When Real Life Mimics A Television Series
When Real Life Mimics A Television Series

When Real Life Mimics A Television Series

Frankie Bergstein: What brand would you smoke if your husband turned out to be gay?

Clerk: Uh, Newports?

Frankie Bergstein: For 20 years?

Clerk: Lucky’s.

If you’re one of those people who has never been exposed to the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie, you are living a deprived life. The series carries a lot of star power with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterson, and Martin Sheen in the lead roles. The basic plot of the series is that two women whose husbands have been best friends for years have to deal with the shock and adjustment that comes when said husbands announce that they’re both gay and moving in together. That’s right, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterson play a gay couple. Try to wrap your head around that one.

Where things get comedically wonderful, though, is in the relationship between their wives, two women who never really liked each other all that much but now find themselves cohabitating, sharing a beach house, suffering through a divorce, dating again, and all the other things that go with that scenario. Fonda and Tomlin play off each other beautifully making this one of the few series I can stand to almost binge-watch (I really can’t do more than four episodes at a time). The series has completed three seasons and I’m pretty sure a fourth is on its way.

Grace and Frankie is, of course, fiction but like any fiction what makes it wonderful is its ability to mirror real life. The challenge is that we often don’t see the real-life scenarios played out, especially in cases like this where the details would likely be kept quiet, especially in the early going. That has now changed.

Enter BJack-O-Langelo. Nope, I’ve no idea if that’s her real name or something she’s assumed to reasonably protect her identity. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that she was sitting at a bar in the Columbus, OH airport (something everyone does when stuck at the Columbus, OH airport) and overhears a conversation between two women. What followed was absolutely priceless. The two women had just met in person for the first time. They were flying to Chicago to confront their husbands who, they deduced, were apparently gay and sleeping together. There is no information as to how the women had come to this revelation, but the evidence was strong enough to fly from Columbus to Chicago. BJack was kind enough to live-tweet the whole thing and I’ve copied the conversation here for posterity. For easier reading, I’ve stripped out some of the repetitive Twitter details.

Of course, we have no idea what happened from there and can only speculate on the outcome. How did the ambush go down? Were the men actually sleeping together? What if they weren’t? What if they were going in halfsies on a couple of high-priced call girls? What if they feed each other’s gambling addiction? Or maybe they’re secretly an assassination team hired to take out someone. I mean, one can take this story a number of different places.

You know, this is November and NaNoWriMo, the national novel-writing movement, is just getting started. For anyone who still hasn’t come up with a reasonable plot, here you go. A dozen different people could take this scenario to very different outcomes.

Art has an interesting way of imitating life, it’s been said, and changes in media doesn’t affect that. We’ve been frightened by the degree to which political shows like Madam Secretary and House of Cards sometimes come frighteningly close to real life, current events, despite having been conceived and filmed months before the real thing happened. Now, we see it happens in less earth-shattering ways as well.

Whatever happened, someone needs to let Netflix know about this. Perhaps we’ll hear about the two women again in some form. Perhaps Grace and Frankie can give them some advice, even if one of the women isn’t especially fond of Jane Fonda.

Our thanks to BJack-O-Langelo for sharing the event. We’re all glad you were there, suffering through the boredom that is the Columbus, OH airport.  May Karma treat you well.

As for everyone else,
Abide in Peace,
The Old Man

Copyright, Netflix, 2015

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