After seven magnificently funny and poignant seasons, Netflix’s “Grace & Frankie” is coming to an end with the airing of its final episodes starting April 29. And what better way to celebrate than to look back at how the magic was made from the eyes of its stars, the incomparable Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, along with the show’s creators/showrunners/executive producers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris.
In the special featurette above, titled “A Farewell to 7 Season, they reflect on each individual season, from its conception through, ultimately, its finale and the evolution of that beautiful friendship between Grace and Frankie, that came to life through the deep personal love Fonda and Tomlin have for each other.
“I remember when we started, Jane said, ‘Let’s not ever stop doing this, let’s just do this until…'” Tomlin says in the featurette.
Fonda interrupts: “…until we die and can’t do it anymore.”
Kauffman, who co-created “Friends,” says that she was lunching with Marcy Ross, the head of Skydance television, who mentioned to her that Fonda and Tomlin wanted to do TV. Kauffman thought Ross meant they wanted to work together. But that news was a surprise to both of the legendary actresses.
“Marta Kauffman invited me to her office and said, ‘I heard that you and Lily want to do a TV show together,’ and I said, ‘Sure!’ But it never occurred to me that I could dream of doing something with Lily … but I didn’t let her know that,” Fonda admits.
Netflix’s “Grace & Frankie” centers on Grace (Fonda), a retired, sharp-tongued cosmetics mogul, and Frankie (Tomlin), a quirky, free-spirited art teacher whose husbands announce they are in love with each other and are leaving their wives. In the beginning, Grace and Frankie are like oil and water – they do not mix well and, in fact, they really don’t like each other. But as time goes by and they navigate around their families, their love lives and their business ventures, they become the best of friends.
Morris said the idea for the show transpired one night when he was visiting Kauffman at home.
“There was a moment at your house, Jane was talking about how she was dating men who sometimes had to use, like, a pump–” Morris said. Kauffman picked up where he left off.
“No, no. No, no,” she jumped in. “We were talking about Viagra, Cialis and [Jane] ssid, ‘Oh, there’s another thing you can do. It’s an injection … in the penis.’ And Lily Tomlin said, ‘You have got to get younger boyfriends.’ [Howard and I] looked at each other and said–“
“That’s our show,” Morris said, finishing her thought.
In the series, Frankie’s Mother Earth-like goddess has always showed itself through her art. Like that interesting sculpture on the table in Grace and Frankie’s beach house.
“When we first saw this house, it was very ‘Grace and Robert,'” Brooklyn Decker, who plays Grace’s daughter Mallory said on the set.
“And then Frankie came in — her tornado of a self — and added her own things. This is one of my favorites,” Decker said, picking up an odd-looking gray clay thing. “This is a hairy vagina. And this is the clitoris. And this is the vulva. … And this is one of Frankie‘s sculptures. It just sits right there, it is a centerpiece on the table.”
From how decisions are made about the characters’ wardrobe, to Fonda’s favorite moments, to Tomlin’s adlibbing and why her character always seems to have the last word, even if it isn’t scripted, this is a fun 20 minutes for any “Grace & Frankie” fan. As Netflix puts it, “Here’s to seven seasons of laughs, tears, mood-enhancers and good vibes. And, as Grace and Frankie would say, ‘F— it.’ This may be their final chapter, but they’re just getting started.”