Stream: Grace and Frankie (Seasons 1 & 2)

I hate writing negative reviews, but in this case, I felt I should spare you 13 hours of streaming a crappy show when you could be spending those valuable binge watching hours on a show worthy of your free time. 

Grace and Frankie is a Netflix original series that debuted in 2015. The show stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen. A great cast, no? 

The show's premise is that Sol (Sam Waterston) and Robert (Martin Sheen) are partners at a law firm. They are both married, but over the past 20 years of working together, have fallen out of love with their wives and in love with each other.

Grace and Frankie

In the very first episode you watch the uncomfortable restaurant meal where Sol and Robert come clean to their wives. The women are blindsided. 

The show follows Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) as they try to move forward with their lives in their 70s. Rather than kick their husbands out of their current homes, they decide to move into a beach house that the two families had always shared together. Can you imagine having a roommate at 70 years old? 

I wanted to love Grace and Frankie because I have loved these actors on so many other shows, particularly Sam Watertson on Law and Order and Martin Sheen on the West Wing. Watertson's character, Sol, is a bit of a blubbering, emotional mess, which got to be quite irritating. Sheen's character, Robert, was very underutilized. Many scenes, especially in the second season, he's just screaming at people. 

Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) are cliche opposites. Grace is stubborn and stuck up and Frankie is a free spirited hippie. They are like oil and water and that combative relationship gets old fast. 

Grace and Frankie

For me, the two best characters were Sol and Frankie's son Coyote (played by Ethan Embry) and Grace and Robert's daughter Brianna (played by June Diane Raphael). Coyote is freshly out of rehab and trying to prove to his family that he can be dependable and Brianna has taken over her mother's business and is on the hunt for a man.

Grace and Frankie

There is also a memorable guest star, Craig T. Nelson (Coach, Parenthood) as Guy, a man interested in Grace. 

You may be asking yourself, "If you hated this so much, why did you watch a second season?" Well, it was an accident. You know how Netflix prompts you right away to watch the next episode in a series? I just kept hitting "next" thinking it was all part of the first season. Whoops. 

The show was recommended to me by mother and sister, which should have been a major red flag. My mother and I are known to spend a full hour trying to agree on a movie or show to watch together, so I am not quite sure why I thought I would love a show that she loved. If you are wondering what her typical tastes are, the two top categories in her Netflix account are "Cerebral Documentaries" and "Foreign Language Films." 

If you were considering Grace and Frankie as a summer binge show, skip it.

*Image sources 1, 2, 3 and 4


Bianca Garcia's picture

i gave up after a few episodes too! Hope all is well, I miss you! xo

Molly's picture

Miss you too, B! I know, this show was a tough one in terms of keeping my attention / interest.

Glenn Kaufhold's picture

Well, I'm going to have to ponder this one. And it will certainly be a topic of conversation with your mother. :-)

I've enjoyed both seasons of the show. But I will admit that I don't love it. It was a struggle to keep with it at the beginning of season 2, but I thought it got better. I still can't buy Sheen and Waterston as a gay couple (as a West Wing addict, Sheen will forever be Josiah Bartlet). Just not feelin' it. There's nothing gay about either one of them.

But Fonda and Tomlin were well certainly cast, and some of the best moments in the series are between the two of them.

And I do agree with you about Coyote and Brianna. Love those characters (and the actors playing them).

Molly's picture

There were certain moments that were funny and poignant (the spelling bee episode is my favorite), but overall, I found it predictable and cliche. For a show that stars four incredible actors, it fell flat.

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Molly Galler

Welcome to Pop.Bop.Shop. My name is Molly. I’m a foodie, fashionista, pop culture addict and serious travel junkie. I’m a lifelong Bostonian obsessed with frozen confections, outdoor patios, Mindy Kaling, reality television, awards shows, tropical vacations, snail mail and my birthday.

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