‘Grace and Frankie’ season 4 is sure to wrap up several exciting cliffhangers.
If you haven’t been watching the Netflix hit sitcom Grace and Frankie, you’ve been missing out. Luckily right now is the perfect time to get caught up. The show recently just got renewed for a fourth season, which will be on Netflix in 2018 — giving you plenty of time to binge-watch the first three seasons currently available on the streaming service. The show is about two rival women in their 70s who are forced together when their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) both come out of the closet and leave them for one another. Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) couldn’t be more different: the former is a tightly wound businesswoman while the latter is a pot-smoking hippie. As they come to terms with their post-divorce lives, they end up living together in their shared beach house and eventually start a business together. It’s a thoroughly modern sitcom that effortlessly blends humor and pathos to achieve an end result that is both funny and full of heart. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Fonda and Tomlin have amazing chemistry with one another.
In honor of Grace and Frankie season four coming out in 2018 (hopefully sooner rather than later), here are eight reasons you should add this show to your Netflix queue posthaste.
1. It features a refreshing take on older women and sex.
Women over the age of 50 aren’t often featured in media, and when they are it’s rarely a positive or accurate portrayal. They certainly aren’t often shown having active sex lives. So the season three plot of Grace and Frankie, in which the titular women set out to start a business that creates vibrators for older women, felt almost revolutionary. In fact, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin almost weren’t able to talk about the plot of the third season during a promotional appearance on the Today show in March. Host Savannah Guthrie said she couldn’t think of a “PG way” to discuss the plot, and cohost Carson Daly admitted they’d had an hour-long meeting earlier about how to delicately broach the topic. In the end, Fonda ignored the hosts’ embarrassment to discuss the vibrator-centric plot anyway. Female sexuality has always been a taboo topic in our society, and adding age to the equation makes people even less willing to talk about it, so kudos to Grace and Frankie for making it a season-long focus.
2. It stars a younger supporting cast as well.
There’s a younger perspective included in the show as well, thanks to Frankie’s two adopted sons (played by Ethan Embry and Baron Vaughn) and Grace’s two daughters (played by Brooklyn Decker and June Diane Raphael). The grown children often get involved — usually involuntarily — in their parents’ hijinks and sometimes have subplots of their own as well. This provides a nice balance and allows the show to explore the various stages of life in a way that you don’t often see in traditional sitcoms, which tend to focus on one age group.
3. There are big names behind the scenes too.
Grace and Frankie is created by Marta Kauffman (cocreator of Friends) and Howard J. Morris (producer of Home Improvement). Add to that the impressive cast that also includes Fonda, Tomlin, Sheen and Waterston, and you have a recipe for success.
4. It tackles serious issues with levity and wit.
Aging, gay marriage, coming out later in life, divorce, dating and sex at various stages of life, raising children, race, being a woman in business, illness and death: these are just some of the heavy topics Grace and Frankie covers frequently. If that makes it sound like a major drag, fear not. At its heart it’s a lighthearted sitcom that’s full of jokes and silliness, which allows the characters to tackle heavier plotlines with sardonic wit and irreverent one-liners.
5. It’s incredibly easy to binge-watch.
Spinning off the previous point, Grace and Frankie never feels too heavy and arduous to slog through. Each season has 13 half-hour episodes full of wacky plots and hilarious crises, making it all too easy to burn through the entire show within a week (or even a weekend, for the ambitious binge-watchers out there). Yes, Netflix, we’re still watching.
6. Each season is better than the last.
Another reason Grace and Frankie is such a great binge watch is that it improves as the show goes along and finds its groove. You might notice the show’s Rotten Tomatoes score goes up significantly after season one, but you can also see the improvement for yourself as you watch. Most shows take time to find their footing. Grace and Frankie felt confident and true to itself from the start, but the characters absolutely deepen over time — both in terms of their relationships with each other and their own personal trajectories. The plotlines also get more complex and focused each season. Needless to say, there’s sure to be a lot to look forward to in Grace and Frankie season four.
7. Season three ended on a cliffhanger.
Speaking of plotlines… Season three had the biggest overarching plotline so far as Grace and Frankie struggled to get their vibrator business off the ground, but there were tons of other plotlines left in the air. If you haven’t watched the end of season three, spoiler alert! The season ended with a major question to be answered in Grace and Frankie season four: Will Frankie move to Santa Fe with her boyfriend, Jacob (Ernie Hudson) or stay in California to be with her family, burgeoning business and Grace? The final scene of Grace and Frankie in the hot air balloon is touching and bittersweet. Grace overcomes her fear and selfishness to tell Frankie she should go with Jacob after all, and Frankie answers, “Let’s just see where the balloon takes us.” (Side note: Is it too much to hope Grace and Frankie season four opens with their hot air balloon sideways in a ditch on a remote island somewhere and Grace and Frankie stumbling out of bushes picking twigs out of their hair?) There are also the unresolved questions of Bud and Allison’s unexpected pregnancy, Mallory’s divorce, Frankie’s post-stroke health and Grace’s new suitor played by Peter Gallagher.
8. It’s just been renewed for a fourth season with Lisa Kudrow.
Luckily we’ll be getting answers to all our burning questions when Grace and Frankie season four comes to Netflix in 2018. What’s going to happen to Bud and Allison’s relationship now that she’s pregnant? Will Mallory and Coyote give in to their chemistry after her divorce? How will Sol and Robert deal with their ongoing retirement (and recent arrest)? Will Grace relent to Nick’s dogged courting and finally find love? Will Frankie move to Santa Fe? (That one just doesn’t seem likely, but who knows?) Who is guest-star Lisa Kudrow going to be playing? (You can read a bit about her upcoming role here.) And where is that balloon taking them? It probably is too much to hope they’ll end up on a deserted island together, but we’ll find out in a few months.