Grace and Frankie

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

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

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. 

Violence

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

Sex

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

Language

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." 

Consumerism
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 byTaylor J. July 21, 2017
Teen, 17 years old Written byOden4life May 17, 2015
Teen, 13 years old Written byRavenmystique May 21, 2015

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin comedy gives heart as well as laughs

If you're going to watch this Netflix original, you're probably expecting humor. There is plenty of it. It is funny to adults and teens alike. Lots of... 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

For kids who love classic comedy

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate