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Top 3 reasons why 'Grace & Frankie' can have their cake and eat it

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “The Dinner” | Aired May 8, 2015

When your entire life has revolved around another person for forty years what do you do when they’re suddenly gone? Who are you without them? Those are the questions Grace & Frankie struggle with in this stand-out third episode.

With great embarrassment, Grace explains why she must cancel all the engagements on her calendar. Yes, her husband is divorcing her. Yes, he’s with another man. Yes, she’s humiliated and alone. In fact, her life seems so purposeless and boring that she flips into OCD overdrive and crawls along the floor trimming Frankie’s throw rug.

As for Frankie, her artistic mojo is MIA. She stares at canvas, slaps on a couple dots, and waits eons for inspiration to hit. (Damn her muse for being a fickle fairy.) She longs to do more than occasionally teach “rehabilitated former offenders.”

Unmoored and lost, both women are inspired to seek employment. Both women fail fantastically. But Grace & Frankie aren’t growing old quietly, they REFUSE to be irrelevant and anyone who should mistake them as invisible will pay the price.

As for the episode’s title, “The Dinner” comes into play when Sol and Robert decide to share their new-found bliss with their children over a painfully awkward meal. At first, Mallory, Brianna, Coyote and Bud play nice, make small talk about the almond-crusted chicken, and pretend the situation isn’t at all painful and uncomfortable. Then Coyote tosses a slight pebble at Sol and the ripple effect shatters the shiny façade and causes a geyser of truth to erupt from each of the kids. It’s raw, it’s real and the men realize…it’s too soon. (Gee, ya think?)

This was my favorite episode to date. It was honest, but kept the humor. Here are my top 3 picks for why Grace & Frankie can have their cake and eat it too.

1. Bodies bedamned: Failing eyesight, hearing loss, memory problems—Grace & Frankie tackle the inevitable decline of our bodies and do so with heartfelt humor. One of my favorite scenes is when Frankie talks to and answers herself.

“I like the idea of going fishing. I don’t like to kill the fish though. I guess I can throw them back. But I don’t have a boat. My friend Todd has a boat. Where is Todd? Oh right, he died. I should call his wife. Where’s my cell phone? I’ll call it. What’s my number?”

2. Kids are people too: Watching the kids move through their discomfort and guilt to disbelief and full-blown anger finally made them real to me. I’ve been waiting for this powder keg of a scene and they delivered. June Dianne Raphael stood out amongst the foursome as she traded her usual artless snark for unvarnished truth in both the dinner scene and where she admitted to her mom that she’d be overshadowed by her return.

3. Now you see me: When Grace & Frankie are completely ignored at the grocery store, despite repeatedly asking for help, it’s one more degradation on a recent list of many. When a PYT comes in and immediately gets fawning service it’s the straw that broke Grace’s composure. Fonda freakin’ comes unglued and it’s a thing of power and beauty mixed with ugly desperation. I found her glorious. That’s right, Grace will not go quietly into the night and you damned well better not ask her to. Too often seniors are overlooked and shouldn’t be and this was a fierce reminder of that. Forget and you just might get robbed by a pair of invisible grannies who’ve learned to use your prejudice as a superpower.


As far as I’m concerned Tomlin and Fonda are true sheroes representing the fastest and largest growing demographic in our country. It’s past time for senior stories to get told. Hopefully, Grace & Frankie will be the catalyst that brings a change to the TV landscape.

What do you think? Is it time we look beyond the 18-49 demographic? Should seniors be invisible? Are we failing them on TV? Sound off below.

Senior Moments:

Grace: FYI, childbirth was easier than getting out of that chair.

Frankie: Oh my God. Do I look like I need a bed with a motor?

Grace: I haven’t had a cigarette since smoking was good for you.

Grace: Okay, that lacked poise. And I’m sorry. But I refuse to be irrelevant.
Frankie: It’s okay. I learned something. We’ve got a super power.
Grace: You stole those? (Talking about cigarettes.)
Frankie: You can’t see me. You can’t stop me. Peel out baby. You want to hit Citibank?

Season one of Grace & 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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