From stereotypes to gender gap and life after age 70 in Grace and Frankie series
De los estereotipos a la brecha de género y la vida después de los 70 años en la serie Grace y Frankie

Begoña Gutiérrez San Miguel1
Ana Catarina Pereira2
Daniel Acle Vicente1

1University of Salamanca. Spain.
2University of Beira Interior. Portugal.

Introduction: This paper presents the partial results of an interdisciplinary research following an innovation project funded by the University of Salamanca. Gender studies within the framework of intersectionality emerge as an analytical tool through which to understand the complexity of the world, the diversity of people and experiences. Social inequalities, in this case related to gender, sexuality, age or life skills, after youth are the driving forces behind research. The media is all-powerful as a reflection screen of social and cultural models, of male and female patterns. Methodology: The chosen methodology was based on the application of the Bechdel test, to differentiate the presence and the dialogical issue between the two female protagonists, and on the Rydel Inclusion, to evaluate the gender representation on the artistic-technical teams. The purpose is the identification of gender stereotypes and their disruption on the series Grace and Frankie, where protagonists are over 70 years old and keep on overcome the psychological barrier of the 70 years showing continuously vital expectations, on an active and intense way. Results: There is a paradigm change of the traditional stereotypes presentation so that senior protagonists continue to have important vital principles, accepting weaknesses as an age result, or as something natural and existential. Conclusions: The outcome show surprising data on the Rydel test.

Keywords: Grace and Frankie series, Bechdel test, aging, sexuality, stereotypes breakage, Rydel Inclusion.

Introducción: Este artículo presenta los resultados parciales de una investigación interdisciplinar consecuencia de un proyecto de innovación subvencionado por la Universidad de Salamanca. Los estudios de género dentro del marco de la interseccionalidad surgen como una herramienta analítica a través de la cual comprender la complejidad del mundo, la diversidad de las personas y de las experiencias. Las desigualdades sociales, en este caso, relacionadas con el género, la sexualidad, la edad o la capacidad vital, después de la juventud son los motores que subyacen a la investigación. Los medios de comunicación son todopoderosos como pantalla de reflexión de modelos sociales y culturales, de patrones masculinos y femeninos. Metodología: Se utilizó una metodología basada en la aplicación del test de Bechdel para discriminar la presencia y temática dialógica entre las dos protagonistas, y el Inclusion Rydel para evaluar el equilibrio por géneros en los equipos artístico-técnicos. Los objetivos fueron la identificación y ruptura de los estereotipos de género representados en la serie Grace y Frankie, cuyas protagonistas superan la barrera de los 70, continuando con expectativas vitales de forma activa e intensa. Resultados: Se constata un cambio de paradigma de los estereotipos tradicionales dado que las protagonistas de edades avanzadas siguen teniendo principios vitales importantes, con la aceptación de las debilidades consecuencia de la edad como algo natural y existencial. Conclusiones: Los resultados ofrecieron datos sorprendentes en el test de Rydel.

Palabras clave: serie Grace y Frankie, test de Bechdel, envejecimiento, sexualidad, ruptura estereotipos, Inclusion Rydel.

1. Introduction and justification. 2. Methodology. 3 Bechdel test on Frankie and Grace. 4 Rydel Inclusion Test in the technical section of Frankie and Grace 5. Conclusions. 6 Bibliography.

Begoña Gutiérrez San Miguel. University of Salamanca. Spain.
Ana Catarina Pereira. Universidade da Beira Interior. Portugal.  
Daniel Acle Vicente. University of Salamanca. Spain.

Received: 16/02/2020.
Accepted: 19/06/2020.
Published: 31/07/2020

How to cite this article/Standard reference
Gutiérrez San Miguel, B., Pereira, A.C., & Acle Vicente, D. (2020). From stereotypes to the gender gap and life after age 70 in Grace and Frankie series. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, (77), 413-430.

1. Introduction and justification

This article presents the partial results of interdisciplinary research, a consequence of an innovation project subsidized by the University of Salamanca.
Television consumption is currently determined by access to various platforms and specifically linked to this research, Netflix, which is producing a paradigm shift in it. What, already in the sixties of the last century, Eco posed in the confrontation between apocalyptic and integrated. This form of the mainstream is seen as an element of “formation of a group of new spectators whose repertoire is being formed by a connected fabric” (Vieira, 2014, p. 247) and also rests on the repetition of characters, themes and situations, redundancy of dialogues, and the soundtrack -in the current case study of Grace and Frankie, the repeated images illustrated with the initial soundtrack, explain the initial approach of the series, with the credits-, with a reiteration of the narrative mechanisms, establishing a difference with movies. And for this reason, the Grace and Frankie series is related to the treatment they are usually given with a mixture of melodrama and social criticism typical of Hollywood comedy, which does not revolve around fixed characters and jokes, which has a plot, although it does not detach completely from Sitcoms, compared to the most typical treatments related to stand-up (theater) (Lusvarghi and Dantas, 2018). It combines a narrative with episodes, it's not just sequential, as a miniseries.
The media and, specifically, television series have always presented an innate capacity to transmit stereotypes, but they have also presented a capacity to show and transform society through the relationship they establish with the audience, through the identification with the characters as well as the transmission of values and socialization, which are perceived as something natural (Tous Rovirosa et al., 2013).
The proliferation of series promoted by content platforms has multiplied the volume of content aimed at the female audience, starring, produced, and directed by women. Simultaneously, feminism and the mobilization in favor of the empowerment of women exert their influence on the audience, and particularly on women. Although the press and, to a certain extent, the academy point to a change in the representation of the female gender stereotype dominant for decades, there is little research that explores how women perceive these fictional characters. (Gavilan et al., 2019, p. 368) 
Grace and Frankie is an American series, created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris for Netflix. The lead actresses portray Grace (Jane Fonda), a cosmetics tycoon and retired, while Frankie, a late-night hippie, is played by Lily Tomlin. The two get together after their husbands, Robert and Sol, after maintaining a hidden homosexual relationship for 20 years, announced that they are leaving them to marry. The plot, therefore, starts with two frustrated couples, where they are the worst off.
After 5 seasons where gender, aging, and sexuality are addressed in the main plots, the series breaks with the common stereotypes of two older women, resulting in two strong female characters, who will manage to deal with the unexpected and new family situation. Lacking preconceptions, the series features smart scripts, tackling innovative and unthinkable themes in traditional social structures. 
While in the first two seasons the action revolved around the gay love between Sol and Robert (two prestigious marriage lawyers, played by Martin Sean and Sam Waterson, with credible and far-from-stereotypes performances), in the following seasons the chapters will show the real-life issues that this situation entails for Grace and Frankie. They, united in pain, end up cohabiting in the same beach house, which had been acquired by the two heterosexual couples, now separated. From our point of view, it is the difficult coexistence between the two female characters that will break the stereotypes of older women: two strong women will emerge from separation and disbelief, who will manage to deal with the new family situation. The different chapters will describe the real-life problems that coexistence entails and the way to go forward, sometimes using extravagant measures for what one might think of two older women. 
In series the characters tend to have, we believe, more facets, more deeply treated than in the movies, as a consequence of the longer duration. This makes series an ideal vehicle to build and show ways of thinking, new roles, represent diversity, and/or question the dominant stereotypes (Galán, 2007; Padilla, 2014; Coronado and Galán, 2015; Martínez-García and Aguado -Peláez, 2017; Tous-Rovirosa and Aran-Ramspott, 2017; Cascajosa, 2018; Edström, 2018, Donstrup, 2019, Gabilan et al. 2019, Zafra and López Pellisa, 2019). Issues derived from intersectionality, which equally concern representation in the media, when they tend to devalue the minority groups of popular culture, whether they are women of color, of different ethnicities, lesbians, or the elderly (Aguado Peláez and Martínez García, 2015). 
To research the issue of the images of female aging in audiovisual productions, as we present here, it is important to assess the research work carried out by Debert (2012), who treats old age as a historical and social construction. It is a category of social production, whose value is also transformed according to time and cultural context, taking into account that there is no homogeneity because there are different ways of experiencing aging, although it is true that it is usual to build the characters based on stereotypes and not on actual patterns, as seems to be the case here. 
