Full disclosure: I’ve never heard of “Grace and Frankie,” a TV series that according to “Vanity Fair” premiered Wednesday in Hollywood but is somehow also is about to embark on its third season.
Judging from the description of the show — it’s “about two women in their 70s and their ex-husbands, both of whom are gay” — I don’t feel as though I’m missing much.
Anyhoo, cast members Jane Fonda, Lilly Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston were on hand for the premiere where they were unanimous in the view that Donald Trump is missing something by not watching. Tomlin, for example, allowed as how “I don’t count on him to watch the show, but I would hope what he would take away is inclusion, empathy, and to be open-minded.”
Then, presumably to demonstrate what empathy and open-mindedness looks like, she added:
Unfortunately, he’d probably just want to date Jane. Actually, he wouldn’t even bother about dating. He would just be aggressive.
In the article, each of the named actors takes turn dumping on the president, but most of the column inches are devoted to the opinions of Sheen, who according to the article’s author, “would like to knock some common sense into the president.” Here’s Sheen in his own words:
He has no humanity, and my hope is that he would have compassion. He does not have that sense of transcendence. He doesn’t seem to have any interest or training in reflection to understand self-worth. My advice to him is to open his eyes to get a feel for other people and their cultures.
I think the bright side is he has caused a lot of people to stand up, who ordinarily might not do so. That’s very encouraging. People are getting involved in all the issues and there are plenty of issues to stand up for. …
Sheen of course knows a good deal about being president since he played one in the TV series “The West Wing.” In fact, it was a reference to that work of fiction that prompted Sheen to unburden himself of a remark so patently stupid that Hollywood should give some sort of award for it. It could be called The Sheenie.
Said the actor, “President Bartlet,” referring to the character he played, “is more qualified than Trump in every possible way.”
Actually, Sheen inadvertently stumbled upon a brilliant plan that would ensure that every president from here on in would be the sort of person who could sail through his two terms with a 100% approval rating, at least among liberals. Instead of electing an actual flesh-and-blood person every four years, the field of candidates would be limited to professional actors who could portray the president. That way, voters could choose their favorite actor, which would be a lot more fun for low-information voters than having to learn about the issues and where candidates stand.
As for the actor-elect, all of his policies and speeches would be determined for him and delivered in memorized speeches that would make him the model of liberal compassion and tolerance.
Script would tell the president when, for example to shed tears. And since the president was an actor, the scene wouldn’t look as forced or phony as it did when Obama wept on live TV during an anti-gun spiel.
The downside to this plan is that it would put Hollywood writers and producers in charge of running the country. Coming from an industry that has a devilishly hard time keeping on budget, that might not work out for the best.