Grace and Frankie Season 3 is the Best Yet

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie season 3 is the best yet. It fine tunes relationships and how they work – or don’t work. It’s hilarious, it’s heartfelt, and it’s true to life.

Jane Fonda as Grace and Lily Tomlin as Frankie become closer than ever in season 3, even though they have some colossal arguments in the process. They start a business together selling vibrators meant for the older woman (although younger women appreciate them as well). They face how much they care about each other, but they do it in their own particular ways.

Ernie Hudson is back as Jacob, Frankie’s love interest. There was some interesting tension between Jacob and Grace this season, with Frankie in the middle. It pushed Grace to new levels in her openness and truthfulness with Frankie.

Also prominent in season 3 is the way Sol (Sam Waterston) and Robert (Martin Sheen) settle into their marriage and their lives as out gay men after so many years in the closet.

Sam Waterston, Ethan Embry, June Diane Raphael, Baron Vaughn, and Brooklyn Decker in Grace and Frankie

The four children of the two former couples also have relationship issues. Coyote (Ethan Embry) gets sober and might have met a woman. Brianna (June Diane Raphael) can’t seem to attach to any relationship. Bud (Baron Vaughn) meets a woman who is an absolute nut case but he likes her. With a mom like Frankie, weird probably feels pretty normal. Mallory (Brooklyn Decker) has 4 kids now and is not happy with her marriage.

The children’s relationship issues aren’t explored in as much depth as the parents, but they do all get plenty of screen time this season.

The dialog was crisp and often hilarious. The physical gags were good – especially episode 7 “The Floor.” Both Grace and Frankie spent most of the episode on the floor because neither of them could get up.

Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris created Grace and Frankie. I’ve loved this show and its elder actors from the beginning. I thought there were some rough spots in the first season, season 2 gelled, and season 3 flows like silk. Kauffman and Morris have their characters well in hand. The ensemble of actors came together like fine wine and reached the perfect blend of flavors.

Outstanding guest stars popped in for a scene or two. The cast list on IMDB is not complete, so I’m missing some guest names, but Kenny Loggins, Lois Smith, Allison Janney, Marsha Mason, and Peter Gallagher did short bits.

Jane Fonda, Peter Gallagher, and Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie
Peter Gallagher was one of many great guest stars

The realities of aging is again a topic in season 3. Grace and Frankie are both dynamic women. They start a new business and make it a success. They are busy and purposeful. But they are also dealing with many issues of aging and health – er, you know, besides vaginal dryness and the difficulties of opening a condom package. Sometimes these issues are funny, sometimes they are very serious.

Robert and Sol also come up against aging issues. First Robert and then Sol decide to retire from their law firm. Picking that moment when it’s time to stop working is different for each of them, but is a thread woven through the season.

Robert seems happy to plant tomatoes and unleash his love of musical theater. Sol is still out to save the world and organizes a protest line.

A special bonus for people like me who live in New Mexico was all the talk about Santa Fe, Albuquerque, The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and hot air balloons. Yes!

If you haven’t cranked up Netflix to watch Grace and Frankie yet, I completely recommend it. Enjoy the antics of these delightful people.

If you have seen it, come on. Share. What did you think of season 3?

9 thoughts on “Grace and Frankie Season 3 is the Best Yet”

  1. christopher swaby


      1. christopher swaby

        watched season 3 this past weekend. LOVED it. you are spot on about the character development – it seems everyone experiences some growth. i have to admit, i was a bit disappointed that Bud’s love interest wasnt Black – the show is missing a significant Black female character. and none of Sol and Robert’s friends are of color. but all in all, the show has clearly made efforts towards diversity, which is important to me as a viewer.

        havent seen mention yet of season 4, but have seen some interviews with Ms. Fonda and Ms. Tomlin in which they said how much they enjoyed working on the show (they seemed to have a genuine affection for one another), so i remain hopeful.

  2. Thanks for putting me onto this show way back when. I’ve recently just binge watched S2 and S3. I love that we get to see two real older women finding their way through this new phase of their lives, and with Fonda and Tomlin — such actors! I’m absolutely hoping for a S4. Love this show.

    And on a side note, with older actors, my other favourite show is Major Crimes, with Mary McDonnell as an older woman in charge. Fantastic storylines. Brilliant show.

    1. Good to hear from you, Miraz. I’m a fan of Mary McDonnell, too. I also think Lois Smith, who played Martin Sheen’s mother in Grace and Frankie, is fabulous. I wish she’d get a starring role in something.

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