The specific forms that representations of old age can take within a cultural system depend on many factors. For example, there are traditional reasons that have made old age a privileged object of representation in Japanese cinema. On the other hand, there are economic reasons that justify that old age does not appear too much in contemporary Hollywood commercial cinema. This is because producers have detected that teenagers consume a lot of cinema (Deleyto, 2003) and have a certain gerontophobia. (Genovard and Casulleras, 2005, p. 11) 
Hence, it seems that traditionally North American series barely incorporate senior characters, and if they do, they tend to be in secondary roles (Lauretis, 1982, Gumbrecht, 2010, Zafra and López Pellisa, 2019). According to Frances, it is important to consider the significance of the body in film theory as a means of understanding the complex relationships between nature, culture, and society: 
A theory of corporeality in cinema is necessary to understand the themes of the iconization of old age in it, such as the expression of emotions, the culture of consumption, the beauty of the image of the body, sexuality, or relationships between man-woman. Two aspects that stand out among the others are interesting here: the perceptual appeal of the body and its cognitive treatment. (Frances, 1979, p. 265) 
And to this is added the fact that the loss of youth is associated with the invisibility of women, not only in cinema but also in other media. 
In the history of cinema, in general, the feminine corporeality reproduces the classic feminine role model as a submissive object and of ‘voyeuristic' enjoyment of the masculine gaze, which desires a young feminine body and disdains the old by having 'little to offer '. Thus, old female bodies become practically invisible in cinema. With this, the representation of female sexuality in old age literally disappears: if it were for cinema, we would believe that, at certain ages, women do not have nor desire a sex life (Genovard and Casulleras, 2005, p. 15) 
The image of old age, therefore, has been treated in a very stereotyped way, being presented by homogeneous standards, even taking into account that it is a fairly heterogeneous group. Real people, not characters, have their own and particular characteristic features, although common behaviors may be derived from learned cultural habits. In cinema, older characters are usually represented from the most pejorative stereotypes (unwilling to live, calm, peaceful, with little physical activity, they no longer work, they are always sick, they are curmudgeons...) and are tended to be deprived of opportunities to contribute to society (Zafra and López Pellisa, 2009, Bozón, 2004). Giddens, when speaking of the representation of intimacy:  
Intimacy implies absolute democratization of the interpersonal domain, in a way that is comparable to democracy in the public sphere. There are even more implications. The transformation of intimacy can have a subversive influence on modern institutions considered as a whole. The social sphere, in which emotional fulfillment replaces the goal of economic growth, would be very different from those we have known so far. The changes now affecting sexuality are revolutionary, not on the surface but in depth. (2008, p. 5)
Sex in older age, as indicated by Lusvarghi and Góis Dantas (2018), is treated with a realistic point of view and respectful of female idiosyncrasy, as happens in this series. The concepts raised by Genovard and Casulleras (2005) break the initial stereotypes derived from the Hollywood industry, given that the protagonists are two couples of older women and men.  
2. On the other hand, all these stories are built by large teams of professionals who transfer the world from which they start, to the screen. And in the search for parity and to make equidistant stories, a movement emerges that is increasingly stronger, associated around the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, founded in 2003 by Stacy Smith, to assess the gender gap. The research they carry out focus on various lines of work, mainly the evaluation of content patterns related to on-screen representation, gender, race, disability issues... in all audiovisual media; the percentages of employment among the technical-artistic teams, among other issues. In the most recent study (2017) and which has had the most importance, they analyzed more than 48,000 characters from the 1,100 highest-grossing films from 2007 to 2017 (in the USA). Among the conclusions they obtained, the fact that women only occupied 30.6% of the time in front of the camera in a period of 11 years stands out. Regarding this research are those of Tello Díaz (2008), López Díaz (2008), Matud Aznar, Rodríguez-Wangüemert, and Espinosa Morales (2017), Bernárdez Rodal and Padilla Castillo (2018), Gallur Santorum and García Orosa (2019), Zafra and López Pellisa (2019) who rotate in the same line carrying out representation studies in the audiovisual media. 
This research focuses the study on the presence, together with the representation and dialogues held between the two female protagonists. The objective will be the identification of issues related to the elderly through what is stated in this series, in a world in which there only seems to be the representation of young people in the cinematographic field. And analyze who builds the stories and whether or not there is a gender gap. 

2. Methodology

The methodology used for the analysis of this series is mainly based on two methods that evaluate the gender gap; the Bechdel test and Rydel Inclusion. The series starring two older women who do not seem to be subject to traditional stereotypes to break the glass ceiling (Zafra and López Pellisa, 2019), seems to underlie throughout the seasons. 
Cultural Studies provide the basis for the theories of post-feminism, the intersectionality where the Bechdel Test is found. For this, an attempt has been made to discriminate the appearance of at least two female characters with their own names whose conversations must be about something that is not exclusively the search for the ideal man, to analyze if the narrative structures are constructed by treating the female characters with their own identity and not derived from the emotional, economic, and vital dependence on men, as they are usually elaborated in traditional hegemonic discourses in cinema. The study has been separated by sequences and by seasons, to assess the total evolution of the main narrative plots derived from both main characters and the relationship established between them. Being very linked to the secondary plots from the secondary characters, we wanted to separate them to further dimension the relationship and the dialogues established only between them. 
And, on the other hand, to prepare a study on the composition of the artistic-technical teams based on the approaches of Stacy L. Smith - professor at the University of Southern California - called Rydel Inclusion. Where they are dedicated through training and research to trying to ensure that professionals who work both in front and behind the camera, reflect the world in which we live. Their study requires at least 50% of women (not undervalued), 40% of diversity in ethnic groups, 20% of people with disabilities, and 5% of members of the LGTB collective both in the casting and in the filming team. 
For this, a content emptying of the chapters that make up the five seasons was carried out, by sequences and dialogues, to discriminate whether Bechdel's premises were fulfilled and in what percentages, as in the second analysis factor (Rydel). Therefore, the technical-artistic teams of the total of these were analyzed, taking into account the credits, to prepare the total percentages. The analysis sample was the 65 chapters of the 5 seasons. 

