Tuesday, July 28, 2015


You can’t tell from the promos, but Netflix’s new original series, “Grace and Frankie” features the most intriguing and multi-faceted Jewish family currently on television. (Granted, there isn’t a lot of competition for the title. “The Goldbergs” have the name, but that’s pretty much it.)

“Grace and Frankie” stars Jane Fonda (an actress I’ve never liked, not so much for her politics but because I find her fake and mannered, constantly drawing attention, “Look! I’m Acting with a capital A, here!”), and Lily Tomlin (whom I have adored in everything I’ve ever seen her in, from her one-woman shows to the farce “Big Business”).

Fonda plays Grace and Tomlin is Frankie, two very different women whose husbands, played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, respectively, announce that they’ve been having an affair for 20 years, and are now leaving their wives to marry each other.

Grace is the uptight, control-freak WASP, and Frankie is the Earth-mother, hippie Jew. Sheen is Robert, a cold, manipulative son-of-a-bitch, and Waterston is Sol, the overly emotional, soft touch. Grace and Robert have two daughters, one of whom is an all-work-and-no-play hard-ass, and the other a boring wife and mother hiding a secret past with Frankie and Sol’s ex-drug addict screw-up son. Frankie and Saul’s other son is Black (that qualifies as a character trait on TV).

So far, so cliché.

Even the basic premise, a pair of ditched exes forming an awkward friendship after their partners leave them, is textbook Sitcom 101, with the only difference being that the illicit lovers, in this case, are men. Nevertheless, the skeleton of the story is something viewers have seen dozens of time before. It’s “The Odd Couple” with a 21st century twist.

But then, something unexpected happens. As “Grace and Frankie” moves through its 13-episode run, everything slowly, subtly gets turned on its head.

Find out how (and why you should be watching "Grace & Frankie") at: http://www.kveller.com/the-most-intriguing-jewish-family-on-tv-that-youre-probably-not-watching/

No comments: