples shared and forge an unlikely friendship while navigating the single life for septuagenarians. The show has its charms, such that I might have watched the entire season without journalistic integrity as a motivation, but ‘Grace and Frankie’ let me down in a lot of ways:
I owe a great debt to Tomlin for helping me discover comedy, for helping shape my sense of humor, and for helping me define a sense of identity that might not have ever emerged without her. How can anyone argue that women aren’t funny, when my sole entire reason for making people laugh was inspired by a (funny) woman?
Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!