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‘Grace and Frankie’ offers a new take on comedy

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"Grace and Frankie" title sequence.

"Grace and Frankie" title sequence.

The show delivers a refreshing depiction of the elderly woman

It seems like there are always new Netflix original shows. The streaming service caters to a wide variety of audiences with an original series for each genre. Among the comedies, one stands out: A refreshing show about two elderly women who are going through divorce.

“Grace and Frankie” follows the plot of two polar opposite women. Frankie, played by Lily Tomlin, is a spiritual and free soul, always draped in colorful, long, layered fabrics. Grace, played by Jane Fonda, is an extremely put-together Type A personality. These women do not get along but are forced to come together when they discover their husbands are gay and in a relationship — and have been for the past 20 years.

Though Frankie would rather deal with the news by binge eating Hostess snacks and drinking tea made from the peyote cactus to send her on a “vision quest,” Grace is more stubborn with her feelings and refuses to let anybody see her with a hair out of place.

The plot line of their husbands’ affair is only the catalyst that develops the relationship between the two women over the course of three seasons (with a fourth on its way). Their new start is an awakening of career, familial and even sexual endeavors that one is not used to seeing represented by 70-year-old protagonists.

Shows like “Golden Girls,” on air from 1985 to 1992, give a voice to the elderly woman in a much different way. “Golden Girls” plays into stereotypes, whereas “Grace and Frankie” deviates from those stereotypes. The protagonists of “Golden Girls” joke about awaiting their death while Grace and Frankie make conscious efforts to keep on living.

Characters Grace and Frankie develop, both together and separately, throughout three seasons. Frankie continues to follow her artistic nature by painting and being creative. Grace busts out of her shell and creates an online dating profile. Spoiler alert: The two even start an edgy business together, making sex toys specifically for women with arthritis.

The women are portrayed as self-sufficient business owners. They are modern in the way they think, dress and pursue life. These are characters with substance. They don’t sit at home and knit. They date, they break up and experience everyday side effects of living, not dying.

The show, created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, portrays Grace and Frankie as developed, three-dimensional characters, instead of just stereotypical old women. They do show elements of old age but do not center episode plot lines around it.

In Season 1, Episode 3 “The Dinner,” when Frankie makes an attempt to get back into work as an art instructor in a nursing home, she is mistaken for a resident. She doesn’t react well to this.

“Do I look like I need a bed with a motor? I am young!” Frankie says.

As she’s leaving, she lowers into a squat. “My joints are supple!” she says.

The show uses age as commentary for the way in which elderly are treated, but it doesn’t buy into the stereotypes. At the end of the day — or season— Grace and Frankie are living lives as fulfilling and exciting as the most youthful protagonists.

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‘Grace and Frankie’ offers a new take on comedy