3. Bechdel test on Frankie and Grace 

The premises that this theory raises can be visualized through the five seasons in the following way, according to percentages and by chapters.
The results of the research offer significant data regarding the presence and conversations between the two women protagonists without minorizing. Conversations and issues not strictly related to dependence on men as if they were blue princes, very much of Hollywood taste, appear stagnant or banished, facing their own topics so that they can be contemplated carrying out an active, rich life and with the presence of problems derived from age, that is, with the real problems of everyday life. After carrying out a detailed emptying of the contents of all the chapters, significant results are offered such that, in the first season of the 13 installments, it will be in the first and in the penultimate where the percentages are highest, with 70 % and 60% of the total conversations. Where there are fewer own-conversations is in chapter two, seven, ten, and thirteen with a total percentage of 30%. Chapter eight presents 50% of conversation and the rest of the chapters 40%.
It begins in the first season in the first chapter in the beach house both protagonists share it. Two completely antagonistic people living together, united by disappointment. Coexistence problems articulate the discourse. From there in this first season, the positions and differences will be smoothed out, although each one maintains its own idiosyncrasy. The penultimate chapter “The Bachelor Party” is striking, in which Frankie is falling into a depression and Grace does her best to help her, hence the presence of a high percentage over the middle of the chapter, of the conversations between them.
In the second season, the first chapter 90% of the conversations are their own topics. In the second and last, it is averaged, since it represents 50% of the total. The third, sixth, and ninth, drops to 30% of their own topic. Four and five, 60% of the conversations. Seven, eleven, and twelve, 20%. Eight 40% and the one that offers the least amount of own-conversations corresponds to chapter ten, with 10% of the total percentages.  
That is why the presence in this first chapter is so high since the relationship between the two is settling as housemates, the beach house, which has become their refuge. And the theme will vary between the help that Frankie will want to provide so that the business of Brianna, the daughter of Grace, comes out of the crisis, such as the approach of seeking a relationship satisfactory to both, the driving license that Frankie has to renew, various ceremonies that they live on the beach around alcohol, their worries, experiences, the friendship problems of Grace. It is significant a subject that they deal with in the last chapter, related to euthanasia. One of the friends has decided to take her life for irreversible health problems and they carry it out, helping her in her purpose. The presence of the protagonists has decreased due to this; initial doubts on Grace’s part to give her that help given that it involves moral problems, in the face of Frankie's determined and unconditional attitude. Two confronting characters, two patterns of representation on a conflictive issue, a debate that arises from reality, presented in a brave and risky way. Thus, ends the second season, hinting that they, mainly Frankie, is the one who carries out the legally punished action. The protagonism is of the friend and, for that reason, both of them together do not have a great presence but it does not avoid the subject presented with a certain dose of humor being capital. They are on the sidelines.
The third season has more homogeneous percentages: Chapters one, two, three, four, five, and six, of 50% of the conversations. Seven, 70%. Eight and eleven, 60%. Nine 20%; ten and thirteen 30%. And finally, twelve 40%. 
At this moment in the story, the friendship has been consolidated and they start a business together, very particular, to have and demonstrate to their families that they are independent and self-sufficient and that, despite their age, they can manage their lives without depending on men. They establish a company of dildos for older women, for which they try to obtain bank loans that they do not obtain precisely because of their age. It will be Grace's daughter, Brianna, who does it, cheating on her mother and colluding with Frankie, since the relationship between mother and daughter is somewhat tense and difficult.
Another capital plot is derived from health problems. Based on humor, in chapter 7 -hence the percentage of presence of both of them in it- both appear lying on the ground due to an attack of lower back pain. Facing logical physical deterioration and how they accept and solve it, is what is prevalent in this chapter and in some of the following of this third season, compared to what family members consider they should do.
The fourth season, chapters one, two, four, and seven, present 30% of the total conversations. Three, eight, and nine, 20%. Five and eleven, 40%. Six, 10%. As the season progresses, the indexes begin to rise, registering in chapter ten, 70%; in twelve 50%, and thirteen 80%.
The underlying theme throughout it is friendship. Frankie’s problems, who is declared dead for not having renewed her ID, and the problems that this entails, both with the banks and with the rest of the vital issues, is another of the topics of this season. And again, the health problems until the children manage to take them to a nursing home, trying to incapacitate them, being this last chapter with a presence of 80% of conversations between them, the one that faces the aforementioned problem.
In the last season, the fifth, the first chapter begins with the highest percentage, 70%, followed by chapter six with 60%. Chapter two, 50%. Three 40%, along with seven, nine, eleven, and twelve. Chapters four, five, and ten offer the lowest results at 20%. Eight and thirteen, 30%. The squatter topic is the trigger for the first installments. At the residence they have realized that they have lost their freedom and independence, so they decide to return home. They board the beach house once they have escaped from the asylum and settle in to live in it, until they get their restitution, agreeing to have a caretaker who will be none other than their husband’s former secretary, retired from the law firm and older than the two of them. The first chapter is the one that deals with this issue, and with it the season’s highest percentage of dialogue between the two (70%).
