Grace and Frankie: The Spelling Bee
June 6, 2015 11:05 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Sol and Frankie are addicted to watching the televised spelling bee together. But what will they do about it this year? Meanwhile, Grace re-meets a more suitable romantic prospect.

It's spelling bee time! It's something Frankie and Sol watch(ed) together every year, but who will they watch with now? Well, Grace isn't interested, she's a woman on a mission going on her third online date this week. She uses the anecdote of nursing a baby bird back to health, which Frankie actually did. Meanwhile, her last date's anecdote was about his tumor. Frankie notices Twitter being mentioned during the bee and wants to know what it is.

Sol is on the edge of his seat (while slumping down) watching the bee with Robert, who is quite bored. What happens if someone loses? Lions? Electric shock? "They have to sit down." And sometimes they faint. Robert thinks he can stand to watch one round, but when he finds out it runs for three days, he's out.

Brianna is attempting to make brisket for her second date with Racist Dave, a.k.a. Border Patrol Dave, until he cancels. Bud comes over and tells her to make that mess into a stew instead. Brianna whines that she's not good at dating and Bud concurs that she's terrible at it. Maybe she should get a dog instead?

Frankie got a laptop so she can chat with people about the bee online But she has no idea how to even turn it on. Grace shows her how to push the on button and set up a password ("7bongs"), but gets fed up after that and tells Frankie to call tech support. Mike at tech support is super helpful and Frankie tells him her whole life story. She sends her first tweet--"You sure you want to make it that profane?" "YES!" OH, FRANKIE, YOU ARE A BABE IN THE WOODS ABOUT TO BE EATEN BY A BEAR IF ONE NOTICES YOU. Sol comes over, missing her and wanting her to come over to watch. She says yes, then no. Is this the end of all of our rituals, like the jicama harvest? Yes! Robert won't be home... She says no anyway.

Brianna picked out a dog online and meets Dutch from Dog Rescue, who wishes he could keep little Leo here, but he already has five dogs. Brianna thinks this is insane and says as much to his face. Also, this dog is uglier than his picture. (Also, the dog seems super depressed.) Dutch says to call him if she has problems. Brianna gets drunk and chats to the dog as he wilts on the floor.

Frankie wants to chat online so she never has to go out. She offers Grace a margarita if her date goes bad. Next up is a "Yachtitech."

Before her date shows up, Grace spots Guy, a friend of Robert's from college. He's an adventurer who's finally starting to get tired. (Also, so weird to see "Coach" in a scarf.) He's parachuted into volcanoes, he's lived with gorillas...but as he was off in Mongolia shitting into a hygeine pit, he thought, "I've never seen Breaking Bad and I haven't had ice cream in 9 years." Grace hasn't either! Yes, he's heard about Robert. They spot the yachtitecht in full captain's regalia and run for it, and Guy asks her out for ice cream.

Grace tells Frankie the whole thing and Frankie's heard of him and his books-- "He ate his best friend." He wrote about it in a book, "Eating Harris." Frankie also spoils the book of Guy's that Grace is reading ("The Explorer Inside Me, which would have been a better title for the cannibalism book)-- the jaguar stalking him is a metaphor!

Brianna attempts to feed the dog. Why won't you love me?!?!

Frankie watches the bee and hits an imaginary sol next to her on the couch. Mike the tech support guy calls and Frankie blabs about the spelling bee, since nobody online is talking to her. Mike says she needs real people, so she heads to Sol's and they have a great time until Robert comes back early. Frankie leaves and Robert felt bad he was leaving Sol alone. He agrees to watch.

Brianna called Dutch-- the dog (now renamed Spit) hates me and is hiding. The dog is broken! "One of you is." They fight until Dutch realizes this is an intended booty call.

Frankie is alone with her lone margarita and no Grace to drink the other one. "Who gives a shit," she grumbles, and gives up on the bee.

Grace and Guy's ice cream date:
"Did you really eat somebody?"
"Yes, I did. Would you like to know some more about it?"
"No, actually I didn't even want to know that. "
She's been denying ice cream for 9 years and forgot how amazing it is. Also, there was always a spark between them.

Brianna and Dutch slept together on the couch. It's really cute. Then he gets up and puts his clothes on, he needs to go check on the dogs and won't even kiss her goodbye. Oh, now the dog likes her! A lot! He's licking! She finally holds him.. "You like me! You love me! You smell." Also, Brianna likes to pile cheese on vegan pizza, so why does she buy them?

Frankie spots the end of Grace's date with Guy and staggers off to bed. Grace really planted a liplock (almost as steamy as last episode) on Guy and also slaps him on the ass on the way out. He wasn't expecting either of those. Grace turns off the abandoned TV.

Meanwhile Brianna and Spit are watching the bee together, as are Sol and Robert, who started throwing popcorn at the screen. Robert hates this more than life itself!
posted by jenfullmoon (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
June Diane Raphael (Brianna) is a revelation in this ep. She was always solid, but this is really the one where I sat up and said, "Okay, yeah, she's gonna be something."
posted by Etrigan at 5:12 AM on June 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

I was surprised they didn't have more fun with the words echoing the themes of the scenes they were overplaying, they mostly seemed like random words.
posted by skewed at 9:16 AM on June 7, 2015

I was surprised they didn't have more fun with the words echoing the themes of the scenes they were overplaying, they mostly seemed like random words.

That seems like it would be just a half-step over the line of... twee self-awareness? that this show seems to have drawn in the sand.
posted by Etrigan at 10:13 AM on June 7, 2015

probably so, but I'm a sucker for sesquipedalian silliness
posted by skewed at 10:21 AM on June 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I felt so bad for Frankie in this one, never did find anyone she could watch with.

At one point I managed to spell one of the words right despite never having heard of or seen it before in my life. Go me!

Dutch was so hot. What a bummer. Brianna, pet the dang dog already and he'll like you!

So hard to picture Coach in a role like this. But he totally did eat somebody!
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:38 PM on June 7, 2015

The only words I could spell off-the-cuff were ennui and psoriasis. I thought I was a good speller but those words would have killed my spelling-bee 12-year-old self.

I am watching this show right now for Brianna and for Frankie's sons. The main characters are fine, but Frankie and Grace are just slightly on the caricature end of things for me. I think I'll like them again though; the liking comes and goes.
posted by tracicle at 1:31 AM on June 12, 2015

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