“Have you heard of Frankie Grace?” my 24-year-old stepson asked me.
“You mean Grace and Frankie?” I corrected, eyeing him with confusion.
“Yeah! Haven’t you heard of it?” He looked at me incredulously.
“I have. I love that show. How have you heard of it?”
“That sh** is funny as hell!”
I shook my head and laughed after this exchange with my stepson. My stepson who listens to death metal, skateboards, and plays video games–Grace and Frankie is now one of his favorite shows. This didn’t make sense to me in the moment. In case you haven’t seen this Netflix show, it stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two unlikely friends who bond after divorcing their husbands, who have left them for each other. It’s not a show I would expect to capture the attention of a 24-year-old. As I reflected on this later in the evening, I remembered how much I loved, no, love, The Golden Girls. I began watching that show at 14 and I will stop to watch it anytime it comes on the screen today. Why would I relate to four older women closer to my grandmother’s age as a 14-year-old? What was the appeal of this show?
What I realize now is that both of these shows tackle topics that have been considered taboo, topics that many people kept from the dinner table (some probably still do), and they do so with humor and honesty. That’s appealing to young people. They don’t want to be kept in the dark; they want to be told the truth. I’m also reminded that we shouldn’t underestimate the comedic talent and wisdom of women, especially older women. I wonder if I hone my comedic timing, my stepsons will listen more closely to my advice?