Friday, April 21, 2017

So are you Grace or Frankie?

When the TV series Grace and Frankie premiered, I was already waiting in anticipation to watch it. Now, in its third season, with a fourth already green-lighted, I am an avid fan. Why does it hold so much of my TV viewing attention? Well, that beach house certainly fascinates me. The outfits on those two women, not to mention TV daughter Brianna’s figure hugging power suits, are also yummylicious. But above all, it’s Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in their roles as seventy-something friends who try to navigate their way through their newly single lives and often cantankerous relationship who make the is series so absorbing.

Grace and Frankie is light-hearted comedy to be sure. I mean, the premise of two women abandoned by their respective husbands who are secretly in love with each other and have now openly declared their gay relationship? That’s already mirth-inducing.

Grace is the uptight control freak, a former businesswoman who believes in maintaining proper decorum, while Frankie is the free spirit, the flower child artist moved by her moods and inner voice. Forced by circumstance to live together in a gorgeous beach house, they rub each other incessantly, often with hilarious results. They have to deal with their husband’s marriage, and decide what to do with the rest of their lives. Of course there are romantic interests for both women, and I’m sure they will play out in episodes to come.

Both women, who must be in their seventies in real life, have glowing skin, hardly unlined. Whatever work they must have had done (they must have, right?) is really well done. Or they have excellent make-up artists. I’ve seen them on talk shows as well so it can’t just be the lighting on the show.

I’d like to be Grace, just for her outfits alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fonda wrote it into her contract that she would get to keep all of them, because she dresses like that in real life as well. Beautiful cashmere turtlenecks. Elegant pantsuits. All in cool colors and matching accessories. Her posture is ramrod straight (all that dancing and exercise videos!) so she carries the clothes so elegantly. Frankie has some pretty neat clothes as well. And head scarves. I wouldn’t mind some of the caftans, although her clogs are a no-no.

I love that beach house they live in (have I mentioned the beach house?). I know it’s a TV set, but still, I want to hire that interior set designer. Casual chic furnishings in cool colors (Fonda probably made sure they would complement her outfits!) and even the tableware is awesome. I have actually paused an episode when the beach house is feature just to ogle at a cushion cover!

Perhaps what I love about these two women, when they can overcome their angst about their ex-husbands, is what great conversations they have with each other. They are obviously coming to terms with their lives, moving past the mistakes of the past and relishing what life has to offer them now, in what Fonda has often called the third act.

Sure it’s make-believe, they don’t have money problems or serious illnesses but they are tackling some of the issues that us seniors are grappling with. Am I Grace or Frankie? I guess a little of both. I am a control freak, but also give in to my artistic tendencies occasionally. I love how Grace is always having a tipple of martini and can get roaring drunk. Frankie is the weed-smoking hippie with her bongs. Now who wouldn’t want to hang out with these two when they’re obviously having so much fun in their seventies?

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