TV show

TV Show Review: Grace & Frankie

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4+ of 5 stars to Grace and Frankie, a Netflix original TV comedy series created in 2015 and currently in season 3. What an amazing show! Only a few things holding it back from being a 5 star rating for me (covered below). Let’s get into the fun!

grace

Why This Show?

  • Netflix has become a go-to for TV viewing. I don’t have to worry about recording a show. I always find something new and interesting. And the quality is always strong.
  • Lily Tomlin is hilarious. I’ve grown fond of Jane Fonda over the years. And the thought of a reunion since their movie “9 to 5” is enough to make anyone want to see this show. I just hope they get Dolly Parton to stop by for an episode or two.
  • What a great concept… and to show them living their lives separately, dealing with their husbands leaving them when in their 70s… I don’t think that’s been done before!

Show Overview

  • About thirteen (13) episodes in each of the three (3) seasons. Netflix releases them in May each year, so you can binge watch the whole season at once or keep it for longer by watching one every week or so like me!
  • Martin Sheen and Jane Fonda play Robert and Grace Hanson, married for about 40 years, with 2 daughters in their 30s, Brianna and Mallory. Martin’s an attorney and Grace ran her own consumer products business for women.
  • Sam Waterston and Lily Tomlin play Sol and Frankie Bergstein, also married for about 40 years with two adopted sons in their 30s, Bud and Coyote. Sol’s an attorney and Martin’s best friend. Frankie’s a free spirit who paints and invents things. She and Grace have never liked one another.
  • Robert and Sol fell in love over 30 years ago and have been engaged in a long-term affair, unable to tell their wives and children that they’re both gay. In the first episode, it’s finally revealed… and life is never the same again for the two couples.
  • Both divorce in the first season, and Sol and Robert finally move in together. Grace and Frankie realize they only have each other right now, as they don’t want anyone else to know… so they end up moving in together in the beach house the couples shared. And they become friends, learning how to deal with each other’s very different personas and styles.
  • Each episode is about the relationships they all share from dating, to parent/child to friendships. Grace and Frankie have to re-invent themselves in their 70s, trying to decide how to prove they are more than just jilted wives. Robert and Sol just want to move on and finally be happy together. When both families find out, everyone’s surprised but at the same time, sorta saw it coming.
  • The show also has several side stories concerning:
    • Brianna takes over her mother’s business when Grace retires.  She doesn’t ever want to get married or have children, preferring to live the single lady and professional business woman’s life.
    • Mallory is married with a lot of kids, living the family life. She’s often jealous of her sister, but also loves her children.
    • Bud is following in his father’s footsteps and about to take over the law firm. He was adopted at birth and is from Africa.
    • Coyote had a drug and drinking problem, recently released from a rehab facility. He used to be in love with Mallory, but has left her alone ever since she got married. He’s still trying to figure out his life and future.
    • Grace and Frankie open a business together with a focus on providing sexual products to women over 65. Both women have tried dating, finding some success but also lots of struggles.

The Good and The Bad

  • It’s a great slice of life for both gay men and straight women in their 70s. What happens when your relationship ends and you have to move on? Can you do it alone? Do you rely on friends? How do you re-invent yourself? What is important?  All good questions and the show tackles each one with careful aplomb.
  • I do not buy Martin Sheen or Sam Waterston as gay men. Both are playing a little lighter than their normal personalities in other roles; however, it can come across as a bit of a caricature or as a little too effeminate. It’s not bad, but enough that I sorta squint my eyes and glance sideways to accept it. I think there could have been better casting for them both; however, I do enjoy watching their performances. Grace and Frankie are the stars of the show tho.
  • The four kids all feel a little over the top, as they each have their own issues. It makes for good drama, but I feel like too much stress is put on those aspects and less about the positive side of the relationships between parents and children. Too much fighting, but then again, maybe my family just never outwardly fought.
  • I laugh every episode. I get a little emotional in many of them. It’s never boring. And often, you can relate to them, even though you might be 30 or 40 years younger.

Final Thoughts

  • So many great topics: assisted suicide, coming out, inter-racial dating, affairs, dementia, hip replacement, robbery, guns, business ownership… something different each time, guaranteed to leave you with interesting thoughts and reactions.
  • You should know there is a bit of risque language and topics, especially when it comes to the products that Grace and Frankie have invented, designed and produced for their business for the 65+ women with arthritic hands. By now, you’ve probably guessed what I’m referring to… but it keeps going from there. So if those things are out of your comfort zone, you may want to skip the show.

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Each week, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare!

