of our society. In order to become familiar with how the sitcom is
able to condemn ageism, I have chosen three specific episodes that
most clearly and effectively illustrate the sexual liberation of
Robert, Sol, Grace and Frankie.
The series premiere of Grace and Frankie, “The End,”
begins with the two women doing their best to exchange
pleasantries as they wait for their husbands to join them for dinner.
It’s clear within the first few minutes of the sitcom that Grace and
Frankie are complete opposites, and this hinders the women from
getting along. Once their husbands arrive, an awkward air falls
across the table, and it is evident that Robert is eager to share news
with the women. He encourages Sol to say what is on both of their
minds, but Sol – being more passive – is unable to express himself
effectively. Therefore, Robert proceeds to rip off the band aid and
tell Grace and Frankie that he and Sol are in love, have been having
an affair for the past two decades, and plan to marry.
The revelation ignites a series of emotions in both Grace
and Frankie as they try to grapple with the fact that their marriages
have been based on a complete lie. Throughout the episode, we
see not only the women but also their grown children struggling
with their new reality. Bud, Coyote, Brianna, and Mallory all try to
offer social support for their mothers during their time of crisis,
but ultimately, Grace and Frankie must navigate their lives with
only each other as their primary source of assistance. Perhaps what
surprises both families most is not the fact that Robert and Sol are
leaving Grace and Frankie but that they were leaving their wives
for each other. Viewers can see this definitively during an
interaction between the two couples in the opening scene.