Sunday, January 21, 2018

Grace and Frankie and Ruth and Maria

Season 4 of the Netflix series "Grace and Frankie" starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, is now available for binge watching, preferably while stoned.

The pot jokes begin in Episode 1, when Grace's daughter Brianna (June Diane Raphael) gets "buzzed" with Frankie (Tomlin), while Grace (Fonda) drinks martinis with her other daughter Mallory. Afterwards, Grace asks Brianna, "Why don't you take after your mother and drink, instead of smoking doobies with your burned-out Aunt Frankie?" At least Grace notices that Mallory is drinking earlier than usual (while swigging a martini herself). Her advice about her daughter's hurt feelings over her ex-husband is to hurl her anger at him, as she acts the angry drunk herself.

While their ex-husbands ponder having more sex with other people, Grace does all she can to rebuff a younger suitor (Peter Gallagher) and Frankie leaves her lover man in Santa Fe so she can return to her family. The women fear that one of their vibrators-for-the-elderly product has sent a little old lady to more than her "little death."

"You're famous for not being able to multitask," Grace tells Frankie. "You can't even task." Pot-loving Frankie is portrayed as so unreliable that she can't be left alone with her granddaughter. Meanwhile, Grace's ex-husband reveals she has only "not drank" a few times, and delineated the three terrible stages of her alcohol withdrawal. Grace pops pain pills to deal with a knee problem (which could lead to overdose, given her alcohol intake) and we get to see her horrible scar after her knee surgery. Oh, and Frankie's daughter-in-law must have her baby without an epidural. But the men have no health issues at all except for feeling fatigued after being arrested while protesting for gay rights. (Judge Hempstead gets them out of jail.) It's the women (not their husbands) who are sent to live in assisted living, which they manage to escape by season's end.

It's nice that the season came out on Women's March weekend because there's a mention of Susan Faludi's Backlash, which is a great book. The stoner "Friend" Lisa Kudrow guest stars in the first two episodes, and no less than Talia Shire plays Frankie's long-lost sister Teddy who used to give her a hard time about her "reefer."

Netflix has also brought back "Disjointed" starring Kathy Bates as a pot dispensary operator for 10 more episodes. The season opener, a 4/20 special, starts with a sweet musical number and has Bates's character Ruth confronting her earlier activist self. She decides to convene a cannabusiness women's empowerment group, where the women fight among themselves until Dabby (Betsy Sodaro as womankind's answer to Cheech & Chong) saves the day (in a way).

The writers haven't gone anywhere with the tension established in last season's pilot between Ruth's hippie values and those of her son, an MBA who sees the dispensary more as a business. Instead they did the whole thing in parody, complete with poop jokes and a rip-off of "The Help."

There are some genuine scenes with Bates's love interest (played by of Peter Riegert of Animal House), and with Maria (Nicole Sullivan), wherein Ruth introduces the concept of "Grasslighting" to her friend.

Budtender Jenny (Elizabeth Ho), a young Chinese woman, must deal with her mother's disapproval when she chooses to heal with herb instead of staying in medical school. (Too bad she couldn't do both.) She does a nice segment on Chinese hempen history, which could be good for awareness because the show is available with Chinese subtitles.

For those who want a more intelligent show, season 2 of "High Maintenance," co-created by Katja Blichfield, is now showing on HBO.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Her-Storic Golden Globes Ceremony

"It's 2018. Marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn't," announced Golden Globes host Seth Meyers to begin a her-storic night when the stars wore black or "Time's Up" pins in solidarity with women everywhere.

Everyone's now abuzz with the thought of Oprah Winfrey running for President, following her monumental acceptance speech as the first black woman to take the Cecil B. DeMille award, and Meyers's joke about her running.

If it happens, Oprah wouldn't be the first candidate, or President, with a pot past.

As TokinWoman reported in 2013, Winfrey was asked when she last smoked marijuana on Bravo TV's "Watch What Happens Live" and replied "Uh...1982." Host Andy Cohen then said, "Let's hang out after the show" to which she replied, "Okay. I hear it's gotten better."

In a crowded field including perennial winner Meryl StreepFrances McDormand took a Best Actress Globe for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film also won for Best Motion Picture, Drama (and co-stars Woody Harrelson, who missed the ceremony).

McDormand, who's also won an Oscar (for Fargo), appeared smoking a joint on the cover of High Times magazine in 2003. "I'm a recreational pot-smoker," she said, revealing she first smoked marijuana as a 17-year-old freshman at Bethany College in West Virginia in 1975. She added, "there has never been enough of a distinction between marijuana and other drugs. It's a human rights issue, a censorship issue, and a choice issue." Bravo!

Rachel Brosnahan accepted a trophy from Carol Burnett for portraying a stand-up comedienne in the Amazon series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which won Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy. In the series, Brosnahan's character tokes with Lenny Bruce (a stoner girl's dream date). Her character is based in part on Joan Rivers.

Allison Janney won a Supporting Actress prize for her role in I, Tonya, for which Margot Robbie was nominated for playing Tonya Harding. Robbie appeared in a pot-leaf-motif skirt on "Saturday Night Live" and smoked pot onscreen with Tina Fey in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Nicole Kidman, who played Tokin' Woman Gertrude Bell onscreen, won for her role in HBO's Big Little Lies, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was the hottest MILF ever shotgunning her young date in The Rebound (2009), wore green earrings and gave tribute to her father-in-law Kirk Douglas for hiring Dalton Trumbo to write Spartacus.

Susan Sarandon co-presented with her Thelma and Louise co-star Geena Davis, which reminded me of the scene in that movie when the rasta bicyclist gets the cop high.

Erstwhile Tokin' Woman Natalie Portman stated upon presenting for Best Director, "And the all-male nominees are...." which was especially ironic when Lady Bird won for best actress and best comedy film, but its female director Greta Gerwig wasn't nominated. Barbara Streisand (also a Tokin' Woman) was the final presenter, and remarked after she was introduced as the only woman to have won a Golden Globe as best director (for Yentl in 1984), "That was 34 years ago. Folks, time's up." Indeed.