Grace and Frankie Season Three Loses All The Awkwardness We Loved About The Show
Grace and Frankie’s third season wasn’t as interesting as the first two. The novelty is wearing off. Grace and Frankie’s odd-couple shenanigans isn’t as compelling as it used to be because the two women understand each other now. Before, they were two women forced to get along because they’re husband left them for each other. Now, they are legitimately best friends, who run a successful business together.
The tension with Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie’s (Lily Tomlin) exes, Sol and Robert, is also gone. While Sol Bergstein (Sam Waterston) and Robert Hanson (Martin Sheen) still have their disagreements, the situations don’t linger and are resolved quickly. Robert wanted to retire, but Sol wanted to stay. By the end of the season, Sol retires and hands over the law firm to his son, Bud. Sol then spends most of his time being a doting husband and arguing with the homophobic protesters outside of the theater where Robert plays John Adams in 1776. Since both men have plenty of time on their hands, they help their ex-wives with Vybrint, Grace and Frankie’s vibrator business whenever the women need help.
Because most of the tension between Grace and Frankie and their husbands is gone, the show focuses more on their children. Grace’s children are unhappy with their lives. Brianna (June Diane Raphael) is exactly like her mother and is emotionally distant with everyone, which causes her boyfriend to leave. Her sister Mallory (Brooklyn Decker) is trapped in a loveless marriage with four kids, which is presented as being her own fault. It’s hard to be sympathetic to either one of the Hanson offspring.
The Bergstein children are more interesting than Brianna and Mallory. However, Bud’s girlfriend is odd and needy. While Bud cares for her, it’s unclear weather he actually loves her or deals with her neediness so he can get laid. As for the last child, Coyote is a genuinely nice guy with a troubled past, who has repaired his relationship with Mallory and mentors other members of his Alcoholics Anonymous group.
Most of season three focuses on the Hansons and the Bergsteins settling into their new normal. However, all that is upset when Frankie’s boyfriend, Jacob (Ernie Hudson), decides he is moving to New Mexico and wants to take Frankie with him. This is further complicated by the vibrator business’ success leading to a lawsuit with a much larger company that ripped off Grace and Frankie’s design. The season ends with a cliffhanger about the fate of both Frankie and the women’s vibrator business.
Grace and Frankie may only have one more season left. Shows get boring when the character’s lives get normal and everyone the audience cares about is happy. Having the woman start a vibrator business is only interesting until you get used to the idea. Eventually, your mind normalizes the idea that grandma has sexual needs and the concept no longer remains awkwardly funny. At this point, the only reason to tune into Season 4 is to find out if Frankie follows Jacob to New Mexico.