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album

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Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album Book Review
Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album by Julie Poll

I adored this book, even though it was a compilation of so many things I’d already read or seen on the TV show. It brought back great memories, revealed a few new facts and helped understand a lot of history I’d only known a little bit about. If you are a fan of the show, you must give it a read thru. It’ll make you smile over and over again. If you’re not a fan of the show, no point in reading it. That said, the author does a great job with the family tree history, keep character history and highlights of the best of the best and the worst of the worst. I was very sad when the show ended, but I also knew it was time to go… it had gotten so far off track. My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook

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General Hospital: The Complete ScrapbookBook Review
General Hospital: The Complete Scrapbook by Gary Warner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not a regular viewer of General Hospital, but during the 1990s and 2000s, I kept very close tabs on all the story lines, history and actors on each of the daytime dramas. I liked knowing the spoilers, comparing shows and seeing which actresses and actors were moving from show to show. It made sense that I’d read this book all about GH. Just like the ATWT, DOOL and GL books, it was very useful in learning all the family connections, seeing older pictures and getting immersed in the history. A great book to flip thru, a few pages at a time, to keep close to the shows you enjoy.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook

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As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook
As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook by Julie Poll

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review
Next to Guiding Light, As The World Turns (ATWT) was my favorite soap opera in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I stopped watching ATWT around 2007, as I couldn’t keep up with 4 of them… and focused only on GL.

But ATWT was a great show, and when Julie Poll published this scrapbook, I had to have it! It chronicled so much of the past in the 1950s thru the 1980s when I wasn’t really alive to watch it. I read a lot in magazines and on the internet, but having a whole book dedicated to it was amazing.

If you’re a fan of the show, it’s a great way to stay connected, and even learn new things. If you’re not, but you love family drama and genealogy, it’s also a cool way to study as much as possible. And then maybe you can watch old episodes on Youtube.

It can easily be read all in one setting — lots of great pictures. But you can also read section by section over a few weeks or months, stretching out the fun.

And I would love to try a telenovela after all this!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story

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Guiding Light: Jonathan's Story
Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story by Julia London

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Guiding Light was the longest running television soap opera, airing from 1937 to 1952 on radio, and then from 1952 until 2009 on TV. I became hooked on it the summer I turned 13 and had a lot of free time on my hands. I watched it for 15+ years, faithfully recording it on my VCR while I was at school and then when I went to college. It wasn’t easy explaining why a 21 year old guy had to record a show on the VCR for an hour a day. And I would get crabby whenever I missed it!

By 2000, the show was on a decline, in part due to the months-long televised OJ Simpson trial. End result, Guiding Light pulled out all the stops to try and retain more viewership. One of those attempts was publishing a book about a few of the most memorable characters, and it was called Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story, by Julia London.

As I was a huge fan, I had to read it; however, if you only watched the show, and didn’t know about the book, things were happening off screen to the characters that you never knew about. And that just felt odd.

When I checked my “read” books today to see what I needed to write a review on, this one showed up, and I saw that of about 1000 Goodreads friends as of today, 0 had read this book. Hilarious! So I’m not going to convince you to read it. And you’re probably thinking…

All I can say is… when you love a TV show, you’ll read anything about the characters. And while the book wasn’t bad, it was just a bit odd for me to read it and then watch a different story line on TV. I applaud the show for trying this method tho!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

TV Show Review: Mom

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4+ of 5 stars to Mom, a 30-minute TV comedy that began airing in 2013 and is currently in season 4. I couldn’t say enough good things about this show, something everyone should be watching if you like to laugh and enjoy a true slice of life. I want to give it a 5, but I rarely do that unless the show has been out and over for years, and holds up well to continue to watch years after it went off the air. But this one is still on the air, so it’s as close as I can get to giving a 5 for a fun viewing!

Why This Show?

  • I watched Allison Janney back when she was on Guiding Light almost twenty years ago as one half of a comedy maid team for the Spauldings. I thought she was hilarious back then and watched her in any movies or shows she starred in. Anna Faris has been my go-to female comedy girl for a long time… LOVE the spoof movies she does.
  • When they teamed up and were going to play recovering alcoholics, and separated mother and daughter, I thought it would be golden. And it is!
  • I watch about ten shows regularly, and this will always be one of them.

Show Overview

  • Christy (Faris) is a newly sober 35-40 year old woman living in Napa Valley, California. She’s been estranged from her alcoholic and pill-popping mother for years, but unfortunately inherited the same tendencies. She’s got an 18-year old daughter (not sure who the father is) who seems like she’ll follow in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps, and she’s got a 12-year old son (different father we see from time to time) who spends time with his dad more often than not. Christy’s a waitress and went back to law school to earn a law degree, struggling to survive as a parent, caretaker and recovering sober woman.
  • Bonnie (Janney) is Christy’s mother who raised Christy, but was often in jail or on a bender. She’s witty, sarcastic and hilarious. She’s had tons of jobs, was a lesbian for a few years so she had someone to pay for her habits and take care of Christy. Bonnie finds herself currently a building super, tho she has know skills in managing a building. She re-kindled her love with Christy’s father, but he eventually died of a heart attack in an earlier season.  She never knew her mother, and recently had a one-day introduction, but the woman later died where Bonnie learned she had a half-African-American brother. She’s currently dating a paraplegic man and trying to be more sensitive to everyone’s feelings around her.
  • Bonnie and Christy have spent the last few years re-building their relationship, living together, raising Christy’s kids together and figuring how how to be sober together. They even helped Christy’s then 16-year old daughter give up her new baby for adoption when Violet didn’t want to be a mother.
  • They have a group of friends through their AA meetings who have become an incredible support system and a sense of amazing comic relief.

