The premise of Netflix dramedy Grace and Frankie is incredible: After their husbands (who are business partners at a law firm) reveal their decades-long affair and their plans to come out to the world as romantic partners, frenemies Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) move into a beach house in La Jolla, California, and begin to navigate their new lives as roommates, septuagenarian divorcees, and unexpected best friends. Fonda and Tomlin have already proven their onscreen chemistry (they starred in the iconic 1980 film 9 to 5 alongside Dolly Parton), and showrunner Marta Kauffmann has also proven her abilities as co-creator of the '90s sitcom Friends.
It's a formula that worked well for four seasons, and the fifth season—which is out now on Netflix—shows that Grace and Frankie (and its titular stars) are continuing to improve with age, despite a few small hiccups. When Season 5 begins, Grace and Frankie have just escaped from their retirement community on a stolen golf cart and returned to their oceanfront home to learn it's just been sold. I won't give any spoilers, but this season you can look forward to a trip to a spa/cult, a visit to a leather bar, a proposal, a debacle involving 50,000 vibrators, and a cameo from RuPaul. Unfortunately, the show falters in its dismissive, stereotypical depictions of queer millennial culture, along with a weird time-warp in the finale.
Nevertheless, Grace and Frankie is as hilarious and trailblazing as ever; besides The Golden Girls, I can't think of another show with stars who are older women. Though they have to deal with the perils of aging, its protagonists are in a constant state of growth and evolution, with lives that are rich in love, romance, sex, conflict, and adventure. That's a welcome, and wholly different, narrative than we're used to seeing in popular culture's depictions of aging women.