Grace and Frankie

A little while ago I finally started watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix. I have been aware of the show for some time, and I have always liked Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, but somehow I was never actually moved to watch this. After the recent resurgence of my interest in actor James Stewart, I began reading about his friendship with Henry Fonda. That led me to reading about the complicated relationship between Henry Fonda and his kids and that in turn led me to some video interviews with Jane Fonda. From that my interest in Grace and Frankie grew and I finally braved the first episode. I was very pleasantly surprised, not only with the two women, but with all the main characters in the story!

Grace & Frankie posterThe show is about so many things, although most obviously it’s about two ladies in their 70s that have to completely reshape and redefine their lives.

At the start of the series Grace Hanson (Jane Fonda) is married to lawyer Robert (Martin Sheen) and Frankie Bergstein (Lily Tomlin) is married to another lawyer Sol (Sam Waterston); the couples are in their 70s. Grace is an uptight former beauty product executive who is very fond of a drink and doesn’t much like Frankie who is a free-spirited hippie, giving painting lessons to ex-cons and who likes to smoke pot on occasion.

Grace Robert Frankie Sol

Robert and Sol work together in their shared law firm and the two couples have known each other for ages. The series begins with a dinner, where Robert and Sol announce to their wives that they are gay, that they have been in love with each other for 20 years and that they want to get married…

Grace & Frankie 01

While Robert and Sol are relieved that their secret is out at last, the two women are completely blindsided, their whole worlds are turned upside down. The two women retreat to the beach house the two couples had shared as a time-share and while at first Grace and Frankie get along with difficulty, they soon develop a friendship.

grace frankie01Each of the couples also have grown up children. Grace has two daughters, Mallory (Brooklyn Decker, on the left in the two pics below) and Brianna (June Diane Raphael, on the right).

Mallory is ‘the nice one’, married and a mom, while Brianna is the one who now heads up Grace’s old beauty products company, she is sarcastic and a commitment-phobe.

Frankie has two sons: Nwabudike, Bud for short (Baron Vaughn, the dark guy), who is also a lawyer, very responsible and on his way to take over the dads’ firm, and Coyote (Ethan Embry, the light guy) is a recovering drug addict, just out of rehab and living with his brother because he isn’t ready to live on his own yet.

What I loved about these two sons is that it is immediately clear that they are brothers and it takes a couple of episodes until it’s explained that they were both adopted by Frankie and Sol. It reminds me of my own family. I just visited my brother in London last weekend, and he too is dark where I am light (and his daughter is a lovely mix).

bro sis

Seeing Bud and Coyote going through regular sibling stuff reminds me of my brother (or my Palestinian brother or my Palestinian sister) and me. There is no emphasis on adoption, there is emphasis on sibling relationships with ups and downs and I just love that.

The daughters and sons of Grace and Frankie have known each other pretty much all their lives, so we also see them explore together what the new status quo means, how they too need to find their places. We also get glimpses into their lives and some of the big stuff they need to deal with.

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Then we have Sol and Robert. The marriage of Robert and Grace had sort of muddled on for ages, they weren’t particularly close. However, Sol and Frankie did have a close relationship in their marriage and their ‘uncoupling’ is difficult as they still really like each other.

Sol & Frankie 01

Yet, there is no doubt at all that Sol and Robert are absolutely in love and seeing that, despite the hurt they caused their wives, is heartwarming…

They deal with finally coming out as gay in their 70s (in a later season we see how nervous Catholic Robert is when telling his 90+ mother that he is gay), trying to tap into a gay community and find their own ‘way’ of being gay and struggling with couple issues like any couple does (living together, wedding preparations but also jealousy and infidelity of sorts are included).

The stars of the show are of course Grace and Frankie. They deal with the blow they have received and must learn to find new sources of support. They deal with feeling obsolete and ageing and health and death and family and finding love and sex and what all that means late in life. They must find their new normal, figure out a way to deal with their ex-husbands and figure out a way to make life fun and meaningful again. All of this sounds quite dramatic but the show has so much humour! It is touching and very funny at the same time and that combination is gold.

Grace and Frankie are two opposites who somehow attract and so much comedy is derived from how these opposites interact with each other, how very differently they deal with situations.  Grace is closed off and not too comfortable talking about emotions, Frankie is the opposite, Grace finds solace in drinking, Frankie finds solace in chanting and smoking pot. Frankie is very nurturing of her sons, whereas Grace is more standoffish with her daughters. She doesn’t particularly like kids and being a hands on grandmother is not her thing. And yet, reluctantly and bonding over the situation they have found themselves in, they become close. At some point Grace and Frankie even decide to found a company making vibrators that are tailored to older women, after Grace injures her wrist using a ‘regular’ vibrator at Frankie’s suggestion.

