GIMME FIVE: Reasons we’re watching ‘Grace and Frankie’ this Mother’s Day

Need a little lady-powered pick-me-up this weekend, not to mention something to do with your mom, or other special maternal figure in your life? Well, looks like Netflix has you covered.

Today marks the series debut of Grace and Frankie, Netflix’s new comedy starring none other than Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. It’s certainly not a perfect show, what with its first episode kinda borrowing from Transparent (turns out the husbands of Fonda and Tomlin’s title characters, played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, want to leave them to embrace their love of one another and get married) and some of the jokes trying a bit too hard. But it’s definitely the perfect complement to Mother’s Day weekend, where the emphasis should be on celebrating strong women and relaxing. And here are our cases in point.

It’s a 9 to 5 reunion, minus Dolly

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

In the first six episodes, there are no signs of Dolly Parton, who co-starred with Tomlin and Fonda in perfect office revenge flick 9 to 5. But who knows what could be coming in the second half of the season!

And hey, getting Tomlin and Fonda back together is already pretty damn rad. Plus, they’re not playing carbon copies of their 9 to 5 characters, with Tomlin taking on a zen persona as free-spirited Frankie, and Fonda channeling a more cynical socialite type to play Grace.

It’s co-created by Marta Kauffman

Howard J. Morris, Marta Kauffman

Photo: Eric Charbonneau/Netflix

You know, the cooler than cool woman who co-created Friends and totally created Veronica’s Closet?! Amazing, right?

It’s realistic about women getting older

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

Right from the first episode, you can tell this is not some sort of glossy, Nancy Meyers take on aging (love you, Nancy, but not all of us will have Meryl Streep or Diane Keaton’s seemingly effortless, yet sophisticated wardrobes in menopause). The series premiere, for example, features a scene of Grace removing her hair pieces, revealing her less lively, but more natural hairstyle. Meanwhile, Frankie pretty much lets it all hang out, her long greying hair left untouched. It’s a reminder that we all deal with aging differently, but it definitely has its effects.

It’s got a bunch of great actresses in supporting roles 

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

We’re talking June Diane Raphael and Mary Kay Place, people. Two women with three names who also take them when they’re on the screen. Oh, and Brooklyn Deker too!

It’s about female friendship above all

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

Photo: Melissa Moseley for Netflix

Sure, the whole husbands-turning-gay plot is a recurring, but it’s certainly not the strength of the show. In fact, that plot seems like an all-too-timely device to get the real plot: two women finding solace and friendship in each other after years of being at odds.


The first season of GRACE and FRANKIE is now streaming on Netflix and Netflix Canada. 


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