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.
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.
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?