Well they certainly don’t act their age. Grace Hanson and Frankie Bergstein may be well past 70, but they would hardly fit (or approve of) the label “senior citizens”.
Hanson still enjoys a martini with lunch and remains the feisty head of a cosmetics company at an age when others would have long since dozed off into retirement.
Bergstein, on the other hand, is a lively art teacher who loves to paint nude in her studio and is still up for every esoteric trend even at her advanced age.
The Netflix show “Grace and Frankie” deals with the narrow-minded ideas society has about older women and also raises a good question: In the final stretch of life, do friendships not matter, or even more, than our partnerships?
In 2015, the hit producers Marta Kauffman (“Friends”) and John E. Morris (“Home Improvement”) had the right instinct to finally put older people at the centre of a series. The idea became Netflix’s longest-running fictional original production.
After the first of four new episodes were previously released, the final 12 episodes of season seven appeared on Netflix at the end of April.
The show started out with what felt like a cheesy TV drama: After decades of marriage, two women learn that their husbands are secretly in love with each other and have been having an affair for years. When their spouses move in together, Grace and Frankie also decide, out of necessity, to share a flat.
At the beginning, critics were lukewarm at best and pointed to the lazy dialogue and a cliché-riddled plot.
Gradually, however, the two women moved more and more into focus and with them the question: Is it ever too late to reinvent yourself?
The acclaim from critics grew and grew. Lily Tomlin as Frankie, now 82, has since been nominated four times in a row for the best leading actress in a comedy series at the Emmy television awards
Jane Fonda, 84, is credible as the dapper businesswoman Grace, even if many of us know the actor as a left-wing climate activist and protester against the Vietnam War.
And Tomlin has proven in her career that a character like the absurdly over-the-top Frankie suits her well. After all, she gained fame from eccentric 1980s films like “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” and “9 to 5”.
For anyone who knows the latter, a fitting finale awaits the leading duo at the end of the seven-season run.
Cameo spoiler alert: Singer, songwriter and actor Dolly Parton makes a guest appearance in the last episode of “Grace and Frankie”, bringing the trio of Parton, Tomlin and Parton together again four decades their first joint appearance in the office satire “9 to 5”.