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February 2, 2018 2:36 pm  #1

Grace and Frankie - discussion

We've had this TV show come up in conversation a few times in various posts so I thought it would be fun to have a dedicated thread to talk about it.

Has everyone seen it?
What do you think about the show?
Does it accurately portrait the experience of a straight spouse?
Is it hard to watch or a "trigger"?   How does it impact your emotional state?
What should they have done differently?


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 


February 2, 2018 4:43 pm  #2

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

Refuse to watch it..  I watch the Hallmark Channel because the sappy hetero-sexual romances give me comfort.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

February 2, 2018 8:21 pm  #3

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

I have been watching it. It’s imperfect at times, but as a TV series it’s actually better than most. In the beginning I was being hyper critical, because some aspects glossed over my reality — but eventually I had to admit, they would never make a realistic series about my life because it would be so miserably depressing nobody would ever watch it.

So I watched, and it was at a time when I was just desperately lonely carrying this secret around, and I finally figured out why I was so hooked on it. It was just the idea of having a best friend who knew everything, and knew exactly what I was going through because she was going through the exact same thing. It was the idea of having someone there to hold my hand at the worst moments because she knew exactly what I was feeling. I wouldn’t have to put on a false cheerful face all the time. I realized that I’m watching the two of them living together in a beautiful beach house, and I would just about kill to have a best friend like that.

The latest season has a plot twist that was very difficult to watch: a house next door to the two men is bought by a young couple, and the husband is obviously gay, and the question comes up of whether the guys should intervene in some way. I haven’t seen how they deal with this, but I find it very hard to watch without crying.


February 5, 2018 10:02 am  #4

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

I've watched quite a few episodes over the past week and I find myself enjoying the show. 

I think if I'd have tried it a year ago i would have hated it, but I'm in a better place now. 

The first episode was fantastic.  I felt like the producers of the show read our forum and used many lines that we've wrote so many times.  They hit on so many important points of how the straight spouse experiences the pain and damage.   Of course it's a sit-com so they didn't have time to really get in depth.. so the characters go through the stages extremely quickly.. they don't show the week and hours of tears and months of depression that so many of us go through.  But they did at least capture it.. if only for a few seconds. 

As I've progressed through the first season, the show is of course trying to gain a wider audience and be funny, so it's lost the intensity of the first couple episodes.  Still from time to time they hit on some good points.  

I don't like how they've kept the gay men as major characters.. I just don't think that's an accurate example of how this works.  But i get that it's a tv show.   I don't like seeing the men kiss and hug.. I can do without that.  Perhaps that's just me being "triggered".   I wish they would tone down all the sexual comedy.. i get that they are trying to court viewers, but I think it's distasteful. 

Anyway..  I like the show.  I don't recommend a straight spouse in their first months of the experience watch the show.  I think it would be painful and not helpful.   But later on after things settle down, I think it's a good show to watch. 

The reason i like the show is that it brings our experience (plight) to the mainstream.   It takes the side of the straight spouse and makes the world see how it feels for us.. .even if just a little taste of it.   Not perfect.. but it's a start. 

-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

     Thread Starter

February 5, 2018 11:46 am  #5

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

I'm in the refuse to watch it camp, too.  Maybe it's just too soon. 


February 5, 2018 8:50 pm  #6

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

I don’t find the two guys to be typical of the gay husbands we have experienced here. I do think their portrayal of the straight spouses was more true to life. But, based on my experience and most of what I’ve read here, there’s a real lack of self awareness that our spouses have shown. I don’t think the series explores that issue.

Also I can’t imagine a guy who has spent his entire life, into his sixties, keeping his orientation a secret, and suddenly he comes out and he’s going to public demonstrations and getting involved with gay community theater — if that were to happen at all, it would be a process that took years. Maybe it’s just my husband, but his reflexive secrecy wouldn’t just disappear overnight.

There’s plenty to criticize, but that’s true of most tv series.


