A Netflix fan favourite returned to small screens all over the world last Friday. But could Season 4 of Grace and Frankie delight audiences with the same witty, sophisticated humour that captured fans in the previous three seasons? I decided to binge watch it and find out.
This time around we are introduced to a new face. Seasoned TV star Lisa Kudrow has joined the girls for the first quarter of the season as Sheree, Grace’s new roommate. Although her character works well as a plot device to bring Frankie back to San Diego, the bubblegum pink, ditsy blonde is a little too close to Kudrow’s previous infamous persona in Friends for my liking. Her character seems a little safe and her inclusion feels like an attempt to name drop, so as to attract a larger audience.
As usual the show deals with the problems of getting older. However, one non age-related issue covered this time round is loneliness. The departure of Ernie Hudson as the infamous “Yam Man” Jacob shows the strain that long distance relationships can have on couples of any age. But loneliness is everywhere in this show, whether it’s Grace’s at the beginning of the series, or the isolation Sol and Robert find in their marriage.
But no show portrays those senior years quite like Grace and Frankie. We get the first mention of a retirement home this season. We also have bad knees, forgetfulness and even a leading lady who is ‘dead’ – though not in the traditional way. But other issues are raised too, such as the inability to even admit that there are any issues, in a way that causes major friction between the leading ladies and their children.
The same captivating electricity that flowed between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the first three seasons courses through this one too. So Netflix made the right decision when it chose Grace and Frankie as the first comedy that it would give a fourth season to.
We leave the thirteenth episode of this easygoing, heart-warming series wondering where the plot-related doors that have been opened will lead. There’s Grace, Bud and his new baby. There’s Coyote’s move to Hollywood. And of course there’s Grace and Frankie moving on with their lives and their company.
This incredibly bingeable series will leave many people waiting for the release of series five, and after my newly formed love for the show, I’m going to be one them.