Chew's Reviews - Review of a Netflix online series, Grace and Frankie

By Gary Chew | May 9, 2015 | I just watched the first installment of the latest Netflix series --- it's a freakin' scream. O...

By Gary Chew | May 9, 2015 |

I just watched the first installment of the latest Netflix series --- it's a freakin' scream. Oh, it would be awesome if every episode in the bunch is as uproarious and this first one. They've titled it “The End.”But the whole series is called Grace and Frankie.

Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston are the principal players. (How 'bout them apples?) Jane is Grace and Lily is Frankie. Martin is Robert and Sam is Sol. The set up for this streaming riot is as follows: Jane is married to Robert and Frankie is married to Sol. It's been a long time in the wedded bliss department for this quartet. The guys are partners in a successful law firm. They're close. The girls are not so much. As I expected, Fonda's character is the Republican-like wife and Tomlin's Frankie is a sort of overly matured hippie lady. That's funny right there.

What loads the initial 35-minute go of a 13-episode romp is that Robert and Sol announce to the wives that they --- the guys— are in love and are divorcing their spouses and will wed each other. How 'bout them apples? Scattered lines of dialogue punching up the commotion that ensues the boys' declaration they provide over lunch among the four at a fancy So-Cal eatery follow in the next paragraph.

For the first time in my life, I laughed at the line, “How long has this been going on?” I thought that was just a line for a song. Then, after the girls retreat to the beach and remind me of the famous Jack Nicholson weed-tokes that go forward inEasy Rider, Grace accuses Frankie of dancing. But Frankie is sitting perfectly still … and Frankie shouts at Grace “I think you're frightening the sand!” Holy Palm Tree, why would these two mature and quite upset women be saying such silly things to each other at nighttime on the beach? Simple: they've just gulped from the same pickle jar a beverage made with a very strong tea --- of peyote. Yes!

(I watch lots of new entertainment material in my bedroom. There I was, laughing completely out loud at this scene with no one in sight but me over there looking at me in my closet door mirror. But there's more.)

I'm on my starting blocks to watch subsequent chapters of a series that opens with a promise to be so damn funny, you'll think you just smoked marijuana of the variety that really makes it impossible not to scream with laughter ... sort of like I did the first time I saw Charlie Chaplin's old masterpiece called Modern Times.

I feel growing respect for the people who wrote this first stanza: Marta Kaufmann, who created the series, and Howard J. Morris. Tate Taylor directed “The End.”

G & F opens with a song written by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan that pokes fun at Bob Dylan's style, Stuck In The Middle With You. I couldn't help remembering how Quentin Tarantino used their original in the darkest scene of Reservoir Dogs.Please know that Stuck works less cynically in Grace and Frankie.

My bet on G & F is that there will be plenty more good times rolling for me as I scat through the episodes. Now, which button clicks me to Netflix?
Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All right reserved.

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