I’m always excited to be invited to take a stop on one of Deborah Nam-Krane’s blog hops! Mainly because it forces me to do the thing I always say I’ll do but somehow don’t. But also because it’s so much fun to see each take on the chosen topic. This hop’s topic is a great one, but before I really dig in, I need to take a step back.
I am a child of the 80’s. I’m done trying to deny it. I wore legwarmers over my jeans. My closet was packed full of rainbows and Smurfs. I went roller skating every Saturday morning. I’ve spent years pretending I was somehow too cool to be touched by the age of shoulder pads and synthesizers, but now is the time to come clean. I was there. I was in it. I totally drank the Kool-Aid (with way more sugar than the packet instructions advised.)
We couldn’t really binge watch anything back then, but we could watch the same damned movie each time it aired in a month on HBO.
Which is how I fell in love with three hard-working ladies named Judy, Violet, and Doralee.
9 to 5 was one of my absolute favorite movies. I know it might seem odd that the ladies I saw as role models got really super high and fantasized about murdering their boss, then accidentally almost did it, then kidnapped him to keep him quiet. But in the 80’s, that qualified as wacky hijinks.
It may also seem odd that wacky hijinks, while undeniably entertaining, were not what drew me to watch this movie again and again and again. I was actually fascinated by the idea that these three vastly different women were able, almost immediately, to see past their differences and become friends. I realize it was written that way for the sake of pacing, but this awkward girl who was never quite certain exactly where she fit in socially was given hope by the idea of these three ladies working off into the sunset together.
So when I recently spent a sick day at home and Netflix was making suggestions for me because I’ve watched…things., I gasped when I saw Violet and Judy staring back at me.
I had no idea I could watch Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda together again. I couldn’t click “watch Grace and Frankie” quickly enough.
The premise of the series is a solid platform for wacky hijinks. Grace and Frankie are married to Robert and Sol. Robert and Sol leave Grace and Frankie for each other. Grace and Frankie wind up living together in what had previously been the couples’ shared beach house.
But, the same idea that compelled me to watch 9-to-5 a hundred times over has led me to click “continue watching Grace and Frankie” again and again. These two ladies are so different, yet so perfect for each other.
Grace is a retired business woman. She’s sophisticated. She’s materialistic. She looks down on everyone else.
Frankie is an artist. She’s emotional. She’s a naturalist. She looks to gain knowledge from everyone she meets.
Their friendship should not work at all. And at first, it doesn’t. They pretty much hate each other. But at a pivotal moment, when Grace is about to leave Frankie alone in the beach house, broken and devastated, she chooses to stay. It’s likely the first unselfish act Grace has shown in her adult life. And it winds up opening the door to the first authentic friendship of her adult life.
Frankie grows as well. Through her many arguments with Grace, she learns the reason things always went so smoothly in her marriage to Sol was that he simply gave in whenever they had a disagreement. Grace is her first roadblock; her first chance at compromise and/or not getting her way.
The series also manages to touch on a lot of uncomfortable (yet important) topics without feeling preachy or completely in your face.
For instance, when the two ladies have been ejected from a club in an unfamiliar part of town and can’t find their car, Frankie immediately goes toward a homeless man to ask if he’s seen it. Grace tries to stop her, pointing out his status and Frankie doesn’t miss a beat telling her he can still talk. It’s a quick exchange, but it still manages to shed light on an overlooked population.
I’ve only managed to make it three quarters of the way through season 3 so far, but I expect to select “continue watching” again and again until the episodes run dry. You should, too!
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out Morgan’s blog tomorrow to see what he finds binge worthy.