Notable Stars

  • MY FAVORITE (in this show)
    • Allison Janney is the bomb! She’s been nominated for many awards, and even won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in the show. Her sarcasm and critical style are always on point and the biggest laughs on the show. But she also has a tender side and you will always root for her even when you want to smack her.

  • OTHERS
    • Anna Faris is a close #2 favorite. She plays a similar character as she has in many of her movies, but she’s got more substance in this show. She’s a good mom, but both her kids can be terrible. She tries to be nice to her mother, but she just can’t be — in a funny way. She has a good sense of comedy, a few dramatic scenes, but it’s her frequent snafus that keep us all entertained.
    • Mimi Kennedy plays Marjorie, the older and wiser sober friend who helps them all figure out how to keep moving forward each day. She’s best known for her role in Dharma and Greg.
    • Jaime Pressly plays Jill, the super-wealthy divorcee who wants a baby, but ends up adopting a teenager. She’s best known for her role in “My Name is Earl.”
    • Beth Hall plays nurse Wendy, a whiny friend who is always just one step away from the group. She’s best known for her role on Mad Men.
    • Many stars have joined from time to time, notably French Stewart and Octavia Spencer (who was fantastic).
    • Supporting players include Bonnie’s boyfriend Adam, Christy’s kids Violet and Roscoe, and her ex-husband Baxter.

The Good and The Bad

  • It is a true comedy. It covers so many different life experiences, and you have an amazing time watching them grow season by season.

  • It has a good amount of drama. There is excellent balance. We’ve watched death, break-ups, benders, marriages, births and a lot of heart-ache. Sometimes it’s shocking as you think it’s all comedy and boom, something bad happens.

  • Every episode is its own story. And sometimes, you don’t even realize you’ve been taught a lesson.
  • There’s been a few holes where characters should have stuck around longer. We want to know more about Bonnie’s half-brother. Baxter and the kids have been gone most of this season. Octavia Spencer’s role should be more frequent. Christy needs a good boyfriend for a few episodes.

Final Thoughts

  • You will always laugh, so give it a chance.
  • It’s got so much heart without being cheesy.
  • You root for everyone, even when they are doing stupid things.
  • I hope it lasts another 2 seasons and ends on a somewhat happy note.
  • If you’re going to watch it, you can pickup any episode and not worry about missing history. It’s good to watch in order, but not 100% necessary.  Find the one with Octavia Spencer’s debut… it’s probably the best one out there!

 

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I watch TV A LOT. I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. This site, https://thisismytruthnow.com, is where you’ll find TV & Film reviews, book reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

TV Show Review: Falcon Crest

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3+ stars to “Falcon Crest,” a 1980s drama about a family running a vineyard in California. What a hoot! With the normal television cycle winding down next month, I decided to look for a “classic” TV series to watch via Apple TV and stumbled across this one… I was too young to watch this when it first aired, but I thought I’d give it a chance.

My mom watched it and thought it was pretty good at the time. It hasn’t held up too well in my opinion, as many of the scenes are just so cheesy — no better word. It’s typical acting of the drama category and time period; nothing to dash in that capacity. But the ending camera scenes and the facial expressions… oh my! I’ve seen some bad ones on daytime soaps, but this took the prize.

That said, I’ve only watched 1/2 the first season – about 8 episodes. The story is good… a man dies under suspicious circumstances (but his sister makes it look like an accident) and his son, Chase, comes back to California to close on the estate. But Chase falls in love with the vineyard and moves his wife and two teenage children from NYC to claim his small stake in the family vineyard. His father’s sister, Aunt Angela, runs the entire vineyard and is anxious to get rid of Chase before he figures out that if his father died under suspicious circumstances, the whole vineyard goes to Chase. She’s got a kooky daughter, Emma, who is the one who accidentally pushed her uncle to his death. And another one, Julia, who seems smart but trapped. Meanwhile, Julia’s son, Lance, is the hot young stud who gets away with everything (or almost everything).

I’m excited to see where it will go, but not sure how much of the over-play I can take! Anyone out there watch it when it first aired and have thoughts?