5 reasons you should watch season 5 of Grace and Frankie – no matter what age you are
The new season airs on January 18 – and Netflix has confirmed there will be a sixth
The Netflix Original show Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, boldly strode into new(ish) territory for the streaming service platform back when it premiered in May 2015 because it was aimed at an older audience, and was the story of two older women. Yet this is a show with perennial appeal – one that has since captured the hearts and minds of viewers of all generations and genders.
That'll be why Netflix has just announced it has been renewed for season six, due in 2020.
So here are five reasons you should be tuning in for the season five when it drops on January 18.
1. It's a great story, and the leads have great chemistry
In a nutshell: Grace (Fonda) – an uptight former cosmetics mogul – and Frankie (Tomlin) – a hippy amateur artist – are thrust together when their husbands leave them, for each other. The divorcees, who do not get on at first, soon develop a delightful friendship that stands the test of time. It's hilarious in parts, emotional in others, and overall it's a story that transcends generational boundaries. At the same time, it touches on topics that aren't elsewhere – for example, life in your 70s, death and sexual health issues among the elderly.
The fact that Fonda and Tomlin have been friends since they starred, alongside Dolly Parton, in the 1980 cult classic film 9 to 5, just makes it all even better. The pair may not have appeared on-screen together for nearly four decades, but the chemistry is certainly still there.
2. It smashes stereotypes and is a refreshing change of demographic
Fonda is 81 years old and Tomlin is 79. Frankie's adopted sons are racially different from one another, and one is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Their ex-husbands are in a relationship; one of Grace's daughters is a stay-at-home mum-of-four, while the other is an unmarried, childless company CEO. Grace and Frankie might be a comedy, but it also deals with all sorts of timely topics and taboos.
Most of all, the show signals Netflix's venture into the world of TV for and about older people (alongside Golden Globe-winning The Kominsky Method), it's a refreshing change, and it emphasises a number of important messages. These include: life is not over when you're in your 70s and 80s; you can restart your life at that age; you can start a business at that age; you won't have it all together at that age; and older people still have fun, but they also still have problems that matter.
3. It has an impressive cast
Tomlin and Fonda are obviously the main event. But the supporting cast is great, too. For a start, the ladies' husbands are Sam Waterston (Frankie's ex) and Martin Sheen (Fonda's former partner).
Grace's millennial daughters are played by former model and actress Brooklyn Decker (Just Go With It, What to Expect When You're Expecting) and comedian and writer June Diane Raphael (New Girl, The Disaster Artist).
And Frankie's adopted sons, Coyote and Nwabudike, are played by Ethan Embry (Empire Records, Sweet Home Alabama) and Baron Vaughn (Mystery Science Theater 300: The Return, Cloverfield), respectively.
Expect plenty of other famous faces to feature throughout the series, too – from Lisa Kudrow to Ed Begley Jr. In the new season, you'll spot RuPaul and Nicole Richie.
4. It's co-created by Marta Kauffman
That's right – the same writer and TV producer who co-created the hit '90s show Friends also co-created and is an executive producer on Grace and Frankie. The 62-year-old told Hollywood Reporter back in 2015 that she and the team had been searching for a way to explore ageing and "coming into your own at a certain point in your life".
"What I knew is that I wanted to do it in a real way," she added. "This is also a very marginalised segment of the population. They're smart. They live long lives. They have great histories. And I think they can offer an enormous amount of really good story."
Clearly, she has a knack for these kinds of things.
5. You're in good company
American TV producer, screenwriter and author Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) loves the show. She tweeted about it days after it aired on Netflix back in 2015. "I am going to need more episodes of @GraceandFrankie immediately, @Janefonda! #SoGood"
Singer Miley Cyrus did the same thing. "I found my show! #GraceandFrankie" the 26-year-old wrote. "Jane & Lily are so bad a$$!"
In fact, Kauffman said it was down to Cyrus's tweet that the show got renewed for a second season. “Let me say, it’s so awesome to do a show on Netflix,” she said in a statement. “Because two and a half weeks after we launched, Miley Cyrus does a tweet about your show, and they call and say, ‘We’d like to do a season two.’
"We have Ted [Sarandos, a Netflix executive] and Miley to thank.”
Updated: January 16, 2019 02:00 PM