Gracle & Frankie 03

That whole vibrator storyline is just a joy to watch. It also highlights how different their approaches to business are. Grace is a business woman through and through and Frankie is very much a go with the flow person, also very intent on being ethical in business. This leads to some very funny situations and they even go out and about with vagina balloons at one point!

grace frankie balloons

And their families look on in wonder how these two very different women seem to gel…Grace & Frankie group

They also deal with love. Frankie finds herself attracted to vegetable farmer Jacob (Ernie Hudson) who provides yams for the yam lubricant she makes (yeah, funny, just watch it…).

Grace gets involved with travel writer Guy (Craig T. Nelson) for a while…

… then reconnects with contractor Phil (Sam Elliott) whom she had once been attracted to but at that time she couldn’t act on it…

Grace & Phil

… and later finds that rich businessman Nick (Peter Gallagher), a man younger than she is and an adversary in business, is trying to pursue her…

Through all of this, at the heart of the show, there is the friendship between Frankie and Grace, dealing with problems that age brings and finding their feet in a later stage of life.

Gracle & Frankie 06

To me this is a very universal show, relevant to all ages. Sure, it centers around old people, but really it’s a show about humanity, accepting the differences in people, dealing with what life throws at you and trying to make the most of life regardless, and survival. All of this is done with a nice large shot of humour thrown in. The acting is great, the characters are great, the stories are fun and serious subjects are not shunned. I have just completely fallen for Grace and Frankie!

There are four seasons of Grace and Frankie available on Netflix (13 half hour episodes a season). The fifth season is being filmed as we speak, it should be out at the beginning of next year. I, for one, can hardly wait to see how this continues! Here’s a trailer for the start of the series.

The show really is everything this trailer promises and more… totally worth a watch in my humble opinion. 🙂

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Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Aussie – as in an endearment for an Australian. 🙂 There has been some great Aussie entertainment news this past week!


Last week two of my favourite Aussies were posing together: Simon Baker of The Mentalist fame and Hugh Jackman. Simon has made a movie called Breath and Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-lee Furness were helping Simon promote his movie in New York City! As shared on Hugh’s instagram account…

… as well as on Simon’s instagram account. Apparently Jackman hosted the screening!

Here a few more pictures from that same event (click to enlarge)…

Breath is an Australian movie set in the 1970s. It’s a coming of age story about two teenage boys who befriend an older surfer (Simon Baker) and he challenges them to take risks. Here’s a trailer…

Simon Baker not only stars in this, he also directed, produced and co-wrote this movie and, as an accomplished surfer himself, he also surfs in it. I’m not sure how wide the release will be but the first reviews I have seen sound promising!


In other Aussie news: the Australian Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries film is a go! Crowdfunding (and yes, I also am a backer) helped make this possible. 🙂 All the main actors will be back and filming will start in October in Morocco and in Australia (Melbourne). The new movie is called Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears

You can read the full press release here. From the press release…

“The film opens with the Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher rescuing Shirin Abbas, a young Bedouin woman, who has been thrown into jail in British Mandated Palestine, for making trouble at a time of colonial unrest. After a perilous escape from Jerusalem, she rejoins Shirin as a fellow guest in the home of Lord and Lady Lofthouse, for the London ‘season’ and she pledges to help her right a wrong and discover the truth about the Crypt of Tears – an ancient crypt rumoured to lie somewhere beneath the rolling sands of the Negev Desert.

Fiona Eagger said: “Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears will have the witty intrigue of Indiana Jones, the opulent style of a Merchant Ivory Production, and the feminist fun of Thelma and Louise.”

It’ll be a while before we’ll actually see it but already I am getting excited for this!


Also, a bit of Aussie fun: Chris Hemsworth, Australian actor of Thor fame, posted this funny little video of him signing photographs of himself the other day.

I can so imagine that it must feel like a workout if you have to sign so very many!


And in final Aussie news – nominations for Australia’s biggest TV awards, the Logies, have just been announced. The Aussie show A Place to Call Home, that I love so much, has been nominated for ‘Most Outstanding Drama Series’!

They won the award last year and I wouldn’t mind them winning it again this year! Jenni Baird has again been nominated for ‘Most Outstanding Supporting Actress’ for her role as Regina…

… and by George, would I absolutely love to see her win! She has been the most dubious, chilling and layered character on the show, she was robbed for not winning last year. I hope she gets it this year, fingers crossed!