They also begin to fight for their rights demanding the adaptation of the lives of older people, fighting for a crosswalk, for example, that lasts longer, adjusting to their slower pace. And also the theme of the recovery of the hippie or alternative world, attending a spiritual retreat in an idyllic place in the middle of some forests, isolated from the “civilized” world, where a group of people who dedicate themselves to meditation and who face life differently live, with the opposition, of course from Grace. Chapter 6 has a presence of vital dialogue between them of 60% of the total of it. And another striking topic is how they distribute their company through social networks. It would seem logical that the most important percentage was the last one since that is how most traditional series usually end, but that last chapter faces an important flashback where it explains what happened when they separated and what were the paths followed by both protagonists. Therefore, it explains what happened through parallel scenes, but not through dialogues and joint experiences.
The detailed analysis of the plots and sequences throughout the 65 chapters confirms a series of evidence: The first and most remarkable is the age of the protagonists, who are older women, who are passed seventy-years of age. Not for that reason are they treated and represented as old women, but quite the opposite. They are endowed with great vitality, projects, and a desire to do things. They are not stagnant in life as it usually happens in the current media representation and television series. Life exists after 70 years. And this is what they reflect in this series, accepting and presenting the problems that derive from vital deterioration, as is logical, more in the case of Frankie than in that of Grace, who always wants to present her appearance very carefully and for this, she does not eat anything like her life partner highlights with humor on many occasions. In one of the chapters, Grace gives a masterful lesson showing what physical deterioration entails, taking off all the makeup, the things she has on her hair, and showing herself as she is, in front of the camera. In the rest of the scenes, she even wakes up before her partner to put on makeup and groom herself, so that he does not see her in bad condition. Diatribes between being and appearing so closely linked to the treatments they traditionally give women in film and especially in Hollywood.
Sex and relationships with some couples are very present throughout the series. The problems raised by Bozón (2004) in his study related to the paradigm shift in sexual aging are evident here, for example, with topics such as menopause that is no longer a limitation for women. Furthermore, they seek and have greater satisfaction with their sex life, associated with autonomy and evident seclusion of traditional prejudices against sexuality, despite the imposition by the perfect body model, which mainly affects Grace and traditional stereotypes. There are many chapters in which expressions such as “menopause”, “painful sex”, and “straight from the farm to the vagina” appear, which means realistically bringing the sexuality of older women to the forefront, without focusing on exaggerated positivity of active old age. However, as usually happens in topics considered taboo, some conversations show prejudices with the topic, for example, those held between mother and daughter -Grace and Brianna- when considering the incorporation of a vaginal lubricant for older women, an issue evidenced by Lusvarghi and Góis Dantas:
Hearing the mother talk about sex seems embarrassing to Brianna, who refers to them as “dirty ladies”, despite being sexually free. Brianna, however, introduces the product to her company and proposes that colleagues experiment successfully and the formula be considered as a product within the cosmetics company. (2018, p. 13)
Grace, however, responds to a modest woman pattern and the sexual relations she maintains she tries to keep them in the dark, either for not showing physical deterioration or for coming from a Catholic tradition in which sex was considered a sin -this issue could be supported by the explanation in other chapters of her ex-husband when he has to confess to his mother that he is homosexual, this being a woman with very strong principles rooted in Catholicism-.
Frankie is more liberated and has much less trouble dealing with sex in a more free and natural way. She breaks the traditional norms established by treating, for example, a very popular issue such as euthanasia, in which she positions herself in favor, carrying it out, although it does not expressly show it, but showing the ceremony they organize to help her friend old, old like them, to die.
Another substantive change in the usual theme is related to the consumption of soft drugs (marijuana, peyote). Here they use them to achieve harmony and overcome the problems that are placed in front of them. Already in the first season, Frankie is performing a cleansing rite on the beach and using drugs, Grace unwittingly joins the ceremony and thereby releases her anguish and breaks her rigid, contained, and distant status. The first is a regular drug user, with the consequent emotional drift and loss of the reality that it entails. And, Grace is a regular consumer of alcohol (she always seems more sophisticated with it). Even her own family considers that, without the intake of this drug, it is not easy to deal with her.
Another topic discussed is the difficulties that older people have to face life actively, also questioned in this series, showing, for example, the impossibility of financing by banks to start a business with older people. Or the difficulties that life presents in matters as simple as passing a traffic light quickly when movements and physical problems prevent it. With this, they try to break another stereotype. And they also create, manufacture, and sell a vibrator for older women, an issue traditionally reserved for men, who are the traditional consumers of the so-called “Sex Shop”. Not with a morbid intention, but as a normal complement to their sex life. A taboo also related to traditional stereotypes.
The acceptance of age, the acceptance of health problems, with dignity, is another stereotype that is broken.
But there are also deeper paradigms such as reaching deep relationships between both sexes, despite age and condition. A clear reflection of this is the conversation between Grace and one of her partners, in which both do things they do not like to try to satisfy the other and reach a degree of intimacy, issues raised by Giddens (1992) with the call of confluence.
The most significant themes are those that have been contributed in this section, but it seems interesting to find out who is behind all these plots, who configure the artistic technical team that facilitates the completion of this series. For this reason, it seemed important to link with the following section to find out the motivations and the percentages of the presence of men and women in the construction of a series that, at first, seems very motivating due to a gender theme. And see if the aforementioned gender gap exists.

