Grace and Frankie returned with a full-on “fuck it” attitude in season 5. They had to fight for their home and life on their own terms, but they made it happen.
With Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as Grace and Frankie and Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen as their ex-husbands Sol and Robert, the storyline from the past 4 seasons continues chugging merrily along. The series has been renewed for a 6th season by Netflix, so you can expect more antics from this group in 2020.
The first order of business as season 5 began was getting Grace and Frankie back in their beach house. The kids had to be convinced that their parents could still manage on their own. The house had to be repurchased from its new owner. Upselling Santa Fe was involved.
Once that was managed, the series moved on to issues like Brianna’s (June Diane Raphael) near bankruptcy of Grace’s old company. Lots of arguing, mistrust, and mother daughter bonding took place getting that fixed.
Grace broke up with Nick (Peter Gallagher) and then made up with him. Frankie spent a weekend at an ashram trying to reauthenticate herself and had a few shining moments with Leo (Paul Michael Glaser) doing it.
Grace didn’t trust anyone to do anything right. That came to a head in season 5. Since we know there’s a season 6, we can assume the friendship between Grace and Frankie survives. But, boy, things got lippy there for a while.
Robert wanted to star in The Man of La Mancha. Martin Sheen is a decent singer – who knew? Sol wanted a dog. A serious decision. Robert and Sol were the same as always, except Sol grew some backbone in season 5. Good for Sol!
Let’s see, what other tidbits can I toss out without a lot of spoilers? Mallory (Brooklyn Decker) might be dating. Bud (Baron Vaughn) and Allison (Lindsey Kraft) might take a big step. Coyote (Ethan Embry) might get a job. The vibrators are still selling well, but with donuts?
Some important characters in season 5 include Brianna’s accountant/boyfriend Barry (Peter Cambor). Joan Margaret (Millicent Martin) was a kind of Girl Friday for Grace and Frankie. The married couple/caterers Peter (Tim Bagley) and Jeff (Michael Gross) showed up regularly, especially Peter who was the director of Man of La Mancha.
I don’t want to forget the guest stars: Ed Asner, George Hamilton, Nicole Richie and RuPaul.
Season 5 Overall
The humor was intact in season 5. The jokes were still outrageous. The love/hate situation between Grace and Frankie grew so serious, we had to experience an alternate reality to snap out of it.
There was a bit of tossing continuity out the window and forgetting the past. Not a serious problem, but it did merit an occasional, “huh?”
However, these actors know each other so well and their timing is so perfect, that the episodes roll by like well-waxed skis on new snow. As long as creators Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris can keep the jokes coming, this ensemble of actors can keep delivering the goods.
Themes include pill popping (not the usual Frankie’s stoned again type of drugs), society’s discriminatory treatment of elders, trust, control, love, friendship, parenting, and the ever-present motif of elders as sexual beings.
There were only a few women directors in season 5: Silver Tree, Kyra Sedgwick, and Marta Kauffman. There should have been more women directors.
Have you seen season 5 of Grace and Frankie? What did you think of it?