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While most networks are busy worrying about bringing in the key 18-49 demographic, Netflix is skewing older with its upcoming comedy Grace and Frankie, although I’m sure the streaming service would like for younger crowds to check it out as well. Especially since it was put together in part by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman. Check out the fun and breezy first trailer below.
Created by Kauffman and former Home Improvement writer/producer Howard J. Morris, Grace and Frankie’s all-star cast includes 9 to 5 co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as two lifelong rivals who become friendly-ish after being left by their respective husbands, who then start a relationship together. Grace was married to Robert, played by the always enjoyable Martin Sheen, while Frankie was married to Sol, played by Sam Waterston. While this would certainly make for a horrifically uncomfortable situation for most people, how can you hate on gay Martin Sheen and gay Sam Waterston? They’re absolutely peachy together.
Judging from the trailer, Tomlin’s Frankie is the edgier extrovert of the two women, while Fonda’s Grace is more self-concerned and perhaps a little egocentric. Understandably, the sudden shift takes both women head-on, and they’re forced to deal with it both together and with their children.
Grace’s oldest daughter Brianna, played by the hilarious June Diane Raphael, struggles to understand who she is while rebelling against who Grace thinks she is. Brooklyn Decker plays younger daughter Mallory, who is now questioning everything after modeling her own marriage on that of her parents. On Frankie’s side of things, Ethan Embry is there to play the charismatic son Coyote, a man with a newly cleared and sober head, following a life of drug abuse and self-destruction. His brother Bud (real name Nwabudike), played by Isaac Dunham, was adopted from Uganda at a young age and has attached himself to the life of a Jewish man, keeping kosher while working at Sol’s law firm.
All in all, I like what Grace and Frankie is delivering, which is basically older folks coming to grips with the fact that their lives aren’t all that much more solid than those of younger folks. And even if you’ve never had your spouse leave you for another person of the same sex, this talented cast is bound to make it feel relatable. Real talk: that moment when Fonda is slapping her dangling forearm skin is definitely something I’ve done in the mirror, even though I’m a generation behind her. It’s just something that has to be done!
Catch all 13 episodes of Grace and Frankie’s Season 1 when they hit Netflix on May 8.