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Grace and Frankie’s friendship: perfect besties or toxic frenemies?

6 minutes to read

The infamous grandmother duo may bicker like a married couple and be as different as night and day, but there’s something about Grace and Frankie that makes me hope I have a friendship as cute and entertaining as theirs when I’m 70-something years old. With season five recently added to Netflix’s fat movie library, I can’t help but wonder what exactly this newly formed friendship is. Here are the reasons why I love, but also sometimes doubt, Grace and Frankie’s friendship:

Read with caution: there are spoilers!

They balance each other out

Frankie is the most absurd, resilient and random human being; Grace on the other hand is competitive, intolerant and in incredible shape for her age (award for sexiest actress over 70 goes to Jane Fonda hands down). It’s a yin and yang type of thing for sure. As a viewer who binge-watches the entire show within 24 hours of each season’s release, I can honestly say that Frankie can be too much at times – and Grace can a heinous bitch when she wants to be. For those who have only briefly watched the ads on Netflix, or only know the words ‘Grace and Frankie’ from hearing about the outrage in the media about the gender pay gap on the show a few years ago, then perhaps I’m not really selling the characters, or the show for that matter. However the sweetest thing about their endless list of personality pros and cons is that it actually fusions them to be the best type of women; together they’re strong, have a ‘fuck it’ mentality, and plus one the shit out of each other. Now that is a true friendship.

They sometimes don’t care about each other’s wants and needs

At the beginning of the show, and at times in the later seasons as well, Grace in particular is quite selfish in the friendship. At first she talks behind Frankie’s back and is completely close-minded to Frankie’s hippy and care-free nature. I think Grace wasn’t happy as a person; she drinks, you won’t catch her smiling a lot and she isn’t exactly what you’d call a ‘family-oriented gal.’ Frankie is content, she is a strong-believer in whatever she wants to believe and spent her life dedicated to helping others and making the world a better place (even if she is technically a failed vegan who can’t preach what she practices). Grace doesn’t like or understand Frankie’s way of life and shuts down all of Frankie’s wants and needs. When Frankie began dating a man in the earlier seasons, Grace freaked out and didn’t want Frankie to move on away from her; Frankie however did the same in the concluding episode of season five when Grace got married to her new flame.


The risk of combining business and friendship

There’s always going to be some degree of drama when you decide to create a business with your best friend; mixing business and friendship leads to dangerous waters. Their old-people vibrator business is cute, with little outsourced hiccups along the way that don’t necessarily put their friendship on the battlefield. In fact, they probably grow stronger as a duo from opening their business. However, their conflicting personalities do end up giving them trouble in the business, especially in season 5 when Frankie made some regrettable promises on social media to give away free vibrators and doughnuts to an inconceivable number of people when she was high, and without consulting Grace. I’m going to have to side with Grace on this one.


They’ve been through a lot together

Like, a lot. For their entire marriages, their husbands had an affair with each other, and the poor women only found out in their early to mid seventies (lol, no worries…). Their unfortunate commonality forced an absurd friendship that blossomed into something quite remarkable after they settled down and actually conversed on how sick and twisted their husbands were for cheating – not to mention how they totally misread their husbands for being straight all these years. Together they felt cheated, lied to, and definitely to some extent quite oblivious to the goings on in their own marriages. As time evolved, they both felt that the divorces were a blessing in disguise and together they rule the world. Moving into the beach house together may have actually been the best thing that happened to them.


They changed each other for the better

Major spoilers in this one. The last episode of season 5 has a ‘sliding doors’ theme where the two women imagine what their lives would be if they didn’t hold onto each other after the big news of finding out their husbands are gay and in love with one other. If Grace didn’t have Frankie as a friend, she would most likely stay the selfish and superficial way that she was. She’d only care about her fake friendships and what people thought about the pretend version of her life that she constantly promoted to everyone: that she was ‘happy’. If Frankie didn’t have Grace, she would be unbearable. She would be taking it too far with her activism, be utterly annoying to anyone in her proximity and probably dress a little too eccentric, even for her own liking. I can’t imagine what Grace and Frankie felt and went through after the beyond shit news, but both of them needed each other to get through it and ultimately change each other for the better.


Not one relationship is perfect. However personally, I believe that together they have something amazing and powerful, and to me that is basically perfection.

Comment below your thoughts on Grace and Frankie’s friendship!

 

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