frankies are my favorite

a list of some of the many heartbreaking things about season one Grace Hanson

1. When, in 1x10, she obviously wants everyone to feel really upset that she “has” to work on Labor Day, but mostly everyone is too absorbed in their own dramas to mind. The only person Grace truly bothers that day is Frankie. They have an entire day of bickering, a hurtful fight, and a heartfelt makeup scene in which they temporarily bond as mothers, all on the sidelines of the main action. (Side note about this episode: it’s been a while since I’ve been this into a sitcom, and damn, I’d forgotten how suddenly and magically babies are born on sitcoms.)

2. When, in 1x11, she’s totally game to watch Frankie’s terrible gladiator sex tape. Grace always gets uncomfortable in long, personal conversations that rely on humor and levity, yet she eagerly engages Frankie in conversation about the sex tape for what in a sitcom counts as a long time. She doesn’t even try to be nonchalant about it.

3. When, in 1x7, she eats ice cream for the first time in NINE YEARS, explains to Guy that she’s been denying herself, and he doesn’t even seem to register that this is interesting or troubling and that he should be nice about it and not immediately change the subject back to himself and how well-traveled he is.

4. Microwaveable chicken. (1x5)

5. Her amazing, extremely gay wardrobe. This is a notable part of every episode, but especially 1x10, when she wears Official Lesbian Tweed to sign the divorce papers. I feel like she probably describes her clothes to herself as “career woman,” with a few “career woman working a half day on the weekend” outfits thrown in for good measure, but OMG.

6. When, ALSO in 1x7, she comes home from her date and, in a very brief scene that on the surface is about turning off the spelling bee to gently end the episode, does a million brutal things with her face. Jane Fonda is a great actor. She’s great at being funny and physical and indignant without ever letting us laugh dismissively at Grace. She’s also great at the quiet moments when Grace, once again, sticks to convention and betrays herself in the process. She can show conviction and doubt simultaneously, which is easy to do in real life but hard to pretend to do while acting in a sitcom, I think. 

Grace walks inside the house after she and Guy kiss goodnight, and her posture and face is that of a princess still starry-eyed after meeting her prince (but with a side of really not wanting to watch the spelling bee). She settles on the couch, presumably to take stock of the sort of ordinary magic of the day.

And then she lets her face drop for just a second.

There’s the relief of being alone after getting through another day of successfully being who she “should” be. And what’s her reward? A few minutes of slouching on a couch before she gets up tomorrow morning to do it all over again. 

If I didn’t have to contribute to society every day, I’d honestly stay home and finish the rest of season one and all of seasons two and three right fucking now. And then write fic (for obvious reasons). 

If for some reason somebody is reading this but hasn’t watched the show or read any fic yet, do both. Start with @telanu and @ellydash.