Netflix's new comedy targets older viewers

Netflix's new comedy targets older viewers
Actors Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda attend the premiere of Netflix's "Grace and Frankie". -AFP

LOS ANGELES - Streaming giant Netflix is unashamedly targeting older viewers with its latest original series, Grace And Frankie, a comedy about two retired women thrown together when their husbands come out as gay and that they are a couple.

Veteran Jane Fonda, 77, said she jumped at the chance to play Grace alongside her friend, Lily Tomlin, in the show, which debuts with all 13 episodes today.

The premise of the series is unveiled with both sitting in an elegant restaurant with their husbands, enjoying what they expect to be a pleasant dinner between two couples.

But when they get to dessert, Robert and Sol - played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston - throw the bombshell by revealing that they have loved each other in secret for 20 years and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

Fonda said older women have been relatively ignored on TV.

"Nobody is addressing them, that's what's unusual about the series," she told reporters at a pre-launch presentation in Los Angeles.

"It's raising issues that aren't being raised out there," she said of the show, created by producer Marta Kauffman, who brought the world the mega-hit Friends.

"I just wanted to do a show about old women," said Fonda, who won Oscars for Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978).

After the emotional bombshell, Grace and Frankie agree that supporting each other is the best way to move forward and regain control of their lives after years of depending on their husbands.

"A lot of women have no idea how important friendships are to them," said Tomlin, 75, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1976 for Nashville.

"The fact is that women, much more than men, can have extremely intense, profound relationships. The older you get, the more you realise it," added Fonda.

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