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Many trashed the Netflix show, Grace and Frankie — but here’s what it aced

The good, the bad, the ugly and the awesome!

Starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, the Netflix show, Grace and Frankie, caught my attention immediately for its cliche of a plot — type A meets type B — two women with polarised personalities coming together and trying to work it out.

For those who haven’t caught up on the series, here’s a 3-line crash course to the plot:

  1. Two law firm partners married to different women for more than two decades come out as gay lovers who want to now get married to each other.
  2. Forced to move out, the wives lay claims on the beach house shared by the two families, and have to eventually, move in together reluctantly.
  3. These two women must now find ways to working out this arrangement as the gay couple navigates the unknown land of freedom and awkwardness of coming out so late.

Now, that we have it out of our way in the first episode itself, what follows is the how these two ex-wives turn into housemates, friends and business partners. The next 6 seasons are all about that.

What most people didn’t like in the show (it’s actually true)

  1. The characters are reduced to caricatures. The only reason the two women do not get along seems to be originating from their polarising world-view. That could have done with a little more depth, especially with the leading ladies.
  2. The chemistry in the gay couple, although charming, lacks passion. Even I could sense it and felt the urge to fast-forward their scenes. But, I didn’t. I just love stories and want to feel what an audience feels when seeing shallow characters and scenes, so that I don’t make the same mistakes.
  3. The show wanted to show that there’s more life and less drama once you cross the 80s age mark. They felt disappointed that the characters are still struggling with problems that most young people do. And, that is not good — you’re seeing your silver-haired self making the same mistakes as if you’ll never learn a thing in life. That’s unsettling, isn’t it?

Honestly, no. It’s actually a relief

Give me a nod if in your messy, confused teenage years you thought that going to college and just graduating will fix your life. That you will have it all figured out as soon as you land a job or an internship. That the struggle would be over.

I’m nodding. I was such a teen.

During my early job years, the early 20s, I realised how naive I was to assume that this would the ‘figured-out’ phase. So, I heave out a sigh and forgive my younger self and once again, assume that it will most likely happen as I get married and reach my 30s.

Guess what! I have crossed those milestones and I still find life’s crossroads running into me every now and then. Each day swings between stoicism and existentialism. So, when I watched Grace and Frankie, I stumbled upon two things I badly needed — hope and relief.

Hope

Hope that even when my hair turns silver, I’ll still be on a journey within Like Frankie. Doing soul searching every day. I’ll still be having boy troubles and insecurities like Grace, be those related to my husband or kids or grandkids. I’ll still be trying to fix the faucet myself before reluctantly caving in to call a plumber.

Grace and Frankie gave me hope that some things will not change and that familiarity of things, people and patterns brought me relief.

Relief

Relief that if these two women — one successful in business and another a free-spirited hippie (both are the kinds of women I want to be, but somehow, I’m just always stuck in the middle)— couldn’t figure out their shit till their 80s, I should stop bothering myself about that.

That’s liberating. A burden off my chest.

These days, I’m toeing the line between chaos and discipline. It’s not a place people want to vacation at, but it’s a hell lot of fun. Just like Grace and Frankie — the chaos of life meets the structure and a charmingly relatable riot ensues.

A bit like BoJack Horseman

The show is a bit like BoJack Horseman — eerily relatable. And yet, it isn’t like that — not that deep context with well-developed character arcs. But, what the show does leave you with is a perspective.

  1. That being old doesn’t mean being entitled and boss around your kids after you’ve passed on your business to them.
  2. It doesn’t mean it’s too late to get out of your co-dependant personality and start an independent life.
  3. Being old doesn’t mean you’re trash even if your kids feel you’re being irresponsible and careless.
  4. Crossing your 80s makes you invisible to store managers, businesses looking for market gaps, and brands seeking to sell. That’s sad, but being old has got its perks too! ;)
  5. And also, that proving a point, proving your worth is a lifelong process. You cannot keep resting on your laurels.

The unseen side of an 80-something life that no one would tell you honestly because people are busy asking you things that you’d tell your younger self.

*a thousand eye rolls*

Final words

So, that’s all from me today. I’m not gonna ask you to watch the show. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea honestly.

Though I’m saddened by Netflix discontinuing the series, I’m grateful to it for bringing the show in the first place. Thanks to Grace and Frankie, I’m finally outta this shitty rat race. Seems like grannies do have many lessons living under the folds of their wrinkles.

God, the level of relief I’m feeling these days! Just living my life even as things are crashing around me. Literally and metaphorically.

I’m Mansi, a full-time overthinker. I left my well-paying (highly stressful) advertising life to pursue Freelancing. For collaborations or hiring me as a copywriter, editor or content strategist, find me at Upwork or Fiverr. For more interesting stuff, follow me on Instagram @mansilausdeo. See you around! :)

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Mansi Laus Deo

Mansi Laus Deo

223 Followers

Engineer + Business grad, gave it all up for words. Copywriter @Hikeapp Favourite feeling: Growth, Favourite copy: That forces people to avoid eye contact.