Yes, I love me some good Aussie news!

‘Suits’ is almost back!

In early February it was announced that my current fave TV series Suits is returning for the second half of season 7 (the last 6 episodes) on March 28th.

Suits 7b

I saw this short trailer back then…

… and then had to make myself not look at it again and again, because that only gets me worked up and extremely impatient during the wait and I really can’t deal with feeling worked up. Right now my job is fun but very stressful, I can’t take on any TV or movie or upcoming-Richard-Armitage-projects excitement/stress on top of that. However, now that March 28th is almost upon us, I am finally allowing myself to get excited! Here, another promo which is Mike and Rachel centered. Both of them are leaving the show (Meghan Markle to get married to a real-life prince and Patrick J. Adams was ready for wanting new challenges elsewhere), so there will be some nostalgia there…

On Twitter, there’s a countdown going on as well, today featuring Donna (Sarah Rafferty)…

I have a feeling that tomorrow’s picture will feature Harvey (Gabriel Macht)… Arrogant, worked up, pompous Harvey has already been featured here and there…

… but I’m mostly looking forward to vulnerable Harvey behind the tough exterior, like we see in this picture from the upcoming episode!

Suits - Season 7

Maybe I am overly excited (this is a Lizzie Bennet Diaries gif)…

LB overreacting gif.gif

… but it totally beats watching the news these days! 🙂

Top fanvids on my YouTube…

I updated my fan video corner on this site yesterday evening, adding a page for the TV series Suits. I have made several videos for that show, the last one was in November, but I suspect that after series 7B airs (starting March 28th!), I will be making some more Suits videos. I didn’t have a Suits page yet but now that omission has been corrected.

I have a  YouTube channel, which is where I post most of my videos and I have posted videos there from the end of 2010 onwards. While I do post, I very rarely check any stats and I’m not very active there, community-wise. After I post a new video, I sometimes throw a quick peek at a few basic stats from the last few videos I posted but tend to quickly move on. I don’t aim to gather a huge following, I’m just sharing what I make and should others like it, then that’s the extra bonus.

Anyway, while updating my fan video corner here, I thought I’d check out my YouTube stats in a little more depth for a change. What I see is that I have garnered 957.875 views over the past 7,5 years! I don’t know if that’s really a lot in the grand scheme of things but it sounds like a lot to me! I am also surprised that I have 607 subscribers! They must come from varying fandoms as I have made videos for several different shows, but that number surprises me. I was also able to see what my most viewed videos were and the results also surprised me…


My number 1 most viewed video is a Suits video called ‘Crazy’ which I posted last November. I am gobsmacked that a video I posted only 4 months ago should already be at the top of the list! As I type this, the video has had 141.058 views and 296 likes (with 20 dislikes)…

I wonder what makes this Suits video so very popular! My first Suits fan video was made up of gifs, so not that great and I get why that one isn’t so popular. Another Suits video I made (“Bomb”) is blocked in USA and Canada (but also available on Vimeo), so I get why that doesn’t have that many views either. I do wonder why the one I made after ‘Crazy’ (called ‘Demons’) is stuck at 746 views, though, which is about 1000 views less than even that gif video. Is it really that much worse? Or was the popular one shared on some very popular Suits platform and is that why it is so extremely well viewed? In any case, this is interesting!


The number 2 most viewed video is one I did of a little Pierce Brosnan romcom called Laws of Attraction. Not the best of romcoms but I liked it and as there were very few fan videos of this movie out there, I decided to make one. It was posted in September 2012 (so took 5,5 years to garner the views it got) and has 132.506 views with 185 likes (and 18 dislikes). I guess it must be the big name (Pierce Brosnan), but it is the only video I also get spam notifications on. So, I’m thinking, maybe bots are responsible for some of those views?

I have a Pierce Brosnan videos page for the 4 vids I made starring him, should you care to see more. Two more Brosnan videos are in my top 10 most viewed list as well: at number 5 a Remington Steele ‘Kiss me’ video and at number 7 the ‘Love is all you need’ video.


My 3rd most viewed video is a bit of a dramatic Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries one. That one (posted in April 2016, so almost 2 years ago) has 115.914 views and the most likes of any other video on my channel: 666 likes (with only 10 dislikes)! So, number 3 in views but number 1 in most liked. 🙂

More Miss Fisher videos here. There are two more Miss Fisher videos in my top 10 most viewed list: at number 4 is ‘Jack’s Desk’ and at number 9 is ‘They can’t take that away from me’.


I also have A Place To Call Home videos, the most popular one of that show is the ‘At Last’ one I made at the end of season 4 a year ago, it’s the 6th most viewed video on my channel.

