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'Grace and Frankie' Tackles Mental Health With Laughs and Tears in Final Season

It’s the end of an era. Netflix’s longest-running original series, “Grace and Frankie,” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, has dropped its seventh and final season, and I for one am kind of gutted about it. What began as a campy romp highlighting two older women that forge an unlikely friendship after being left by their respective husbands who have fallen in love with one another and want to get married has evolved into a poignant commentary on some really important and sometimes heavy subjects. The final season, while cleverly written and filled with laughs, tackles issues including trauma/intergenerational trauma, addiction, grief/loss, death, healthcare, and dealing with the decline of a loved one with memory loss due to dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Trauma

There are two plot lines that tackle this head-on. The first is the fallout from Sol and Robert having their home burglarized. Sol in particular feels deeply violated and defaults to a trauma response of hyper-vigilance. Many of us who have experienced this kind of violation have a lot of trouble regaining a sense of control or security that we once felt we had. Sol acts out his hyper-vigilance by being angry with Robert for not having a similar response and for seemingly not taking his angst seriously. I know that when I am triggered and am met with dismissal or told that I’m overreacting, it just makes me defensive and angry, so I completely understand his reaction.

The second plot line that deals with trauma is Grace’s tragic loss of her father as a child when he drowned in the ocean close to his 40th birthday. She and her brother have been estranged for years because of this, and when Grace all of a sudden starts having cravings for a childhood dish that she

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Jane Fonda Lily Tomlin

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