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'Grace & Frankie's' reversal of fortunes: Top 4 moments this week

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “The Credit Cards” | AiredMay 8, 2015

The reverse side also has a reverse side. ~ Japanese Proverb

Moving into the second chapter of Grace & Frankie, we quickly learn perspective is everything. The titular characters are more than miserable, while their soon-to-be-ex-spouses are breathing easy, literally and figuratively.

Grace and Frankie continue to share the same space at the beach house, if not the same coping mechanisms. Frankie is more about singing bowls and smudging, and she welcomes the comfort of friends. Grace doesn’t know what to do, but prefers to lick her wounds in private.

The episode takes a more serious tone than the pilot. Hopefully, that’s temporary. Pain breeds humor, and with a match-up like Fonda and Tomlin, the story begs for more laughter amidst the pain. Despite the missed opportunities, there’s plenty to enjoy in “The Credit Cards.” Here are the top moments:

1. Reversal fortunes: The juxtaposition of seeing the utter despondency of the women (unshowered, can’t breathe, caged and questioning) versus the uninhibited elation of the men (relaxed, breathing deep, giddy and free) beautifully demonstrated the mirror-side impact of these impending divorces. Painful and uncomfortable to watch, the cast really showed the opposing depth of emotion between the two sides.

2. Mystical Madness: Tomlin’s brilliant madness shines when Frankie tries to find peace with her new-age practices and you can practically hear Fonda’s eyes roll to white over all her woo-woo dramatics. There’s comic divinity here that needs to be explored more. I want to see Frankie draw Grace into herspiritual sphere.

3. Family Feud: The kids always get caught in the middle, even when they’re adults. And sometimes they add to the dysfunction. Brooklyn Decker is compelling as Grace’s more grounded and supportive daughter and Ethan Embry stands out as beleaguered addict Coyote. That they share some kind of past is twice as engaging.

4. Armagayden: They may be in the midst ofwar with their husbands and Grace may not understand Frankie’s hippy- , but in the end she couldn’t leave her behind.

Random Remarks:

  • Martin Sheen has been cast as the show’s villain and the man who made Sam Waterston’s affable Sol fall for him, yet he’s not convincing in either role. He’s coming in remarkably flat despite the superior cast to elevate him.
  • I hope we get to see more of Papa Pope (Scandal’s Joe Morton) as Frankie’s gay best friend, Jason.
  • Could I please camp out in Frankie’s $10,000 yurt for a week or two this summer?

Senior Moments:

Frankie: We need people who know what we need because we don’t. That’s why they’re called friends.

Grace: You’re going to make new and better memories. And you can reuse the frames.

Season one of Grace and Frankie is now streaming on Netflix.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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