4. Rydel Inclusion Test in the technical section of Frankie and Grace 

When carrying out an analysis of work teams, the results are totally unequal in some of the sectors.

Source: self-made

Graph 1

The Production team presents a percentage majority of women over men, standing out at 22%. In the Casting team, the predominance of women presents a difference of 50% over men. Women have a predominant role, therefore, in both Production and Casting teams (61% and 75%, respectively). Production teams have traditionally been in male hands, so these results offer a striking contrast to the results of Smith’s study, in which only 20.7% were women in these teams. 

Source: self-made

Graph 2

In the Direction team, the predominance is male with a difference over them of 22%. Of all the direction -twenty-nine in total- that have been going through the set, 61% were men compared to 39% of women. And although these two teams are usually viewed together, the Script team has been separated for offering curious results. Men predominate over women in this section with a percentage of over 50%. Traditionally this team used to be made up of women, for having the idea that “women are more observant than men in details” and this is essential to be able to carry out a good filming script and achieve adequate continuity since it is not usually sequential, but random and defined by production needs.

Source: self-made

Graph 3

In the Authorship and Screenplay section, with 56% male presence compared to 44% female, the prevalence is male with a very slightly higher percentage, 12%. These results contrast relatively with those obtained by Smith in her study, in which the general presence of women in this section was only 13.2%, which implies a slight oscillation of 1.2%. 
The acting and authorship and screenplay teams are the ones with the greatest balance of all, with a superior difference of actresses and female screenwriters over actors and male screenwriters of 12%. The Acting section (56%) has a predominance similar to the previous one, since with 12% the feminine presence surpasses to the masculine one, an issue that seems evident since the series raises the life, essentially, of two women, although the presence of the men is balanced by husbands and sons on par.
The teams that present a complete gender gap are the Cinematography teams; photo team, and Music and Sound, since they have an absolute majority of men, there is no woman in any of the aforementioned teams. Women are slightly starting to appear in the photography and sound section, shyly, both fields have traditionally always been in male hands.  

Source: self-made

Graph 4

On the contrary, in the Art (79% women, 21% men), Edition (87% women, 13% men), and Special Effects and others (98% women, 11% men) teams, the prevalence is of the feminine sector. Another break in the traditional system since the Assembly and Special Effects teams have rarely been in the hands of women, perhaps because they are more technical and mechanical professions, in this case, the domain is clearly feminine.  

Source: self-made.

