TV Review: Netflix’s Grace And Frankie limits its killer cast with a conflicted execution

Grace And Frankie, Netflix’s sitcom about gracefully aging women bonded by a shared betrayal, does a fine job of rendering its characters’ emotional journeys. Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) are polar opposites—a buttoned-down lady who lunches and a wavy-gravy flower child—who tolerate each other for the benefit of their joined-at-the-hip husbands, Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston). But as the ladies are hastily informed during a bruising double-date, Robert and Sol aren’t best friends—they’re in love with each other and they want to live out their last years together, rather than with their wives. Naturally, the revelation arouses complex, mercurial feelings, and Grace And Frankie portrays those feelings with acuity and empathy. That’s a compliment, but also a diagnosis for why the show struggles to find its voice.

The expectations game doesn’t favor Grace And Frankie, due to the …

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