Surprise, Grace and Frankie fans! Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin announced on Twitter late last night that the first four episodes of the hilarious show’s seventh and final season are now available to stream on Netflix. This is months ahead of schedule, so you can imagine my delighted surprise when the news hit Twitter in the wee hours of the morning.
Why was I up, you might ask? Well, I won’t answer. But I will say that you can check out the announcement from the two bonafide legends below.
And more episodes are on the way! pic.twitter.com/XYPZuvyI9A
— Netflix (@netflix) August 13, 2021
These first four episodes were evidently already finished when production was forced to shut down in March of 2020 because of the pandemic. In April 2020, the cast did a live, virtual table read of the first episode of the season to both raise spirits and funds for Meals on Wheels’ Covid relief program intended to help food-insecure and isolated seniors.
Created by Marta Kauffman (Friends co-creator) and Howard J. Morris (Home Improvement producer), Grace and Frankie started off in 2015 by following two distinctly different corporate wives as they attempted to navigate a massive change in their lives: their husbands were leaving them for each other.
Grace Hanson (Fonda) and Frankie Bergstein (Tomlin) found themselves living together after learning that their husbands, Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) had been having an affair for over 20 years and were in love. They wanted to start living their lives honestly and openly together, so the divorce lawyers had to divorce their wives of more than 40 years. All the while, their grown children — Mallory (Brooklyn Decker) and Brianna Hanson (June Diane Raphael), and Coyote (Ethan Embry) and Nwabudike “Bud” Bergstein (Baron Vaughn), respectively — are just trying to keep their heads above water through marital trouble, sobriety, neuroses, and so much more.
Each season takes Grace and Frankie to new and interesting places, allowing them to grow and expand as characters while also offering fascinating and necessary portrayals of older women as main characters. On top of that, Robert and Sol’s relationship is one of the sweetest and most complex in the entire series, putting a gay elderly couple, similarly, front and center in an industry that would sooner relegate them to a punchline.
Too Old for This Shit
Between the laughter (and trust me, there’s plenty of it), there are moments of genuine pathos, levity, and profound insight. Each season sees Grace and Frankie take on new and increasingly challenging opportunities, pushing themselves personally and professionally. The show addresses a woman’s right to pleasure at any age and the physical barriers that preclude them (arthritis, you bitch), while also discussing the prospect of new love in your 70s, revisiting missed opportunities, and forging a new career path when the world seems to think you should just sit down.
From notions of mortality, love, and loss to identity, beauty, and vulnerability, Grace and Frankie touches on it all. And the best part about it is that it truly has something beautiful to offer everyone of any age. It’s an exceptional show and has been for its soon-to-be 94-episode run on Netflix, the longest-running series on the platform to date.
Rise Up Together
From hating each other to not being able to live without each other, now we have to wonder how the series will end. In the last season, Grace remarried, she and Frankie designed a toilet, Bud had a kid, Robert and Sol got petty, Sol got cancer, Mallory moved up, Brianna stayed put, and a toilet exploded, forcing Grace, Frankie, Robert, and Sol to become roommates. Oh, yeah, and Grace’s new husband, Nick Skolka (Peter Gallagher), was arrested for tax evasion and security fraud.
In an interview with The Wrap last year, Kauffman gave some hints of what to expect from the seventh and final season of the show.
“Of course we are going to end with Grace and Frankie together in some form, of course we are. That’s what the show is about. As much as it’s about starting over, it’s about their friendship. But there is no fun in a friendship unless there is conflict. And this is a point where Grace and Frankie, after a year of Nick [Peter Gallagher], finally get to be back together, the two of them. And Robert [Sheen] and Sol [Waterston] are there.”
The first four episodes of Grace and Frankie season 7 are available to stream now on Netflix. The remaining 12 episodes will be available sometime in 2022.
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