Tribeca Tune In: 'Grace and Frankie'

“Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin!”

Applause rang through the packed theatre as the stars of the hit Netflix original series Grace & Frankie took the stage. The event was part of the Tribeca Film Festival and it was held at the SVA 1 Silas Theater in Chelsea.

Prior to the talkback, the audience was treated to an advance screening of the first two episodes of season two of Grace & Frankie. The season isn't set to be released on Netflix until May 6th, so the advance screening almost a month in advance was a real treat. Before the episodes began, the audience was shown a welcome video by the shows creators, Marta Kauffman (the genius behind Friends) and Howard Morris. Before the segment ended, they told the audience that after Fonda and Tomlin left Tribeca, they would be heading back to sunny Los Angeles to film season three. The audience erupted into thunderous applause before the lights dimmed and the opening credits rolled.

If you’ve never seen the show, now is the perfect time to binge-watch the first season. The show is about Grace Hanson and Frankie Bergstein, who are the wives of lawyers Robert Hanson and Sol Bergstein. Robert and Sol get Grace and Frankie together and the four of them go out for a nice meal. Grace and Frankie think their husbands are going to announce their retirement, but the boys have other plans. It turns out that Robert and Sol, despite being married to their wives for forty years, are gay and have been secretly seeing each other for the past twenty years. They tell Grace and Frankie that they want a divorce, and will eventually be marrying each other. The rest of the season deals with Grace and Frankie trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, all while living together in their beach house that Robert and Sol had called a “once and a lifetime opportunity, one that we could only afford together,” which is how the two couples ended up buying the property together. The show is pure comedy and appeals to people of all ages.

Without giving too much away about the new season, we will say this; if you have seen the first season of Grace & Frankie, you will not be disappointed. The genius team of Kauffman & Morris did not disappoint in the writing and production of the new season. The jokes are funnier and the plot becomes more complicated as we begin to see different sides of each of the characters on the show. Fonda and Tomlin do not disappoint, as the two of them had the audience both laughing and crying during different moments in the episodes.

Afterwards, Fonda said during the talkback that, “she didn't think she was funny or the she could do comedy.” Well, we beg to differ. While their comedy styles might differ; Tomlin is more loud and vivacious whereas Fonda has more of a sarcastic quality about her (if you don't believe us, just wait until you see Jane’s “what-ever loser, why don’t you work at McDonalds” hand gesture sequence she does to Tomlin. You will laugh hysterically.) Both on screen and off, the pairing of Fonda and Tomlin is one that is both complimentary and comedic to watch.

When it was time for the talkback with Fonda and Tomlin the audience was very excited. The talkback, lead by Gayle King, began first by King asking the questions to Fonda and Tomlin. Then during the last ten minutes or so, the audience was allowed to ask questions. Fonda and Tomlin talked about a multitude of topics, such as the show, their experience/history in show business, aging, life, love, and lessons learned along the way.

One of the points that Fonda stressed was that women should never be ashamed to admit how old they are. Her and Tomlin proudly admitted their ages (Fonda is 78, Tomlin is 76), to which they both said that it [life] does get easier as you age. They said that as you get older, you begin to get experienced at how to handle certain events that had they happened to you at age thirty, you wouldn’t be properly equipped to handle. Fonda also discussed her increased feminism over the years and said how, when she was searching for a romantic partner in the past, kindness was a quality that she overlooked. She does have a new boyfriend now, who she says has that important quality. “I’m extremely grateful for it, kindness and forgiveness, especially when you’re 78!” Jane says.  “I think if I met it sooner I would have fled.” Tomlin interjected Fonda’s statement saying that, “You aren't as feminist as you are now…I’m saying that if you were more feminist, you would understand the importance of kindness.”

Listening to these two women talk was truly inspiring and heartfelt. You can tell that they enjoyed working together and that they enjoyed partaking in the Tribeca film festival and interacting with fans. If you haven't seen Grace & Frankie before, what are you waiting for?! As soon as you finish reading this, go watch it! You will not regret it. And if you’ve finished season one and are patiently awaiting season two, you will not be disappointed. We are so excited to see what future seasons have in store for Fonda and Tomlin and hope that they will return to Tribeca next year, armed with the first two episodes of season three. We would definitely return to see these two ladies once again.