Graph 5

The Rydel Inclusion test presents percentages that, if globally valued, still show the predominance of men over women in this series, although the difference is very small (6%), so it seems evident that the gender gap is only partly reflected on Smith's test. 
The masculine predominance is evidenced very strongly among the Cinematography and Music and Sound teams that are made up entirely of men. There is a paradigm shift in Editing and Special Effects by having almost a female majority. Likewise, there is an inversion of traditional roles, in the case of the Script team, a traditionally feminine profession, which in this series is marked by the male presence (75% vs. 25%), these results are similar to those obtained in Smith's study (2017), which presented a percentage of women of 1.7%. For this reason, we wanted to separate it from the Direction team, which also offers a male prevalence percentage (61%), following those presented by Smith, who gave 4.2% of women in the direction. 

5. Conclusions

One of the most evident conclusions is the significant change that this series presents, questioning throughout the five seasons issues that have been considered taboo or politically incorrect, in all aspects, either in the main or secondary plots. The cinematographic representations of old age can be historized and understood as products of their time: they are based on the sociocultural context and at the same time generate it, as Genovard and Casulleras (2005) commented. 
The narrative lines derived from the two female protagonists, the analysis of the speeches, and the presence of women have been structured around Bechdel's approaches, in the first place, being able to verify that capital issues are raised both in their procedure and in their positioning.
This series shows the problems that mature women face in a world that prefers youth and superficiality; it explores new territories about women who have to come to terms with their age, and no sensitive subject is treated superficially or irresponsibly; it is studied where their bodies are at this point, where their minds are, and what that implies (in the words of the producer herself). In a society where women generally develop a great critical capacity against gender stereotypes, observing the existence of a mismatch between the image they perceive of the female protagonists of the series and their own reality as women would not go unnoticed. The identification among a larger audience of this series is significant data as a consequence of the treatment carried out verified by the research proposed by Jerslev (2018).
They are two women who judge less and empathize more. They rebel against gender roles and even more against the impositions of age. And that, in the blossoming of their friendship, they dismantle the patriarchal discourse that confronts women and they create sorority ties. The physique and the memory suffer, but both live and maintain the enthusiasm of women far from prejudice. An immensity of differences separates them, but something much more important unites them: their condition as women.
And finally, regarding the composition of the teams, a slight evolution of these is observed compared to the results that the Inclusionists proposed in 2017, confirming that there is still a predominance of men in the cinematography and music teams, but the presence of women is changing in production and, curiously, in editing and post-production.
A particular series that currently and seen the obtained success continues with the sixth season, which may give rise to future analysis.


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Begoña Gutiérrez San Miguel
Associate Professor at the University of Salamanca. The research activity is related to audiovisual narratives, cultural studies, and gender studies, with publications in impact journals and participating in competitive research projects. Director and Editor of the Fonseca Journal of Communication (2010 to present). Director of the cinematographic program of Radio Luces in the city. Radio University of Salamanca (2000-2010). Director of the Communication and Protocol Cabinet of the University of Salamanca (2003-2005). Member of the Coordination of European Festivals (1996-1997), Brussels (Belgium). Member of the Management Committee of the Huesca Film Festival (1993-2010). Deputy Director of the IUCE of the University of Salamanca (1998-1999). Film critic in the radio program Radio de Luna Llena (Asturias, 1990-1996).
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Ana Catarina Pereira
Teaching Assistant at the University of Beira Interior and Ph.D. in Communication Sciences, in the Film and Multimedia strand, by the same university. She is a member of the Equality Commission at this University. Researcher at the LabCom.IFP center, she graduated in Communication Sciences by the New University of Lisbon and with a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Human Rights by the University of Salamanca. She is the coordinator of the Working Group of Film Studies at Sopcom. She has worked as a journalist. Co-founder and director of Magnética Magazine. She is the author of several books and scientific articles published in national and international journals. She has given conferences, training sessions, workshops, and masterclasses in Brazil, Spain, England, and Sweden, among other countries. Her research lines focus on feminist studies, film studies, cultural studies, art pedagogy, Portuguese cinema, and other minority cinematographies.
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