What’s age got to do with it?

Grace and Frankie dives into the real issues of women who are forced to start over with a certain kind of charm that makes it easy to become hooked on the Netflix original series. The fact that these women are in their seventies is crucial because it allows the audience to observe situations from a particular point of view that has largely been dismissed on television. More importantly, the situations stray away from the somewhat corny, unrealistic nature of many sitcoms. Instead, Grace and Frankie tackle taboo topics such as sexuality in older women and it is because of this raw ability to showcase the truth that the show has generated a strong following.

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One of the reasons why I love Grace and Frankie is because it forced me to confront some of my preconceived notions about older people, specifically those notions dealing with their sexuality. Perhaps this had to do with my personal interactions with older women but I assumed that sex wasn’t at the forefront of their minds anymore. Grace and Frankie hilariously rejected this stereotype by illustrating that regardless of your age, sex is still a very important part of life. As the series progressed both Grace and Frankie make it clear that they are in search of pleasing themselves first, and worrying about how others perceive them second, or not at all. This independent attitude has attracted a specific type of audience to Grace and Frankie that is definitely worth noting.

Antonia Blyth mentions in her deadline article that although Grace and Frankie has received praise from older viewers, it was the young women audience that somewhat surprised co-creator Marta Kauffman. She admits that prior to the premiere of the show they were not entirely sure who or how it would be received. However, Lily Tomlin who plays Frankie was less shocked by the enthusiastic younger audience noting that “they just like it because it’s human and real, and it’s meaningful to them” (deadline.com, 2016). I agree with Tomlin because Grace and Frankie shows us that age only has to be a deciding factor in how you choose to live your life if you let it.

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“Still from Grace and Frankie, “The Coup” (Season 2, Episode 13, 2016.)

-Courtney Green

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6 Responses to What’s age got to do with it?

  1. mediaphiles says:

    Our textbook mentions that sitcoms are predominantly watched by younger aged people these days, which is why sitcoms have adapted throughout the years to appeal to younger audiences. But it is nice to see Grace and Frankie making the effort to appeal to both younger and older audiences, all the while trying to mimic reality to the best of the writer’s ability (such as still allowing “older” people to have a sex life). –Jenna Romano

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with what you said. I think it’s great to have shows like Grace and Frankie and Transparent on the air (well, they’re both streaming so I don’t think that works) that show not only sexuality of older people, but how older people can make life changes. I think we too often believe that once you reach a certain age, you’re done. Grace and Frankie (in showing the husbands leaving their wives for each other) shows that that isn’t true. Very interesting, Courtney. – Max Dosser

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I have only seen a few episodes of this show, and the only reason I watched it was because the 60-something year old woman I was living with wanted to watch it. I think this show definitely can appeal to both younger and older audiences, but younger people might not be inclined to choose a show about older people on their own. I know I wouldn’t have! – Sarah King

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I agree, Courtney! I think what makes Grace and Frankie so great is that it doesn’t fall into the mold of a comedy that relies on corny jokes throughout the story. I also think that so many young viewers are attracted to this sitcom because it does tackle taboo topics, which keep the show interesting. I also believe that the taboo topics serve to attract both younger and older viewers. – Katie Thevenow

  5. marymdalton says:

    I was lukewarm on the first season (though many of my friends liked it a lot), but your project gives me a reason to delve into the second season (which those same friends declare is better than the first!).

  6. mediaphiles says:

    Courtney, after reading this post I am really excited to watch this show! It seems to be so different from anything on television right now, and gives me a subtle reminder of the Golden Girls (which I love). I agree that no matter your age there is something to find interesting about this show. I hope that more people give it a chance! – Katie Nelson

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