Grace and Frankie is one of the standout comedies of the last few years. Those who love Netflix’s show should check out these 10 series.
There’s no question that Grace and Frankie is one of the most charming comedy series to have graced television screens for quite a while. There’s undeniable chemistry between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin (and between Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, for that matter) that makes each and every episode a pleasure to watch.
While most of the series leans more toward the comedic side of things, there’s no question that there are more than a few dramatic moments, some of which are genuine tear-jerkers. It’s precisely Grace and Frankie’s ability to balance these two elements that make it such a great series.
There are several other series, however, that show a similar ability to balance the sadness and the joy of modern life.
The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is, of course, one of those series that is considered a classic piece of television. There’s a powerful bond between the four characters that is almost unmatched in television history, and the show deserves a lot of credit for being willing to meaningfully and sensitively address some of the most pressing issues of the 1980s.
While it has its somber moments, it’s also important to acknowledge that the series also has some amazing and brilliant comedy writing. Writing that in the hands of its inimitably talented leads still manages to have audiences roaring with laughter.
Hot In Cleveland
In many ways, Hot in Cleveland is a bit of an update of The Golden Girls. That sense is bolstered by the fact that this show also stars Betty White (though she’s much more of a Sophia than a Rose).
The comedy here is pretty standard sitcom fare, but it’s hard to dislike the four actresses who play the leads. The show has a warmth and genuineness that definitely makes it a pleasant series to watch.
Modern Family is one of those shows that manages to be both endearing and insightful. As its title suggests, it really wants to explore the ways in which the concept of the family has changed in the last twenty years, but what has always remained steady is the power of love to bring people together.
Though it’s a truly hilarious show with some great writing, there are more than a few moments when Modern Family really digs down deep into what makes families work.
Will & Grace
Though some people like to dismiss it, it’s important to remember that Will & Grace did a great deal to make gay people more visible to mainstream Americans.
In both the original version and its revival, the show managed to explore many aspects of contemporary gay life, while never losing sight that its primary job was to make people laugh. Each of the four leads brings something powerful to the table, and for most of the series’ run, it was easy to see that they shared a genuine bond of friendship.
One Day At A Time
This series, a remake of an earlier show, is a hilarious and often very moving exploration of Latinx life in contemporary America. There’s a lot to love about One Day at a Time, particularly since it manages to do so much, all within the confines imposed by the form of the sitcom, exploring both family and social issues.
And, let’s be real, the presence of the divine Rita Moreno in any series is enough to make it worth watching.
To be fair, Feud is not a comedy (at least, not most of the time). However, it does share something very important with Grace and Frankie, and that is an exploration of what it means to be an aging woman in America.
The series, of course, documents the potent dislike that two famous stars of classic Hollywood, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, shared for one another. Sparks fly as both Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange bring their most to the roles of these two titans of the screen.
Transparent received rave reviews when it premiered, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a sensitive, powerful, and poignant look at a transgender woman who comes out late and life and has to contend with the realities of her new life.
Jeffrey Tambor was (until he left the show) the centerpiece as Maura, but it also delved into the lives of the other members of her family, all of whom were dealing with their own crises.
A significant part of the appeal of Grace and Frankie is the sparring between the two lead actresses. Even after they become best friends, there’s always a little bit of tension between them.
Those who enjoy seeing two acting pros clashing will enjoy Vicious, which stars Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen as an older gay couple who have been together for a number of years. They are certainly vicious to one another, but the viewer is never left in any doubt that they truly do love and care about one another.
The Good Place
There’s a good reason that The Good Place managed to earn a spot in the hearts of many viewers, and it has to do with its fundamental optimism about the human condition.
While it’s become very common for a lot of shows, even comedies, to give in to the cynicism of the age, this show argues the opposite. The Good Place states there are good people in the world and they are determined to make it a better place.
Laverne & Shirley
The buddy comedy is one of the most enduringly popular forms of popular culture, and it’s easy to see why, particularly if the two leads have chemistry.
Just as Fonda and Tomlin have an undeniable bond, so do Laverne and Shirley. This sitcom is very much of its era, and it follows most of the rules that one associates with the genre. However, Laverne & Shirley is a genuinely funny show, and there’s quite a lot of heart in it as well.
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