They are well past child-bearing age, they are divorced, and they are no longer desirable to the mainstream male gaze. And yet Grace and Frankie seem to be having the best time of their lives.
When Grace and Frankie first came out in 2015, the show was thought to be a one-trick pony appealing only to an older demographic. Business Insider announced the show was “unashamedly targeting older viewers” with a plot centered around “two retired ladies thrown together when their husbands come out as gay and a couple.”
But one quick Twitter search reveals the show’s appeal is crossing generational lines. There’s a steady stream of millennials gushing about everything from Fonda’s acting skills to wishing they were just that cool (“I just want to be 70 and be friends with Grace and Frankie!”).
So what does a Netflix original comedy about two female divorcees in their 70s have to offer millennial gals? Plenty. Here are five reasons we’re tuning in:
1) Sisterhood: It may sound cheesy, but the show really is about the special bond that is female friendship. Season 1 opened with Grace and Frankie being left by their husbands of over 30 years: a theme that continues throughout the show. Men (even hunks like Sam Elliot) come and go, but the one thing that is constant is female friendship.
2) Women’s Worth: In a media culture obsessed with images of female youth and beauty, Grace and Frankie is truly a revolutionary statement—one that all women, regardless of our age, recognize. The protagonists’ wrinkly skin and deteriorating bodies aren’t cause for mockery or sympathy, rather, they only add to their badass-ery.
G&F knows that age is just a number which brings us to our next reason-to-watch:
3) Sex Is For Everyone:
Not only do Grace and Frankie admit to having sex/sexual desires, they actually flaunt it. After receiving a new “toy” from a deceased friend, Grace’s (Jane Fonda’s) arthritis flares up due to repeated use. Vibrators aren’t designed with older joints and fingers in mind so the two decide to create one designed for and marketed to aging women. In what is a mic-drop moment, Grace and Frankie tell off their offended children and ex’s, declaring: “We‘re making things for people like us because we’re sick and tired of being dismissed by people like you!”
4) Women Are Funny: The 2010s are proving to be a giant leap forward for female funniness. From Bridesmaids to Broad City, women are throwing the punchlines and Grace and Frankie is no exception—proving that, not only can women be funny and carry a show, but that they can do it and be over 50.
5) Marriage Is Optional: Perhaps the cord that strikes deepest with younger female audiences is the take-it-or-leave-it attitude the show exhibits toward marriage and traditional gender roles. Grace and Frankie are, for all society’s intents and purposes, useless. They are well past child-bearing age, they are divorced, and they are no longer desirable to the mainstream male gaze. And yet Grace and Frankie seem to be having the best time of their lives all while not GAF. And that, is why we love them.
Jessica Schreindl is a freelance writer and TV producer in Seattle, Washington. She is a contributing writer for Mic.com and has been published on Feministing.com. She graduated with her M.A. from Syracuse University where she studied film history and documentary filmmaking.