Debrief Daily is making its first community service announcement. This is not an emergency. But it is urgent.
Gather wine and chocolate. Walk calmly towards your television. Now sit and join Netflix.
And watch Grace and Frankie.
Starring Jane Fonda (Grace) and LiIy Tomlin (Frankie) this is witty, watchable television that portrays a stage of life we rarely see on the screen. It’s a noughties Golden Girls on steroids, it’s Friends all grown up and it’s going to rock your world.
Or at least jiggle your rolls.
Grace and Frankie are two women who don't have much in common except that their husbands are partners in a law practice. They are dumped over dinner when their blokes declare they are not only gay but in love with each other. A shocked Grace says to her husband: "It would have been easier if you died".
So Grace and Frankie retreat to a beach house together in San Diego to process the betrayal, the creeping realisation their marriages have been a fraud and their need to rebuild their lives. They enjoy a peyote trip on the sand. As you do.
Here's what you will love. I guarantee it.
This show is funny. Grace (Fonda) revels in sitting on Ryan Gosling's face (it's a chair with his portrait). There are cracks about sand in cracks and about weeing when you laugh too much (and this does actually lead to a little pee on Ryan's face). But the show is also choc filled with jokes about life over the age of 50. There are those giggles-of-recognition gags about needing large text on your iPhone, mishearing conversations due to partial deafness, mixing Valium and Ben and Jerry's ice-cream, having sore feet and being forgetful. And there is a golden moment where Frankie talks out loud to herself in a vague stream of consciousness ramble that made me almost pee on my own couch.
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Grace and Frankie take drugs. Frankie makes lube from yams. They dance on bars. They do stupid things. Their characters veer towards stereotypes - the Type A personality versus the Boomer hippy, but their brilliant acting keeps them real.
The primal scream at an age and society obsessed with youth and beauty
Grace and Frankie feel desperately sad and go to buy cigarettes. They stand at the cash register. And wait. And wait. They are studiously ignored by the staff, so invisible that a man actually turns his back on them to assist a young blonde woman. Grace completely loses it. Fonda acts out for all women who have been ignored, and her fury and frustration is simultaneously awful and fabulous - you will put a cushion up to your face and then put it down to fist pump When Lily Tomlin's character applies for a job at a retirement home and shown around as a future tenant her anger is frightening, familiar and beautiful.
The portrayal of pain
This is a comedy with depth. The women are facing being single again after being married for 40 years. They are grieving and raw, anxious and stressed about rebuilding their lives. Frankie portrays how hard it is to let go when a husband leaves - a recognition that married lives become as interconnected as tree roots that when chopped at leave them untethered and lost. The relationship with her husband Sol doesn't end because he's gay. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda portray the pathos of life one minute, and make me choke on my wine the next. Because sometimes when life is awful, you just have to laugh.
Grace and Frankie show life doesn't stop at 50. They are learning how to engage with the world in a different way and illustrate how we are always growing and developing and learning. They learn to navigate loneliness and loss, anxieties, fears, enforced independence, dating, sex and twitter. Their grown kids all have problems. Life is complicated, messy and familiar.
Grace and Frankie reflect the wisdom of women in their later years. They know the importance of work. Of family. Of ritual. Of ceremony. Of love. Of acceptance. They gain insight into truisms such as the fact that business can be a cover for self importance and the weird and wonderful nature of grief.
Jane Fonda is fierce, funny and brings vulnerability and range to her role as Grace. Lily Tomlin is superb. Her character Frankie is my new idol, mentor and spirit animal wrapped into one. Together they are magnificent. The series was created for them by another wonderful woman, Marta Kauffman, the co-creator of Friends. She is wise, witty, wonderful writer who can build a show around friendship like no other.
We hope we haven't over-hyped the show ... but you should know a second series got the green light just two weeks after the first episode went to air.
Enjoy. And perhaps pee just a little while you do.
Here's the trailer, please tell us you laughed as much as we did ...