Grace and Frankie

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Grace and Frankie TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Fab older cast turns family drama into fun comedy.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The power of family bonds is stressed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are recognizable archetypes with good sides and bad sides, as well as bad habits. But they're largely loving, responsible, and professional. 


Some mild threats of violence; characters threaten to punch each other in the nose. 


Many sex jokes that reference oral sex, group sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and the like. A plot line revolves around a vibrator.


Cursing generally lighthearted, but many four-letter words: "f--k," "s--t," and so on. Gendered insults, as when a woman is called a "bitch." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many references to drinking and drugs. Characters take peyote on-screen, smoke, drink, take prescription medication. They get drunk or high and act silly or aggressive. Characters come to life-altering decisions under the influence of psychedelic drugs. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grace and Frankie is a series about two women in their 70s who suddenly learn that their husbands are leaving them for each other. Though the characters are relatively realistic, the show is fun and doesn't take itself too seriously, Many plot points involve the consumption of substances: Characters take peyote on-screen and hallucinate; they take prescription pills and smoke pot and cigarettes. They also joke about oral sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and infidelity. There's some swearing, too: "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJake M. September 8, 2016

Pretty Funny show, but definitely not for kids!

I just watched the first episode and I was laughing so hard. The actors in the show are fantastic and it's a hilarious story, but it's not for kids.... Continue reading
Adult Written byJan-Michael W. February 7, 2018

Great actors but poor language skill by writers

As Jerry Seinfeld showed, you do not need to be swearing or be vulgar to get a laugh. I am disappointed that a show with so many good themes and a chance to re... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byAmy2020 July 19, 2020

Not for kids !!!

First of all The show is fine but definitely not for kids .. tweens and younger teens should be not be exposed to such stuff that the show focuses on , okay so... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySaige120 July 10, 2020

Great acting

I'm honestly surprised on the TV-MA rating. There is some language such as f**k and s**t as well as sex scenes, but nothing a 13 year old hasn't seen... Continue reading

What's the story?

GRACE AND FRANKIE never really liked each other all that much, but since Grace (Jane Fonda)'s husband Robert (Martin Sheen) ran a law firm with Frankie (Lily Tomlin)'s husband Sol (Sam Waterston), they had to have the occasional make-nice dinner. But what Grace and Frankie didn't realize was that Sol and Robert were partners in more than business: The two have been carrying on a secret affair for the last two decades. Now Sol and Robert have come out and told the world they intend to marry, leaving Frankie and Grace to pick up the pieces. 

Is it any good?

Tomlin and Fonda still have comedy chops, and Grace and Frankie gives them, particularly Tomlin, killer lines to deliver (as one would expect from a comedy begat from the creator of Friends). "Wow, I must have half the beach in my vagina," says a game, underwear-less Frankie, straightening up from the peyote-laced beach-side dark night of the soul that takes up a delightful hunk of the first episode. Later, she interrogates a convenience-store clerk, demanding an impossibly specific cigarette recommendation: "What brand would you smoke if your husband turned out to be gay?" "Newports," he replies. "For twenty years?" says Frankie. "Luckies," the clerk corrects himself. 

The tone can shift a little strangely from fast-paced one-liners to emotional fireworks, but it's easy to forgive with such appealing actors. Tomlin and Fonda are as wonderful as ever together, but Sheen shows a surprisingly deft hand with comedy, playing a restrained man who suddenly has a very public private life. Even the supporting players are choice: Ethan Embry as Frankie and Sol's newly sober disappointment of a son, and the veteran Mary Kay Place, who shows up as a friend of Frankie's. The show isn't perfect, but it's enjoyable, meaty stuff, ideal for watching with viewers who may have been laughing with Tomlin and Fonda for decades. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters' dynamics. How are they dealing with the circumstances? Do you think they could do better?

  • There aren't very many TV shows about older people. Why do you think this is? 

  • Have you seen either of the other shows made by Grace and Frankie cocreators Marta Kaufman (Friends, Dream On) and Howard J. Morris (Home Improvement, The Starter Wife)? How are they alike or different from this show? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love classic comedy

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