Created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, ‘Grace and Frankie‘ is a comedy television series by Netflix about two women, Grace and Frankie (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin), who discover that their respective husbands are romantically involved with each other. Their lives subsequently entwine after being forced by circumstances to move in together. A series of misadventures pave the course of their shared path, which gradually gives way to an unexpected friendship.
The lighthearted show is hilarious and heart-warming, with memorable characters that have graced the series since its inception in May 2015. Owing to its successful ability to garner a considerable fan-following worldwide, the show’s plot has instilled curiosity among the fans about whether or not it has been inspired by a true event. Well, let’s find out!
Is Grace and Frankie Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Grace and Frankie’ is not based on a true story. It is an original screenplay by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris. Kauffman, who co-created the show with Morris, is well-known for her significant contributions to television comedy. The critics and audiences have lauded Kauffman for her works, including ‘Dream On,’ ‘Veronica’s Closet,’ and the cult hit, ‘Friends‘.
Several years ago, over lunch with Marcy Ross (the head of Skydance Television), Kauffman got the news that Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin both wanted to be on television together. After that, she got her agent to set them up for a new show with a plot that would live up to the actors’ reputation. She wanted to speak about the process of aging and an individual’s confrontation with the changes that are tantamount to age. In March 2014, Netflix finally settled for a 13-episode release for ‘Grace and Frankie’.
Overall, the show has a good grasp of comedy and emotions that circulate within the plot’s context. Themes of sexuality are also brought to the surface now and then. On being asked about the message, Kauffman positively declared her support for older people’s sexuality and expressed her dissent over how it is condescendingly underestimated. The show explores the concepts of desire and being desired from the perspectives of two older adults, which she stated, is beautiful.
The co-creator also admitted to having received backlash from the crowd over explicit portrayals of sexual themes associated with the past generations. But she seemed proud of her work and actively showed compassion for older people whose personal lives are significantly marginalized just because they are aging. Kauffman, aware of her age, wanted to reflect the experiences customary to the process of growing old.
The characters in ‘Grace and Frankie’ have proved to be role models for youngsters who are learning what to expect in their older years. She has reportedly received overwhelming feedback from viewers thriving around that age group, as well as younger women. Themes of self-empowerment and self-acceptance additionally run in the veins of what holds this show together. Kauffman eventually declared that ‘Grace and Frankie’ is aspirational for women.
Kauffman even chose to defy the youth-obsessed culture through her physical appearance. Her hair, which turned gray when she was 40, remained the same without a single stroke of color or any cosmetic remodeling. On being asked why, she jokingly reproached the topic, indicating that it is pointless to be using cosmetic cover-ups when aging is inevitable.
Apart from a generic fanbase, the show has also attracted people from the LGBTQIA+ community because of Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston’s characters falling in love with each other. Talking about the script in an interview, Kauffman stated that Sheen wanted to be sure about the depiction of the gay angle and its message to the crowd. She assured him that it was a serious topic not meant to be laughed at or taken as a joke. The show is about people wanting to start fresh regardless of their age, even if they start over at 70.
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