ⓘ Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie is an American comedy web television series created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris for Netflix. The series stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the title roles of Grace and Frankie, two unlikely friends who are brought together after their husbands announce that they are in love with each other and plan to get married. Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, June Diane Raphael, and Baron Vaughn co-star in supporting roles. It premiered on Netflix on May 8, 2015, with all 13 episodes of the first season released simultaneously. The second through sixth seasons, also consisting of 13 episodes each, were released on May 6, 2016, March 24, 2017, January 19, 2018, January 18, 2019, and January 15, 2020 respectively.
Grace and Frankie received mixed reviews upon its debut, but its second and subsequent seasons have been met with a largely positive reception from television critics. It has received several nominations, including five Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.
On September 4, 2019, the series was renewed for a seventh and final season consisting of 16 episodes, making it the longest-running Netflix original series with 94 episodes.
The series follows Grace, a retired cosmetics mogul, and Frankie, a hippie art teacher, whose husbands, Robert and Sol, are successful divorce lawyers in San Diego. Grace and Frankies lives are turned upside down when Robert and Sol announce that they are in love with each other and are leaving their wives. Now, the women, who have never particularly liked each other, are forced to live together and learn to unite and cope with difficulties.
2. Cast and characters
- Brooklyn Decker as Mallory Hanson
- Jane Fonda as Grace Skolka formerly Hanson, nee Purcell
- Martin Sheen as Robert Hanson
- Lily Tomlin as Frances "Frankie" Bergstein nee Mengela
- Baron Vaughn as Nwabudike "Bud" Bergstein
- June Diane Raphael as Brianna Hanson
- Ethan Embry as Coyote Bergstein
- Sam Waterston as Sol Bergstein
3.1. Production Development
In March 2014, Netflix finalized a deal for a 13-episode straight-to-series order for Grace and Frankie, with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin attached to star in the lead roles. The series was written and created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, who also serve as executive producers alongside Fonda, Tomlin, Paula Weinstein and Tate Taylor, and Skydance Productions Dana Goldberg, David Ellison and Marcy Ross.
On May 26, 2015, Netflix renewed the series for a second season which premiered on May 6, 2016. On December 10, 2015, the series was renewed for a third season which premiered on March 24, 2017. On April 12, 2017, the series was renewed for a fourth season, which premiered on January 19, 2018. On February 15, 2018, the series was renewed for a fifth season.
3.2. Production Casting
Casting announcements began in June 2014, with Martin Sheen cast in the role of Robert, Graces husband. The following month, Sam Waterston was cast in the role of Sol, Frankies husband. June Diane Raphael and Baron Vaughn were then added to the cast, with Raphael cast in the role of Brianna, Grace and Roberts elder daughter, who rebels against Graces decorum. Vaughn signed onto the role of Nwabudike, Frankie and Sols son. Shortly afterwards, Ethan Embry and Brooklyn Decker were cast in the remaining roles on the series. Embry joined in the role of Coyote, Frankie and Sols recovering drug addicted son, while Decker signed onto the role of Mallory, Grace and Roberts younger daughter. In October 2015, it was announced Sam Elliott would appear in the second season as Graces love interest. In April 2017, it was reported that Lisa Kudrow will appear in the fourth season as Sheree, Graces manicurist. In February 2018, the same day as the fifth season was commissioned, RuPaul was confirmed to appear in the fifth season as a rival of Grace and Frankie.
3.3. Production Filming
Production on season one of Grace and Frankie began in Los Angeles, California, in early August 2014, and ended in late November. Production on season two of the series began in July 2015, and ended in November the same year.
4.1. Reception Critical response
The first season of Grace and Frankie received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a rating of 56%, based on 39 reviews, with an average rating of 6.42/10. The sites critical consensus reads, Grace and Frankie s stellar cast adds an undeniable appeal, although its sloppy dialogue and cliched sitcom setup will still leave most viewers wanting." On Metacritic the season has a score of 58 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The second season received a more positive reception from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a rating of 91%, based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 7.34/10. The sites critical consensus reads, Grace & Frankie gets better with age in a heartwarming, character driven second season full of humor that is both fun and obnoxious." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews". Jasef Wisener of TVOvermind gave the second season a 4.5/5, calling it "heartfelt and hilarious" and "a huge improvement over the sometimes sluggish first season."
The third, fourth and fifth season each have 100% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes with average ratings of 7.5/10, 8.42/10. and 6.33/10 respectively. The sites critical consensus for season five reads, "Five seasons in, Grace & Frankie remain blissfully at the top of their game, thanks to Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlins undeniable bond."
4.2. Reception Controversy
After the shows release, Tomlin and Fonda expressed displeasure once it became public that their salaries were just equal to those of Sheen and Waterston, even though "the show is not Sol and Robert, its Grace and Frankie," in the words of Lily Tomlin, and contended this constituted a significant pay inequity. Shortly thereafter, Sheen and Waterston went on the record to support their co-stars demands for a salary increase, with Waterston being quoted as saying: "I think theyre being cheated". After fans of the show gathered nearly 200.000 signatures on a petition protesting the disparity, the two actresses issued a public statement backing away from criticism, saying: "This just reminds us to be mindful of how things come across in interviews. We appreciate everyones support and the attention to this issue, but the structure of Grace and Frankie is fair, and we couldnt be happier to work with Skydance, Netflix and the great cast of this show." Fonda and Tomlin made a statement to The Wrap that they were never unhappy with the salaries to start with and that they had "made a joke in an interview about our salaries, which was taken out of context."
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