I have a new love and it’s an unlikely one: a television show. You have to understand that an accomplishment for which I held great pride, was last year when BF and I went most of the year without owning a television set. We’ve never been ones to surround ourselves with television waves–when we own a T.V., it lives in our basement and receives little attention. Besides, I derive this perverse thrill out of doing things I deem cool/weird and hearing people say, “Whaaaat?”
We caved. One of our daughters wound up with an extra television set and they set it up in our basement for Christmas when the whole fam damily was here. Pajama movie days–at our house, that’s part of Christmas. And then our son shared his Netflix account. And then I found Grace and Frankie. I was instantly in love. Funny? Yes! But the real estate alone is enough to keep me watching. And what’s not to love about Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin? Back in the day, Jane and I did step aerobics together in our purple leg warmers. She used to say (in reference to a leg) “You grew it, you lift it!” I fell in love with Lily on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. Remember her snorts as Ernestine the telephone operator? But for now, I just really want Jane to be Grace and Lily to be Frankie, and I want to live in a beach house next door and be best friends.
A Netflix original series, I watched Season I over a few weeks. Thirteen, half-hour episodes, it didn’t take long. And then I shared those shows with friends and family, re-watching episodes while awaiting the release of Season II on May 6th. On Mother’s Day, no kids in town and my own mother in Spirit, I made the best of the rainy day by heading to the basement with a great bottle of red wine, a bag of pistachios, and my BF. Together, we blew through the entire Season II in one sitting. He, who had only picked up snippets of Season I, was an instant convert. I could tell he was loving it by the way he laughed out loud. At 13 episodes, approximately 30 minutes each, he sat next to me on the sofa for 390 minutes–that’s 6 1/2 hours–and that’s a Mother’s Day Miracle! Isn’t it just the best to love something and then have someone you love, love it too?
Somewhere mid-afternoon while we were waiting for the next episode to load, he asked me, “So, what do you love so much about this show?” I’d been thinking about that so I had a ready answer. “Take a portion of Grace, a slightly larger portion of Frankie–blend–and you’ve got me. These two women are the two parts of me.”
And then I thought more about it. My inner Grace and my inner Frankie define my life-long internal conflict. Oddly enough, as it turns out, it is also the inner conflict of the protagonist in the book I’m writing. It’s the old “Will the real me please stand up?” question. And then there’s the parts of each woman that I haven’t exactly nailed yet–Grace’s success and Frankie’s self-awareness–I have much to shoot for.
Who knew such effective personal therapy could come from a Netflix original series? Evidently, I’m not the only one who loves the show, Lily Tomlin landed a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a comedy series and they contracted for a third season before Season II was even released. As for me, I’m hoping the show stays real and lasts for a long time so I can keep laughing with, and learning from, these characters.