April 24, 2018 8:13 pm  #7

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

I have watched the first season of "Grace & Frankie" (DVD set from library. Definitely would not waste my hard-earned money to buy them.)
    The Michael Sheen character seems most like my ex. in that he seems self-absorbed, not caring what damage the relationship does to others, including "Sol".  Caught myself wishing my X was more like Sol, who seemed to genuinely love Frankie. When she needed comforting, he gave it; the "sleeping together" after divorce seemed to cause him great angst. I question how much angst / guilt he felt while he was still married to Frankie & involved with Robert. 
All in all, it seems the men are among those who are "privileged" and accustomed to having what they want, when they want. They had MOMs when it was more economical, convenient, necessary for them; then when it became inconvenient & unnecessary they wanted out. Imagine trying to build a law career as a gay man 40 years ago, when homosexuality was considered a "disease" & illegal. Or imagine maintaining the law firm when they decided to act on their feelings.  No, the cowards (that is my word for anybody who refuses to tell the truth because he is afraid of adverse results to himself) chose to continue the facade until gay marriage was acceptable. These guys are in their 70s, with adult children. Now they want to celebrate their retirement years with each other?  The wives probably expected, for 40 years, to enjoy their retirement years with their husbands.  The difficult years of child-rearing had been done successfully.
  As I write this, I realize  that I too expected to spend my late middle-age with my husband, the father of our children.  Instead, for the past 18 years, I have had to occupy myself with upgrading my marketable skills, then deal with being told I am "too old" to begin a career that I had been working on before I was distracted by marriage (34 years earlier). My X is 62 and seems to be enjoying himself with (according to our children) a man who speaks no english in the south of France (the X is english/french bilingual).
   Oh, by the way, walkbymyself, when my X acted in, "No Sex Please, We're British", shortly after he told me, "I want to explore my homosexuality", I insisted on going to see that play in a local theatre. What shocked me most was the way he kept his composure when 2 buxom women where stroking his face & fondling him. Whenever I touched him in such an alluring way, he'd stop me, saying, "That's too ticklish!" and squirm out of reach. But in the play, he stayed unmoving.!!  I felt quite sick and yes, jealous.
   Back to "Grace & Frankie", to me, the show is as "real" as "Friends", "Seinfeld" and other sitcoms: not real, but what some people imagine.... Oh, and when the 2 men are writing the vows they plan to state during the wedding, I wondered what promises they made to their wives 40 years earlier. How honest & trustworthy were they then? Or do they believe promises are temporary, until something or someone else comes along successfully tempting them?  What do they believe the word "vow" means?  According to the dictionary, a "vow" is a solemn oath, a pledge, a covenant.
   If these 2 men could so easily break their vows to their wives (after only 20 years), how easy would it be for them to break to each other?  Why bother to make "vows" to each other?  Or perhaps, being in their 70s, there is little chance of them having the time to break the vows?? 


April 24, 2018 8:59 pm  #8

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

I hate "Grace and Frankie," because I think it relies on gendered expectations.  Imagine the two men sticking around and helping their two newly out lesbian wives.  Wouldn't happen.
And don't get me started on "Transparent"!  The show my stbx watched when he was "deciding" whether he was transgendered.  Turns out he was only turned on by acting like a fuck me doll.


April 25, 2018 11:53 am  #9

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

I thought the show tried to be sensitive and at least in the womens' experiences, it did portray the feelings of betrayal and anger and self-doubt.  I don't think the two men are true-to-life.  

I was taken with the first season because it so directly addressed a very difficult and painful issue, and in each episode it was like one isolated step at a time got examined: the impact of a husband cutting off his wife's credit cards was an entire episode.  Having to go to a public event with your STBX was one episode.  The later episodes (in later seasons) are more like soap operas, but the early episodes were more true to life for me.

I realized after a while that what I watched for, was the sense that in my worst possible moments of isolation and pain, I would have given my right arm to have a best friend who knew exactly what I was going through because she was going through the same thing.  I imagined what it would be like for us not to have money woes, and we could share a beach house together with a big open floor plan and a modern kitchen and listen to the sound of the waves in La Jolla while we worked through all the pain and confusion.

That's what I was hooked on.


April 25, 2018 12:27 pm  #10

Re: Grace and Frankie - discussion

Cant get it over here? Its seems to only be on Amazon Prime.


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