And ‘Time in a Bottle’ that I also made for that show is number 8 in the top ten.


I made a few Call the Midwife videos three years ago, some of them are also relatively popular. The most popular one for that show is ‘I Choose You’ (number 10 of my most viewed videos), which highlights the choice Sister Bernadette has to make…

More Call the Midwife videos here.


Outside of the top 10 videos, I also want to highlight a The Mentalist video. I always kind of assumed my old The Mentalist ‘That man’ video would remain my most popular video but that one is down to number 19 on the list now! Goes to show how long it’s been since I’ve actually really looked at stats. That video, one of my earliest fan videos (made in 2011!) and a little less polished looking, still remains one of my own faves. It is also still the most popular video of the The Mentalist ones I made…

More The Mentalist videos here.


And last but not least: I made the most videos for Silent Witness when the character of Dr. Harry Cunningham was still around. The show was never the same again after he left and after they killed off Dr. Leo Dalton a year later, I stopped watching altogether. My most viewed Silent Witness video (made in 2013, number 15 most viewed) got blocked on YouTube a year ago, so I have put it up on Vimeo. It dealt with the loss of Harry… Even after all these years (4, I think) I still hope that Dr. Nikki Alexander (she still does Silent Witness) will ride off into the sunset with Harry after all…

More Silent Witness videos here.


I should make a Richard Armitage fan video some time… but there are so many good ones already out there, I don’t feel like there’s much I can add. And I guess I should do this YouTube video analysis again some time in the future and see how things stand then. It’s been fun. 🙂

A Valentine’s Day declaration of love

I’m not that big on Valentine’s Day – my husband and I say we prefer to show our love all year round, we don’t need V-day.  🙂 But on blog I felt I couldn’t quite ignore it, especially after I came across these very fitting Hugh Jackman gifs…

HJ Happy Valentine's DayHJ No I love you

So, a Valentine’s Day post it is. This means that, of course, one of my fave on-screen kisses ever by Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe needs to be featured here…

john-margaret-kiss1john-margaret-kiss2

And Colin Firth declaring his love can not be ignored…

CF ardently admire and love youCF I like you just as you are

The kiss I have been most pre-occupied with in recent months needs to be included. Suits finally returns for it’s second half of season 7 at the end of March when we will finally, finally see what happens after this Donna & Harvey (#Darvey) kiss…

Darvey kiss gifDarvey kiss gif 5

However, for all these things, the true love in my life really is my husband. After last year’s V-day post I came to singing his praises in the comments there and now here, in its own blog post, I want to reiterate what I wrote then, for all to see…

Mr Esther and I have been together for 26 years now and this is the first picture of us as a couple, taken during the first weekend in February of 1992, just a week after we got together (Mr Esther was close to 21; I was close to 22)…

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We were both in college at the time and from the very first kiss everything felt completely right between us. We’ve been soul mates, best friends and lovers ever since. In 1999, on our 7.5 year anniversary, we were married…

The declaration of love that I made in the comments last year still holds true today, even though we are really getting old and fat (these pics were taken last summer and 9 years ago respectively)…

I suspect I will always love this man from the bottom of my heart. Quoting from last year:

“No, Richard [Armitage or any other man actor crush for that matter] is in no way whatsoever a rival for my husband. I think even if I would know Richard in real life, who knows whether I could really love him in the romantic sense? He could be a Mr. Grumpy pants for all I know, or a work-a-holic who’s never around, whose life and career would possibly take precendence over me, etc. etc. I don’t share a 25 year personal history with Richard, I don’t have children with him, he isn’t the one who has helped me deal with losses and disappointments, he isn’t the one who supports me and leaves me free to be who I want to be, who nurtures me and encourages me, he isn’t the one who loves me completely as I am, warts and all, he isn’t the one who is there for me physically and mentally – my husband is all that and no one can replace that. And I hope I am all that to him. [It’s] a personal exchange. When my husband and I met I was already a fan girl of all sorts of movie stuff, with posters of faves all over my room, he doesn’t know better than that I am always in love with some actor or other and it never bothered him. Also, I find that the actors I love all seem to have a bit of my husband in them, so basically when I fall for an actor, I’m falling in love with aspects of my husband… Yeah, I’m so so lucky. 🙂”

We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day but today is as good a day as any to let my husband know yet again that I love him! Maybe when he reads this post it will earn me a surprise bouquet of flowers? Or at the very least an extra little caress and/or kiss, like these from the sweet movie Something New that Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan made in 2006…

Happy Valentine’s Day!