Two women whose husbands announce they are gay and in love with each other? I thought this might be a concept that tries too hard to be current and funny. However, once I started watching the new series, I couldn’t help bingeing on it.
Lily Tomlin as Frankie and Jane Fonda as Grace display great comic acting skills, and the writing is actually very good. It seems like a smarter, funny, television series but it’s actually 13 episodes on Netflix. The age of the characters is frankly acknowledged with appealing humor and without the bad senior jokes.
The two husbands, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, are law partners who have been having an affair for decades, and they seem happy and affectionate – even kissing each other. Their acting (or at least what they are given to work with) isn’t very interesting at first. But as the episodes go on, they do become a little more complex.
Tomlin and Fonda are wonderfully antagonistic to each other. Tomlin is the quirky earth mother and ex-hippie, who cares little about how she looks. Fonda is the uptight, glamorous woman, focused on her appearance and style. They are thrown together in their new predicament as older women, suddenly left by their spouses. This forces them to come to terms with each other in ways that surprise them. It’s all done with warm and funny dialogue, without completely ignoring the fact that their husbands have been cheating on them for years.
As time goes on, they all begin to adjust and search for satisfying new ways to reconfigure their lives. Their children and other new characters, each with very distinctive personalities, drive the story forward at a satisfying pace. Lots of funny conversations about flirting, internet dating, lubricants, wine, sex and friendship occur.
It’s fun to see these well-loved veteran actors in interesting comic roles. Frankie and Grace